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Irish Independent
Irish Independent
By Naomi Clarke, PA Entertainment Reporter

Rapper Stepz sees off top stars to become TikTok 2022’s most-viewed UK artist

The Year on TikTok annual review is based on internal research and trends analysis (Alamy/PA)

Rapper Stepz has fended off competition from music stars Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran to become the most-viewed UK artist account on TikTok for 2022.

The London-born musician was announced as the top spot in the social media giant’s annual Year On TikTok report, which reviews the trends and creators of the past year.

He was previously named TikTok’s breakout artist of the summer after his song Cramp Dat, which samples Soulja Boy’s 2007 hit Crank That, went viral on the platform.

Stepz, who currently has 2.8 million followers on Tiktok, said: “Gaining an audience since I started TikTok allowed me to chase my dreams and allow my sound to be heard with music globally all thanks to God + TikTok my life has changed!”

Smith comes in at number two after TikTok users enjoyed the singer’s behind-the-scenes content and performing to their hit track Unholy featuring Kim Petras.

Meanwhile Sheeran, who was number one on the list last year after launching three exclusive single previews from his album Equals, has dropped into third place.

Sam Ryder, who rose to fame after he came second behind Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, giving the UK its best result in more than 20 years, comes in fourth.

More than 3.3 million fans from around the world tuned in for the Eurovision final on TikTok, making it the biggest live stream moment on the platform with a UK artist this year, according to TikTok.

The singer from Essex first gained popularity through the video platform when he began uploading covers during the lockdown and caught the attention of global stars including Justin Bieber and Alicia Keys.

Sam Ryder has been named one of Tiktok’s breakthrough artists of 2022 (Ian West/PA)

He later signed to the Parlophone record label, part of Warner Music Group, and has since gone on to perform at major events including the Platinum Jubilee concert and the Formula 1 British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Ryder has now been named one of Tiktok’s breakthrough artists of 2022.

The singer praised the platform, saying: “This bonkers little app is where it all changed for me so I wanna say a massive thank you to the whole team and most importantly – the supremely fabulous people from all over the place who supported, shared and connected. Love ya, peace, bye!”

Video of the Day

This year’s most popular song in the UK on the social media platform was Sunroof by US singer Nicky Youre and producer Dazy.

Also featuring in the top 10 at number six was Kate Bush’s 1985 record-breaking hit Running Up That Hill, which had a global resurgence in popularity after it was featured in the fourth series of Stranger Things.

We Don’t Talk About Bruno from Disney animation Encanto, which dominated the UK singles chart earlier this year, followed closely behind in seventh place.

The viral hit song Jiggle Jiggle, based on Louis Theroux’s rap which featured in his Weird Weekends series in 2000, also came in eighth place.

Music producers Duke and Jones remixed the rap and the song became a popular dance trend on TikTok earlier this year.

David Mogendorff, head of UK music operations at TikTok, said: “The music that thrived on TikTok in the UK this year has been as unpredictable and diverse as ever.

“Just look at Louis Theroux, Kate Bush and even Encanto’s We Don’t Talk About Bruno in the top tracks, who all became the centre of massive trends on TikTok.

“It’s also been a standout year for emerging talent. From Nicky Youre and Stepz, to Venbee, Cat Burns, FLO, Dreya Mac and so many more – a new generation of wonderful artists are building brilliant, long-term music careers with a huge amount of support and love from our TikTok community.

“It was especially amazing to see Sam Ryder, as an artist we’ve worked closely with for two years and who has appeared regularly on our Year on TikTok lists, become the UK’s Eurovision hero enthralling fans around the world at the Eurovision Grand Final – our biggest LIVE moment on TikTok with a UK artist this year, alongside incredible shows from Sam Smith, Lewis Capaldi and more.

“A huge thanks to all the artists, managers, labels and fans who have been part of our journey in 2022, and to our creator community who never cease to amaze us. Bring on 2023!”

The Year on TikTok annual review is based on internal research and trends analysis conducted from January to October 2022, the social media platform has said.

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