Reaching the top of the charts is the sign of a major hit, but another barometer of smash status is how many weeks a song has stayed in the Top 10. A song may begin high but drop off in the blink of an eye, and often, it's the songs that stick around the longest that leave a lasting impression.
Well over 20,000 songs have been Top 40 hits since its inception, but only 23 of them have spent 20 or more weeks in the Official Singles Chart's Top 10. If your song is one of them, you know you've done something right.
In the early days of the Official Chart, less songs were available to buy, and the chart was smaller, so less music was fighting for the coveted slots in the Top 10. However in modern times when thousands of tracks are released on a daily basis, it's harder than ever to stay relevant for months on end. Earlier this month however, one song managed to do just that.
Dua Lipa's Don't Start Now has had an incredible run of success on the Official Chart. Since its release 26 weeks ago, the song has spent 25 weeks in the Top 10, only dipping out over Christmas when festive favourites jingle all the way into the Top 10. The disco-inspired stomper may not have reached the top spot - it peaked at Number 2 - but it has officially scored the most weeks in the Top 10 ever for a song by a British female solo artist.
So who else is in the record books when it comes to Top 10 longevity?
We've got to go back to 1953 to find the song with the most weeks in the Top 10, and it also has the most weeks at Number 1! Frankie Laine - very much the Michael Bublé of his time - had a huge chart topper with I Believe during the first full year in the Official Chart's lifetime. It managed 18 non-consecutive weeks at Number 1, and a further 17 weeks in the Top 10. I Believe has another feather in its cap - it had three separate stints at the top too, one of only seven songs to manage this.
Another modern day phenomenon is Lewis Capaldi's Someone You Loved. The Scotsman won the hearts of the UK in 2019 with his eccentric charm and unmistakable raspy vocals, a captivating combination for chart success.
In addition to scoring 2019's bestselling album (and the biggest of 2020 so far too!), Lewis claimed last year's biggest song. Someone You Loved conquered the Top 40 for seven weeks during an initial 21 week stint in the Top 10 from February to July.
Fast forward to January 2020 and fans were revisiting the biggest songs from the last year. Also spurred on by the success of his latest single Before You Go, Someone You Loved enjoyed a second wind and had a further 10-week residency in the Top 10. To put in perspective how successful the song was, Someone You Loved has the longest reign EVER in the Top 10 by a British act.
The longest reign in the Top 10 for a female artist belongs to Doris Day with Secret Love. The first of two Number 1s for the megastar movie actress and singer, Secret Love spent nine weeks at the top spot, one of only 22 songs to reach or surpass that number.
The longest time spent in the Top 10 without reaching Number 1? That record belongs to Dua Lipa, but a certain Queen of Christmas is clipping at her heels.
Mariah Carey's Top 10 stint for All I Want For Christmas Is You tells a truly remarkable story. Stuck behind the East 17's Stay Another Day when first released in 1994, the track has manifested into the world's most popular Christmas cracker. Mariah's Xmas bop has returned to the Official Chart Top 10 in each of the last four years, re-peaking at Number 2 three times.
Also on 24 weeks are The Obernkirchen Children's Choir who lasted that long in 1954 with The Happy Wanderer. Whatever the equivalent of going viral was in the 50s, the German choir did just that after a BBC radio airing of their winning performance at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales was broadcast. One of their five weeks at Number 2 saw them pipped to the post by Queen of Longevity herself, Doris Day.
Two songs rounded out their Top 10 histories at 23 weeks. Easy listening pianist Frank Chacksfield did it in 1953 with Terry's Theme from 'Limelight', showcasing having your song in a popular Charlie Chaplin movie can work wonders.
Then in 2016, Drake scored the joint second-longest consecutive reign at Number 1 with One Dance ft. Wizkid & Kyla. He may not have matched Bryan Adams' all-time consecutive record, but he did spend more weeks in the Top 10. Although Bryan did fare pretty well, with a 21 week stint in the top flight.
16 songs have spent between 20-22 weeks in the Top 10, a major one of note being Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax from 1984. A ban from BBC Radio 1 saw the song catapult to popularity, and it would be an injustice to define the song just by its modest five weeks at Number 1 as there's much more to the story.
Relax - the sixth best-selling song in UK chart history - returned to the Top 10 six months after it reached Number 1 when the band's next single Two Tribes also became a chart-topping hit. In fact, the band were so massive that the songs were Number 1 and 2 at the same time for two weeks that July; they're the only group to ever do this besides The Beatles.
The songs that spent 20 or more weeks inside the Official Singles Chart Top 10
|WEEKS IN TOP 10||TITLE||ARTIST||YEAR|
|35||I BELIEVE||FRANKIE LAINE||1953|
|31||SOMEONE YOU LOVED||LEWIS CAPALDI||2018|
|27||SECRET LOVE||DORIS DAY||1954|
|25||DON'T START NOW||DUA LIPA||2019|
|24||THE HAPPY WANDERER||OBERNKIRCHEN CHILDREN'S CHOIR||1954|
|24||ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU||MARIAH CAREY||1994|
|23||TERRY'S THEME FROM 'LIMELIGHT'||FRANK CHACKSFIELD||1953|
|23||ONE DANCE||DRAKE FT WIZKID & KYLA||2016|
|22||BECAUSE YOU'RE MINE||MARIO LANZA||1952|
|22||THE SONG FROM THE MOULIN ROUGE||MANTOVANI||1953|
|22||RELAX||FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD||1983|
|22||WHAT DO YOU MEAN||JUSTIN BIEBER||2015|
|22||SHAPE OF YOU||ED SHEERAN||2017|
|21||SHE LOVES YOU||BEATLES||1963|
|21||(EVERYTHING I DO) I DO IT FOR YOU||BRYAN ADAMS||1991|
|20||OH MEIN PAPA||EDDIE CALVERT||1953|
|20||CARA MIA||DAVID WHITFIELD WITH MANTOVANI||1954|
|20||LITTLE THINGS MEAN A LOT||KITTY KALLEN||1954|
|20||ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK||BILL HALEY AND HIS COMETS||1955|
|20||LOVE IS ALL AROUND||WET WET WET||1994|
|20||THINKING OUT LOUD||ED SHEERAN||2014|
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