Indian playback singer Alka Yagnik racked up an enormous 15.3 billion YouTube streams last year – an average of 42 million per day – making her the world’s most streamed act on YouTube (2022).
Kolkata-born Yagnik, 56, has been the most popular artist on the platform for the past three years, with 17 billion streams in 2021 and 16.6 billion in 2020.
She sits atop YouTube's 2022 global rankings ahead of second-placed Bad Bunny (Puerto Rico) who received 14.7 billion streams.
A trio of male Indian singers completed the top five: Udit Narayan (10.8 billion), Arijit Singh (10.7 billion) and Kumar Sanu (9.09 billion).
South Korean superstars BTS (7.95 billion) and BLACKPINK (7.03 billion) both made the top ten, whilst other well-known artists had to settle for spots lower down the list: The Weeknd (5.7 billion) was 13th; Taylor Swift (4.33 billion) was 26th; and Drake (2.9 billion) was 50th.
Often referred to as the “queen of playback singing,” Yagnik is one of Bollywood’s most iconic voices.
She has recorded more than 20,000 songs for films and albums over a four-decade long career.
Yagnik has won Best Female Playback Singer seven times at the Filmfare Awards; a feat matched only by Asha Bhosle.
The first of Yagnik’s record 38 nominations was for the song “Mere Angne Mein”, from the movie Laawaris (1981), and her most recent was for “Agar Tum Saath Ho” from Tamasha (2015).
She has held the number one ranking on YouTube’s weekly music chart since October 2022, and ended the final week of the year strongly with 366 million streams, far ahead of Bad Bunny (258 million) and Narayan (249 million).
Indian artists dominated YouTube’s 2022 streaming figures, which were tracked by music-industry analysts ChartMasters.
12.3 billion (80%) of Yagnik’s 2022 streams were registered in India, and she was also the most listened-to artist in Pakistan (683 million streams).
According to ChartMasters, around 25% of YouTube’s users are from India. By continent, the market share is dominated by Asia with 45%, followed by Latin America with 28%.
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