The Weeknd Scores the World’s Biggest Single for the Second Consecutive Year

The Weeknd
Brian Ziff

The Weeknd has become the first artist to win the Global Digital Single Award two years in a row, with his “Save Your Tears” topping the list for 2021 after his smash “Blinding Lights” was No. 1 for 2020.

The award is presented by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, the London-based organization that represents the recorded-music business worldwide, for the world’s best-selling single of the year across all digital formats — including paid subscription streaming, ad-supported platforms, and single-track downloads and streams.

“Save Your Tears” was boosted by a remix of the song featuring Ariana Grande, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 2021 and topped charts in multiple countries across the globe. Elsewhere on the chart, “Stay,” the Kid Laroi’s collaboration with Justin Bieber, landed at No. 2, and 2021 breakthrough artist Olivia Rodrigo landed two singles in the Top 10, with “Drivers License” at No. 5 and “Good 4 U” at No. 8.

Frances Moore, Chief Executive of IFPI, said: “It has been another brilliant year for The Weeknd and Save Your Tears has unquestionably been one of the world’s most loved songs. We’d like to send huge congratulations to The Weeknd and all of his team on winning our Global Digital Single of The Year Award for the second year in a row – an incredible achievement.”

The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights,” No. 1 in the IFPI Global Digital Single Chart 2020, remained in the Top 10 for a second year, at #7.

IFPI will reveal the Top Global Albums of the Year in three charts Tuesday (March 1) at 15.00 GMT.

Top 10 Global Digital Single Chart 2021


Rank Artist Track Name Global Subscription Streams Equivalents (billions)
1 The Weeknd Save Your Tears 2.15
2 The Kid LAROI, Justin Bieber STAY 2.07
3 Dua Lipa Levitating 1.88
4 BTS Butter 1.76
5 Olivia Rodrigo drivers license 1.73
6 Justin Bieber (ft. Daniel Caesar, Giveon) Peaches 1.72
7 The Weeknd Blinding Lights 1.61
8 Olivia Rodrigo good 4 u 1.61
9 Lil Nas X MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) 1.60
10 Ed Sheeran Bad Habits 1.57

(source: IFPI)


Previous Top 10 – Global Digital Single Chart 2020


Rank Artist Track Name Global Subscription Streams Equivalents (billions)
1 The Weeknd Blinding Lights 2.72
2 Tones And I Dance Monkey 2.34
3 Roddy Ricch The Box 1.67
4 SAINt JHN Roses 1.64
5 Dua Lipa Don’t Start Now 1.62
6 Future (feat. Drake) Life is Good 1.57
7 Xiao Zhan Made To Love 1.48
8 DaBaby (feat. Roddy Ricch) ROCKSTAR 1.45
9 Billie Eilish bad guy 1.36
10 BTS Dynamite 1.28

(source: IFPI)