2003. Peak pop. Breaking the mould slightly were guitar-pop outfit Busted, a trio of part-wholesome, part-gross-out lads called Matt, Charlie, and James. They'd already scored four Top 3 hits, including chart-topper You Said No – a very relatable bop about rejection at the school disco – and were now back with yet another mildly anarchic radio-friendly hit, Crashed The Wedding. However…
Hoping to cause a scene and ruin their big day, however, was a big pop star on the comeback trail. Britney Spears had decided to kick off the campaign for her fourth album in a big way, by enlisting her pop idol Madonna as a guest star on Me Against The Music. The pair already had history – just over two months earlier, they'd locked lips on stage at the MTV VMAs, midway through a medley of Madonna hits. Remember Justin Timberlake's face? Sure you do – in fact let's just see that again:
Anyway, it was the plucky British lads against the slick American pop princesses, and it was a good day to be this side of the pond, as Busted managed to race ahead of Britney and Madonna and claim the Number 1 slot that week, beating them by a fairly conclusive 6,332 copies - 55,083 sales to Britney and Madge's 48,751.
Busted would go on to have two more Number 1s – Who's David and Thunderbirds – before they split up when Charlie wanted to leave. The group reformed for a tour and new album Night Driver, scoring a fourth Official Albums Chart Top 40 in 2016. Crashed The Wedding has, to date, sold 210,000 copies and has been streamed 5.75 million times.
Busted headed up a brilliant, very Noughties chart that week – descending, deposed Number 1 was Kylie's sultry single Slow, Outkast's Hey Ya was shake-shake-shaking it for the very first time, new at 6, and Missy Elliott scored her seventh Top 10 with Pass That Dutch.
Further down, nearly-Girl Aloud Javine was new at 15 with second single, the Diana Ross-sampling Surrender, and Basement Jaxx had teamed up with the then-not-quite-as-famous Dizzee Rascal on Lucky Star.