WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 16th November 2016
Work From Home, by American girl band, Fifth Harmony, was released in March 2016 and it debuted at Number 23 in its first week on sale. Within three weeks it had reached the Top Ten and in its fifth week on sale it peaked at Number 2. It spent 11 weeks in the Top Ten and six more in the Top 20. At the beginning of the year Work From Home had combined sales of 748,000. By November 2016 it was still in the Top 100.
On the 16th November 2016 news broke that it had reached combined sales of 1 million copies, which included 311,000 downloads and almost 70 million streams.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 11th November 2016 (estimate)
Calum Scott was a contestant in the 2015 series of Britain’s Got Talent. He performed a well received version of the song which he released in April of the following year. The song debuted at Number 4 in April and slowly climbed as high as Number 2 in August. By the end of August the single was certified platinum with sales of 600,000.
In October a Tiesto remix of the song was released which added to its success. By the end of October the record was rapidly approaching a million in combined sales. Its millionth combined sale came around the 11th November, in its 30th week on sale. It has spent 15 weeks in the Top Ten and four more in the Top 20.
The vast majority of its sales come from streaming rather than downloads (which has been the norm of 2016).
Scott’s version of Dancing On My Own has, of course, been very successful, but it is frequently compared on Twitter to the original version by Robyn which was released in 2010 (Robyn’s version usually described as the best).
CHART FACT: Calum Scott’s been on the #OfficialChart for 31 weeks, over 3 times longer than Robyn’s version. It’s been here 67% of 2016. 📈📚
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 1st November 2016
Justin Timberlake has a long pop career, starting out as a member of American boy band NSYNC in the 1990s and early 2000s. After the group split, Timberlake released his very successful debut album, Justified and his profile rapidly raised. He scored his first Number 1 in 2006 with Sexyback. After an absence of a few years, he returned in 2013 and scored a massive hit single with Mirrors which, as of November 2013, has sold over 930,000 copies.
In 2016 Justin Timberlake became the voice artist of one of the main characters in the movie, Trolls. He released the incredibly catchy single, Can’t Stop The Feeling! in May of that year. The song debuted at Number 3 – no mean feat in an era where singles tend to build traction for streams. This proves the quality of the song.
It climbed to Number 2 where it stayed for four weeks. It stayed in the Top Ten for ten weeks straight and the song was still in the Top 40 in November 2016.
In September, the single had combined sales of 852470. At the beginning of November 2016 the single was announced as Timberlake’s first combined million selling single with a split of sales and streams of around half and half.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: Estimated October 2016
Where Is The Love was the single that launched The Black Eyed Peas into the big time. The song features vocals from Justin Timberlake but they were uncredited on the single (the record company were concerned that the artist would become overexposed).
On its release it flew to the top of the charts and stayed there for six weeks. It stayed in the Top Ten for eleven weeks and enjoyed a 21 week chart run. It sold 625,000 copies on its original chart run. It was the biggest selling single of 2003.
The single then continued to sell well each week – frequently climbing back into the Top 100, including reaching Number 35 in 2013 after a 59p promotion at iTunes. It actually sold 35,000 copies in 2013.
By October 2013 the single had sold 927,000 copies. This amount, of course, was on CD singles and downloads – no streams were recorded back then.
Since streams have been added into the mix the single has reached a combined sale of over a million – in November 2016 Alan Jones of Music Week recorded a combined sales figure of 1,091,542.
A 2016 version of the single called #whereisthelove reached Number 47 in the charts and then disappeared. It was fair to say that it was rubbish.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION COMBINED SALES: October 2016 (estimated)
Bruno Mars can sure produce huge smash hits. The 2010s was a massively impressive decade for him.
Locked Out Of Heaven was the lead single from his new album Unorthodox Jukebox. It was widely expected to be a massive second album from him. Locked Out Of Heaven flew to Number 2 in the chart and it lingered in the Top 10 for ten straight weeks, and 31 consecutive weeks in the Top 75.
It continued to sell in small amounts and it remained on the playlist of some radio stations for nearly a year after its release.
PEAK POSITION: Number 1 (for 4 weeks) in November 1963
SALES: 1m (correct on 14th July 2016)
RELEASE DATE: October 1963
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 14th July 2016
You’ll Never Walk Alone is best known as the anthem of Liverpool Football Club. In fact, it started out as a showtune – from the musical Carousel.
Liverpool fans loved it so much in the 1960s that they adopted it as their anthem. Celtic also adopted it.
It has been covered many times by many artists, but the most famous recording is now a million seller. Gerry and the Pacemakers had enjoyed two number 1s and became the first group ever to have three Number 1s with their first three hits when You’ll Never Walk Alone reached the top of the charts.
Altogether it had 22 weeks on the chart. In 2012 it was around 40,000 copies short of selling its millionth.
Another cover reached Number 1 in 1985. It was recorded by a collaboration , including Gerry Marsden, called The Crowd. It was used to raise funds for victims’ families of the 1985 Bradford City Football Club fire.
In 2012, when the verdict of the inquest into the awful Hillsborough disaster was announced, the song reached Number 1 on iTunes and re-entered the full chart at Number 12.
It was finally announced as a million seller in July 2012.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 14th July 2016
Throughout her career, Nicki Minaj has been a collaborator with many different artists on many different songs. But, when Starships was released in February 2012, she had a massive solo success on her hands.
Starships is typical Minaj – completely bonkers, completely catchy and completely brilliant. It was a huge smash in Spring 2012, peaking at Number 2 in March (almost becoming the first solo female rapper to top the charts).
After entering the charts at Number 16 on its release, Starships climbed into the Top 10 a week later and spent 11 weeks in the Top 10 altogether. It remained in the charts until November 2012 when it finally left the Top 100. It returned for a few weeks in 2013. In June 2015 it was announced as one of the Top 40 biggest selling singles of the decade. Since then it has sold a few hundred copies a week (Music Week 20th May 2016).
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION COMBINED SALES: July 2016
Just Dance was the debut single from pop icon Lady Gaga. It was released in January 2009 and it entered the chart at Number 3. It climbed to Number 1 a week later and was there for three weeks in total. Four weeks at Number 2 and ten weeks in the Top Ten altogether meant huge sales for the record. It stayed in the Top 100 until October 2009, before re-entering the Top 100 and enjoying another 16 week run. As of January 2017 it has spent 59 weeks in the Top 100.
Lady Gaga followed up Just Dance with Pokerface and, later, Bad Romance which are also million sellers.
By the end of its first chart run Just Dance had sold around 900,000 copies.
When streams are taken into account Just Dance achieved a combined sale of 1 million on 1st July 2016 when Music Week reported combined sales of 1,000,505.
Over the years it has sold a few more with downloads recorded as 957,400 in September 2016.
PEAK POSITION: Number 7 in February 2015 and April 2015
COMBINED SALES: 1 million (July 2016)
RELEASE DATE: January 2015
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION COMBINED SALES: 1st July 216
Maroon 5’s second combined sales million seller (after Moves Like Jagger) came from a song which may have only peaked at Number 7, but was streamed in huge numbers.
Sugar entered the chart at Number 55 in January 2015 and peaked at Number 7 in its fifth week on sale. It stayed in the Top 10 for 11 weeks altogether, reaching Number 7 for another couple of weeks in April 2015.
The single stayed in the Top 40 for 27 weeks and, as of January 2017, has spent 45 weeks in the Top 100.
Sugar may have only peaked at Number 7, but its overall sales mainly came from streaming and so the single was actually the 13th biggest selling single of 2015.
On 1st July 2016 Music Week announced it as a million seller, with 1,003,884 combined sales.
Sugar is the second sweetner-themed single to become a combined million seller, the other being Archie’s Sugar, Sugar in 1969.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION COMBINED SALES: March 2016 (estimated)
One Direction is one of Simon Cowell’s finest achievements. Five singers auditioned for The X Factor in 2010 but failed to make as solo artists. Simon Cowell brought the singers together to form a new group – One Direction. They finished third in the competition, but proved to be very popular.
By the time their debut single was released in September 2011, their popularity was so huge that What Makes You Beautiful flew straight in at Number 1. The single didn’t behave like a typical boy band single in the 21st century. It lingered in the charts – for weeks and weeks. In fact, it spent 47 straight weeks in the Top 100. It left for a week or two, and then sold enough copies to make the Top 40 and the Top 100 31 further times by January 2014. The single had become a genuinely mainstream pop smash hit.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 14th February 2016
Christina Perri began first began performing her debut hit back in June 2010 in America. It enjoyed lots of success on that side of the Atlantic and was eventually released in June 2011 in the UK.
The song entered the chart at Number 90 and fell one place on its second week. But then sales began to pick up and it entered the Top 40 in mid-August 2011. It then climbed into the Top 10 where it stayed for eight weeks. It dipped out of the Top Ten for a few weeks before soaring back to Number 4 again on October (after being performed on The X Factor). It stayed in the Top 40 until March 2012.
Altogether the song spent 48 weeks in the Top 100 and then re-entered the Top 100 three times later than year and again in 2013.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 6th February 2016
Love Yourself was the third of Justin Bieber’s monster selling singles of 2015. It has quite a story.
It was released in November 2015 and entered the chart at Number 3. It climbed to Number 2 in the following week. This gave Bieber the rare honour of claiming the top two singles in the chart, the Number 1 being his other hit ‘Sorry’. In its third week on sale, Love Yourself switched places with Sorry and so he became the first living artist to replace themself at Number 1 since The Beatle managed it in 1963 (with I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You). (Elvis Presley managed it posthumously in 2005 with One Night/I Got Stung and Jailhouse Rock). The situation continued for three further weeks, meaning that, in total, Justin Bieber was at Number 1 and 2 in the chart for four consecutive weeks.
Love Yourself was looking likely to be the 2015 Christmas Number 1, however, Bieber unexpectedly publicly recommended the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir’s ‘A Bridge Over You’ and so that single flew to the top instead and his song stayed at Number 2.
The week after Christmas, Love Yourself returned to the top of the chart for three more weeks. The first of these weeks had Sorry at Number 2 again. In the meantime, his previous single What Do You Mean had been climbing back up the charts, and so, in the chart for 8th January 2016, Justin Bieber occupied Numbers 1, 2 and 3!! This was the first time in history that an artist had done this! A truly remarkable achievement! The following week Shawn Mendes’ Stitches climbed to Number 2 and then Mendes finally knocked Bieber off the top spot – a place he had almost monopolised since September 2015!!
By the end of 2015, Love Yourself had combined sales of around 718,000.
On 6th February 2016, the single had made its millionth combined sale.
Love Yourself is one of four singles to have become a million seller on streams alone – being streamed 100 million times. The others are Sorry and What Do You Mean by Justin Bieber and Drake’s One Dance.
Love Yourself was the first non-single to reach Number 1 – it wasn’t in fact released as a single; it was an album track.
Love Yourself was co-written by Ed Sheeran!
The song, of course, inspired a ‘response’ single: Love Yourself Vs F*ck Yourself by Yo Preston featuring Kelly Kiara.
YEAR IT REACHED 1 MILLION SALES: February 2016 (estimated)
Grenade entered the chart at Number 1 after selling just under 150,000 copies. Bruno Mars was simply unstoppable with several Number 1s between 2010 and 2011.
Grenade sold very strongly and stayed in the Top 10 for 9 weeks and remained in the Top 100 for 31 weeks in a row (a figure which has been added to since). The single was certified platinum in July 2013.
PEAK POSITION: Number 1 in November/December 2015 for 2 weeks
COMBINED SALES: 1.9 million (December 2016)
RELEASE DATE: November 2015
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: 8th January 2016
Sorry was the second of Justin Bieber’s phenomenally successful singles of 2015.
It was released in November 2015 in the same week as Adele released ‘Hello‘ and it entered the chart at Number 2 behind it. During Adele’s three weeks at Number 1, Sorry finished second each week.
But then, in its fourth week on sale, Sorry climbed up to the top spot in the same week that his other hit, Love Yourself entered the chart at Number 3. The following week, Sorry remained at Number 1 whilst Love Yourself climbed to Number 2. The week after, Love Yourself switched places with Sorry and so Justin Bieber became the first living artist to replace themself at Number 1 since The Beatles managed it in 1963 (with I Want To Hold Your Hand and She Loves You). (Elvis Presley managed it posthumously in 2005 with One Night/I Got Stung and Jailhouse Rock). The situation continued for three further weeks, meaning that, in total, Justin Bieber was at Number 1 and 2 in the chart for four consecutive weeks.
Altogether Sorry spent 13 weeks in the Top Three of the singles chart – an incredible chart record. It spent 18 weeks in the Top 100 in December 2016 !!
By the end of 2015, Love Yourself had combined sales of around 900,000.
On 8th January 2016, Alan Jones in Music Week, confirmed it had become a million seller.
In June 2016, Sorry was confirmed as the first ever single to reach 100 million streams, and therefore a million seller on just streams alone. Other singles went on to repeat this success, including his own Love Yourself and What Do You Mean and Drake’s One Dance.
In August 2016, Sorry was confirmed as three times platinum.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: December 2015
Hold Back The River was James Bay’s debut single. It was released at the beginning of December 2014 and entered the chart at Number 18. It gradually feel down the chart as low as Number 97. It then began to climb back up the charts, eventually peaking at Number 2 in April 2015. It spent eight weeks in the Top Ten altogether. As of January 2017 the single has been in the Top 100 for a massive 74 weeks.
The single launched Bay’s album, The Chaos And The Calm which went on to sell over a million copies.
By the end of 2015 the single had combined sales of over a million copies and it ended the year as the eighth biggest selling single. By May 2016 the single had been crowned double platinum with combined sales of over 1.2 million.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION COMBINED SALES: December 2015
Make You Feel My Love is a cover of Bob Dylan’s track. Adele released her cover in October 2008 when it peaked at Number 26. That was not the end of the story.
Two years later, a contestant performed the song on The X Factor and it re-entered the chart reaching Number 24. In October 2010 the song soared up to Number 4 in the charts. It hung around the chart for ages from that point on, spending a total of 59 weeks on the chart between 2010 and 2011. Every few years the song re-enters the Top 100.
Make You Feel My Love has become an enduring classic, and a wedding dance staple. It is frequently used in soundtracks and competitions.
In December 2015, Alan Jones of Music Week reported a combined sales figure of 1,032,226, meaning that, seven years after its release, it had sold its millionth copy. This happened around the same time as Hello sold its millionth copy.
WHEN DID IT REACH ONE MILLION SALES: December 2015
Adele returned to the charts after a four year absence in October 2015 with the massive ‘Hello’. Excluding charity singles and Christmas singles, Hello had the biggest weekly sale of any single since Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me‘ in 2001.
Hello smashed the streaming record (later broken by Drake’s One Dance in 2016) with 7.32 million streams in its first week on sale. 259,000 downloads were also recorded in that first week, giving a combined first week sale of 333,000. This download figure is huge and is likely to be one of the last large download sales figures as streaming is typically making up the bulk of the sales figures for singles.
The song spent three weeks at Number 1 and fourteen consecutive weeks in the Top Ten. It spent 45 straight weeks in the Top 100, only leaving in September of the following year.
Hello was the sixth biggest selling single of 2016 despite only being available for two months.