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

20 acts have scored five or more near-misses - we look at them all.

Hitting Number 1 on the Official Chart isn't easy. In the countdown's 66-year history, over 1,000 songs have been left out in the cold in the runner-up slot - and some acts have a nasty habit of missing out a lot...

Madonna (12)

Not only does Madonna have more UK Number 1 singles than any other female (13), she also has more Number 2s than any act in history (excluding reissues). 12 of the Queen of Pop's tracks have a case of 'almost-but-not-quite', starting with 1985's Crazy For You, ending with her 2003 feature on Britney Spears' Me Against The Music.

CRAZY FOR YOU 1985
HOLIDAY 1985
BORDERLINE 1986
LIVE TO TELL 1986
HANKY PANKY 1990
JUSTIFY MY LOVE 1990
CRAZY FOR YOU (REMIX) 1991
RAY OF LIGHT 1998
BEAUTIFUL STRANGER 1999
AMERICAN LIFE 2003
HOLLYWOOD 2003
ME AGAINST THE MUSIC (WITH BRITNEY SPEARS) 2003

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

MORE: 60 incredible chart facts and feats about Madonna

Cliff Richard (11)

Including his solo singles and his work credited with The Shadows and The Drifters, Cliff has notched up a staggering 11 near-miss singles, the most for among male artists, and British acts. Ironically, Move It is Cliff's first and last Number 2; the song was Cliff & The Drifters' debut single back in 1958, and was then re-recorded as part of a double a-side in 2006, packaged with 21st Century Christmas.

MOVE IT [CLIFF RICHARD & THE DRIFTERS] 1958
VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS [CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS] 1960
FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU [CLIFF RICHARD & THE SHADOWS] 1960
I'M LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW/DO YOU WANT TO DANCE 1962
IT'LL BE ME 1962
IT'S ALL IN THE GAME 1963
DON'T TALK TO HIM 1963
WIND ME UP (LET ME GO) 1965
DADDY'S HOME 1981
THE BEST OF ME 1989
21ST CENTURY CHRISTMAS/MOVE IT 2006

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

MORE: View Cliff Richard's full UK chart history, including 14 Number 1 hits

Kylie Minogue (11)

In an alternate universe, Kylie Minogue actually has 18 UK Number 1 singles, one more than The Beatles. However in this dark, dark timeline, Kylie has 7 chart toppers and a whopping 11 songs that stopped short of the mountain top.

GOT TO BE CERTAIN 1988
THE LOCO-MOTION 1988
JE NE SAIS PAS POURQUOI 1988
WOULDN'T CHANGE A THING 1989
BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW 1990
GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME 1992
CONFIDE IN ME 1994
ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS 2000
KIDS [WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS] 2000
LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT 2002
I BELIEVE IN YOU 2004

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

MORE: 50 golden chart facts about Kylie Minogue

Elvis Presley (9)*

Elvis being Elvis, he'll feature in every trivia list we will ever produce, and he rears his very talented head in this rundown too, with nine Number 2s to his name. Uh-huh!

HEARTBREAK HOTEL 1956
HOUND DOG 1956
PARTY 1957
DON'T 1958
HARD HEADED WOMAN 1958
KING CREOLE 1958
A MESS OF BLUES 1960
IN THE GHETTO 1969
SUSPICIOUS MINDS 1969

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

*Including Elvis' series of singles reissues from the 2000s, Elvis has 17 Number 2 hits, as nine of his previous Number 1s re-entered the chart at Number 2.

MORE: The acts with the most UK Number 1 singles

Rihanna (9)

Barbadian bad gal Rihanna has been killing it on the Official Singles Chart for over a decade, racking up nine chart toppers. She also has the same number of second place hits, her first being her debut smash Pon De Replay, with her most recent being Calvin Harris hook-up This Is What You Came For. Rihanna can even claim to have the best-selling song of 2010 with Love The Way You Lie, despite it going no higher than Number 2. Not so bad after all, right?

PON DE REPLAY 2005
SOS 2006
UNFAITHFUL 2006
LIVE YOUR LIFE [WITH T.I] 2008
RUSSIAN ROULETTE 2009
RUDE BOY 2010
LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE [WITH EMINEM] 2010
WORK [FT. DRAKE] 2016
THIS IS WHAT YOU CAME FOR [WITH CALVIN HARRIS] 2016

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

MORE: The best-selling singles of all time on the Official UK Chart

Michael Jackson (8)

The King of Pop actually has more Number 2s than Number 1s on the UK's Official Chart, with eight to his name. He also has eight Number 3s, but we'll get to that another time. MJ's most recent song to sit in the shadow of the top spot is 2018's Don't Matter To Me with Drake.

SAY SAY SAY [WITH PAUL MCCARTNEY] 1983
LEAVE ME ALONE 1989
HEAL THE WORLD 1992
GIVE IN TO ME 1993
WHY [WITH 3T] 1996
YOU ROCK MY WORLD 2001
MAN IN THE MIRROR* 2009
DON'T MATTER TO ME [WITH DRAKE] 2018

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

*Man In The Mirror originally peaked at Number 21 in 1988 before reaching Number 2 following Michael's death in 2009. 

MORE: Michael Jackson's Top 60 songs on the Official Chart

Justin Timberlake (7)

Justin Timberlake's songs have Number 1 written all over them, but sadly, seven of them have narrowly missed out on chart topping glory. Shockingly, JT's first three brilliant singles Like I Love You, Cry Me A River and Rock Your Body all peaked at Number 2, as did his feel-good 2016 hit Can't Stop The Feeling, which was stuck behind Drake's One Dance for four weeks.

LIKE I LOVE YOU 2002
CRY ME A RIVER 2003
ROCK YOUR BODY 2003
SIGNS [WITH SNOOP DOGG AND CHARLIE WILSON] 2005
MY LOVE [FT. T.I.] 2006
AYO TECHNOLOGY [WITH 50 CENT AND TIMBALAND] 2007
CAN’T STOP THE FEELING 2016

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

MORE: Revenge hits - songs that bite back at famous people

Calvin Harris

Calvin Harris knows a thing or two about hits. In addition to his 10 massive chart topping hits, Calvin has seven Number 2s under his belt. The first was 2011's Bounce with Kelis while the latest is 2019's Giant with Rag'n'Bone Man.

BOUNCE 2011
FEELS SO CLOSE 2011
LET'S GO 2012
WE'LL BE COMING BACK 2012
HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE 2015
THIS IS WHAT YOU'VE CAME FOR 2016
GIANT 2019

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

6 Number 2s:

Queen, Boyzone, Oasis, Robbie Williams.

5 Number 2s:

The Beatles, Tom Jones, The Sweet, U2, George Michael, Sash!, Steps, S Club, Girls Aloud.