September 28, 2023


What do Gene Kelly’s Singin’ In The Rain and The Notorious B.I.G.’s rap anthem Juicy have in common?

No, it’s not an infectious joie de vivre, or copious references to recreational drug use.

Instead, they are the most-streamed songs from the calendar year in which they were released.

That’s according to the Official Chart Company, who have identified the biggest streaming hit for every year since the chart’s inception in 1952.

Their findings will be broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 next weekend, marking 70 years of the UK singles chart.

It includes superstars from Elvis and the Beatles to Adele and Harry Styles – alongside several songs that were overlooked on release, only to be reclaimed as classics over time.

They include San Francisco rock band Journey, whose single Don’t Stop Believin’ stalled at number 62 in 1982, but subsequently became a rock standard, thanks to its inclusion in TV shows like The Sopranos and Glee.

It is now the most-streamed song of that year, overtaking contemporary hits like Come On Eileen (the UK’s biggest-selling record of 1982) and Survivor’s Eye Of The Tiger.

Ray Charles’ I Got A Woman has enjoyed a similar second-life after being interpolated in Kanye West’s 2005 hit Gold Digger. The track is now the most-played hit of 1954, and has been certified silver (representing 200,00 sales) on streams alone.

By contrast, some of the biggest songs of their era are entirely absent from the Official Charts’ list.

2013’s biggest-selling hit, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines, has also fallen out of favour, replaced by Vance Joy’s beach ballad Riptide.

Other entries are more predictable.

The Killers’ Mr Brightside, which has spent an unprecedented 338 weeks on the UK singles chart, is the most-played song of 2003 respectively. And streaming behemoth Ed Sheeran appears in the list three times – for Thinking Out Loud (2014), Shape Of You (2017) and Bad Habits (2021).

Christmas songs have been excluded from the countdown.

The full chart will be broadcast decade by decade on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 on 11 and 12 November, with guest hosts including Tony Blackburn, Johnnie Walker, Fearne Cotton and Jack Saunders.

The special programmes are also available to stream now on BBC Sounds.

“It’s particularly fascinating to see which classic songs from the past are rated by today’s music consumers, and how that appeal can be driven by exposure on TV, adverts and social media,” said Robert Gallacher, commissioning editor at BBC Radio.

“This chart is a true testament to the timelessness of brilliant pop music.”

You can browse the full countdown below.


1952 – Singin’ In The Rain by Gene Kelly

1953 – That’s Amore by Dean Martin

1954 – I’ve Got A Woman by Ray Charles

1955 – Tutti Frutti by Little Richard

1956 – I Walk The Line by Johnny Cash

1957 – Jailhouse Rock by Elvis Presley

1958 – Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry

1959 – Put Your Head On My Shoulder by Paul Anka


1961 – Stand By Me by Ben E King

1962 – Cry To Me by Solomon Burke

1963 – Be My Baby by Ronettes

1964 – My Girl by The Temptations

1965 – I Can’t Help Myself by Four Tops

1966 – Paint It Black by Rolling Stones

1967 – Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

1968 – (Sittin’ On The) Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding

1969 – Here Comes The Sun by Beatles


1970 – Your Song by Elton John

1971 – Take Me Home Country Roads by John Denver

1972 – Tiny Dancer by Elton John

1973 – Jolene by Dolly Parton

1974 – Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd

1975 – Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

1976 – Go Your Own Way by Fleetwood Mac

1977 – Dreams by Fleetwood Mac

1978 – September by Earth Wind & Fire

1979 – Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen


1980 – Another One Bites The Dust by Queen

1981 – Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey

1982 – Africa by Toto

1983 – Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) by Eurythmics

1984 – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham

1985 – Summer Of ’69 by Bryan Adams

1986 – Livin’ On A Prayer by Bon Jovi

1987 – I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston

1988 – Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac

1989 – We Didn’t Start The Fire by Billy Joel


1990 – Thunderstruck by AC/DC

1992 – Creep by Radiohead

1993 – What Is Love? by Haddaway

1994 – Juicy by The Notorious B.I.G

1995 – Wonderwall by Oasis

1996 – No Diggity by Blackstreet Ft. Dr Dre

1997 – Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve

1998 – Iris by Goo Goo Dolls

1999 – No Scrubs by TLC


2000 – Dancing In The Moonlight by Toploader

2001 – How You Remind Me by Nickelback

2002 – Lose Yourself by Eminem

2003 – Mr Brightside by The Killers

2004 – Let Me Love You by Mario

2005 – I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor by Arctic Monkeys

2006 – Naïve by The Kooks

2007 – Fluorescent Adolescent by Arctic Monkeys

2008 – I’m Yours by Jason Mraz

2009 – Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus


2010 – Love The Way You Lie by Eminem Ft. Rihanna

2011 – Someone Like You by Adele

2012 – Let Her Go by Passenger

2013 – Riptide by Vance Joy

2014 – Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

2015 – Cheap Thrills by Sia

2016 – Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur

2017 – Shape Of You by Ed Sheeran

2018 – Someone You Loved by Lewis Capaldi

2019 – Dance Monkey by Tones & I


2020 – Head & Heart by Joel Corry Ft. MNEK

2021 – Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran

2022 – As It Was by Harry Styles

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