Scotland votes Ed Sheeran best songwriter of today

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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 per cent) of 16-24 year olds and more than a third (36 per cent) of all respondents in a new poll.

The survey of 1243 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.

When asked to choose up to four of the best songwriters working today, well over a third (39 per cent) of Generation Z survey respondents aged 16-24 also picked Adele, while a fifth (20 per cent) 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 per cent), Calvin Harris (13 per cent), Stormzy (13 per cent), Justin Bieber (12 per cent), Lady Gaga (11 per cent) and Alex Turner (10 per cent) 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 per cent of all respondents as the greatest songwriters of all time.

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 per cent) named Lennon and McCartney as the greatest of all time compared to Greater London (10 per cent), but it was actually Wales who rated them the highest with 34 per cent of respondents.

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

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.

The deadline for Write and Shine entries is this Sunday (July 16) - see BIC’s Facebook page for more details.

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 per cent - Lennon and McCartney / The Beatles

5 per cent - Ed Sheeran

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

1 per cent - Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Gary Barlow

Top 10 working today

36 per cent - Ed Sheeran

31 per cent - Adele

13 per cent - Bruno Mars

10 per cent - Lady Gaga

9 per cent - Noel Gallagher and Beyonce

7 per cent - Calvin Harris and Dave Grohl

6 per cent - Justin Bieber

5 per cent - Damon Albarn