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These 11 Biggest Artists Have Never Had A Number One Single

In the music industry, getting a number one single is of course a great thing, but what matters most is long term sales. You could get a number one that, in the long run, sells considerably fewer copies than a number two, for example. Many artists have thrived without reaching the top of the UK Singles Chart and here are 11 of them.

  1. Amy Winehouse

via Pinterest.com
via Pinterest.com

Though she of course topped the album chart and spent many, many weeks there, Amy Winehouse never had a number one single in the UK. The closest she came was with the song ‘Valerie’, a cover of the song by The Zutons she did with Mark Ronson, providing the vocals for it. The song reached number two in 2007 and went on to become that year’s ninth biggest selling single.

2. Dolly Parton

via Globalmerchservices.com
via Globalmerchservices.com

Though Dolly Parton’s well known in the UK as the queen of country music, she’s never topped the singles chart. Though her Glastonbury 2014 show was a huge success, it wasn’t quite enough to land the singer a number one single.

3. Bob Marley

via Kurrentmusic.com
via Kurrentmusic.com

Though his compilation album Legends is the UK’s sixteenth biggest selling album of all time, Bob Marley has never topped the UK Singles Chart.

4. Green Day

via Rollingstone.com
via Rollingstone.com

Green Day have had three albums top the UK Albums Chart, but the closest they’ve ever come to topping the UK Singles Chart was with ‘The Saints Are Coming’, a song with U2 that reached a peak of number two.

5. Lana Del Rey

via Lyfstylmusic.com
via Lyfstylmusic.com

Even though her debut album Born To Die sold over a million copies in the UK, Lana Del Rey hasn’t managed to top the UK Singles Chart. The closest she came was when a remix of ‘Summertime Sadness’ by Cedric Gervais reached number four in 2013.

6. Alicia Keys

via Trace.tv
via Trace.tv

Alicia Keys topped the UK Albums Chart in 2009 with The Element of Freedom, though she hasn’t yet managed to top the UK Singles Chart. She came very close in 2009, featuring on Jay Z’s ‘Empire State of Mind’, which reached number two.

7. Cyndi Lauper

via Playbill.com
via Playbill.com

You might be surprised to learn that her most iconic hit ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ only reached number two in the UK.

8. Bruce Springsteen

via Basquedestination.com
via Basquedestination.com

Though Bruce Springsteen has released 18 studio albums across 40 years, topping the UK Singles Chart is something he’s yet to achieve, though he did reach number two with ‘Streets of Philadelphia’ in 1994.

9. Björk

via Electronicbeats.net
via Electronicbeats.net

Björk’s most memorable hit ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ reached number four in 1995, but she’s yet to reach a higher position with a single release.

10. Bob Dylan

via Huffingtonpost.com
via Huffingtonpost.com

Bob Dylan made headlines in 2016 when it was announced he’d received the Nobel Prize in Literature for his songwriting, though he’s yet to claim a UK number one single.

11. Metallica

via Societyofrock.com
via Societyofrock.com

Rounding off the list is American heavy metal band Metallica, who have had two singles reach number five (‘Enter Sandman’ in 1991 and ‘Until it Sleeps’ in 1996), but haven’t yet had one reach number one.



James Gibson
I'm a Classics graduate and have been writing for over three years. Hopefully going to go into novel writing some day. I'm mostly interested in theme parks and roller coasters - I've been on 300 coasters and plan on going on lots more!

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