Female artists shrink gender gap among biggest top 40 acts
American rapper Cardi B is the female artist to spend longest in the UK singles chart this year.
A string of hits featuring British pop sensations Dua Lipa and Jess Glynne have helped the biggest female artists of 2018 spend almost exactly the same amount of time in the top 40 as their male counterparts.
The gender gap between the most successful artists in the singles chart disappeared almost entirely this year, new analysis reveals.
The 10 biggest acts of 2018 spent a combined total of 638 weeks in the top 40 – 310 of which (49%) were for songs featuring female artists.
In 2017 the equivalent figure was 35%.
American rapper Cardi B is the female artist to spend longest in the UK top 40 this year, clocking up 77 weeks in total thanks to songs such as I Like It and Girls Like You.
Close behind was Dua Lipa on 67 weeks, followed by Jess Glynne on 59.
US superstar Ariana Grande (58 weeks) and British singer-songwriter Anne-Marie (49) also piled up the hits.
Their combined total of 310 weeks put them almost level with the 328 weeks achieved by the most popular male artists of the year.
Topping the list for male performers is Drake, who spent 102 weeks in the top 40 in 2018.
All figures have been compiled by the Press Association using data from the Official Charts Company up to December 21.
In 2017 the charts were dominated by Ed Sheeran, whose songs spent a colossal 167 weeks in the top 40.
Sheeran’s success, along with that of Justin Bieber and Drake, meant that songs featuring male artists were responsible for well over half (59%) of the total weeks clocked up by 2017’s 10 biggest acts.
The equivalent figure for 2018 is 51%.
But while gender has been finely balanced this year, it’s a different story for ethnicity.
Just two of the 10 biggest top 40 acts of 2018 were non-white: Drake and Khalid.