New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
It's been a year like no other for everybody, on every level, and 2020 has marked a truly extraordinary year of record breakers and milestones in the UK's Chart.
Incredible chart feat after incredible chart feat, achieved by a fascinating range of faces - from rising rappers to a 100 year-old war veteran, pop icons, rock legends and social media influencers - every one of them rewriting the history books in the process. Nobody can say that the UK Chart (and the world in general) hasn't kept us on our toes in 2020.
Top40-Charts.com takes a look back at the biggest chart stars, moments and pictures of this year.
THE NAME'S EILISH... BILLIE EILISH
Billie Eilish: Biggest ever opening week for a James
Back in February, Billie Eilish
earned her first ever UK Number 1 single with her James
Bond theme No Time To Die. In its first week not only did Billie perform the song for the first time on the BRIT Awards, win Best International Female at the ceremony, AND score a Number 1 hit - she also scooped the biggest opening week of all time for a Bond theme after racking up 90,000 chart sales including 10.6 million streams.
Billie is now the youngest artist and the first female to take a Bond theme to the top of the UK Singles Chart.
2020 PROVED AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Sir Tom Moore: Oldest person to earn a Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart
Not satisfied with raising tens of millions of pounds for the NHS by walking laps of his garden at the beginning of lockdown, the then-99-year-old war veteran, Captain
Tom Moore - who has since received a knighthood - teamed up with Michael Ball
and the NHS Voices of Care choir to release a new version of You'll Never Walk Alone, going straight to Number 1, with proceeds benefitting NHS Charities Together.
At the age of 99 years and 11 months, Captain
Tom became the oldest artist to reach Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart in its near 70-year history, he celebrated his 100th birthday just a few days later while still at Number 1 - the first ever Centenarian to enjoy a UK chart-topping single.
Decades upon decades of chart success - Kylie, Rolling Stones, Cliff Richard
and Springsteen showed the kids how it's done
As Britain welcomed in a new decade in 2020, the UK Chart ushered in yet another new chapter of record-breaking success for some of music's longest-serving icons. 2020 has been a remarkable showcase for an elite tier of talent who are still smashing out hit records decades into their careers:
Dame Vera Lynn
- May welcomed the 75th anniversary celebrations of VE Day with the song We'll Meet Again forming the centrepiece of the celebrations. At 103 years young, Forces' Sweetheart Vera Lynn
re-entered the UK Albums Chart at Number 30 with her greatest hits album, setting a new record for the oldest artist ever to land a Top 40 album.
The Rolling Stones
saw The Stones pip Declan
McKenna by 800 copies to Number 1 with a reissue of their 1973 album Goats Head Soup, becoming the first band in history to hit Number 1 on the UK Albums Chart in six different decades.
- October saw The Boss make chart history as he scored his 12th Number 1 album with Letter To You. The Boss became the first credited solo artist to have a Number 1 album in five consecutive decades, topping the charts in the 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, David
Gilmour and Paul Weller
have also scored five decades of chart-topping success, but only when including their work in groups alongside their solo material.
- just two weeks after Springsteen, Kylie Minogue
with her eighth UK Number 1 album DISCO became the first female to claim Number 1 albums in five consecutive decades.
Dame Shirley Bassey
- her final album I Owe It All To You debuted at Number 5 in November, becoming her 35th Top 40 collection, making her the first female artist to claim a Top 40 album in seven consecutive decades.
- November saw Cliff Richard
set an astonishing new chart record - the first artist ever to score a Top 5 album in EIGHT consecutive decades as Music…The Air That I Breathe landed at Number 3.
ft. Roddy Ricch: Scored the UK's Song of Summer 2020 with Rockstar
Logging six weeks at Number 1 in May and June, Rockstar by DaBaby
ft. Roddy Ricch
solidified its spot in our summer playlists early in the season. Through one of the most unusual summers on record, DaBaby
and Roddy, boosted by a viral dance challenge on TikTok, notched up a cool 654,000 chart sales (including 72.4 million streams) during the three-month period from June to August to become the UK's biggest song of summer 2020.
Pop Smoke: The first solo artist to earn a posthumous Number 1 debut album
Late rapper Pop Smoke's debut album, Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon, landed at Number 2 upon its release in July, before 12 weeks later rising to Number 1 on the UK Albums Chart in a "bittersweet" moment for the rapper's legacy.
is the first-ever solo artist to have a debut album go to Number 1 posthumously, and only the second act in Charts history to do so, following Warrington indie band Viola Beach
in 2016. Shoot For The Stars is also the only debut album to top the UK Albums Chart in all of 2020, claiming the longest climb to Number 1 for an album since George
On Voyage in 2014. A powerhouse on streaming platforms, its total volume to date stands at 217k units, with 98% coming from streams - tracks from the album have been streamed over 392m times in the UK to date, plus a further 74m video streams.
THE YEAR WE BARELY LEFT OUR HOUSES, POP STARS DELIVERED SOME IMPRESSIVE RESIDENCIES IN THE UK CHARTS TOO
Lewis Capaldi: Most consecutive weeks in the UK Albums Chart Top 10
Lewis Capaldi's debut album Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent was the biggest album of 2019 - and the album's hot streak didn't stop in the Noughties. The album held its own in the Top 10 through 2019 and into 2020 - picking up three non-consecutive weeks at Number 1 on the Albums Chart this year surpassing one million chart sales on the album's first anniversary, and even more impressively, racking up 78 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 - more than any other solo artist in the history of the UK chart. See all the albums that have spent an unbroken year on chart.
Dua Lipa: Most weeks in the Singles Chart Top 10 for UK Female solo artist
The lead single from Dua Lipa's second album Future
Nostalgia and released in late 2019, Don't Start Now was our first taste of the next era of Dua - and judging by its chart run, the UK public loved what they heard. Don't Start Now debuted at Number 2 and went on to claim 25 non-consecutive weeks in the Top 10, the most ever for a British female soloist. Discover the songs that spent the most weeks inside the UK Chart Top 10. Don't Start Now currently totals 1.59m chart sales since release in late 2019, including 190m combined audio and video streams.
AMAZING WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED IN SEVEN DAYS - THE FASTEST SELLERS OF 2020
LadBaby: Scored a Christmas Number 1 hat-trick, and the fastest selling single of the year
In just three short years Ladbaby - real name Mark Hoyle, and his wife Roxanne - have gone from social media influencers to household chart names with a series of sausage roll-themed singles. In 2020, his third song Don't Stop Me Eatin' became his third consecutive Christmas Number 1, putting him in the history books as only the third act ever to manage the festive hat-trick, alongside The Beatles
and the Spice Girls.
Don't Stop Me Eating not only clocked the fastest-selling single of 2020 (158,000 chart sales in just seven days), but the fastest seller in over three years, since Artists For Grenfell's 2017 cover of Bridge Over Troubled Water.
said: "From the bottom of our hearts, we just want to say thank you again to everybody. We can't believe that, a third year on, we've had so much support yet again. We're trying to raise money for an amazing cause, so thank you. Merry Christmas to everyone and don't stop believin' - that things are going to get better. 2021 is going to be better for everyone."
AC/DC: Powered their way to the fastest-selling album of 2020
Legendary rockers AC/DC
18th studio album Power Up charged in at Number 1 on the Albums Chart in November, notching up 62,000 chart sales in its first seven days. It's the band's fourth Number 1 album in the UK and their first in 10 years since 2010's Iron Man 2 - OST.
Celebrating their victory, AC/DC's Angus Young said: "A very big thank you to everyone who put in their time, effort and creativity to get PWR/UP to Number 1! Also a big shoutout to all our fans, old and new. You are, and always have been, our guiding inspiration".
Idles: Fastest-selling vinyl album
Idles' third album Ultra Mono became the Bristol punk band's first Number 1 album in September, and became the fastest-selling vinyl album of 2020 with 15,400 of its first-week total made up of vinyl sales.
Upon scoring their Number 1, the band thanked their fans: "Beyond all the praise and accolades we have received there is something magic about feeling carried by the ones you love. Forever grateful, IDLES x"
WHEN ONE'S JUST NOT ENOUGH...
Taylor Swift: Delivered two Number 1 albums in one year
earns a place in the UK Charts' New Years Honours List thanks to the release of not one but two surprise albums, Folklore and Evermore.
She's not only the first artist in eight years to have two studio albums be Number 1 in the same year (Rihanna was the last to do so in 2012), but the chart-topping debut of Evermore
in December marked her sixth Number 1 album. Taylor now joins fellow music icons Madonna, Kylie Minogue
and Barbra Streisand
as the only females to have notched up six chart toppers, but the best bit… Taylor did it in record time - just eight years.
Grande: Most Number 1 singles in 2020
is the only artist to enjoy two different songs at the top of the UK Singles Chart in 2020. Her first chart-topper this year was with Lady Gaga
collaboration Rain On Me, which went straight in at Number 1 in May, and was followed in October by the title track of Ari's latest album Positions, which held on for a total of six consecutive weeks and has amassed 47m streams in less than two months.
CHRISTMAS CAME EARLY TO THE UK CHART, BUT PROVED GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO WAIT... AND WAIT
Mariah Carey: Set a new record for most weeks in the UK Chart Top 40 before reaching Number 1
Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You has been a Christmas staple ever since it was first released in 1994 - what the song never had, despite this, was a place at Number 1, having missed out on the Christmas Number 1 that year to East 17's Stay Another Day.
This was until December 11 2020, when Britain decided to wish away the troubles of 2020 in favour of some extra early festive cheer. Streams of Christmas hits were up more than 50% year on year throughout November and December, sending Mariah's feel-good festive hit all the way to Number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for the very first time, 26 years after its release. The song had spent a total of 70 weeks on chart up until then - the most weeks that any song had spent in the Top 40 before eventually reaching Number 1.
Lifetime chart sales of All I Want For Christmas Is You now top 3 million in the UK, including 1.25m pure sales and 196m audio streams.