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Music through the decades

Some artists may have been one-hit wonders but there are some which have stuck around. We have looked at music through the decades to give you the top selling artists (UK singles charts) of all time

Artists by number of UK Singles Chart number ones

5 Number Ones

The Police, David Bowie, Bee Gees, All Saints, Beyoncé, Dizzee Rascal, The Black Eyed Peas, Ne-Yo, Flo Rida, will.i.am, Cheryl Cole, Bruno Mars, Jess Glynne, Sam Smith, Rita Ora

Bruno Mars spent the longest time at number one with “Uptown Funk”, a total of 7 weeks. Feeling the love? The Black Eyed Peas spent 6 weeks at the top with “Where is the love?”

Did you know? Will.i.am was the first artist to stream a song on the surface of Mars. “Reach for the Stars” premiered to celebrate the landing of NASA’s Curiosity








6 Number Ones

Slade, Rod Stewart, Blondie, Boyzone, Queen, Sugababes, JLS, Britney Spears, David Guetta

Queen tops this group with 9 weeks at number one with… can you guess the song? That’s right it was “Bohemian Rhapsody” The Christmas hit for Slade “Merry Xmas Everybody” spent 5 weeks at the top as did Rod Stewarts “Maggie May”

Did you know?Queens fans are the most loyal with their Official International Queen Fan Club being the longest running in the world according to the Guinness Book Of Records




7 Number Ones

Michael Jackson, Kylie Minogue, Elton John, U2, George Michael, McFly, Robbie Williams, Calvin Harris, Tinie Tempah

“Earth Song” by Michael Jackson, the classic “Don’t go breaking my heart” by Elton John and the more recent “We Found Love” by Calvin Harris all spent 6 weeks at the top of the charts.

Did you know?Elton John’s “Greatest Hits” album is one of the 21 best-selling albums of all time with more than 16 million copies sold





8 Number Ones

Rihanna, The Rolling Stones, Oasis and Eminem

Rihanna spent an amazing 10 weeks at number one with “Umbrella” in 2007. Out of all the number one artists in our list this is the one which spend the longest at the top.

Did you know?Want to be signed on Eminem’s label Shady Records? Be prepared as anyone wanting to join needs to take him on in a rap battle!


9 Number Ones

ABBA and Spice Girls show cheese can go a long way

Spice Girls beat the Swedish group with 7 weeks at number one with their debut single “Wannabe” in 1996. They are the best-selling female group of all time and have sold 80 million records worldwide.

Did you know?Before becoming ABBA the band was called Festfolk, a Swedish word meaning party people.

12 Number Ones

The Shadows and Take That may be generations apart but they both hold the title of 12 number one singles

With number ones over 20 years Take That are one of the top boy bands, singles include “Pray” and “Relight my fire” from 1993, “Back for good” in 1995 and their more latest “These days” in 2014.

Did you know?Music is not Take That’s only talent. Jason and Howard both were break-dancers and formed their own crew “Street Beat” before joining the band

13 Number Ones

Madonna comes in with 13 number one singles

Madonna is the Queen of number one singles including “into the groove” in 1985, “Vogue” in 1990, “American Pie” in 2000 and her more recent one “4 minutes” in 2008

Did you know?The Guinness Book of World Records has listed Madonna as the world’s most successful female recording artist of all time with 300 million records sold worldwide

14 Number Ones

Westlife secure this spot

They may not be your favourite but you cannot deny the success of Westlife with 14 number ones. From 1999 – 2006 the Irish boyband topped the charts with singles “Swear it Again”, “Uptown Girl”, “Unbreakable” and “The Rose”

Did you know? Westlife hold the record for the most consecutive UK number one singles, their first 7 singles went straight to the top of the charts

17 Number Ones

The Beatles are second with 17 number ones

The Fab Four topped the charts 17 times in the 1960’s with songs including “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Paperback Writer”, “Hey Jude” and “All You Need is Love”.

Did you know?In the week ending 4th April 1964 The Beatles held the first 5 slots of the US Billboard Hot 100 (singles chart) and had another 7 further down the chart

21 Number Ones

The artist that tops the list with a whopping 21 number one singles – Elvis Presley . This really does make him the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

His debut single “All Shook Up” spent 7 weeks at number one in 1957 and “It’s Now or never” at the top for 8 weeks in 1960. Other singles include “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, “Jailhouse Rock”. 4 of his number ones came almost 30 years after his death with the latest in 2005.

Did you know?With an estimated 40% of his sales becoming from outside the USA you would think that Elvis Presley would be well travelled. He never performed on foreign soil except for a handful of concerts in Canada

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