The Killers’ Mr Brightside overtakes Wonderwall to become the UK’s Official biggest single of all time yet to reach Number 1

On its 20th anniversary, Brandon Flowers is presented with new Top 10 Award from Official Charts crowning the ultimate Top 10 hit.
Brandon Flowers of The Killers with Top 10 award for Mr Brightside

Mr Brightside. The ultimate indie-pop crowd-pleaser. The climax to any night out and wedding party. Ed Sheeran even heralds it the UK’s ‘national anthem.’

20 years ago this month, The KillersMr Brightside came out of its cage, and it’s officially been doing just fine ever since. Official Charts today can confirm Mr Brightside to be the UK’s official biggest single of all time yet to reach Number 1.

In the 20 years since Mr Brightside made its debut on the UK Official Singles Chart, it’s made an indelible mark on British pop culture and turned Las Vegas band The Killers into honorary Brits. A synth-laden anthem about infidelity, Mr Brightside originally peaked at a somewhat modest Number 10, but has instead played the long game, going on to become the longest-running Top 100 hit in Official Chart history.

To mark 20 years since Mr Brightside entered the chart and the anniversary of the band’s debut album Hot Fuss which turns 20 this summer, Official Charts presented The Killers’ Brandon Flowers with a brand-new Official Top 10 Award to crown the record’s iconic status as the biggest Top 10 hit of all time.

Brandon Flowers of The Killers

Brandon Flowers of The Killers pictured with his Official Top 10 award from Official Charts for Mr Brightside – the biggest Top 10 hit of all time, the most successful single yet to reach Number 1. Credit: Chris Phelps

The Killers are set to celebrate the moment with fans too as they return to the UK and Ireland this summer with the Rebel Diamonds Tour, performing 16 arena shows including four nights at Manchester’s Co-Op Live and six nights at The O2 in London.

It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?

New Official Charts Company data unveiled today proves Mr Brightside to be the ‘holy grail’ Top 10 hit.

Based on latest combined UK sales and streams of 5.57 million (including 1.066m sales and 530,340,000 streams), the song is now confirmed by Official Charts to have overtaken Oasis’s Wonderwall to become the UK’s most successful song of all time yet to reach Number 1. In fact, Mr Brightside is the third biggest song of all time in the UK when sales and streams are combined.

Originally released in 2003 with a 500 CD single run via UK indie record label Lizard King, Mr Brightside picked up steam following the release of 2004’s Number 3 single Somebody Told Me (and the release of an updated mix) – catapulting it into the Official Singles Chart at Number 10 in May 2004, still its highest position to date, before dropping out only a few weeks later.

Mr Brightside’s heartbreak-fuelled lyrics were written by Brandon Flowers aged just 20, and combined with Dave Keuning’s instantly-recognisable guitar riff the eventual record-breaker was born, debuting in 2002 at their first-ever show.

Fast forward to 2024, and the song has become an undeniable Official Chart classic, continuing to find new audiences in the streaming age. With 408 weeks – just under eight years – and counting in the Official Singles Chart Top 100, it’s the ultimate slow burner holding the title of the most weeks on chart of any song in UK Official Chart history.

20 years after its first chart appearance, the enduring Mr Brightside is still being streamed 1.8 million times per week by the British public. It’s already the third biggest song of all time in the UK based on combined sales and streams.

There’s no sign of it slowing, either. 2023 was the track’s biggest year of streams, with 79.97m plays, and in 2024 the track is accelerating further still with average combined weekly sales and streams of Mr Brightside up 23% year-on-year.

The song’s biggest week to date in the UK was in July 2019, when it clocked up 17,700 chart units following the band’s headline Glastonbury set, while 2012 was Mr Brightside’s biggest year of pure sales, when it was bought and downloaded 125,200 times.

Reacting to the news, The Killers exclusively told Official Charts, "Thank you so much to all our fans for making Mr. Brightside the third biggest song of all time in the UK, and the biggest ever not to have reached Number 1; not yet at least!

“This Top 10 Award means a lot to us, Mr. Brightside has been completely embraced by the British public and we can’t wait to celebrate with you all on the road. Thank you for supporting us. See you soon!”

Martin Talbot, Chief Executive, Official Charts commented, “The success of Mr Brightside is a triumph of extraordinary longevity, it is a song which has lived with so many of us throughout the recent decades of our lives – and, for some, an entire lifetime. Ed Sheeran is absolutely right to describe it as the UK’s alternative national anthem.

"And for this reason, among many others, it is a huge honour for us to have been able to present Brandon Flowers with one of our brand-new Top 10 Awards in tribute to its legacy and impact. Twenty years on from its first Official Singles Chart appearance, it is now the Top 10 hit that all other Top 10s can only aspire to be.”

Mr Brightside in numbers

  • The biggest song of all time not to reach Number 1 in the UK (sales and streams)

  • Third biggest song of all time in the UK

  • Fifth most-streamed song of all time in the UK

  • 143rd best-selling single of all time in the UK

  • 408 weeks in Official Singles Chart Top 100

  • Lifetime UK streams: 530,340,000

  • Lifetime UK sales: 1,066,000

  • Biggest week: Week 27 of 2019, 17,700 chart units – post-Glastonbury headline set

  • Biggest year of streams: 2023 - 79,970,000

  • Biggest year of sales: 2012 - 125,200

  • Average weekly UK chart units in 2024: 15,100

Source: Official Charts Company

Mr Brightside Q&A with The Killers' Brandon Flowers

On his connection to the song now:

“It’s funny, I almost don’t feel so much of a part of it anymore. It’s just this thing that exists in the world, and it’s amazing that I had something to do with it, but I almost feel a little bit removed from it because it’s so big.”

On the writing process:

“There’s something romantic about the time that I wrote it. Even though I was distraught, I put pen to paper, which you typically don’t do any more; we write our lyrics in our Notes on our phones. I poured my heart out and I told the truth, and so I remember those days fondly. They’re days that I’ll never forget.”

On the song’s transcendent appeal:

“It’s incredible. I recently went to see Ed Sheeran in Las Vegas, and I joined him for a version of Mr. Brightside. We also did [Ed’s 2017 single] Castle On The Hill. These are people that may not be Killers fans, but it just lit up like a casino in this place when we started playing Mr. Brightside.

“It was an amazing thing to see that transcendence. It doesn’t matter how old, young or what sex you are.”

On his standout Mr. Brightside performances:

“There are a couple. The first time I heard it to a beat always stands out to me. Me and Dave Keuning had written the song before we had a drummer, and so taking it to a drummer and playing it, hearing it with some heat on it. Man, that was a powerful thing because I was so moved by it.

“The hairs on my arms stood up and I was hooked, for sure.”

On his first indication of the song’s impact:

“The John Peel stage at Glastonbury [2004]. We’d been coming to the UK and had some great experiences, but we’d been away for a little while. We came back, and when we played that song something had obviously happened. A change had happened. Something shifted in the way that the audience physically responded, and it set us off on this path to become the live band that we are now.”

The UK’s Official Top 10 biggest songs of all time never to reach Number 1
























































© Official Charts Company 2024. Based on combined UK sales and streaming data.

See the Top 100 biggest songs not to have reached Number 1 in the UK here.

Article image: Chris Phelps

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Let's make No#1 at last!




Sorry, posted twice in error.




I am surprised at OCC highlighting this, as it illustrates one of the biggest flaws in the way the "singles" chart is now compiled. "Mr Brightside" is an industry inside-joke. The large companieswho compile playlists for use in commercial premises, etc., noticed this anomaly several years ago. By including any track in their playlists every week, that alone would be enough to keep the track in the top 100, almostpermanently. None of these companies will break the unofficial agreement and spoil the joke, so it will go on and on. What are "Mr Brightside's" sales figures these days? Virtually zero. 

It's like a Christmas song which hits the chart every year. Nobody buys it, and nobody even chooses to listen to it. It only hits the charts because of its inclusion in these playlists. It's just partof the wallpaper.


Official Charts


Hi Vinylscot, while Mr Brightside has indeed enjoyed longevity in the streaming era, it's ongoing popularity is not just down to streams. If you look at sales only, Mr Brightside charts even higher still this week, it's at Number 36 in the Singles Sales Chart and Number 33 in the Official Download Chart. It's a genuinely massive enduring hit that deserves all the success it's achieved.  




You must think I have buttons up the back of my head. Where was it on each chart LAST week, before all the publicity it has had? Oh yes, it was no.96 on the Download Chart, and nowhere at all on the Sales100. There have been twenty weekly top 100s this year in each of the two charts you quote. Mr Brightside features in fewer than half of these. 

Apart from a short break, when it was ousted by Christmas songs, it has been an ever-present in the “Official” top 100, since January 11th. It is being kept alive by commercial streams, which are only continuing because of the industry in-joke I referred to earlier.