The songs that spent the longest at Number 1 (2023)

Have you noticed a recent trend at the top of the Official Singles Chart? If you look back over recent times, it's clear to see that the one-week Number 1 is becoming rarer.

Acts like Justin Bieber and Camila Cabello have proven that a lengthy residency at Number 1 is totally achievable.

But as impressive as most of those artists' chart-topping stints are, they've still a way to go before they match the mammoth reigns of these massive hits. We take a look at the tracks to have spent ten weeks or more at the top.

Frankie Laine – I Believe (18 weeks)

American crooner Frankie scored his first ever UK Number 1 in April 1953, just after his 40th birthday and seemed reluctant to let go. Not content with notching up nine weeks at the summit, after a week at Number 2, he went back up to spend a further six at the top. But it wasn't over yet.Famous composer Mantovani then claimed the Number 1 spot, before Frankie gave him a nudge and racked up an additional three weeks. Only five songs in history have scored three separate stints at the top!

MORE:Track the progress of I Believe in Frankie Laine's archive

Those of you with a calculator handy will have worked out that adds up to a whopping 18 weeks. That's like, over four months. The song went to Number 1 again in 1995, but this time for Robson & Jerome, and sold over a million. Frankie's is the longest reign – although it's not consecutive of course. That honour goes to…

Bryan Adams – (Everything I Do) I Do It For You (16 weeks)

1991. The weather was pretty dull for much of the year, and if you weren't a fan of Bryan Adams' massive Number 1, listening to the radio wasn't likely to brighten your day. Thanks to the success of then-box office darling Kevin Costner's innovative Hollywood retelling of Robin Hood (complete with soft-metal blow-dry and Californian accent) this ballad was inescapable.

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The songs that spent the longest at Number 1 (1)
Their eyes met over the heated rollers – hair icons Robin Hood and Maid Marian on the single cover

Taking its pew at Number 1 in July and sitting tight until the end of October, Bryan's love theme from the movie notched up an incredible 16 straight weeks at the summit. As the UK frantically tried to find out who was still buying the song and working out how to stop them, along came U2 to save the day – you don't often hear that these days, do you? The Fly replaced Bryan at number 1 and order was restored.

MORE:See what was in the chart the week U2 knocked Bryan off the top. Warning: contains bangers

Wet Wet Wet – Love Is All Around (15 weeks)

Another theme from a romantic movie, the Scottish quartet scored a third Number 1 with this cover of a Troggs hit from the Sixties. Taken from Four Weddings and a Funeral, even the band themselves were sick of hearing it during summer 1994.

After 15 consecutive weeks, the Wets decided to pour cold water on the song's soaring success and DELETED it (in the old days, you could halt production of a single – it was totally normal to do this to encourage people to buy the album it was taken from).

MORE:See Wet Wet Wet's biggest singles and albums in their chart archive

Drake – One Dance (15 weeks)

It's been a long time since we had a mammoth run at Number 1, isn't it? But here's Drake with a whopping fifteen weeks at the top with One Dance featuring Wizkid and Kyla. Drake's extended reign means he scored the longest running Number 1 of the digital age, since 2004, when legal download services launched in the UK. However, after 15 weeks of supremacy, Drizzy was ousted by Major Lazer, Justin Bieber andMØ and tumbled to Number 5.

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Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody (14 weeks)

Queen's signature hit has quite a few chart feats under its belt. Not only is it the only song to be Christmas Number 1 twice, but it's a million-seller to boot. On its original run, the single spent nine weeks lolling about at Number 1. It was, interestingly, knocked off by another song containing the lyric "mamma mia" – Abba's classic, erm, Mamma Mia.

Legendary Freddie Mercury finds a particularly sour cola bottle in his bag of Tangfastics.

After lead singer Freddie Mercury's death in 1991, there was a frenzy for anything Queen-related, and the main benefactor was Bohemian Rhapsody, which was rereleased and hit the top for five weeks. That gives the song a grand total of 14 weeks at Number 1. Bismillah, no! It would not let it go!

MORE: Look back at all Queen's biggest songs and albums

Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You (14 weeks)

Bringing things right up to date, the lead single from Ed's sales powerhouse third album ÷ has notched up 14 weeks at the top of the Official Singles Chart. His biggest rival for most of his run was himself – Castle on the Hill, How Would You Feel (Paean) and Galway Girl all battled to nudge Shape Of You off Number 1. Eventually, Harry Styles' Sign Of The Times *just* squeezed Ed off of his throne, ending his consecutive run of 13 weeks BUT he returned the following week, and clocked up a 14th.

Slim Whitman – Rose Marie (11 weeks)

This song's origins date from before the Official Singles Chart even started, way back in 1924, but when American country singer Slim got his hands on it in 1955, it was a solid-gold smash.

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Topping the chart for 11 weeks, the song's record reign was unbroken until Bryan Adams and Robin Hood came along and, well, we all know how that one went.

MORE:See all Slim Whitman's hits in his archive

Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber - Despacito (11 weeks)

Like the longest reigning Number 1 single of all-time, Despacito spent three different stints at Number 1 in the UK. The foreign language track to spent the longest at the top too, Despacito hung around for 11 non-consecutive weeks.

Tones and I – Dance Monkey (11 weeks)

The Australian singer-songwriter's viral hit certainly took its time getting to the top spot, with an eight-week climb. Once there, however, Tones and I made herself at home, notching up her eleventh week at Number 1 in December 2019, leapfrogging Rihanna and Whitney for longest running Number 1 song by a female lead artist. Not bad for a tune that took her half an hour to write!

The songs that spent the longest at Number 1 (2)

Ed Sheeran - Bad Habits (11 weeks)

This impressive 2021 stint means Ed became the first artist to log two singles that have topped the Official Singles Chart for 10 weeks or more. Bad Habits is that song, with synth-pop sonics that make it a marked departure from his earlier material.

Harry Styles - As It Was (10 weeks)

Harry's cheerful return to music in 2022 - and lead single from chart-topping album Harry's House - is his second Number 1 in the UK and the latest track to land in this rather exclusive list, so far racking up ten consecutive weeks at the top.

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David Whitfield – Cara Mia (10 weeks)

Hull-born David had already scored a Number 1 with Answer Me in 1953 before he really struck gold with Cara Mia, ably assisted by composer Mantovani and his orchestra. 10 weeks at the top for this one in 1954 until Kitty Kallen's Little Things Mean A Lot bumped it off.

The songs that spent the longest at Number 1 (3)
Here's David looking very handsome on the cover of his Greatest Hits

Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You (10 weeks)

And I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I will never forget this song in a hurry – thanks in part to its 10-week tenure at Number 1 at the tail-end of 1992 and into 1993. Taken from another Kevin Costner movie The Bodyguard – hint to popstars: if you want a million-seller and to spend ages at Number 1, get yourself on a soundtrack – this song started out in very different form as a country and western ballad written and performed by queen Dolly Parton herself.

Dolly said she loved Whitney's million-selling version – let's hope she treated herself and bought something nice with the money.

MORE: See all Whitney's biggest UK singles and albums in her chart archive

Rihanna ft. Jay-Z – Umbrella (10 weeks)

Another summer, another long stretch at Number 1. Brits are famed for their sense of humour, and we're sure it's no coincidence that RiRi scored her first Number 1, a tribute to all things waterproof, during one of the grimmest, wettest summers the UK has ever seen.

The song certainly made a splash – 10 of 2007's chart weeks saw Rihanna giving us all some shelter at the top, until she was finally dried off by Timbaland's The Way I Are.

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Oh, and if you're interested, and we're sure you are, here are the songs that have racked up nine weeks at Number 1:

Al Martino – Here In My Heart (1952) – was also the first ever Number 1 single!
Eddie Calvert– Oh Mein Papa (1954)
Doris Day – Secret Love (1954)
Paul Anka– Diana (1957)
Wings– Mull Of Kintyre / Girls' School (1977)
John Travolta & Olivia Newton John –You're The One That I Want (1978)
Frankie Goes To Hollywood–Two Tribes (1984)
Gnarls Barkley – Crazy (2006)
Clean Bandit - Rockabye (2016)
Drake - God's Plan (2018)
Olivia Rodrigo - Drivers License (2021)


What song stayed at #1 the longest? ›

"Old Town Road" holds the record for the longest stretch at No. 1 with 19 weeks.

Who has been number 1 in the charts for the longest? ›

Most weeks at number one by single
1Frankie Laine18 weeks
2Bryan Adams16 weeks
=3Wet Wet Wet15 weeks
=3Drake (featuring Wizkid and Kyla)
10 more rows

What is the #1 song of all time? ›

1 Billboard Hot 100 Song of All Time | Billboard News. The Weeknd's “Blinding Lights” is the new No. 1 song on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All Time Hot 100 Chart. It's replacing Chubby Checker's “The Twist”.

What are the top 5 longest songs? ›

The longest songs ever recorded
  • The Stone Roses - Fool's Gold (9.53) ...
  • Primal Scream - Come Together (10.21) ...
  • David Bowie - Station To Station (10.14) ...
  • The Doors - The End (11.43) ...
  • Orbital - Chime (12.46) ...
  • Flowered Up - Weekender (12.53*) ...
  • Mogwai - Mogwai Fear Satan (16.19) ...
  • Spiritualized - Cop Shoot Cop (17.14)
Jun 21, 2022

Who has had a #1 hit every decade? ›

Mariah Carey Confirmed As The First Artist To Top The Billboard Hot 100 Chart Across Four Decades. WATCH GRAMMY LIVE!

Who has the most #1 single hits? ›

Mariah Carey (USA) has topped the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on 19 different occasions.

What is the #1 album of all time? ›

Michael Jackson's Thriller, estimated to have sold 70 million copies worldwide, is the best-selling album ever. Jackson also currently has the highest number of albums on the list with five, Celine Dion has four, while the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Madonna and Whitney Houston each have three.

What song is 17 minutes long? ›

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" (derived from "In the Garden of Eden") is a song recorded by Iron Butterfly, written by bandmember Doug Ingle and released on their 1968 album of the same name. Ultrasonic Studios, Hempstead, New York, U.S. At slightly over 17 minutes, it occupies the entire second side of the album.

Who has the longest playlist ever? ›

Answer: The record for the longest Spotify playlist is held by Willis Orr, with about 10,000 songs (the maximum limit of a Spotify playlist) and over 800 hours of music. For a better perspective, you'd need to listen for more than 33 consecutive days to finish the playlist!

What song spent the longest in the top 10? ›

Post Malone's 'Circles' Is Now The Longest-Running Top 10 Hit Ever.

Which singer have never had a number one hit? ›

James Brown had dozens of songs make it to the Hot 100, but none ever reached No. 1. Brown is another legend who shockingly never reached the top spot on the Hot 100. He came close more than a few times with songs like "Living in America" (peaked at No.

Who is the best selling artist of all time? ›

Perhaps unsurprisingly, British rock band The Beatles are top of the list for best-selling artists worldwide, with 183 million units certified sales. Second is Garth Brooks with over 157 million units sales, followed by Elvis Presley with 139 million units.

What was the first No. 1 hit? ›

The first number-one song of the Billboard Hot 100 was "Poor Little Fool" by Ricky Nelson, on August 4, 1958.

What song stayed on the Billboard charts the longest? ›

22-dated ranking: Most Weeks Spent on the Billboard Hot 100: 91, “Heat Waves,” Glass Animals.

What is the shortest #1 song? ›

We all know the record for shortest song on the Hot 100 overall is Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs' "Stay," which went 1:36, and reached No. 1 in November 1960.

What is the shortest song to reach number 1? ›

On Nov. 21 1960, “Stay” topped the Billboard Charts for one week. It has the distinction of being the 'shortest' No. #1 song ever, clocking in at a very minuscule 98 seconds!

What are the top 3 songs of all time? ›

Top 10 Best Songs of All Time
  • 1 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen. ...
  • 2 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin. ...
  • 3 Imagine - John Lennon. ...
  • 4 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana. ...
  • 5 One - Metallica. ...
  • 6 Hotel California - Eagles. ...
  • 7 Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd. ...
  • 8 Hey Jude - The Beatles.

What is the #1 rock song of all time? ›

The Greatest EVER Rock Song
Nov 11, 2019

Who has written the most #1 songs? ›

The most successful songwriters in terms of number one singles are John Lennon (1940-80) and Paul McCartney (b. 18 Jun 1942). McCartney is credited as the writer on 32 number one hits in the US to Lennons 26 (with 23 co-written), whereas Lennon authored 29 UK number ones to McCartney's 28 (25 co-written).

Is there a song with only 1 word? ›

“Roar.” “Royals.” “Radioactive.” Notice a common thread among these recent hits? The number of charting songs with one-word titles continues to grow, with single-monikered tracks now making up…

What is the least popular song ever? ›

1StarshipWe Built This City
2Billy Ray CyrusAchy Breaky Heart
3Wang ChungEverybody Have Fun Tonight
4Limp BizkitRollin
46 more rows

Can a single have 1 song? ›

A single is the shortest body of work you can release, features between 1-3 tracks and has a running time of roughly less than 10 mins.

What is the fastest song to ever go diamond? ›

"Old Town Road" is the fastest song in history to be certified diamond.

What song has the fastest beat? ›

The fastest song is Thousand by Moby. This song hits a maximum of 1015 beats per minute and is the current Guinness world record holder for the fastest song.


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