Madonna 'is most played artist'
Chart queen Madonna has been revealed to be the most played artist of the past decade - nudging The Beatles into second spot.
The star, who has been clocking up hits since 1984, topped a list of artists who have received most airplay and public performances of their recordings from 2000 to 2009.
The figures were compiled by royalties body PPL for a Radio 2 countdown which was broadcast on Monday.
Madonna - whose massive hits have included Material Girl, Into The Groove and Ray Of Light - was the only female act to make the top five.
The Beatles showed their longevity by being ranked runners-up, despite splitting three decades before the data even began.
Third-placed Robbie Williams was placed ahead of his former bandmates Take That, despite their new-found flush of success and chart domination, finishing fifth.
Fourth place went to Queen who continue to be widely played - with hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody - despite the death of frontman Freddie Mercury eight years before the noughties began.
Radio 2's People's Artist Chart - which counted down the 50 most-played acts of the previous 10 years - was drawn from recordings played on radio, TV and in public places such as pubs, clubs and shops. The show was hosted by comic Patrick Kielty.
PPL chairman Fran Nevrkla said: "The latest People's Chart show is an accurate and democratic reflection of the most popular artists of the last decade, based both on what radio and TV programmes have chosen to broadcast in that time, as well as what people have been hearing in public venues."
An earlier chart showed that Procol Harum's A Whiter Shade Of Pale was the most played pop recording of the past 75 years, and Carl Orff's O Fortuna was the most popular classical recording.