The Official Top 40 biggest songs by British acts of the decade so far

The last few years have been a golden age for British music talent, but which acts are leading the pack?

The last few years have been a golden age for British musical talent, with a sizeable number of UK-born artists now dominating charts around the world.

During the past year, 15 of the UK’s 20 favourite albums were by British pop stars, with five out of the Top 10 biggest artists worldwide also hailing from the UK.

Here at Official Charts, we thought it was about time we celebrated the success of our home grown talent; so we’ve exclusively revealed the biggest British songs of the decade so far, looking at combined sales (physical, digital and streaming-equivalent sales) of tracks by British acts since 2010. 

We've also teamed up with Now That’s What I Call Music for a brand new compilation called Now That’s What I Call Brit Hits!. The 3-disc collection features no less than 60 of the most popular British hits - a selection of which appear in our Top 40 list below - which have lit up the Official Charts since the turn of the Millennium. Check out the full tracklisting here

And the biggest Brit hit of them all? That accolade goes to Mark Ronson and his global smash Uptown Funk. Despite being released in December 2014, the soul-funk number finishes on top with combined sales to date of 2.325 million.

The song spent seven weeks at Number 1 in 2014/2015 and logged 39 weeks in the Top 40 before finally exiting last October. View Uptown Funk and the rest of Mark Ronson’s chart history here.


Mark Ronson in the Uptown Funk music video

Finishing second place is Ed Sheeran’s former Number 1 Thinking Out Loud (2.003 million combined sales), followed by Clean Bandit’s Rather Be ft. Jess Glynne at 3 (1.92m). Ed's Thinking Out Loud holds the title for the longest climb ever to the top spot, taking 19 weeks reach the summit after first entering the Top 40 at Number 26 in June 2014.

Completing the Top 5 biggest songs by British artists are Adele’s Someone Like You at 4 (1.73m), and Sam Smith’s Stay With Me at 6 (1.42m). Both emotional ballads have had huge success overseas as well as in the UK, with Adele's hitting Number 1 in 15 countries and Sam's reaching the summit in seven. 

Further down, two X Factor winner’s singles feature. James Arthur’s Impossible, which was the best selling single by a British artist in 2012 (fifth overall) is at Number 8 (1.35m), and 2010 series winner Matt Cardle is at 22 with When We Collide (1.02m). The only other X Factor alumni to make the decade-so-far list is One Direction's debut What Makes You Beautiful, finishing at Number 20 with combined sales of 1.05 million.


Image: Rex

Several artists make multiple entries on the Top 40, including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Ellie Goulding with four each, but Adele makes the most appearances with five songs on the list: Someone Like You (4), Hello (7), Rolling In The Deep (16), Make You Feel My Love (26) and Skyfall (36).

Adele also lays claim to the oldest song on the list. Her Bob Dylan cover Make You Feel My Love, which featured on her debut album 19, was originally released in 2008, but the success of her second album 21 and its regular use on TV shows like The X Factor has seen it surge up the charts several times since, making it one of the biggest of this decade. Check out the song’s full chart run here.

Check out the Official Top 40 Biggest British Songs of the decade so far below:  

POS TITLE ARTIST PEAK
1 UPTOWN FUNK MARK RONSON FT BRUNO MARS 1
2 THINKING OUT LOUD ED SHEERAN 1
3 RATHER BE CLEAN BANDIT FT JESS GLYNNE 1
4 SOMEONE LIKE YOU ADELE 1
5 LET HER GO PASSENGER 2
6 STAY WITH ME SAM SMITH 1
7 HELLO ADELE 1
8 IMPOSSIBLE JAMES ARTHUR 1
9 BUDAPEST GEORGE EZRA 3
10 POMPEII BASTILLE 2
11 THE A TEAM ED SHEERAN 3
12 PRICE TAG JESSIE J FT BOB 1
13 GHOST ELLA HENDERSON 1
14 LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO ELLIE GOULDING 1
15 LA LA LA NAUGHTY BOY FT SAM SMITH 1
16 ROLLING IN THE DEEP ADELE 2
17 HOLD BACK THE RIVER JAMES BAY 2
18 SING ED SHEERAN 1
19 PARADISE COLDPLAY 1
20 WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL ONE DIRECTION 1
21 BENEATH YOUR BEAUTIFUL LABRINTH FT EMELI SANDE 1
22 WHEN WE COLLIDE MATT CARDLE 1
23 FEEL THE LOVE RUDIMENTAL FT JOHN NEWMAN 1
24 KING YEARS & YEARS 1
25 EARTHQUAKE LABRINTH FT TINIE TEMPAH 2
26 MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE ADELE 4
27 BURN ELLIE GOULDING 1
28 PASS OUT TINIE TEMPAH 1
29 LOVE ME AGAIN JOHN NEWMAN 1
30 HOLD MY HAND JESS GLYNNE 1
31 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE CALVIN HARRIS & DISCIPLES 2
32 I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE SAM SMITH 3
33 DOMINO JESSIE J 1
34 LEGO HOUSE ED SHEERAN 5
35 BANG BANG JESSIE J/GRANDE/MINAJ 1
36 SKYFALL ADELE 2
37 HOW LONG WILL I LOVE YOU ELLIE GOULDING 3
38 YOUR SONG ELLIE GOULDING 2
39 MONEY ON MY MIND SAM SMITH 1
40 MY LOVE ROUTE 94 FT JESS GLYNNE 1

©2016 Official Charts Company . All rights reserved.

Now That's What I Call Brit Hits! is released on March 25.