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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 April, 2004, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
George Michael dominates airwaves
George Michael
Michael enjoyed huge success with Wham from 1982 - 1986
Pop star George Michael has been named the most played artist on British radio over the past 20 years.

Michael picked up his award at the Radio Academy's annual music radio conference in London on Wednesday.

"I can't believe it. I've only made six albums in 22 years so I don't know how this happened. I'm the luckiest writer on earth," said Michael.

The data was collected from over 600 radio stations across the country. Sir Elton John took the second spot.

Kylie Minogue and Madonna were the only females to feature in the top ten, at numbers four and six respectively.

TOP 10 MOST PLAYED ARTISTS ON BRITISH RADIO
1. George Michael
2. Elton John
3. Robbie Williams
4. Kylie Minogue
5. Bryan Adams
6. Madonna
7. Phil Collins
8. Cliff Richard
9. Mick Hucknall
10. Paul McCartney
Source: Radio Academy

Robbie Williams was third and Bryan Adams was fifth.

Despite the huge influence of US music on the UK scene, all but three of the artists featured are British.

"This chart is an interesting snapshot of which artists have most shaped popular culture, as the number of radio stations both competing for our attention and playing their material has spiralled," said John Bradford, director of the Radio Academy.

The Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) award given to Michael is named after the company which did the research.

PPL collects royalties for record companies.

Figures have been compiled for individual years before but this is the first time the figures have been aggregated by the PPL to cover a long period.


Read a selection of your comments on the music that dominate the airwaves.

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I think there is so much rubbish being churned out by record companies that the radio stations have little choice but play what are the audience's favourites from the near & distant past. It's a credit to those artists & production teams that the radio stations keep playing them.
Phil Johnston, St Cyprien, France

During the day there is no choice. All local stations whether they are 'gold' or not play exactly the same songs. It's like they only have 10 acceptable records per style - for instance if the computer wants a 'classic r'n'b' song it will always play that Janet Jackson song 'Together Again'. Radio 1 is just as limited but with more modern music. After 6pm things improve alot. Vic on Radio Scotland is excellent.
Tom, Edinburgh

I was in London and the music had a fair mix of sounds. England Rocks! The best bands in the world have come from your country and you folks should be proud of the diversity in your music.
Clay Sword, Portland, USA

Its good to see that the established acts with talent still rule the airwaves despite the manufactured 'here today, gone tomorrow' acts. All the entries in that chart use music to entertain, that's what makes them so great.
Keith Smith, Neston, England

Music? What Music? They barely fit in any music between the news, weather, traffic and adverts!! Everytime you tune in to any station it's either the DJ loving the sound of his own voice or adverts and then they try and squeeze a song in before the news and weeather so you never get to hear a whole song anyway because if they're not doing that then the DJ is talking over it!! All radio stations are nowadays is an advertising/information service with specks of music every now and then if you are lucky!!
Taylor Williams, Surrey

Yes I do agree that too much of the same music is spread across the UK. Day in and day out I have to listen to the top ten listed above along with the likes of will young and dido and maybe the occasional 70's and 80's tracks thrown in. Infact sometimes I can set my watch by what they are playing. Music has been around for over 50 yrs and yet I have to listen to the same 50 songs a week more less at least once or twice a day..if it is in the charts if I am lucky it will be played at least 10. Surely it is about time to give back some of the power to the DJ to play some of the music instead of a computer picking a daily playlist from about 100 songs which lets face it never get changed. Something needs to be done!!
Phil Donnachie, Folkestone, England

I think there is too much pop music played on radio today and there is not enough variety. Urban music is the fastest growing music genre in the world. The UK has a lot of talent but its black music industry is very poor and it needs all the support it can get. 1Xtra is providing this but it is seldom done and times are changing and radio seems just like it was 10 years ago.
Mark Reardon, Croydon, England

Good for George, it's about time he was rewarded for all his hard work and brilliant songwriting.
Dan Marshall, Brighton MI USA

I used to listen to the radio. Now I have stopped. There is simply too much influence from popstars who become famous for their looks and not their talent. I would recommend listening to Internet radio - wide ranges of taste, no adverts, no annoying presenters and huge variety of music.
Neal, Bath

I would rather listen to the likes of George Michael and Elton John but thanks to programs like Pop Idol, radio stations depend far too much on music that sounds the same and is performed by people who's musical careers last as long as the song they're "singing".
Mark Merryweather, Bracknell , UK.

There are a lot of stations playing the same pop music and there are fewer stations that play alternative types of music such as classical and rock. There are, however, no stations playing proper club dance music. Radio 1 and Kiss play quite of few hours of it in a week but there is no station that plays it enough apart from on the internet.
Ian, Exeter, england

We always used to refer to our local (independent) radio station as "Phil Collins FM". Always, it seems, whenever you tuned in it was either him or Genesis. We have a good selection of independent and BBC stations in this part of the country, but even so the majority of what you hear does come from that list. Plus Dido.
Alan, Poole, Dorset

What chance do most new or unknown artists have, when almost every radio station is playing from the same sheet? It's time the major labels and stations lost their grip on what they think we should be listening to. Is it any wonder the same artists are always at the number one spot, especially now that 'airplay' is taken into account - how else do they explain reaching number one on airplay alone, even if no-one has purchased the record yet?
H Kani, London, UK

It's quite scary that this completley middle of the road, music by the numbers dominates radio. These characters are always made into jokes a few years after their career suffocates, yet mainstream radio endorses these figures who have have their completely neutral, inoffensive "music" written by someone else.
Dan, London, UK

I personally don't feel the problem is across radio stations as a whole, just some like Radio One with a tired playlist. I turned on for the first time in ages recently, and they were still playing a certain song they'd been playing a year ago! Please DJs, let's get some freshness!
Tony, UK

The consolidation of Independent Local Radio stations by one or two major groups has vastly reduced the quality of commercial radio. You can now listen to ILR in Exeter, and it will be almost indistinguishable from the stations in, say, Wrexham or Crawley. This has caused commercial radio to give too much coverage to mainstream music from the major labels. The only possible result is further marginalisation of less popular musical genres. One solution would be to say that no single entity could own more than three local radio licenses. This would encourage stations to develop their own unique styles, as opposed to slavishly copying the corporate format.
Michael Hall, Exeter, Devon

Is this not the top 10 of bland music? You'd hear better in a lift.
Nicky, Dublin

If it's all the same then maybe it's because people aren't buying enough diverse music. So where do you hear this diverse music? On the radio, etc. It will be interesting to see what happens when the single disapears, charts may have to be based on downloads and then perhaps there will be more diversity as people find out what they want to listen to by themselves.
Andy Cottier, London

I think the radio stations, with a few exceptions, are terrible. If you have to be forced to listen to Radio 1 or Capital (or ANY commercial station for that fact) you will be driven crazy by the same five records, it seems, played over and over and over again all day long. I have worked in factories where this is the case and it really does do your brain in!!!
Stuart Hacking, Watford, Herts

Henry Ford told his customers they could have his Model-T in any colour they liked "so long as it's black." Well, nowadays they'll let you hear any music you like - so long as it's Blue or Pink. Thank God for the internet!
Phillip Edwards, Nottingham, UK

Yep, the main stations in the UK seem to survive on a horribly syrupy mix of naff dance music and boy bands, with a mix of pop idol thrown in. Go anywhere else in the wrold and you get good honest music written by real people without the horrible corporate sheen we get stuffed with in this country. Can you picture where the next George Michael is coming? I can't.
Rick Byers, Preston, UK

After waking up to the same song at the same time on the same radio station three days in a row, I thought I was in "Groundhog Day". When a song is popular it does get played a lot though, but that's the way a station has to operate. It has to play to its targeted audience.
Ayoub, London

If anything I think that it is the new tunes that are over played. I find myself starting to like a new song, but after a couple of weeks I'm sick to the back teeth of it. They are played several times each day on every station. Then after a short 'honeymoon' period they dissapear into thin air. I think they need to be mixed up with older songs. Even on more up to date stations like Radio 1, they could play tuned from, say, the last 5 years in between the recent ones. Also more specialist stations are needed, the ones that exist can be impossible to pick up on the frequencies they use.
Nick McDonald, Lancaster, England

The fact that Bryan Adams is so high is probably down to one song. You know the one I mean...
Gianni Brancazio, London, UK




SEE ALSO:
Robbie song is Europe's biggest
28 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
George Michael tops album charts
21 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
Review: George Michael's Patience
17 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
George Michael shuns music industry
10 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
George Michael goes back to Sony
17 Nov 03  |  Entertainment


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