Scotland votes Ed Sheeran best songwriter of today

As if two-time Grammy and three-time Brit Award-winner Ed Sheeran needed more accolades, he's just been named as the best songwriter working today by more than half (51%) of Generation Z and more than a third (36%) of all respondents in a new poll.

The survey of 1,243 UK residents was conducted by research company Kantar TNS on behalf of BIC®, the stationery brand, which is running a new songwriting competition for people aged 13 to 24.

The Write and Shine competition will see one talented songwriter record his or her winning song in a studio and – if they are also a singer – they could have the chance to perform it on the main stage at The Big Feastival[1]. The deadline for entries, Sunday 16 July, is fast approaching. More information can be found on the My BIC® Pen Facebook page.

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When asked to choose up to four of the best songwriters working today, well over a third (39%) of Generation Z survey respondents aged 16-24 also picked Adele, while a fifth (20%) named Beyonce. Both women have been included more than once in Time Magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world, with both breaking over100 million record sales.

Bruno Mars (15%), Calvin Harris (13%), Stormzy (13%), Justin Bieber (12%), Lady Gaga (11%) and Alex Turner (10%) also rated highly amongst the young age group.

When asked, unprompted, to name the greatest songwriter not just of today, but of all time, one in 10 young respondents still picked Ed Sheeran, placing him well above any other songwriter for this age group.

Looking at the other generations, Lennon and McCartney as a duo, individually or as The Beatles, were the clear favourites, being named by 20% of all respondents as the greatest songwriters of all time.

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The Liverpudlian lyricists, who still hold the record as the best selling British artists of all time with more than 600 million sales, were chosen by over a third of baby boomers or those over the age of 55.

Opinions over lyrical prowess differed not only between generations but UK regions as well.

Twice as many people in the North West (22%) named Lennon and McCartney as the greatest of all time compared to Greater London (10%), but it was actually Wales who rated them the highest with 34% of respondents.

Noel Gallagher was nearly twice as popular in the North (13%) compared to the South (7%), although surprisingly this was more thanks to fans in Scotland (17%), Wales (16%) and the North East (21%) than the North West, where only 12% chose the Oasis lyricist.

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Gallagher didn’t even make it into the top 10 in London, although neither did Damon Albarn, who was portrayed as the Southern nemesis of Oasis during the Britpop era when he was the front man for Blur.

For anyone dreaming of making it into a best songwriters list in future, BIC is organising the Write and Shine competition to encourage young people to put a BIC® 4 Colours™ Shine pen to paper and let their creativity shine. You never know, the competition could be the first step.

Partnering with singer / songwriter, 4Music TV host and YouTuber Bethan Leadley, platinum-selling music producer Andy Whitmore at Greystoke Recording Studios, and The Big Feastival, BIC will provide this incredible ‘foot in the door’ opportunity.

The judging panel, lead by Danny Cope, Curriculum Leader: Popular Music and Songwriting at Leeds College of Music, will choose the four best songs, which will go to a public vote from 4 to 18 August 2017.

Some fast facts from the research:

Top 10 of all time

20% - Lennon and McCartney / The Beatles

5% - Ed Sheeran

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2% - Elton John, Bee Gees, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Freddie Mercury, Simon & Garfunkel

1% - Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Gary Barlow

Top 10 working today

36% - Ed Sheeran

31% - Adele

13% - Bruno Mars

10% - Lady Gaga

9% - Noel Gallagher and Beyonce

7% - Calvin Harris and Dave Grohl

6% - Justin Bieber

5% - Damon Albarn