Controversial star Morgan Wallen scoops most-streamed song on Apple Music for 2023

Morgan Wallen
(Image credit: Getty Images / Astrida Valigorsky)

Just as Apple Music’s Spotify Wrapped rival, Replay, has finally launched for 2023, Apple has also announced the most popular songs of the year to go with it. Surprisingly, Taylor Swift has not topped the list and that spot is filled by Morgan Wallen, just two years removed from an incident that saw his music temporarily removed from the service. 

The top ten streamed songs in 2023 were: 

  • Last Night – Morgan Wallen
  • Flowers – Miley Cyrus 
  • Kill Bill – SZA
  • Rich Flex – Drake, 21 Savage
  • Snooze – SZA 
  • Anti-Hero – Taylor Swift 
  • Idol – YOASOBI 
  • Under The Influence – Chris Brown
  • Creepin’ – Metro Boomin, The Weekend, 21 Savage 
  • Subtitle – Official Hige Dandism

Songs like Flowers, Kill Bill, Anti-Hero, and Under the Influence all had popular TikTok sounds this year, possibly contributing to their popularity. 

A controversial winner?

In February 2021, TMZ showed a video of the country music star using racial profanities while with friends after a night out drinking. He has since apologized for this incident and donated $300,000 to the Black Music Action Coalition. Just months before this incident, he was removed from an SNL appearance for partying during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown. He was invited back on SNL at a later date, where he joked about the episode

Apple Music and Spotify both removed Wallen’s music from their services in 2021 due to his use of the slur but returned it shortly after his apology, in which he said he was “embarrassed and sorry.”  

Despite only nabbing the number 6 spot, Taylor Swift won Artist of the Year for both Apple Music and Spotify. To celebrate her Spotify win, she put out “Losing Me (From the Vault)” for fans to listen to right now.  

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.

  • Annie_M
    After reading the list of the top ten list, a couple of thoughts came to mind. First and foremost, I'm old. With the exception of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and possibly Drake, I have no idea who most of the performers are or what their music sounds like! And finally, the fact that someone like Miley Cyrus topped Taylor Swift is mind-blowing. Taylor Swift has been making headlines all over the place, and I am stunned that she was only #6!!!

    And I'm not even a "Swifty"! LOL!
  • wshwe
    Wallen is a racist that has to 'apologize' to save his music career.