Chart Flashback 2000: LeAnn Rimes beats Daft Punk to Number 1 with Can't Fight The Moonlight

LeAnn Rimes' first and only UK Number 1 was a successful country to pop crossover event that laid the path for Taylor Swift...

It's been notoriously difficult in the past for artists who got their start in country music to transition easily into the more commercial, mainstream field of pop. 

But the very fact we have female country artists like Taylor Swift (who became the biggest pop star in the world with 2014's 1989) and Kacey Musgraves (who is looking to go the same way following this year's Star-Crossed) is a testament to the country female artists who went pop before them - Shania Twain, of course, and in this case...LeAnn Rimes, who earned her first (and only) UK Number 1 single this week 21 years ago (!) with Can't Fight The Moonlight. 

And when we say pop, Can't Fight The Moonlight is pop. Composed by celebrated songwriter Diane Warren for the film Coyote Ugly, the song feels and sounds silky yet abrasive; sugar-sweet bubblegum melodies meeting the crashing synths and bass of a production that finds the sweet spot between New Jack Swing, synth-pop and hip-hop. 

It's clearly inspired by a lot of the pop churning out of Sweden by Max Martin and the like at the time - it's not hard to imagine, in a parallel universe Christina and especially Britney singing Can't Fight The Moonlight - while still clearly rooted, somewhere, with the more prosaic form and imagery of songwriting native to a lot of country music. 

MORE: LeAnn Rimes' Official Charts history in full

And despite the odds - LeAnn's transition into pop definitely worked in the UK. 21 years ago this week, Can't Fight The Moonlight debuted at the top of the Official Singles Chart with chart sales totalling 114,000 copies. 

It beat its nearest rival - Daft Punk's influential dance opus One More Time - by more than 55,000 and topped the charts for precisely one week. 

Can't Fight The Moonlight has also continued to be popular in the UK since its release. According to Official Charts Company data, the track has all-time chart sales totalling 938,000 and has been streamed more than 33 million times by the British public. 

However, LeAnn has strayed away from the pop stylings of Can't Fight The Moonlight in subsequent releases, returning to her country roots. Her last UK Top 10 single came in 2004 with Last Thing On My Mind, a duet with Brian MacFadden. Her last album, 2016's Remnant, peaked at Number 16 on the Official Albums Chart.

Elsewhere on the Official Singles Chart this week in 2000, there were further new entries from Artful Dodger feat. Lifford with Please Don't Turn Me On (Number 4), Darude's Feel The Beat (5) and Wu-Tang Clan's Gravel Pit (6). 

View the Official Singles Chart Top 100 from this week in 2000

Listen to the UK Top 40 from this week in 2000 on Spotify below. Also available on Apple Music Deezer