The most-played song of the 21st century on UK radio stations has been revealed as Snow Patrol’s hit Chasing Cars.
The ballad is the most popular song of the last 20 years in terms of airplay, despite having never reached number one in the charts.
The song did, however, remain in the top 100 for more than three years after it was released in 2006.
It was that year’s 14th best-selling single in the UK and was the last song performed live on the BBC’s Top of the Pops.
The airplay figures have been released by PPL, the UK music industry’s licensing company for performers and recording rightsholders, as part of their 85th anniversary celebrations.
The second most played song was the Black Eyed Peas hit I Gotta Feeling, followed by Pharrell Williams’ Happy.
Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody told the BBC: “It’s unbelievable, I’m not sure how that happened.
“It’s an emotionally open song and it’s a simple song. But it’s also unabashedly a love song, and we don’t really have any others.
“The way it unifies an audience is the thing I most cherish about it. It’s a beautiful moment every time you play it.”
Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL, said: “Chasing Cars is a song that has become a popular anthem, securing huge success across radio, in public and especially TV where its huge appeal has led to its use in many programmes and especially Grey’s Anatomy.
“These platforms can dramatically extend the life of a record beyond its initial release, and PPL is here to collect the royalties owed to the performers and recording rightsholders of that song, whenever and wherever it is used.
“We congratulate Snow Patrol for writing and performing a track of such long-lasting appeal.”