Famous Number 2 singles: Songs that just missed out on the Official UK Chart top spot

Plus every Number 2 in UK chart history ever revealed.

Settling for your song peaking at Number 2 on the charts has got to be the ultimate gear-grinder for a musician. Even when success has come unexpectedly or out-of-the-blue, it's hard not to take being pipped at the final post personally.

It doesn't have to be the end of the story, though; some of the most successful songs of all time topped out at Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart. We look at the some of the most notable below, before revealing every Number 2 in UK chart history at the bottom of the page.

Wham - Last Christmas

In December 1984, when George Michael was one of the biggest heartthrobs on the planet, his whispering of 'Happy Christmas' on this festive staple was akin to spooning a hot water bottle, and the skiing retreat music video is still as iconic now as it was over 35 years ago. A Number 1 seemed inevitable. 

It was Band Aid's last-minute charity single Do They Know It's Christmas? - which also featured vocals from George - that dashed its chances of topping the chart, despite shifting 500,000 copies that week (Band Aid sold over 1 million). A bittersweet moment came 33 years later in 2017 when, just days after the first anniversary of George Michael's death, Last Christmas returned to its Number 2 peak. See where all of George Michael's singles and albums have charted in the UK here.

Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera

"Kiss me 'til you're drunk" was a lyric probably taken quite literally during office parties in 2011 as Moves Like Jagger was truly inescapable. After meeting on the US version of The Voice, Adam Levine and Xtina formed an unlikely collaborative force, shifting over a million downloads of their ode to the Rolling Stones frontman's signature moves.

But the Number 1 it did not reach. During its seven-week spell in second place, chart-toppers were claimed by Example, Pixie Lott, One Direction, Dappy, Sak Noel and Rihanna. Look back at Moves Like Jagger's week-by-week chart run here.

Wonderwall - Oasis

While lesser remembered songs of Oasis' like Lyla and Go Let It Out made it to Number 1 (view Oasis' Official UK Chart history here), one of their most beloved songs, Wonderwall, never reached the helm of the Official Singles Chart. The song that beat it to Number 1 - Robson & Jerome's double A-side I Believe/Up On The Roof - must have stung that bit harder for the band. Though in fairness, it was the fourth single from their (What's The Story?) Morning Glory album. 

Torn - Natalie Imbruglia

One of the best-selling covers of all-time, Natalie Imbruglia's take on the Ednaswap original turned the former Neighbours actress into a global star, while also shifting over a million copies in the UK. Aqua's Barbie Girl kept Nat out of the chart penthouse, although to be fair to Aqua, Barbie Girl also went on to become one of the UK's all-time best sellers.

Lean On - Major Lazer ft. MØ

A mega streaming hit that never quite hit the big time, Major Lazer's Lean On ft. MØ spent eight weeks climbing up the Top 10 only to peak at Number 2, kept off the top spot by Jason Derulo's Want To Want Me. 

All I Want For Christmas Is You - Mariah Carey

It's a Christmas cracker that gets played every year, but it was one that has never reached the top of the tree. Mariah Carey's festive favourite may have returned to the Official Chart Top 40 for each of the last 13 years, but it missed out on the top spot when first released in 1994, losing out to East 17's Stay Another Day. If that wasn't painful enough, the track has matched its Number 2 peak for the last three years as it returns to the Top 40 every Christmas. On American's Billboard Hot 100 chart, All I Want For Christmas Is You finally reached the top spot in 2019, 25 years after its release.

MORE: The acts with the most Number 2s on the UK's Official Singles Chart

Rule The World - Take That

When Take That released Rule The World, it was a three horse race for Number 1 between fellow boyband McFly with The Heart Never Lies and Leona Lewis' Bleeding Love. Despite Rule The World being hugely popular, The X Factor was even bigger, and the show combined with Lewis' star power took Bleeding Love straight to Number 1, keeping Take That at Number 2 for four weeks. 

Out Of Your Mind - True Steppers and Dane Bowers ft. Victoria Beckham

Victoria told us on her first solo outing that "this tune's gonna punish you", but ultimately it was Vic who would suffer more when the track missed the top spot, making her the only Spice Girl not to score a solo Number 1. Out Of Your Mind, a garage-pop banger with True Steppers, lost out on a highly publicised chart battle with Spiller's Groovejet, on which Sophie Ellis-Bextor sang the vocals. It sold 180,884 copies week one, with Spiller's Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) pipping it to the post.

It wasn't even particularly close in the end, with Spiller finishing 22,000 sales ahead. Still, Posh does have bragging rights over Scary, Baby, Sporty and Ginger: Out Of Your Mind is the fastest-selling single from any member of the Spice Girls. See where all of Victoria's singles charted here.

Love The Way You Lie - Eminem ft. Rihanna

Despite being the best-selling single of 2010, Love The Way You Lie never reached Number 1. Eminem and Rihanna were Number 2 for four non-consecutive weeks, each week being beaten to Number 1 by a different song: We No Speak Americano by Yolanda Be Cool vs D Cup; Flo Rida's Club Can't Handle ft. David Guetta; Green Light by Roll Deep; and Taio Cruz's Dynamite.

LTWYL is Eminem's second-biggest song in the UK, finishing behind Lose Yourself. View Eminem's 40 biggest songs in the UK here.

And the rest of them...

Every song to peak at Number 2 on the UK's Official Chart

Also see which acts have scored the most Number 2 singles in the UK