Harry Styles’ As It Was has been revealed as the winner of IFPI’s Global Single Award 2022.
IFPI, which represents the global record industry, presents the award to the biggest-selling single across all digital formats, comprising paid and ad-funded streams and downloads.
This marks the first time Styles, who has also enjoyed recent success at The BRITs and The Grammys, has won the IFPI award as a solo artist. Ten years ago, One Direction topped the inaugural IFPI Global Recording Artist Chart and the IFPI Global Album Chart.
IFPI chief executive Frances Moore said: “Congratulations to Harry Styles, and all of his team, on winning IFPI’s Global Single of the Year Award. Harry first received an IFPI Award as part of One Direction when we first launched the IFPI Global Recording Artist Chart 10 years ago, so it’s an honour to present him with an award this year for his stellar single As It Was which has soundtracked the year for so many music fans around the world.”
As It Was has 1,729,679 sales in the UK, according to the Official Charts Company. It is now the singer’s second biggest UK hit, behind Watermelon Sugar which has 2,133,817 sales. As It Was’ parent album Harry’s House also hit No.1 and has 502,156 UK sales to date.
Congratulations to Harry Styles, and all of his team
Frances Moore, IFPI
Last year, As It Was co-writer Tyler Johnson told the story of how the song was made in a Hitmakers interview with Music Week.
“It’s got such a mellowness to it and it doesn’t really go for any big moments,” Johnson said. “Harry had the vision for it to be the lead single [from Harry’s House]. I’m very impressed at how he saw that it was what his audience wanted, and also people in general – it’s not just his fans who have taken to the song. When it came out on Spotify and I pressed play I got a good feeling in my stomach like, ‘I like that people are hearing this song.’”
“Harry was sitting on the Moog One and I liked what he was playing, so I sat down and played as he started to write the melodies and the lyrics,” Johnson added. “I said to Harry, ‘We need a lead line’ and he just came up right away with the ‘Dah, dah, dah...’ part. He didn’t hesitate. Then he started writing the second verse and referring to himself in the third person. So much of this song just came from Harry’s heart.”
Sophie Jones, the BPI’s chief strategy officer & interim CEO has also offered congratulations to Styles.
“It’s great to see UK artists do so well in the IFPI global charts, particularly dominating the songs of 2022, with Harry Styles and Glass Animals at No.1 and No.2 and nearly half the top 20 claimed by UK talent,” Jones said. “Our congratulations to Harry Styles for featuring so strongly in the global charts and to all UK artists and their labels for an excellent performance last year.”
Styles is joined by Glass Animals, Elton John & Dua Lipa, Ed Sheeran and Adele in the Top 20. The list also features four songs performed in Spanish, with Bad Bunny appearing twice alongside Farruko and Karol G.
Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) also features following its revival after a sync in Stranger Things.
Frances Moore added: “It’s wonderful to see such a diverse mixture of songs in the Global Single Chart this year – some familiar tracks from the previous year that continued to grow in 2022, amongst plenty of new tracks and some reimagined older tracks – all going to show that record companies are working hard to find new ways to ensure music fans around the world have access to such a wide range of music year on year.”