A grand total of 14 singles entered the Official Singles Chart at Number 1 in 2014 by acts who had never previously graced the Official Chart Top 40. It was also the year in which the Number 1 changed the most number of times since 2000 with 38 different chart-toppers.
It was 20 years ago when pop newcomer Whigfield put an end to Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet’s famous 15-week residency atop the Official Singles Chart, taking over at the summit with her debut single, Saturday Night. In doing so, she became the first debut act in history to enter the chart at Number 1 with her debut release.
Since then, the advent of music downloading (which often sees newly available songs chart lower down the Official Singles Chart as album tracks), the addition of audio streams to the chart formula in summer 2014 and the growth of the collaboration (with many acts making their first chart appearances as guests on other artists' singles) means the nature and definition of the debut hit has changed.
But that doesn't mask the achievement of debut artists in 2014, with a huge number of acts taking the top spot in their first week of their Top 40 debut - starting with Sam Smith's first solo outing, Money On My Mind* in February, followed by Route 94 Ft Jess Glynne's My Love in March and the likes of Manchester four-piece Rixton in July. (*While Sam Smith was guest vocalist on 2013 Number 1 La La La by Naughty Boy, Money On My Mind was the breakthrough vocalist's first release as a featured artist.)
Mr Probz was responsible for the biggest-selling debut single of the year with 815,000 copies sold, while the fastest-selling debut of the year came courtesy of Canadian songstress Kiesza - Hideaway shifted a tidy 136,000 copies in its first week on sale back in April. Meanwhile, Ella Henderson snatched the title of biggest and fastest-selling British debut of the year, clearing 132,000 downloads in Ghost’s week of release (744,000 in total year to date) and went on to become the UK’s biggest selling song of the summer.
It is not just debut singles that have done the business in 2014; Sam Smith, who went straight in at Number 1 with Money On Mind, has also gone on to become one of British music’s finest new exports, as sales of his debut album In The Lonely Hour this month smashed 1 million in both the UK and US.
With 38 different songs gracing the Number 1 slot this year, 2014 has also seen the highest volume of Number 1s since the year 2000 when 43 tracks made it all the way to pop’s most prestigious position.
The full list of All the Official Chart debuts of 2014 that entered at Number 1 are:
• Money On My Mind – Sam Smith
• My Love – Route 94 FT Jess Glynne
• Tsunami (Jump) – Dvbbs & Borgeous/Tinie Tempah
• She Looks So Perfect – 5 Seconds Of Summer
• Nobody To Love – Sigma
• Hideaway – Kiesza
• Waves – Mr Probz
• I Wanna Feel – Secondcity
• Ghost – Ella Henderson
• Gecko (Overdrive) – Oliver Heldens & Becky Hill
• Problem – Ariana Grande FT Iggy Azalea [Top 40 debut]
• Me And My Broken Heart – Rixton
• Prayer In C – Lilly Wood & Robin Schulz
• Wake Me Up – Gareth Malone’s All Star Choir