The Summer of Girl Power continues as female solo artists, led by Billie Eilish, set new Official Chart record
Billie Eilish leads a record-breaking week for women on the UK’s Official Singles Chart.
Billie Eilish claims her second Number 1 single with What Was I Made For? which features on the soundtrack for Barbie: The Movie, scoring a last-minute victory over Dua Lipa’s Dance The Night (2). Billie’s previous chart-topper, No Time To Die (2020) was the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name.
This week marks a major record for women on the Official Chart, as female solo artists solely make up the Top 6 of the Official Singles Chart for the first time in the chart’s 70-year history, the Official Charts Company can confirm.
Joining Billie and Dua in the Top 5 are Olivia Rodrigo’s Vampire (3), Taylor Swift’s Cruel Summer (4), and Peggy Gou’s (It Goes Like) Nanana (5).
Olivia Rodrigo, who is no stranger to a chart record after becoming the first female artist to hold three places in the Official Chart Top 5 simultaneously back in June 2021, makes a second appearance, rounding off the list at Number 6 with this week’s highest new entry, bad idea right?
The entire Top 8 this week are tracks led by female artists, with Barbie World by Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice and Aqua at Number 7, and Disconnect by Becky Hill and Chase & Status at a new peak of Number 8.
Furthermore, the Top 5 of the year-to-date Official Singles Chart is also dominated by women, led by Miley Cyrus’s Flowers, the UK’s biggest single of the year so far, which enjoyed a ten-week residency at Number 1 between January and March.
This week’s chart record occurs during a massive Summer of success for women in entertainment and sport; Greta Gerwig’s Barbie: The Movie has taken over cinemas and our social media feeds, enjoyed the biggest opening weekend ever for a female-directed movie, and is now the highest-grossing film of all time by a solo female director; Taylor Swift and Beyonce are breaking records with their major world tours becoming two of the highest-grossing of all time; and of course England’s The Lionesses are competing in the football World Cup for the first time ever this weekend.
Solo women on The Official Chart
- Solo female artists dominate the Top 6 of the Official Singles Chart for the first time ever in the chart’s 70-year history this week
- The whole of this week’s Top 8 is dominated by female-led tracks.
- 24 tracks in today’s Official Chart Top 40 feature are led by, or feature, female artists.
- The Official Singles Chart on 9th November 1986 was the first time ever there were female vocalists on each of the Top 5 singles: Berlin (1), Kim Wilde (2), The Bangles (3), Mel & Kim (4) and Swing Out Sister (5).
- 14 February 1988 saw the Top 3 comprising all female solo artists for the first time – led by Kylie Minogue (I Should Be So Lucky), Tiffany (I Think We’re Alone Now) and Taylor Dayne (Tell It To My Heart) at Number 3.
- In 1998 we saw an exclusively female Top 5 led by B*Witched’s To You I Belong, but this included groups such as B*Witched, The Honeyz and a Mariah & Whitney Houston collaboration.
- The last time there were six women in the Top 6 was the chart published on 14 December 2018, but one track (Nothing Breaks Like A Heart with Miley Cyrus) was a collaboration with Mark Ronson.
- In June 2021 Olivia Rodrigo made UK chart history as the first female to occupy three places in the Official Singles Chart Top 5 simultaneously.
- Sisters doing it for themselves - this week is the first time that purely solo women have dominated all six top slots on the Official Singles Chart, with not a collaboration in sight.
- Furthermore, the five biggest tracks of the year-to-date on the Official Singles Chart are also by, or feature, women too. Miley Cyrus leads the way as the UK’s biggest single of 2023 so far with Flowers, a track that dominated the Official Chart Number 1 spot for 10 weeks this year.
Dr Jo Twist OBE, Chief Executive of the BPI, said, “It’s great to see solo women artists make up the top six positions on the UK Official Singles Chart for the first time. This increased representation is something we hope becomes commonplace rather than exceptional. For now it’s a milestone that we should celebrate, reflecting a year when the market has been dominated by women artists from the UK and globally representing multiple genres.”
Lauren Kreisler, Director of Brand & Digital, Official Charts Company adds, “Who run the world? The summer of Girl Power we find ourselves in suggests there could be only one answer to that question. From Taylor Swift and Beyonce delivering two of the highest-grossing tours of all time, to Greta Gerwig’s Barbie smashing box office records and The Lionesses winning the World Cup semis, today’s record-breaking takeover of The Official Chart by solo women confirms summer 2023 to be a landmark one on all fronts. Congratulations to Billie, Dua, Taylor, Olivia and Peggy Gou, let’s hope this momentum continues through to Sunday. Come on Lionesses!”
Meanwhile, Calvin Harris and Sam Smith rise into the Top 10 with Desire, up three to Number 9 - Calvin's 30th Top 10 single and Sam's 13th - while former ten-week Number 1 Sprinter by Dave & Central Cee finishes the week at Number 10 after a record-breaking run at the top.
Fred again.. earns his highest-charting single to date with Adore U, which features vocals from Nigerian singer Obongjayar, debuting at Number 12, and Doja Cat reaches a new peak with Paint The Town Red, climbing five to Number 15.
Continuing the chart resurgence of drum’n’bass, Chase & Status rise again to enter the Top 20 with Baddadan ft. IRAH, Flowdan, Trigga and Takura (20).
Further down, Asking by Australian house DJ Sonny Fodera & MK ft. vocalist Clementine Douglas jumps ten (31), entering the Top 40 for the first time. 20-year-old producer and uni student cassö makes his chart debut with Prada (32), a remix of Raye and D-Block Europe’s 2021 collab Ferrari Horses, first made popular on TikTok.
Issey Cross earns her first solo Top 40 hit with Bittersweet Goodbye (38); rising nine, the drum’n’bass banger samples The Verve’s 1997 Number 2 classic Bitter Sweet Symphony. Read more about the making of the track in our interview with Issey Cross here.
Finally, Fast Car by US country singer Luke Combs (39) speeds up six places, becoming the singer-songwriter’s first UK Top 40 entry. In his native US, Fast Car has peaked at Number 2.