Radio’s Most-Played Songs in History:
Top 100+ Songs
These are, according to various sources (see bottom of page), the all-time most-played songs on the radio. These figures generally treat all versions of a song as one entity so in this list the title is listed first and then the artist(s) most associated with the song. For ties, songs are listed in order of how high they rank according to the DMDB. The numbers, in millions, refer to how many plays the song has had at radio regardless of format, genre, demographic, or time slot.
Note: this list includes all songs with four million airplays based on verified sources. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any definitive resource for this information so this list was compiled with multiple sources. As such, there are certainly songs which might make this list, but no sources were found to verify radio plays. For example, some assert that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is the most-played song in history, but it doesn’t make the list because no reference was found for an officially reported number.
In addition, the focus here is on radio airplay so songs like “Happy Birthday” which is sung ad infinitum or “It’s a Small World after All” which Time magazine estimates to have been played 50 million times at Disney World (see article here) are not included. Similarly, this list does not focus on most-streamed songs or songs with most video airplay. These are separate lists also posted here at the DMDB. Click here to see lists focused on charts, sales, and airplay.
Also, this list cuts off at the 4 million mark.
Resources and Related Links:
First posted 12/6/2011; last updated 5/28/2021.