Music and TikTok have been a formidable partnership in the UK in 2020. New artists have been uncovered, new music has been discovered and great sounds have been the bedrock of millions and millions of video creations.
In a year that has had so many difficulties and the absence of live music as we usually know it, TikTok and the many artists it has been home to, has helped fill the void. 2020 was when TikTok became the place for music discovery and the driver of hit after hit.
In the year that TikTok hit 100 million monthly active users in Europe, 176 different songs surpassed the one billion video view mark as TikTok sounds. As part of the TikTok 100 announced on 2 December we compiled the top ten TikTok songs used in video creations from the UK community; together these songs racked up over 50 billion video views on over 125 million creations, and 5 of them reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. A staggering 10 trending TikTok songs from 2020 took the top spot on the UK official charts this year.
Paul Hourican, Head of Music Operations UK for TikTok: "2020 has been the year that music started on TiKTok - driving music discovery and fan engagement for all artists, from emerging talent to global superstars. New artists have been given a big voice on our platform and established names have found new, authentic and creative ways to engage with their fans. We've seen so many incredible artist moments in 2020, bringing new music and experiences and inspiring our creative community. I want to say a big thank you to all the artists and our industry partners who have embraced TikTok this year - bring on 2021."
Building on our TikTok 100 - Our Year in Review, it's time to celebrate the artists, tracks and genres that were the soundtrack to 2020. For the first time we're revealing the UK's most viewed artist accounts, top tracks, favourite UK artist by creations using their catalogue, popular genres, and the stars that smashed it in 2020, from emerging talent to established names.
The most viewed artist accounts
Massive congratulations to Essex singer-songwriter Sam Ryder our UK TikTok most viewed artist account of the year. Sam has grown a huge fan base by singing incredible covers of iconic songs. Putting his own unique spin on classics from Queen, George Michael, Elton John and many more, Sam has amassed a loyal following and celebrity fans including Alicia Keys, who dueted his cover of If I Ain't Got You.
Fifth in our list and current number one in the UK album charts is Yungblud. Fresh from his 'Insomniac Sleepover' live performance for fans last week, Yungblud not only uses TikTok to share his music with TikTok creators, but also to support TikTok's incredible LGBTQ+ community, reaching out and supporting other creators on the platform.
Most popular UK artists by catalogue
The much-loved Harry Styles is a close second after his 'Watermelon Sugar' was our breakout track of the summer, followed by S1mba, pop sensation and Strictly Come Dancing star HRVY, and Lewis Capaldi.
1 - Dua Lipa
2 - Harry Styles
3 - S1mba
4 - HRVY
5 - Lewis Capaldi
The most popular genres in the UK
Hip-Hop/Rap has been the most popular music genre for content creation, with 142 million creations, followed by Pop and Dance music with 65 million and 27 million creations respectively.
- Hip-Hop & Rap
The TikTok artists and musicians we salute in 2020
After joining in June this year, Andrew has brought his music from the theatre stage to a new generation of users on TikTok. From doing a mashup of 'WAP' and his hit musical 'Phantom of the Opera' to featuring in TikTok's Future Theatre Fund with the Evening Standard, this British icon has given TikTokers a new musical lease of life!
One of the most popular artists on TikTok, Anne-Marie has over 3 million followers and 19 million total likes on her videos. She leaned into the platform early, with original and engaging videos – a mix of educational, fashion, beauty, music and comedy fills her page. Her singles ‘Alarm’ and ‘2002’ have been some of the most widely used in video creations this year.
Have you ever wondered “What if every situation played out like the end of an early 2000s coming of age movie?”. Well, the TikTok community has, with UK Indie band Blondes providing the soundtrack to the #ComingOfAge challenge. Originating in the US, the Meme sees creators acting out everyday situations as if it was the end of a ‘coming of age’ movie. It’s propelled the Nottingham 5 piece to global recognition with success both on and off TikTok.
The emerging and hugely talented artist has built over 650k followers in the last 6 months. The 20-year- old from Streatham loves using TikTok to experiment with sounds, tease original songs and create new content for her fans. 2020 has been a big year for her, signing a major record deal and featuring in our 'It Starts on TikTok' and #MyRoots campaigns. Cat’s been sharing acoustic snippets of her new single 'Go' with fans on TikTok over the last few weeks – check it out.
Dua Lipa kicked off 2020 with one of the biggest viral moments of the year, with the opening lyrics 'Did a Full 180' (Don’t Start Now) providing the soundtrack to millions of creations that covered comedy and dance. She also worked with TikTok to co-create the music video for her single 'Levitating', which involved a worldwide competition with fans. After sharing their best looks and choreography, sixteen creators were selected to feature in the video, which launched on TikTok with a global hashtag challenge.
Here At Last are a British boy band who have built an audience of over 1 million followers on TikTok. Pedro, Tommy, Zach, Ryan, & James have hundreds of fan pages and are recognised in real life thanks to their popularity on the platform. Expect big things in 2021 as the guys get ready to release their first EP.
Mabel’s always looking for original and innovative ways to connect with her fans and has amassed almost a million followers. She smashed it launching #MadLoveTrain, a hashtag challenge encouraging the TikTok community to create videos inspired to her single ‘Mad Love’. This followed an exclusive launch of a 15-second preview of the track on her TikTok, giving the community the opportunity to listen and use the track first hand.
Scottish/Swedish singer-songwriter Nina Nesbitt has been an active TikTok artist since March. She’s flourished during lockdown, and has since built a strong following of over half a million fans. She did one of the first ever TikTok LIVEs as well as the #How2Music hashtag challenge - showing fans how she makes and develops her unique sounds.
Zimbabwean-UK rapper S1mba’s self-described afro-swing track 'Rover', featuring south London rapper DTG, led to a dance routine - the #mulachallenge - going big on TikTok. The TikTok community helped propel Rover to number three in the UK charts. The 21-year-old is one of the first British rappers to experience the TikTok tipping point on this scale
He was big on Love Island but he’s even bigger on TikTok, going viral this year with his debut single 'See Nobody' with Hardy Capiro. Wes is a prolific TikToker, posting multiple videos including many duets featuring other creators as well as jumping on dance trends. Following his start on TikTok his debut track peaked at number three in the UK Official Charts.
Young T & Bugsey are a British rap duo from Nottingham. Their musical career took off following their single ‘Don’t Rush’ leading to the #DontRushChallenge. The challenge is all about having fun and doing quirky transformations and is still trending with a whopping 815 million video views so far. The track also blew up Stateside with the pair becoming the first UK rap duo to chart on the Billboard Top 100.
And finally a massive TikTok shout out to
TikTok just wouldn't be TikTok without the amazing artists we have and the fantastic music they create and perform. There have been so many special moments this year and we want to give a special shout out to those artists who have made TikTok their own, in their own unique ways.
# Beabadoobee # Elton John # Fleetwood Mac # Gary Barlow # George Michael # James Arthur # John Lennon # Lily Allen # LittleMix # Luz # MillieB # MoStack # Queen # Rick Astley # Robert Grace # Ryan Mack # Stefflon Don # Tom Rosenthal # UnknownT # Will Joseph Cook