2002 in British music

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List of years in British music

This is a summary of 2002 in music in the United Kingdom.


British and Irish bands that did well in the charts included Stereophonics, the Chemical Brothers, and Westlife; the latter topped the charts for a record 10th time, matching Madonna. They also were the act to obtain 10 chart toppers the most quickly, with only 35 months between this and their first.

The fastest-selling debut single in UK chart history was released by the Winner of the TV talent show, Pop Idol; Will Young had been voted as the winner by over 4 million people in the final, after winning six out of the nine weeks, with Gareth Gates, the eventual runner-up, winning three times. "Anything is Possible/Evergreen", topped the charts for 3 weeks and sold over 1.1 million copies in its first week of sale; altogether it sold over 1.7 million copies, becoming the 11th biggest-selling single in the UK and also the second fastest-selling single in the UK, with only Elton John's "Candle in the Wind" ahead of it. Young reached the top again with his second single "Light My Fire".

Runner-up Gareth Gates scored a No. 1 with his debut single, "Unchained Melody", spending one week more at the top than Will Young, thought the single itself sold less than Will Young's; nonetheless it became the 77th million-selling single in the UK and the last one until 2004. Overall, it is the 37th biggest selling single in the UK. Gates also had a second No.1 single, "Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)", which topped the charts for 3 weeks, bettering Will Young by one week once again. Darius Danesh, third in Pop Idol, also made No 1 with "Colourblind". After both having two chart toppers, Young and Gates joined forces and revived an old Beatles classic, "The Long and Winding Road".

UK girl group Sugababes (who were now under their second line-up of original members Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena and former Atomic Kitten member Heidi Range, who replaced Siobhán Donaghy after her departure the previous year) scored their first UK number one with "Freak like Me". Ronan Keating also returned to the top of the singles chart with a cover of "If Tomorrow Never Comes". Liberty X, consisting of the five losers who just failed to make Hear'Say in the talent show Popstars, reached No. 1 with Just a Little, eventually becoming more successful than Hear'Say, who disbanded in October. S Club Juniors, an 8-piece pre-teen spin off from S Club 7 (who saw the departure of band member Paul Cattermole earlier that year) reached No 2 with their debut single One Step Closer.

The Sugababes hit the top for a second time with their sixth single, "Round Round". Like their first No. 1 single, it only spent a week at the summit. The song was taken from the soundtrack to the hit film, "The Guru". Specialising in Pop/R'N'B with garage influences, all-male act, Blazin' Squad entered at the top of the charts with their massively hyped debut single, "Crossroads". Their success slowly decline throughout their career.

Coldplay released their second album, a follow-up to Parachutes; A Rush of Blood to the Head included several hit singles and they became one of the few early 2000s era British acts to achieve fame and popularity in the US. Having topped the singles charts three times, Atomic Kitten also scored a No. 1 album with their 3rd release, Feels So Good. The album spawned two top 3 hits as well as their 3rd chart topper.

Twelve months after he hit the top with his debut single, Daniel Bedingfield returned to the top with a slow ballad, "If You're Not The One". It became his 2nd UK No. 1, and his debut album, Gotta Get Thru This, produced five Top 10 singles and six Top 40 hits. Boy band Blue reached the top of the UK charts for the third time, collaborating with Elton John to revive an old hit of his, "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word".

A notable charity single that reached the top 20 was "Nothing Sacred – A Song for Kirsty" by Russell Watson. The campaign raised money for the Francis House Children's Hospital, and was inspired by Kirsty Howard, an eight year old with a rare heart condition. The song peaked at number 17 and sales contributed to the £5million target for the Kirsty Appeal achieved in 2006.[1]

Popstars: The Rivals became the new phenomenon in the world of talent shows, producing two new acts, boy band One True Voice and girl group Girls Aloud. They both released their singles in Christmas week and the girls beat the boys to the top spot, claiming the Christmas number one with "Sound of the Underground". Robbie Williams took the Christmas number one album spot yet again with his fifth No. 1 album, Escapology.


Performers included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Ravi Shankar, and Billy Preston. The event benefitted the Material World Charitable Foundation.


Howard Goodall follows up his earlier successful TV series Howard Goodall's Big Bangs with Howard Goodall's Great Dates, in which he focused on significant dates in the history of music.

Classical works[edit]

Film scores and incidental music[edit]


Music awards[edit]

BRIT Awards[edit]

The 2002 BRIT Awards winners were:

Classical BRITS[edit]

Mercury Music Prize[edit]

The 2002 Mercury Music Prize was awarded to Ms. DynamiteA Little Deeper

Record of the Year[edit]

The Record of the Year was awarded to "Unchained Melody" by Gareth Gates.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Manchester fundraiser Kirsty Howard dies aged 20". BBC News. British Broadcasting Corporation. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  2. ^ "Guitarist Clapton weds in private". CNN. January 3, 2002. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ Jennifer Vineyard (January 16, 2002). "Adam Ant Committed After Arrest". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2014-04-10. Retrieved November 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Peter Hemmings 1934–2002". www.musicaltimes.co.uk The Musical Times. Archived from the original on 4 November 2005. Retrieved 2009-02-06. 
  5. ^ "Obituary". The Telegraph. 16 March 2002. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Dudley Moore has rare brain disease". BBC News. 30 September 1999. Retrieved 29 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Record producer dies in crash". BBC. 22 July 2002. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Guardian
  9. ^ Tim McDonald Obituary: Stanley Black, The Guardian, 3 December 2002
  10. ^ Robb Johnson, "Thackray, John Philip [Jake] (1938–2002)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn, Oxford University Press, January 2006; online edn, January 2009, accessed 19 April 2009
  11. ^ Simmonds, Jeremy (2006). Number One in Heaven. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-102287-6


External links[edit]