The Record of the Year

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The Record of the Year
CountryUnited Kingdom
First awarded1998
Last awarded2012
Television/radio coverage
NetworkITV (1998–2005)

The Record of the Year was an award voted by the United Kingdom public. For many years it was given in conjunction with television programmes of the same name. The first show ran in the early evening on a December Saturday just before Christmas with the ten finalists represented as either live performances or filmed inserts or dance routines; then the phone lines were declared opened and the second show, an hour or so later, at prime time and also live, went around the TV regions revealing the votes and culminating in the announcement of the winner.

It became one of the highest rated music TV ceremonies in the UK, boosting sales of CDs and then downloads in the crucial fortnight before Christmas every year. For that reason, it was much respected by the industry, labels, publishers and retailers. It was the only music award in the UK to be chosen by the public.

The award began in 1998 and was televised on ITV for eight years before being dropped in 2006 after disagreements over the phone voting element. Since then, it had been an online poll, administered through the Record of the Year website. In 2013, the online poll was axed, signaling the end of the award.


The most frequent winner was Irish boy band Westlife, with four awards (1999, 2000, 2003 and 2005), two of which were consecutive. The only other artist to win multiple awards was American singer Lady Gaga, with two awards (2009 and 2011).

The 2008 winner, "Rockstar" by Canadian band Nickelback, was the first winner from outside the British Isles.

The only artist to receive multiple nominations in the same year was American rapper Pitbull, who was nominated as both a lead and featured artist in 2011, although he never won.

Year Song Artist Host
1998 "No Matter What" BoyzoneRepublic of Ireland Denise Van Outen
1999 "Flying Without Wings" WestlifeRepublic of Ireland
2000 "My Love"
2001 "Don't Stop Movin'" S Club 7United Kingdom Ant & Dec
2002 "Unchained Melody" Gareth GatesUnited Kingdom
2003 "Mandy" WestlifeRepublic of Ireland Cat Deeley
2004 "Thunderbirds Are Go" BustedUnited Kingdom
2005 "You Raise Me Up" WestlifeRepublic of Ireland Vernon Kay
2006 "Patience" Take ThatUnited Kingdom N/A
2007 "Bleeding Love" Leona LewisUnited Kingdom
2008 "Rockstar" NickelbackCanada
2009 "Poker Face" Lady GagaUnited States
2010 "Fireflies" Owl CityUnited States
2011 "Born This Way" Lady GagaUnited States
2012 "Somebody That I Used to Know" GotyeBelgiumAustralia feat. KimbraNew Zealand

Year by year[edit]


The ten finalists were:[1]

Song Artist
"No Matter What" BoyzoneRepublic of Ireland
"Angels" Robbie WilliamsUnited Kingdom
"Believe" CherUnited States
"C'est la Vie" B*WitchedRepublic of Ireland
"Feel It" The Tamperer featuring MayaItalyUnited States
"Got the Feelin'" 5iveUnited Kingdom
"How Do I Live" LeAnn RimesUnited States
"My Heart Will Go On" Celine DionCanada
"Never Ever" All SaintsUnited KingdomCanada
"One for Sorrow" StepsUnited Kingdom


The ten finalists were:[2]

Song Artist Notes
"Flying Without Wings" WestlifeRepublic of Ireland
"...Baby One More Time" Britney SpearsUnited States
"Blue (Da Ba Dee)" Eiffel 65Italy
"Bring It All Back" S Club 7United Kingdom
"If You Had My Love" Jennifer LopezUnited States
"Livin' la Vida Loca" Ricky MartinPuerto Rico
"Mambo No. 5" Lou BegaGermany Pérez PradoCuba cover
"Perfect Moment" Martine McCutcheonUnited Kingdom Edyta GórniakPoland cover
"That Don't Impress Me Much" Shania TwainCanada
"When You Say Nothing at All" Ronan KeatingRepublic of Ireland Keith WhitleyUnited States cover


The ten finalists were:[3]

Song Artist Result
"My Love" WestlifeRepublic of Ireland 1st - 129 points
"Rock DJ" Robbie WilliamsUnited Kingdom 2nd - 121 points
"Reach" S Club 7United Kingdom 3rd - 114 points
"Life Is a Rollercoaster" Ronan KeatingRepublic of Ireland 4th - 103 points
"Fill Me In" Craig DavidUnited Kingdom 5th - 84 points
"It Feels So Good" SoniqueUnited Kingdom 6th - 71 points
"Pure Shores" All SaintsUnited KingdomCanada 7th - 60 points
"Rise" GabrielleUnited Kingdom 8th - 34 points
"Gotta Tell You" Samantha MumbaRepublic of Ireland 9th - 29 points
"Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" SpillerItaly feat. Sophie Ellis-BextorUnited Kingdom 10th - 25 points


The ten finalists were:[4]

Song Artist
"Don't Stop Movin'" S Club 7United Kingdom
"All Rise" BlueUnited Kingdom
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" Kylie MinogueAustralia
"Do You Really Like It?" DJ Pied Piper and the Masters of CeremoniesUnited Kingdom
"It Wasn't Me" ShaggyJamaica
"Perfect Gentleman" Wyclef JeanHaiti
"Pure and Simple" Hear'SayUnited Kingdom
"Survivor" Destiny's ChildUnited States
"Teenage Dirtbag" WheatusUnited States
"Whole Again" Atomic KittenUnited Kingdom


The ten finalists were:

Song Artist Notes
"Unchained Melody" Gareth GatesUnited Kingdom Todd DuncanUnited States cover
"A Little Less Conversation" ElvisUnited States vs. JXLNetherlands Remix of Elvis's 1968 song
"Colourblind" DariusScotland
"Evergreen" Will YoungUnited Kingdom WestlifeRepublic of Ireland cover
"Hero" Enrique IglesiasSpain
"If Tomorrow Never Comes" Ronan KeatingRepublic of Ireland Garth BrooksUnited States cover
"Just a Little" Liberty XUnited KingdomRepublic of Ireland
"Kiss Kiss" Holly ValanceAustralia Cover of "Şımarık" by TarkanTurkey, based on a previous cover by Stella SoleilUnited States
"The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" Atomic KittenUnited Kingdom Cover of "The Tide Is High" by the ParagonsJamaica
"Whenever, Wherever" ShakiraColombia


The ten finalists were:

Song Artist Notes
"Mandy" WestlifeRepublic of Ireland Cover of "Brandy" by Scott EnglishUnited States
"Be Faithful" Fatman ScoopUnited States
"Bring Me to Life" EvanescenceUnited States
"Crazy in Love" Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z (both United States)
"If You're Not the One" Daniel BedingfieldNew ZealandUnited Kingdom
"Make Luv" Room 5Italy feat. Oliver CheathamUnited States
"Sweet Dreams My LA Ex" Rachel StevensUnited Kingdom
"Where Is the Love?" The Black Eyed PeasUnited States
"White Flag" DidoUnited Kingdom
"Year 3000" BustedUnited Kingdom


The ten finalists were:

Song Artist Result
"Thunderbirds Are Go" BustedUnited Kingdom 1st – 92pts
"5 Colours in Her Hair" McFlyUnited Kingdom 2nd – 91pts
"Left Outside Alone" AnastaciaUnited States 3rd – 90pts
"Leave Right Now" Will YoungUnited Kingdom 4th – 88pts
"The Closest Thing to Crazy" Katie MeluaGeorgia (country)United Kingdom 5th – 79pts
"Laura" Scissor SistersUnited States
"Love Machine" Girls AloudUnited KingdomRepublic of Ireland
"Real to Me" Brian McFaddenRepublic of Ireland
"These Words" Natasha BedingfieldUnited Kingdom
"This Love" Maroon 5United States


The ten finalists were:[5]

Song Artist Result Notes
"You Raise Me Up" WestlifeRepublic of Ireland 1st Secret GardenRepublic of IrelandNorway cover
"All About You" McFlyUnited Kingdom 2nd
"My Humps" The Black Eyed PeasUnited States 3rd
"You’re Beautiful" James BluntUnited Kingdom 4th
"Bad Day" Daniel PowterCanada 5th
"Feel Good Inc." GorillazUnited Kingdom feat. De La SoulUnited States
"If There's Any Justice" LemarUnited Kingdom
"Nine Million Bicycles" Katie MeluaGeorgia (country)United Kingdom
"Since U Been Gone" Kelly ClarksonUnited States
"What You Waiting For?" Gwen StefaniUnited States


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Patience" Take ThatUnited Kingdom 1st 15.5%
"Hips Don't Lie" ShakiraColombia feat. Wyclef JeanHaiti 2nd 15.3%
"No Tomorrow" OrsonUnited States 3rd 14.9%
"Maneater" Nelly FurtadoCanada 4th 10.8%
"Crazy" Gnarls BarkleyUnited States 5th 10.6%
"I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" Scissor SistersUnited States 6th 10.4%
"From Paris to Berlin" InfernalDenmark
"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (with Flowers in My Hair)" Sandi ThomUnited Kingdom
"Smile" Lily AllenUnited Kingdom
"SOS" RihannaBarbados


The result was:

Song Artist Result Notes
"Bleeding Love" Leona LewisUnited Kingdom 1st 24.2%
"Shine" Take ThatUnited Kingdom 2nd 20.2%
"Grace Kelly" MikaLebanonUnited Kingdom 3rd 19.3%
"Hey There Delilah" Plain White T'sUnited States 4th 13.3%
"Umbrella" RihannaBarbados 5th 12.8%
"How to Save a Life" The FrayUnited States 6th 3.6%
"Beautiful Liar" BeyoncéUnited States & ShakiraColombia 7th 3.5%
"The Way I Are" Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. (all United States) 8th 1.2%
"Ruby" Kaiser ChiefsUnited Kingdom 9th 1.1%
"500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be)" The Proclaimers feat. Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin (all United Kingdom) 10th 0.8% Comic Relief rerecording of the Proclaimers' 1988 song


The result was:

Song Artist Notes Result
"Rockstar" NickelbackCanada 1st 20.3%
"4 Minutes" Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland (all United States) 2nd 19.8%
"Mercy" DuffyUnited Kingdom 3rd 11.9%
"I Kissed a Girl" Katy PerryUnited States 4th 10.5%
"American Boy" EstelleUnited Kingdom feat. Kanye WestUnited States 5th 10.4%
"Viva la Vida" ColdplayUnited Kingdom 6th 10.3%
"Chasing Pavements" AdeleUnited Kingdom 7th 4.9%
"Take a Bow" RihannaBarbados 8th 4.7%
"Now You're Gone" BasshunterSweden and DJ Mental Theo's BazzheadzNetherlands Remake of Basshunter's song "Boten Anna" 9th 3.9%
"Hero" The X Factor finalistsUnited Kingdom Mariah CareyUnited States cover 10th 3.3%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Poker Face" Lady GagaUnited States 1st 20.6%
"Use Somebody" Kings of LeonUnited States 2nd 13.9%
"Fight for This Love" Cheryl ColeUnited Kingdom 3rd 12.2%
"I Gotta Feeling" The Black Eyed PeasUnited States 4th 11.1%
"The Fear" Lily AllenUnited Kingdom 5th 10.6%
"Bonkers" Dizzee RascalUnited Kingdom feat. Armand van HeldenUnited States 6th 10.5%
"In for the Kill" La RouxUnited Kingdom 7th 10.1%
"Number 1" Tinchy StryderGhanaUnited Kingdom feat. N-DubzUnited Kingdom 8th 4.6%
"Broken Strings" James MorrisonUnited Kingdom feat. Nelly FurtadoCanada 9th 3.5%
"Sexy Chick" David GuettaFrance feat. AkonUnited States 10th 2.8%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Fireflies" Owl CityUnited States 1st 21.7%
"Telephone" Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé (both United States) 2nd 13.7%
"Empire State of Mind (Part II)" Alicia KeysUnited States 3rd 13.0%
"Just The Way You Are (Amazing)" Bruno MarsUnited States 4th 11.8%
"Love the Way You Lie" EminemUnited States feat. RihannaBarbados 5th 10.9%
"California Gurls" Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (both United States) 6th 10.0%
"Pass Out" Tinie TempahUnited Kingdom 7th 9.3%
"We No Speak Americano" Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP (both Australia) 8th 6.9%
"Airplanes" B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams (both United States) 9th 2.3%
"OMG" Usher feat. (both United States) 10th 0.4%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Born This Way" Lady GagaUnited States 1st 38.2%
"Someone Like You" AdeleUnited Kingdom 2nd 19.8%
"The A Team" Ed SheeranUnited Kingdom 3rd 14.4%
"Moves Like Jagger" Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera (both United States) 4th 9.6%
"Price Tag" Jessie JUnited Kingdom 5th 6.4%
"Grenade" Bruno MarsUnited States 6th 3.7%
"Party Rock Anthem" LMFAOUnited States 7th 3.6%
"S&M" RihannaBarbados 8th 2.3%
"On the Floor" Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull (both United States) 9th 1.9%
"Give Me Everything" Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer (all United States except Afrojack, who is Netherlands) 10th 0.3%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Somebody That I Used To Know" GotyeBelgiumAustralia feat. KimbraNew Zealand 1st 18.5%
"Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae JepsenCanada 2nd 17.4%
"Gangnam Style" PsySouth Korea
"Titanium" David GuettaFrance feat. SiaAustralia 3rd 10.9%
"We Are Young" fun. feat. Janelle Monáe (both United States) 4th 10.3%
"Starships" Nicki MinajTrinidad and TobagoUnited States 5th 6.5%
"Next To Me" Emeli SandéUnited Kingdom 6th 6.3%
"Payphone" Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa (both United States) 7th 5.4%
"Domino" Jessie JUnited Kingdom 8th 3.9%
"Whistle" Flo RidaUnited States 9th 3.7%

Criticism and praise[edit]

Many have criticised the 'Record of the Year' Award, as they feel the nominations are unfairly dominated by pop acts and thus the winner is usually not the "true" record of the year. One suggested reason for this is that it is done to attract young girls, who the organisers are sure will watch the televised final and vote for the records. Others have argued that it is an attempt to boost the sales of pop artists' albums, which traditionally have limited success relative to their singles, in the crucial pre-Christmas period. Of the examples cited as evidence for this, the most famous include the exclusion of rap artist Eminem's "My Name Is..." in 1999 as he was unavailable to perform live on the Record of the Year final and the omission from nominations of rock act The Darkness's track "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" in 2003 despite being one of the highest selling singles of the year.

Memorable moments from the TV show include, among other incidents, Wyclef Jean forgetting the words to his hit "Perfect Gentlemen" whilst performing on stage.

In spite of this, many winners of the award, as well as the organisers, argue its significance and integrity on the basis that it represents the views of the public, rather than critics. It inspired Simon Cowell to get into television and he attributes the show for his entry into the media. Some may argue this is not entirely a good thing. However, it always gets massive ratings. Indeed, Westlife have often said that their first win for the single "Flying Without Wings" was the most exciting moment in their career. Unsurprisingly, critics eventually began to say that it was just an award to prove Westlife were still around, hence why Heat Magazine dubbed it "Westlife Record of the Year" in 2004. However, a counter-argument is that this, and similar awards based on phone polls, are a true representation of public opinion, a possibly better indication than sales, which calls BBC Radio 1's countdown of the 20 best selling singles of the last calendar year a more accurate indication of the record of the year. Still, the chosen tracks on the televised Record of the Year contest reflect the views of the television programme viewers only, and not necessarily the music-buying public at large, who might not phone in multiple times to vote for their favourite song. In contrast, the Radio 1 end-of-year chart includes all music sales in all formats.


Below is a list of companies that have sponsored the award since it began:

1998–2001: Britannia Music
2002–2005: T-Mobile

Theme music[edit]

From 1998 to 2004, the theme music was the club track Disco Cop by Blue Adonis.

In 2005, ITV used a specially recorded track.


  1. ^ "BBC News - Entertainment - Boyzone scoop record of the year". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  2. ^ "BBC News - ENTERTAINMENT - Westlife win song award". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Westlife win Record of the Year". 10 December 2000. Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via
  4. ^ "S Club 7 win Record of the Year 2001". 9 December 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via
  5. ^ "Westlife scoop ITV record prize". 10 December 2005. Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via

External links[edit]