Morgan Wallen Tops Apple Music’s Global Song and Album Charts for 2023 Amid Award Show Snubs

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morgan wallen apple music
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Morgan Wallen performing live. Photo Credit: Spc. Robert Vicens

Apple Music has officially unveiled its year-end charts for 2023, when country star Morgan Wallen had the most-streamed track and album on the platform.

The Spotify competitor today shed light upon the details behind its 2023 streams, referring specifically to those recorded between November 1st, 2022, and October 31st, 2023. Against the backdrop of multiple award-show snubs for Wallen, perhaps the biggest takeaway is the country act’s securing the uppermost spot (with “Last Night”) on the list of Apple Music’s top global tracks by play volume.

Despite the popularity of his latest album, the 30-year-old took home a grand total of zero awards at the 2023 CMAs. Similarly, the Tennessee native’s work scored just one nomination for the 2024 Grammys; “Last Night” is in the mix for Best Country Song. But the latter is awarded to songwriters, and Wallen isn’t credited as a writer on the much-streamed effort.

“Last Night” also nabbed the number-one position on Apple Music’s 2023 charts for Spatial Audio listenership (possibly earning royalties at an enhanced rate in the process) and streams attributable to fans in the U.S.

And as mentioned at the outset, the project on which “Last Night” appeared, the 36-track and 112-minute-long One Thing at a Time, generated the most Apple Music streams of any album during 2023, followed by SZA’s SOS. According to Sony Music, SOS achieved the second-highest company-wide sales during Q3 2023.

Regarding broader trends on Apple Music’s 2023 global streams chart, the platform emphasized that 11 country songs made the cut this time around, up from four in the prior year.

Behind Wallen’s “Last Night” on this global chart, Miley Cyrus placed second with “Flowers,” SZA ranked third with “Kill Bill,” Drake and 21 Savage took the fourth spot with “Rich Flex,” and another SZA track off SOS, “Snooze,” rounded out the top five.

“Flowers” managed to obtain the ninth position on Apple Music’s 2023 U.S. chart and topped the counterpart chart in the U.K., where Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” had the second-most plays.

Notwithstanding the well-documented commercial success of Swift’s Eras Tour, a namesake concert film, and Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), the singer-songwriter contributed only two tracks to the 40 uppermost spots on Apple Music’s 2023 global chart, with seven works on the full 100-song playlist.

Expanding upon the point, Apple Music named Swift its artist of the year, emphasizing that the 12-time Grammy winner had during 2023’s initial 10 months seen 65 of her tracks make their way onto the global top 100 daily chart.

Additionally, thanks to the support of tireless Swifties, “more Apple Music subscribers listened to Taylor Swift in 2023 than to any other artist in the world, and this set a new all-time record for the most listeners,” the service signaled.

Lastly, in terms of noteworthy details from Apple Music’s 2023 charts, evidence suggests that Jungkook diehards prefer Spotify to the Apple-owned streaming option.

Though the BTS member’s “Seven” last month surpassed one billion Spotify streams faster than any other song to date, it placed just 48th on  Apple Music’s 2023 global chart and didn’t make the U.S. chart at all. Before Jungkook broke the record for the fastest journey to one billion Spotify streams, Miley Cyrus in May of 2023 did so with “Flowers” – demonstrating the reach of some works across both the leading music platform and Apple Music.

For further reference, reports over the summer indicated that the subscriber-only Apple Music hadn’t seen a single song crack one billion streams, whereas more than a few tracks have done so on Spotify.