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The biggest songs of the decade

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Take a look at our list of the biggest selling songs of the last ten years. A decade which saw the rise of digital music sales and chart domination by The X Factor.

As the decade draws to a close, there's no denying that the chart has changed more in the last ten years than it has in British chart history.
 
2000

The decade started with 853,000 music fans shouting "yes we can!".  Almost ten years before Obama made his historic "yes we can" speech, it was kids TV's very own Bob the Builder who owned the catchphrase.  The line featured in Bob's novelty record 'Can We Fix It?', which beat Westlife in the race to Christmas No. 1 2000 and became the biggest selling song of the year.


2001

The early part of the decade was a controversial time for the music industry with recording artists joining forces to campaign against illegal file sharing service such as Napster, which at the time were at their peak

Meanwhile Shaggy was dominating the chart.  In March 2001 his huge hit 'It Wasn't Me' made it to No. 1 and went on to become the biggest selling song of the year with 1.1 million music buyers adding it to their collection.



Shaggy on MUZU.

2002

2002 was the year when we first saw the effects of reality TV on the music chart.  Will Young was crowned the winner of the first series of Pop Idol.  His debut single, a double A-side featuring Westlife's 'Evergreen' and 'Anything Is Possible', sold 1.8 million copies.



WILL YOUNG on MUZU.

2003

In 2003 there was a significant switch to legal downloads as Apple's iTunes Store opened its virtual doors to music buyers for the first time.  It was also the year that the Black Eyed Peas bagged their first UK No. 1.  'Where Is The Love' was the band's first big single in the UK, selling over 625,000 in 2003.



Black Eyed Peas on MUZU.

2004

2004 saw the likes of Bono, Dido, Robbie, Snow Patrol and the Sugababes join forces under the alias Band Aid 20 for the biggest charity single of the decade to date.  Twenty years previously the original version of 'Do They Know It's Christmas?' became the biggest selling of the year and Christmas No. 1, a feat that was duplicated by the '04 version of the song.



Band Aid 20 on MUZU.

2005

2005 will haunt chart history forever, it was the year that Peter Kay revived Tony Christie's 1971 hit, 'Is This the Way to Amarillo'.  After seven weeks at No. 1 we were all sick of the Comic Relief charity single, but with over 1 million copies sold, it was the biggest song of the year.


2006

In March 2006 Gnarls Barkley became the first artist to top the UK chart on download sales alone after the rules were changed to included digital sales in the chart.  'Crazy' went on to spend nine weeks at No. 1 and became the biggest song of the year racking up sales in excess of 800,000.



Gnarls Barkley on MUZU.

2007

Until 2007, downloaded songs were only eligible for entry in the chart if they were also released on a physical format.  In January 2007 this rule was lift as it was revealed that digital sales had exceeded music sales in any other form.

We once again saw the effects of reality TV on the chart when X Factor winner, Leona Lewis broke records with her debut single.  Her cover of Kelly Clarkson's 'A Moment Like This' was downloaded 50,000 times in just thirty minutes.

But it was Leona's follow-up which took the title of the biggest selling track of the year.  'Bleeding Love' sold over 788,000 copies in the last few weeks of 2007 and spent seven weeks at the top of the chart, the longest run by a UK female solo artist in chart history.



Leona Lewis on MUZU.

2008

The X Factor's domination of the chart continued in to 2008 when the winner of the fifth series, Alexandra Burke made chart history after selling over 105,000 digital copies of 'Hallelujah' in just one day, breaking the previous record set by Leona Lewis.  It sold 576,000 copies in its first week, becoming the fastest selling single released by a female in the UK.

Released just ten days before the end of the year, Alexandra's cover of Leonard Cohen's 1984 album track was released the day after the X Factor final and became the biggest song of 2008, selling 888,000 copies.



Alexandra Burke on MUZU.

2009

Finally, in 2009 the chart changed forever.  In June The Big Top 40 Show broadcast the UK’s first real time chart, powered by iTunes, taking in to account downloads up until 6pm on a Sunday evening before the chart is locked down and the top ten revealed.

Not even a month had passed since the Big Top 40 launched when the world of music was hit by devastating news that the King of Pop had died.

The death of Michael Jackson prompted thousands of fans to flock to iTunes and download some of his biggest hits, proving the new power that the music downloading public had over the chart.

The Sunday following his death, Michael Jackson songs dominated our chart but it was his 1988 classic 'Man In the Mirror' that made it to No. 1.  In total Jacko fans managed to get 13 of his songs in to the Big Top 40 including 'Earth Song', 'Beat It', 'Thriller' and 'Smooth Criminal'.

We also witnessed the power of downloads at the end of the year when we the UK had its first ever Christmas No. 1 on downloads alone.  After a Facebook campaign was started to fight back at The X Factor's domination of the Christmas No. 1, Rage Against the Machine became the Christmas No. 1, but breaking the tradition of the last few years the Christmas No. 1 didn't go on to become the biggest selling song of the year.

The song which came out on top in 2009 was from a US band who claimed the top spot with their three single releases in 2009.  'Boom Boom Pow' and 'Meet Me Halfway' were No. 1s for the Black Eyed Peas but it was 'I Gotta Feeling' which out sold everything else in 2009.



Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling on MUZU

 

2010

So what does 2010 have in store for us musically?  Take a look at a few of the artists who are tipped to make it big in 2010.

» See 2010's new faces

 

Black Eyed PeasWho topped our chart of the year?

» Find out here

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Recent comments

  1. "The above are great songs.Everyone have different kinds of opinions.So PLEASE DO NOT say any bad words.By the way,I think Maroon 5's she will be loved is the biggest songs of the decade."

    Posted by jeff on Saturday, 8 January 2011 13:52

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  2. "Lady Gaga With Bad Romance Should Be On !!!!"

    Posted by Lady Gaga Fan on Wednesday, 20 October 2010 07:35

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  3. "whers katy perry and lady gaga"

    Posted by big dawg on Monday, 23 August 2010 18:49

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  4. "Where is lady gaga???"

    Posted by Katieeeee on Wednesday, 3 February 2010 13:25

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  5. "Justin Bieber just HAS to make it in the top 40 iof UK hits! I will MAKE SURE of it! "

    Posted by Andy on Friday, 1 January 2010 23:32

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  6. "i would have thought MJ's Man In The Mirror would have made one of 2009's top 40... "

    Posted by steph on Friday, 1 January 2010 20:14

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  7. "Why does it say Leona Lewis was Christmas No. 1 with Bleeding Love in 2007? Although it was number one for 7 weeks, it was Leon Jackson sure with When You Believe in Christmas 2007. Get your facts right Big Top 40 HQ !!! LOL."

    Posted by Michael on Friday, 1 January 2010 15:47

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  8. "ppl downloading songs rather than itunes can change the charts that easily since 2006 when gnarls baker or whoever his name is topped the charts wiv downloads alone stayin 4 9 whole weeks is it???"

    Posted by James D on Friday, 1 January 2010 15:29

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  9. "I think the Black Eyed Peas have killed their music. I Gotta Feeling has to be the most unoriginal and ear-killing song I've heard in a long time. Why aren't there better songs on the chart?? Green Day's 21st Century Beakdown would have been a brilliant No.1!!!!! Bad Boys is again, unoriginal but also incredibly irritating. What has music come to???"

    Posted by CherylColeHater on Friday, 1 January 2010 14:44

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  10. "I think the Black Eyed Peas have killed their music. I Gotta Feeling has to be the most unoriginal and ear-raping song I've heard in a long time. Why aren't there better songs on the chart?? Green Day's 21st Century Beakdown would have been a brilliant No.1!!!!! Bad Boys is again, unoriginal but also incredibly irritating. What has music come to???"

    Posted by CherylColeHater on Friday, 1 January 2010 14:44

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