REVEALED: Most Played Songs by West Midlands Artists in ‘PPL People’s Chart’ of the 21st Century

The top 20 tracks most played in public since the year 2000 by music artists from the West Midlands have today been revealed for the first time in an exclusive new chart by PPL, the company responsible for the licencing of recorded music played on radio, television and in public places across the UK.

While The PPL People’s Chart of Most Played Songs of the 21st Century by West Midlands Artists shows Stoke’s very own Robbie Williams dominating the chart placings with eight songs in the top 20, it is a relatively young pretender in James Morrison from Rugby who steals the top slot with his massive 2008 hit ‘Broken Strings’, one of the singer-songwriter’s three entries in the top five.

The chart also shows that despite the data being taken from 21st century airplay, there are plenty of 20th century artists featuring in this top 20, including Duran Duran’s Rio (1982), ELO’s Mr Blue Sky (1978) and Red Red Wine (1983) by UB40. The oldest song in this chart comes from Thin Lizzy - who are known as a Dublin band but are in the chart as their lead singer Phil Lynott was born in West Bromwich – with the 1976 hit, ‘The Boys Are Back In Town.’

All styles of music are represented in the chart, from UB40’s reggae to soul with Jamelia and Beverley Knight and the heavy rock of Guns N’ Roses, whose guitarist Slash hails from Stoke.

The full top 20 includes:


 Broken Strings – James Morrison ft Nelly Furtado


 Angels – Robbie Williams


 Rock DJ – Robbie Williams


 Wonderful World – James Morrison

 You Give Me Something – James Morrison


 Let Me Entertain You – Robbie Williams


 Red Red Wine – UB40


 Mr Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra


 The Boys Are Back In Town – Thin Lizzy


 Feel – Robbie Williams


 She’s The One – Robbie Williams


 Millennium – Robbie Williams


 I Won’t Let You Go – James Morrison


 Superstar – Jamelia


 Candy – Robbie Williams


 Brimful of Asha (The Norman Cook Remix) – Cornershop


 Piece Of My Heart – Beverley Knight


 Strong – Robbie Williams


 Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses (Slash)


 Rio – Duran Duran

James Morrison said: “I’m really happy that ‘Broken Strings’ has topped PPL’s chart of most played songs of the 21st century by West Midlands artists. To be included amongst so many fantastic British artists and friends is an honour, and knowing that so many people back home are listening to music you’ve created means the world.”

Commenting on the chart, Jonathan Morrish, Director of PR and Corporate Communications PPL said: “This top twenty of most-played West Midlands songs reads like a broad cross-section of British music let alone songs from the region! Whilst the region is often overlooked in favour of Manchester or Liverpool, this list is a testament to the diversity of The Midlands and its importance in the history of British music.”

PPL is continuing to raise awareness of the numerous benefits that playing recorded music can bring to the workplace. The organisation has introduced two Business Relationship Executives (BREs) to the region - Tracey-Anne Baskerville (South Midlands) and Russell Thompson (North Midlands) to explain the part that music can play in benefitting the region’s businesses. (

For more information, contact Andy Spinoza at SKV Communications (0161) 838 7770 or email