March 1 marks a celebration of the patron saint of Wales, St. David, and that got us thinking: which giants of Welsh music have managed to make it all the way to Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart?
St. David is a pillar of Welsh history, so we wanted to also celebrate some similar icons of popular music, including Sir Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler, Dame Shirley Bassey, and, of course, Duffy!
The full list of every UK Number 1 single by a Welsh artist is at the bottom of the page, but first thing's first, let's take a closer look at a selection of Wales' finest pop exports...
The legendary Dame Shirl was the first Welsh artist to top the Official Singles Chart way back in 1958 with As I Love You. She then hit the top for the second and final time to date three years later with Reach For The Stars/Climb Ev'ry Mountain in 1961. Surprisingly, not one of her iconic Bond singles such as Mooonraker and Diamonds are Forever hit Number 1 - Goldfinger peaked highest at Number 21. Nevertheless, Shirley is the Welsh female with the most chart toppers. We're wearing our feather boa in appreciation.
Not only did Shakin' Stevens record one of the best Christmas songs ever (we doff our caps your way, Shakers), Shaky can also claim that he is the most prolific Welsh artist when it comes to hitting the pinnacle of the Official Singles Chart. Real name Michael Barrett, Shaky has four Number 1s to his name: 1981's This Ole House and Green Door; 1982's Oh Julie; and not forgetting 1985's Christmas Numero Uno, Merry Christmas Everyone. One word: Legend.
You may be forgiven for not remembering Sian Evans, but this powerhouse vocalist has a place in Official Charts history, and rightly so! To date, Sian's featured slot on DJ Fresh's 2011 Number 1 Louder means that she is the most recent Welsh artist to hit the top spot. Sian is still singing and acts as lead vocalist for electronic group Kosheen.
The complete list of Official UK Number 1 singles by Welsh acts (bolded acts in collaborations are the Welsh musicians):
|1958||AS I LOVE YOU||SHIRLEY BASSEY|
|1960||TELL LAURA I LOVE HER||RICKY VALANCE|
|1961||REACH FOR THE STARS/CLIMB EV'RY MOUNTAIN||SHIRLEY BASSEY|
|1965||IT'S NOT UNUSUAL||TOM JONES|
|1966||GREEN GREEN GRASS OF HOME||TOM JONES|
|1968||THOSE WERE THE DAYS||MARY HOPKIN|
|1969||(IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE||AMEN CORNER|
|1970||I HEAR YOU KNOCKING||DAVE EDMUNDS|
|1981||THE OLE HOUSE||SHAKIN' STEVENS|
|1981||GREEN DOOR||SHAKIN' STEVENS|
|1982||OH JULIE||SHAKIN' STEVENS|
|1983||TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE HEART||BONNIE TYLER|
|1985||MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE||SHAKIN' STEVENS|
|1998||IF YOU TOLERATE THIS YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE NEXT||MANIC STREET PREACHERS|
|2000||THE MASSES AGAINST THE CLASSES||MANIC STREET PREACHERS|
|2009||ISLANDS IN THE STREAM||VANESSA JENKINS & BRYN WEST FT TOM JONES & ROBIN GIBB|
|2011||LOUDER||DJ FRESH FT SIAN EVANS|
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