List of best-selling singles by year in the United Kingdom

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This is a list of the best-selling singles on the UK Singles Chart for each year. Note that the Number sold section denotes the number sold within the year, not in total, as very often the single continues to sell more in later years (and sometimes other singles released within a particular year will go on to outsell the year-end winner (e.g. Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan's "Especially for You" (from 1988) ultimately outsold "Mistletoe and Wine")).[1]

The best-selling UK single of all time is "Candle in the Wind 1997" by Elton John, which sold 4,770,000 copies.

Best-selling singles by year[edit]

* denotes charity single.
Year Single Artist Number
sold[2]
Number
sold and
streamed
1952 "Here in My Heart" Al Martino N/A
1953 "I Believe" Frankie Laine N/A
1954 "Secret Love" Doris Day N/A
1955 "Rose Marie" Slim Whitman N/A
1956 "I'll Be Home" Pat Boone N/A
1957 "Diana" Paul Anka N/A
1958 "Jailhouse Rock" Elvis Presley N/A
1959 "Living Doll" Cliff Richard 800,000 N/A
1960 "It's Now or Never" Elvis Presley N/A
1961 "Wooden Heart" Elvis Presley N/A
1962 "I Remember You" Frank Ifield N/A
1963 "She Loves You" The Beatles 1,300,000[3] N/A
1964 "Can't Buy Me Love" The Beatles N/A
1965 "Tears" Ken Dodd 1,268,000 N/A
1966 "Green, Green Grass of Home" Tom Jones 850,000[4] N/A
1967 "Release Me" Engelbert Humperdinck N/A
1968 "Hey Jude" The Beatles N/A
1969 "Sugar, Sugar" The Archies N/A
1970 "In The Summertime" Mungo Jerry N/A
1971 "My Sweet Lord" George Harrison 700,000 N/A
1972 "Amazing Grace" The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Band N/A
1973 "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" Dawn featuring Tony Orlando N/A
1974 "Tiger Feet" Mud 730,000 N/A
1975 "Bye Bye Baby" Bay City Rollers N/A
1976 "Save Your Kisses for Me" Brotherhood of Man 1,006,000 N/A
1977 "Mull of Kintyre" / "Girls' School" Wings 2,000,000 N/A
1978 "Rivers of Babylon" / "Brown Girl in the Ring" Boney M. 1,995,000 N/A
1979 "Bright Eyes" Art Garfunkel 1,155,000 N/A
1980 "Don't Stand So Close to Me" The Police 808,000 N/A
1981 "Tainted Love " Soft Cell N/A
1982 "Come On Eileen" Dexys Midnight Runners 1,200,000 N/A
1983 "Karma Chameleon" Culture Club 1,390,000 N/A
1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?"* Band Aid 3,000,000[5] N/A
1985 "The Power of Love" Jennifer Rush 1,280,000 N/A
1986 "Don't Leave Me This Way" The Communards 745,000 N/A
1987 "Never Gonna Give You Up" Rick Astley 759,000 N/A
1988 "Mistletoe and Wine" Cliff Richard 750,000 N/A
1989 "Ride On Time" Black Box 960,000 N/A
1990 "Unchained Melody" The Righteous Brothers 840,000 N/A
1991 "(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" Bryan Adams 1,520,000 N/A
1992 "I Will Always Love You" Whitney Houston 1,500,000 N/A
1993 "I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" Meat Loaf 720,000 N/A
1994 "Love Is All Around" Wet Wet Wet 1,783,000 N/A
1995 "Unchained Melody" Robson & Jerome 1,840,000 N/A
1996 "Killing Me Softly" Fugees 1,360,000 N/A
1997 "Candle in the Wind 1997" / "Something About the Way You Look Tonight"* Elton John 4,770,000 N/A
1998 "Believe" Cher 1,830,000 N/A
1999 "...Baby One More Time" Britney Spears 1,445,000 N/A
2000 "Can We Fix It?" Bob the Builder 853,000[6] N/A
2001 "It Wasn't Me" Shaggy featuring Rikrok 1,151,000[7] N/A
2002 "Anything Is Possible" / "Evergreen" Will Young 1,783,919[8] N/A
2003 "Where Is the Love?" The Black Eyed Peas 625,198[8] N/A
2004 "Do They Know It's Christmas?"* Band Aid 20 1,065,000[8] N/A
2005 "Is This the Way to Amarillo"* Tony Christie featuring Peter Kay 1,100,200[8] N/A
2006 "Crazy" Gnarls Barkley 820,053[8] N/A
2007 "Bleeding Love" Leona Lewis 788,000[9] N/A
2008 "Hallelujah" Alexandra Burke 888,000[10] N/A
2009 "Poker Face" Lady Gaga 882,059[11] N/A
2010 "Love the Way You Lie" Eminem Featuring Rihanna [12] N/A
2011 "Someone like You" Adele 1,996,000[13] N/A
2012 "Somebody That I Used to Know" Gotye featuring Kimbra 1,318,000[14] N/A
2013 "Blurred Lines" Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams 1,470,000[15] N/A
2014 "Happy" Pharrell Williams 1,500,000[16] 1,620,000[17]
2015 "Uptown Funk" Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars 1,760,000[18]
2016 "One Dance" Drake featuring Wizkid & Kyla 530,000[19] 1,950,000[20]
2017 "Shape of You" Ed Sheeran 787,000[21] 3,200,000[22]
2018 "One Kiss" Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa 244,000[23] 1,570,000[24]
2019 "Someone You Loved" Lewis Capaldi 2,300,000[25]

Best-selling singles by decade[edit]

Decade Single Artist Number sold
1950s "Rock Around the Clock" Bill Haley & His Comets
1960s "She Loves You" The Beatles
1970s "Mull of Kintyre" / "Girls' School" Paul McCartney and Wings
1980s "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band Aid
1990s "Something About the Way You Look Tonight" / "Candle in the Wind 1997" Elton John
2000s "Anything Is Possible" / "Evergreen" Will Young
2010s "Shape of You" Ed Sheeran[26][a]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General (list positions)
  • Lane, Dan (18 November 2012). "The biggest song of every year revealed (updated yearly)". London: Official Charts Company. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
Specific
  1. ^ Official Charts Company "Especially for You" hits 1 million sales
  2. ^ The Complete Book of British Charts by Warwick/Kutner/Brown (sales for earlier years)
  3. ^ Hunter Davies Official Biography
  4. ^ Billboard Magazine, 7 January 1967, Page 38
  5. ^ "Band Aid sales top 3m – proceeds set to reach Ethiopia by summer". Music Week. London, England: Morgan–Grampian Publications: 3. 12 January 1985.
  6. ^ "Can We Fix It? by Bob the Builder Songfacts". songfacts.com.
  7. ^ "Shaggy's single is UK's best-seller". BBC News. 27 December 2001. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e "Biggest Selling Songs Of The Decade In The UK Charts". MUZU.TV. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Leona sells most singles in 2007". Newsround. CBBC. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  10. ^ "Alexandra Burke top selling single of 2008". Billboard. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  11. ^ Levine, Nick (3 January 2010). "GaGa's 'Poker Face' is top single of 2009". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  12. ^ The Official Charts Company. "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Retrieved 2017-09-19.
  13. ^ The Official Charts Company. "The Top 20 biggest selling singles of 2011 revealed!". Retrieved 2012-01-05.
  14. ^ "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles of 2012 revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-01-03.
  15. ^ "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles of 2013". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  16. ^ Copsey, Rob (1 January 2015). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles of 2014". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  17. ^ Copsey, Rob (31 December 2014). "The Top 100 biggest songs of 2014 on the Official Chart". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  18. ^ Copsey, Rob (4 January 2016). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Songs of 2015 revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  19. ^ Myers, Justin (30 December 2016). "The Top 40 biggest songs of 2016 on the Official Chart". Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  20. ^ Myers, Justin (30 December 2016). "The Top 40 biggest songs of 2016 on the Official Chart". Retrieved 2016-12-30.
  21. ^ Copsey, Rob (3 January 2018). "The Top 40 biggest singles of 2017 on the Official Chart". Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  22. ^ Copsey, Rob (3 January 2018). "The Top 40 biggest singles of 2017 on the Official Chart". Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  23. ^ Copsey, Rob (3 January 2019). "The Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2018 on the Official Chart". Retrieved 2020-05-06.
  24. ^ Copsey, Rob (3 January 2019). "The Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2018 on the Official Chart". Retrieved 2019-01-03.
  25. ^ Copsey, Rob (1 January 2020). "The Official Top 40 biggest songs of 2019". www.officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2020-01-01.
  26. ^ "The UK's Official Top 100 biggest songs of the decade 2010 - 2019". OfficialCharts.com. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 25 May 2020.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Based on combined sales, i.e. including streaming.