UK best-selling singles (by year) (1990–2009)

Posted May 30, 2011
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  1. Whitney Houston
    #1

    Whitney Houston

    612,851 views

    Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012) was an American singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, Guinness World Records cited her as the most awarded female act of all time. Houston is one of pop music's best-selling music artists of all-time, with an estimated 170–200 million records sold worldwide. She released six studio albums, one holiday album and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification. Houston's crossover appeal on the popular music charts, as well as her prominence on MTV, starting with her video for "How Will I Know", influenced several African American women artists who follow in her footsteps.


  2. Cher
    #2

    Cher

    607,532 views

    Cher (/ˈʃɛər/; born Cherilyn Sarkisian on May 20, 1946) is an American singer, actress, and fashion icon. Described as embodying female autonomy in a male-dominated industry, she is known for her distinctive contralto singing voice and for having worked in numerous areas of entertainment, as well as adopting a variety of styles and appearances during her five-decade-long career, which has led to her being nicknamed the Goddess of Pop.


  3. Leona Lewis
    #3

    Leona Lewis

    159,729 views

    Leona Louise Lewis (born 3 April 1985) is a British singer, songwriter and animal welfare campaigner. She was born and raised in the London Borough of Islington, where she attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology. Lewis achieved national recognition when she won the third series of The X Factor in 2006, winning a £1 million recording contract with Simon Cowell's record label, Syco Music. Her winners single, a cover of Kelly Clarkson's "A Moment Like This", peaked at number one for four weeks on the UK Singles Chart and it broke a world record for having 50,000 digital downloads within 30 minutes. In February 2007, Lewis signed a five-album contract in the United States with Clive Davis's record label, J Records.


  4. Shaggy
    #4

    Shaggy

    149,589 views

    Orville Richard Burrell CD (born October 22, 1968, Kingston), best known by his stage name Shaggy, is a Jamaican-Canadian reggae fusion singer and deejay. He is best known for his hit singles "Boombastic", "It Wasn't Me", "Hey Sexy Lady", and "Angel". He is said to have taken his stage name from his shaggy hair. He is also known in Canada as "Manitoba's First Son."


  5. Meat Loaf
    #5

    Meat Loaf

    81,131 views

    Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday; September 27, 1947) is an American musician and actor better known by his stage name Meat Loaf. He is noted for the Bat Out of Hell series—consisting of Bat Out of Hell, Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell, and Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster is Loose. Bat Out of Hell has sold more than 43 million copies worldwide. After 35 years, it still sells an estimated 200,000 copies annually and stayed on the charts for over nine years, making it one of the best selling albums of all time. He is also known for his powerful wide-ranging operatic voice and theatrical live performances.


  6. Will Young
    #6

    Will Young

    28,361 views

    William Robert "Will" Young (born 20 January 1979) is an English singer-songwriter and actor who came to prominence after winning the 2002 inaugural series of the British music contest Pop Idol, making him the first winner of the worldwide Idol franchise. His debut single "Anything Is Possible" was released two weeks after the show's finale and became the fastest-selling debut single in the UK. Young also came in fifth place in World Idol performing his single "Light My Fire".


  7. Alexandra Burke
    #7

    Alexandra Burke (2012)

    24,990 views

    Alexandra Imelda Cecelia Ewen Burke (born 25 August 1988) is an English singer-songwriter and voice actor. Burke was exposed to music from an early age, with her mother, Melissa Bell, being the lead singer of Soul II Soul. Burke rose to fame after winning the fifth series of British television series The X Factor in 2008, becoming the first of two winners to be mentored by Cheryl Cole and also, the second of three people in the girls category to win the series, the first being Leona Lewis in 2006 and the third being Louisa Johnson in 2015. Burke currently stands as one of the most successful winners of The X Factor. She was previously signed to three record labels: Epic Records, RCA Records and Syco Music, until she departed in June 2013 due to creative differences.


  8. Tony Christie
    #8

    Tony Christie

    13,465 views


  9. The Righteous Brothers
    #9

    The Righteous Brothers

    11,876 views

    The Righteous Brothers were the musical duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. They began performing together in 1962 in the Los Angeles area as part of a five-member group called The Paramours, but adopted the name The Righteous Brothers when they embarked on their recording career as a duo. They recorded from 1963 through 1975 and continued to perform until Hatfield's death in 2003. Their emotive vocal style is sometimes dubbed "blue-eyed soul".


  10. Wet Wet Wet
    #10

    Wet Wet Wet

    8,811 views

    Wet Wet Wet are a Scottish soft rock band that formed in 1982. They scored a number of hits in the UK charts and around the world. The band is composed of Marti Pellow (lead vocals), Tommy Cunningham (drums, vocals), Graeme Clark (bass, vocals) and Neil Mitchell (keyboards, vocals). A fifth, unofficial member, Graeme Duffin (lead guitar, vocals), has been with them since 1983. The band were named Best British Newcomer at the 1988 Brit Awards.


  11. Peter Kay
    #11

    Peter Kay

    6,111 views

    Peter John Kay (born 2 July 1973) is an English comedian and actor. His last stand-up comedy tour was officially inaugurated into the Guinness World Records as the most successful of all time, playing to over 1.2 million people. He has written, produced, and acted in several award winning television and film projects. In addition, he has authored three books. In 2015, he starred in BBC sitcoms Peter Kay's Car Share and Cradle to Grave.


  12. Fugees
    #12

    Fugees

    5,568 views

    Fugees /ˈfz/ (sometimes The Fugees; formerly Tranzlator Crew) were an American hip hop group who rose to fame in the mid-1990s. Their repertoire included elements of hip hop, soul and Caribbean music, particularly reggae. The members of the group were rapper/singer/producer Wyclef Jean, rapper/singer/producer Lauryn Hill, and rapper/producer Pras Michel. Deriving their name from the term refugee, Jean is Haitian, while Hill and Michel are American.


  13. Hallelujah
    #13

    Hallelujah (1984)

    4,369 views

    "Hallelujah" is a song written by Canadian recording artist Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions (1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a cover by John Cale, which inspired a cover by Jeff Buckley. Buckley's version is the most enduringly popular and critically acclaimed cover of the song to date. It is the subject of the book The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley & the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" (2012) by Alan Light. In a New York Times review of the book, Janet Maslin praises the book and the song, noting that "Cohen spent years struggling with his song 'Hallelujah.' He wrote perhaps as many as 80 verses before paring the song down."


  14. Bob the Builder
    #14

    Bob the Builder (1999)

    3,595 views

    Bob the Builder is a British children's animated television show created by Keith Chapman. In the original series Bob appears as a building contractor specializing in masonry in a stop motion animated programme with his colleague Wendy, various neighbours and friends, and their gang of anthropomorphised work-vehicles and equipment. The show is broadcast in many countries, but originates from the United Kingdom where Bob is voiced by English actor Neil Morrissey. The show was later created using CGI animation starting with the spin-off series Ready, Steady, Build!.


  15. I Will Always Love You
    #15

    I Will Always Love You (1974)

    3,313 views

    "I Will Always Love You" is a song written, composed, and originally recorded by American singer-songwriter Dolly Parton. The country track was released on June 6, 1974 as the second single from Parton's thirteenth solo studio album, Jolene (1974). The singer wrote the song, which was recorded on June 13, 1973, for her one-time partner and mentor Porter Wagoner, from whom she was professionally splitting at the time.


  16. It Wasn't Me
    #16

    It Wasn't Me (2000)

    3,331 views

    "It Wasn't Me" is the first single from Jamaican-American reggae artist Shaggy's multi-platinum studio album Hot Shot (2000). The song features vocals from English singer Rikrok. The lyrics of the song depict one man asking his friend what to do after his girlfriend caught him having sex with another woman. His friend's advice is to deny everything, despite clear evidence to the contrary, with the phrase "It wasn't me."


  17. Believe
    #17

    Believe (1998)

    2,682 views

    "Believe" is a song recorded by American singer-actress Cher. It is the title track from her twenty-second studio album of the same name (1998), and was released as the lead single from the album on October 19, 1998 by Warner Bros. Records. It was written by Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennen, Paul Barry, Steven Torch, Matthew Gray, Timothy Powell, Jeff Lynne, and Cher and produced by Mark Taylor and Brian Rawling. A considerable departure from Cher's work at the time, "Believe" abandoned the singer's then pop rock-based repertoire in favor being more club-friendly, in order to engage a younger audience.


  18. Baby One More Time
    #18

    Baby One More Time (1999)

    1,964 views

    "...Baby One More Time" is a song recorded by American singer Britney Spears for her debut studio album, of the same name (1999). It was written and produced by Max Martin, with additional production from Rami. "...Baby One More Time" was released on September 30, 1998, by Jive Records. After recording and sending a demo tape with an unused song from Toni Braxton, Spears signed a multi-album deal with Jive. "...Baby One More Time" is a teen pop and dance-pop song that refers to a girl who regrets breaking up with her boyfriend. The song received generally favorable reviews from critics, who praised its composition.


  19. Where Is the Love?
    #19

    Where Is the Love? (1972)

    1,672 views

    "Where Is the Love" is a popular song written by Ralph MacDonald and William Salter, and recorded by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. Released in 1972 from their album, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway. It peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and spent a week each at number one on the Billboard Easy Listening chart (July 1972) and R&B chart (August 1972). Billboard ranked it as the No. 58 song for 1972. The song won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.


  20. Bleeding Love
    #20

    Bleeding Love (2007)

    1,433 views

    "Bleeding Love" is a song by British singer Leona Lewis, released from her debut album, Spirit. Co-written by Jesse McCartney and Ryan Tedder, and produced by Tedder, the song is the album's lead single (Lewis's official second single following "A Moment Like This"). It was released in the United Kingdom and Ireland in October 2007. Debuting at number one on the UK Singles Chart, "Bleeding Love" became the best-selling single of 2007 in the United Kingdom. Since the single's release, it became a major international hit, and was the best-selling single of 2008 worldwide. The single has reached number one in 35 countries, including Ireland, Japan, Germany and the United States, making it only the second song in history to achieve this feat (after Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997"). The video first aired on 17 October 2007, and was uploaded to YouTube on the same day, on which it now has over 120 million views.


  21. Unchained Melody
    #21

    Unchained Melody (1995)

    1,018 views

    "Unchained Melody" is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret. North used the music as a theme for the little-known prison film Unchained, hence the name. Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. It has since become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some estimates having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.


  22. Killing Me Softly With His Song
    #22

    Killing Me Softly With His Song (1973)

    747 views

    "Killing Me Softly with His Song" is a song composed by Charles Fox with lyrics by Norman Gimbel. The song was written in collaboration with Lori Lieberman, who recorded the song in late 1971. In 1973 it became a number-one hit, in US and Canada, for Roberta Flack, also reaching number six in the UK Singles Chart. The song has since been covered by numerous artists.


  23. Poker Face
    #23

    Poker Face (2008)

    546 views

    "Poker Face" is a song by American singer Lady Gaga from her debut studio album, The Fame (2008). Produced by RedOne, it was released as the album's second single in late 2008 for some markets and in early 2009 for the rest of the world. "Poker Face" is an uptempo synthpop song in the key of G minor, following in the footsteps of her previous single "Just Dance", but with a darker musical tone. The main idea behind the song is bisexuality and was a tribute by Gaga to her rock and roll boyfriends. Lyrically, the track is about a woman engaged in the practice of cockteasing.


  24. Candle In The Wind 1997
    #24

    Candle In The Wind 1997 (1997)

    606 views

    "Candle in the Wind 1997" is a re-written and re-recorded version of Elton John's own 1973 hit "Candle in the Wind" that was released as a tribute single to the late Diana, Princess of Wales.


  25. Crazy
    #25

    Crazy (2006)

    607 views

    "Crazy" is the debut single by Gnarls Barkley, a musical collaboration between Danger Mouse and CeeLo Green, taken from their 2006 debut album St. Elsewhere. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand and other countries.


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