List of posthumous number ones on the UK Albums Chart

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Black-and-white publicity photograph of Elvis Presley from the film Jailhouse Rock.
Elvis Presley has achieved four posthumous numbers ones on the UK Albums Chart, more than any other artist.[1]

The UK Albums Chart is a weekly record chart based on sales of albums in the United Kingdom. The first weekly albums chart in the UK was published by Record Mirror in July 1956[2] – since then, 24 albums by deceased artists have posthumously reached number one. Until 2007, the chart was based solely on sales of physical albums; from 2007 onwards, it has also included albums sold through digital distribution.[3] As of April 2016, the listing is created using Friday to Thursday record sales from more than 3,500 vendors across the UK.[4] It is compiled by the Official Charts Company on behalf of the UK music industry,[5] and each week's new number one is first announced on Friday evenings on The Radio 1 Chart Show.[6] Before October 1987, the manual calculation of the chart meant that the weekly number one was not announced until Tuesday.[7]

The first deceased artist to top the UK Albums Chart was Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash on 10 December 1967.[8][9] On 20 May 1968, Redding's sixth studio album, The Dock of the Bay, was released in the UK – three weeks later, it became his first and only UK number-one album.[10] Since Redding, 11 further artists have posthumously topped the albums chart, of which three have done so more than twice.[8] The first of these was American singer Eva Cassidy; after dying in 1996, three posthumous releases from Cassidy reached number one in three consecutive years, 2001–03.[11][12] The second musician to achieve this feat was American entertainer Elvis Presley. Following his death from a heart attack in August 1977, Presley's compilation album 40 Greatest climbed to number one within three weeks.[13][14] Subsequent compilations ELV1S, The King and If I Can Dream, released in 2002, 2007 and 2015 respectively, also topped the chart.[15] With If I Can Dream, Presley achieved his fourth posthumous number one, more than any other artist.[1]

The death of a musician can often result in an immediate increase in sales of their albums. As UK chart commentator James Masterton remarked in December 1995: "Death is very commercial."[16] Following his death in 2009, the number of purchases of Michael Jackson's albums grew significantly worldwide.[17] In the UK, sales of the singer's albums increased by more than 80 times in a single day. On 28 June, Jackson's 2003 release Number Ones climbed 120 places to the top of the chart;[18] the following week, his 2005 compilation The Essential Michael Jackson reached number one.[19] The two albums spent a combined total of eight weeks at number one.[19] Five of Jackson's records were featured in the top twenty biggest-selling albums of 2009's third quarter, and sales of his albums during the year lifted Warner/Chappell Music's share of the albums market to its highest level in nearly six years.[20] In May 2014, Jackson's album Xscape topped the chart, making him the third musician to top the listing with three posthumous releases.[21][22]

Like Jackson, British singer Amy Winehouse received a significant increase in sales after her death in 2011, when purchases of her albums grew 37 times over.[23][24] This resulted in her 2006 album, Back to Black, returning to the top of the UK Albums Chart for three weeks and becoming the UK's biggest-selling album of the 21st century for three months before being overtaken by 21 by Adele.[25][26] Four months later, Winehouse's first compilation album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, became her second release to posthumously reach number one.[27] Over the year following her death, 1.2 million copies of Winehouse's albums were sold.[8]

Number ones[edit]

Black-and-white photograph of Michael Jackson performing live in 1988.
After the death of Michael Jackson, the singer's 2003 album Number Ones climbed 120 places to the top of the chart.[18]
Head and shoulders photograph of Amy Winehouse performing live.
In the year following her death, 1.2 million copies of Amy Winehouse's albums were sold.[8]

The following albums were all explicitly credited (either wholly or partially) to deceased artists when they reached number one on the UK Albums Chart. Albums featuring deceased artists who did not receive an explicit credit (e.g. as a member of a band or on a various artist compilation album or soundtrack) are not included.

Artist Album Record label Date of death Reached number
one (for the
week ending)
Weeks at
number one
Ref.
Redding, OtisOtis Redding Dock of the Bay, TheThe Dock of the Bay Stax 10 December 1967[9] 22 June 1968 1 [10]
Reeves, JimJim Reeves According to My Heart RCA International 31 July 1964[28] 12 July 1969 4 [29]
Reeves, JimJim Reeves 40 Golden Greats Arcade 31 July 1964[28] 25 October 1975 3 [29]
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley Elvis' 40 Greatest Arcade 16 August 1977[13] 10 September 1977 1 [15]
Holly, BuddyBuddy Holly 20 Golden Greats[a] EMI 3 February 1959[30] 25 March 1978 3 [31]
Cole, Nat KingNat King Cole 20 Golden Greats Capitol 15 February 1965[32] 15 April 1978 3 [33]
Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon Double Fantasy[b] Geffen 8 December 1980[34] 7 February 1981 2 [35]
Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon John Lennon Collection, TheThe John Lennon Collection Parlophone 8 December 1980[34] 4 December 1982 6 [35]
Orbison, RoyRoy Orbison Legendary Roy Orbison, TheThe Legendary Roy Orbison Telstar 6 December 1988[36] 21 January 1989 3 [37]
Holly, BuddyBuddy Holly Words of Love[a] PolyGram TV/MCA 3 February 1959[30] 20 February 1993 1 [31]
Cassidy, EvaEva Cassidy Songbird Blix Street/Hot 2 November 1996[11] 24 March 2001 2 [12]
Cassidy, EvaEva Cassidy Imagine Blix Street/Hot 2 November 1996[11] 31 August 2002 1 [12]
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley ELV1S RCA 16 August 1977[13] 5 October 2002 2 [15]
Cassidy, EvaEva Cassidy American Tune Blix Street/Hot 2 November 1996[11] 23 August 2003 2 [12]
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley King, TheThe King RCA 16 August 1977[13] 25 August 2007 1 [15]
Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Number Ones Epic 25 June 2009[38] 4 July 2009 1 [39]
Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Essential Michael Jackson, TheThe Essential Michael Jackson Epic 25 June 2009[38] 11 July 2009 7 [39]
Winehouse, AmyAmy Winehouse Back to Black Island 23 July 2011[40] 6 August 2011 3 [41]
Winehouse, AmyAmy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures Island 23 July 2011[40] 17 December 2011 1 [41]
Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Xscape Epic 25 June 2009[38] 24 May 2014 1 [39]
Black, CillaCilla Black Very Best of Cilla Black, TheThe Very Best of Cilla Black Parlophone 1 August 2015[42] 27 August 2015 1 [43]
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley If I Can Dream[c] RCA/Legacy 16 August 1977[13] 12 November 2015 2 [15]
Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie Blackstar Columbia/ISO 10 January 2016[44] 21 January 2016 3 [45]
Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie Best of Bowie EMI 10 January 2016[44] 11 February 2016 1 [45]
Viola Beach Viola Beach Fuller Beans 14 February 2016[46] 11 August 2016 1 [47]
  1. ^ a b Credited to Buddy Holly & The Crickets
  2. ^ Credited to John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  3. ^ Credited to Elvis with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hendicott, James (6 November 2015). Williams, Mike, ed. "Elvis scores record breaking 12th UK number one album". London: NME.com. Archived from the original on 21 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Mawer, Sharon (2008). "1956". The Official UK Charts Company. Archived from the original on 8 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  3. ^ "Snow Patrol Benefit From New Uk Chart Rules". Contactmusic.com. 8 January 2007. Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "FAQs". Official Charts Company. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. ... retailers representing more than 3,500 over the counter shops, home delivery retailers and a wide range of digital stores ... 
  5. ^ "Our charts & data". Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  6. ^ "The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart". BBC Radio 1. 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2005). Roberts, David, ed. British Hit Singles & Albums (18th, illustrated ed.). London: Hit Entertainment. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-904994-00-8. OCLC 58454449. 
  8. ^ a b c d Talbot, Martin (8 August 2015). "Posthumous Chart Challengers". London: Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 8 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Seidenberg, Robert (9 December 1994). "Death of the King of Soul". Entertainment Weekly. New York City: Time (252). ISSN 1049-0434. OCLC 137343926. Retrieved 6 October 2011. ... on December 10, 1967, Redding died in a plane crash at age 26 ... 
  10. ^ a b "Otis Redding". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Eva Cassidy". London: BBC Music. 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Eva Cassidy". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d e "1977: Rock and roll 'king' Presley dies". London: BBC News. 2003. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  14. ^ "1977". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  15. ^ a b c d e "Elvis Presley". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Masterton, James (27 June 2009). "The Complete Jackson". masterton.co.uk. Archived from the original on 5 December 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  17. ^ Christman, Ed; Bruno, Antony (3 July 2009). "Michael Jackson sales surge expected to last months". Reuters. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  18. ^ a b "Michael Jackson tops album chart". London: BBC News. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  19. ^ a b "2009". London: Official Charts Company. 2010. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  20. ^ Williams, Paul (21 November 2009). Williams, Paul, ed. "Big Four face frantic finish in Q4". Music Week. London: United Business (21.11.09): 14. ISSN 0265-1548. OCLC 60620772. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Cochrane, Greg, ed. (18 May 2014). "Michael Jackson scores 10th UK Number One album with posthumous release". London: NME.com. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  22. ^ Campbell, Tina (18 May 2014). Young, Ted, ed. "Shamone: Michael Jackson claims tenth UK number one album". Metro. London: DMG. ISSN 1469-6215. OCLC 225917520. Archived from the original on 20 May 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  23. ^ Silverman, Rosa (25 July 2011). "Sales of Amy Winehouse records surge". The Independent. London: Independent Print. ISSN 0951-9467. OCLC 185201487. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  24. ^ Sexton, Paul (25 July 2011). Smith, Danyel, ed. "Amy Winehouse's Posthumous U.K. Sales Spike; Adele, The Wanted Top Charts". Billboard. Los Angeles: Prometheus. ISSN 0006-2510. OCLC 643578332. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  25. ^ Murison, Krissi, ed. (31 July 2011). "Amy Winehouse's 'Back To Black' returns to Number One". NME. London: IPC. ISSN 0028-6362. OCLC 60624023. Retrieved 3 January 2011. 
  26. ^ "Adele's 21 is the biggest selling album of 21st century". The Sun. Londin: News International. 5 December 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  27. ^ "Amy Winehouse's posthumous album 'Lioness: Hidden Treasures' tops album chart". The Daily Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media. 11 December 2011. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 613316876. Retrieved 23 December 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (28 August 1990). "Musicians Who Died in Air Accidents". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles: Tribune Company. p. 13. ISSN 0458-3035. OCLC 9189499. Retrieved 6 October 2011. ... Jim Reeves, July 31, 1964-Known for hits like "Welcome to My World" and "He'll Have to Go," Reeves died at age 39 in a light plane crash near Nashville. ... 
  29. ^ a b "Jim Reeves". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  30. ^ a b "1959: Buddy Holly killed in air crash". London: BBC News. 2003. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  31. ^ a b "Buddy Holly". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  32. ^ "Nat King Cole". London: BBC Music. 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  33. ^ "Nat "King" Cole". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  34. ^ a b "1980: John Lennon shot dead". London: BBC News. 2003. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  35. ^ a b "John Lennon". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  36. ^ "Roy Orbison". London: BBC Music. 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  37. ^ "Roy Orbison". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  38. ^ a b c "Singer Michael Jackson dies at 50". London: BBC News. 26 June 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  39. ^ a b c "Michael Jackson". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  40. ^ a b "Amy Winehouse dies at the age of 27". London: BBC News. 23 July 2011. Retrieved 6 October 2011. 
  41. ^ a b "Amy Winehouse". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  42. ^ Kassam, Ashifa; Gayle, Damien (3 August 2015). "Cilla Black may have died as result of an accident, say Spanish police". The Guardian. London. 
  43. ^ "Cilla Black". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015. 
  44. ^ a b Gallagher, Paul (11 January 2016). "David Bowie died from liver cancer he kept secret from all but handful of people, friend says". The Independent. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  45. ^ a b "David Bowie". London: Official Charts Company. 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2016. 
  46. ^ Cite error: The named reference Viola_Beach_death was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  47. ^ Cite error: The named reference Viola_Beach_albums was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

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