The Top 40 biggest songs and albums of the decade by female artists

We count down the biggest hits by women in the 2010s in the UK.

Friday March 8 is International Women's Day, and to mark the occasion we look at the highest achieving female artists in the UK chart this decade.

Since 2010, the Top 100 singles led by female artists have notched up over 125 million combined sales – which includes physical, downloads sales and streams – and the Top 100 female artist albums account for 65.5 million combined sales.

But who's sold the most?

It should come as no surprise – unless you've not been near a radio or TV in the last decade or so – that Adele tops both our Top 40 rundowns. The London-born singer had had a hugely successful decade all over the world, and on home turf, she has a tally of 10.5 million, with her second album 21 accounting for 5.13 million of that grand total, to be the biggest album by a female artist not only this decade, but of all time. Her third album 25 is in second place, while her debut 19, from 2008, has still managed to shift 1.8 million since 2010.

MORE: British female artists with the most Number 1 singles

On the singles' Top 40, Adele reigns supreme with ballad Someone Like You thanks to 1.6 million downloads and 69.3 million streams. Three more Adele tunes make the Top 40: Hello (3), Rolling in the Deep (13), and Make You Feel My Love (30).


Adele performs When We Were Young from her 25 album.

Emeli Sande's debut Our Version of Events is third biggest album, with combined sales of 2.4 million, and the highest of four Rihanna albums in the Top 40 of the decade is in fourth place – it's Loud, with just over two million. There are four Rihanna-led songs in the singles' Top 40 too, with 2011's We Found Love the highest, on 1.42m downloads and 49.7m streams.

Sia does pretty well in the singles' Top 10, with Cheap Thrills, second overall, notching up 162 million streams and 536,000 downloads, and Chandelier in sixth.

Dua Lipa's 2017 Number 1 New Rules is the most streamed song of the decade by a female artist, with 169.9 million plays in the UK, and is the fourth biggest song overall, including its 245,000 downloads. Dua also appears again at 12 with her 2018 Number 1 One Kiss. 


Dua Lipa with her Official Number 1 Award for New Rules

Jess Glynne has had seven Number 1s this decade, as both lead and featured artist, but her biggest song is These Days with Rudimental and Macklemore in 19th, while Ariana's biggest song of the decade is One Last Time in 22nd place.

The oldest song to make the singles' Top 40 is Mariah Carey's million-selling festive fave All I Want for Christmas is You, in 16th place, while Little Mix score three entries on this rundown, with Black Magic the highest.

The Official Top 40 biggest songs by female artists this decade:

  TITLE ARTIST PEAK YEAR
1 SOMEONE LIKE YOU ADELE 1 2011
2 CHEAP THRILLS SIA 2 2015
3 HELLO ADELE 1 2015
4 NEW RULES DUA LIPA 1 2017
5 WE FOUND LOVE RIHANNA FT CALVIN HARRIS 1 2011
6 CHANDELIER SIA 6 2014
7 HAVANA CAMILA CABELLO FT YOUNG THUG 1 2017
8 CALL ME MAYBE CARLY RAE JEPSEN 1 2012
9 LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO ELLIE GOULDING 1 2015
10 LUSH LIFE ZARA LARSSON 3 2015
11 ROAR KATY PERRY 1 2013
12 ONE KISS CALVIN HARRIS & DUA LIPA 1 2018
13 ROLLING IN THE DEEP ADELE 2 2011
14 THIS IS ME SETTLE/GREATEST SHOWMAN ENS 3 2017
15 GHOST ELLA HENDERSON 1 2014
16 ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU MARIAH CAREY 2 1994
17 WORK RIHANNA FT DRAKE 2 2016
18 SHAKE IT OFF TAYLOR SWIFT 2 2014
19 THESE DAYS RUDIMENTAL/GLYNNE/MACKLEMORE 1 2018
20 DIAMONDS RIHANNA 1 2012
21 HOLD MY HAND JESS GLYNNE 1 2015
22 ONE LAST TIME ARIANA GRANDE 2 2014
23 ALL ABOUT THAT BASS MEGHAN TRAINOR 1 2014
24 SHOUT OUT TO MY EX LITTLE MIX 1 2016
25 LET IT GO IDINA MENZEL 11 2013
26 A THOUSAND YEARS CHRISTINA PERRI 11 2011
27 FIREWORK KATY PERRY 3 2010
28 WORK FROM HOME FIFTH HARMONY FT TY DOLLA SIGN 2 2016
29 PRICE TAG JESSIE J FT BOB 1 2010
30 MAKE YOU FEEL MY LOVE ADELE 4 2012
31 BLACK MAGIC LITTLE MIX 1 2008
32 ONLY GIRL (IN THE WORLD) RIHANNA 1 2010
33 STARSHIPS NICKI MINAJ 2 2012
34 BANG BANG JESSIE J/GRANDE/MINAJ 1 2014
35 TOUCH LITTLE MIX 4 2016
36 JAR OF HEARTS CHRISTINA PERRI 4 2010
37 JUST GIVE ME A REASON PINK FT NATE RUESS 2 2012
38 NEVER FORGET YOU MNEK & ZARA LARSSON 5 2015
39 SUMMERTIME SADNESS LANA DEL REY VS CEDRIC GERVAIS 4 2013
40 BURN ELLIE GOULDING 1 2013

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

 And here are the biggest albums by female artists this decade:

  TITLE ARTIST PEAK YEAR
1 21 ADELE 1 2011
2 25 ADELE 1 2015
3 OUR VERSION OF EVENTS EMELI SANDE 1 2016
4 LOUD RIHANNA 1 2011
5 19 ADELE 1 2008
6 THE FAME LADY GAGA 1 2009
7 TEENAGE DREAM KATY PERRY 1 2010
8 WHO YOU ARE JESSIE J 2 2011
9 LUNGS FLORENCE & THE MACHINE 1 2009
10 1989 TAYLOR SWIFT 1 2014
11 HALCYON ELLIE GOULDING 1 2013
12 I CRY WHEN I LAUGH JESS GLYNNE 1 2015
13 BORN TO DIE LANA DEL REY 1 2012
14 TALK THAT TALK RIHANNA 1 2011
15 GREATEST HITS - SO FAR PINK 5 2010
16 GLORY DAYS LITTLE MIX 1 2017
17 BORN THIS WAY LADY GAGA 1 2011
18 THE ULTIMATE COLLECTION WHITNEY HOUSTON 3 2007
19 BACK TO BLACK AMY WINEHOUSE 1 2006
20 THE TRUTH ABOUT LOVE PINK 2 2012
21 THE ELEMENT OF FREEDOM ALICIA KEYS 1 2009
22 LIONESS - HIDDEN TREASURES AMY WINEHOUSE 1 2011
23 CEREMONIALS FLORENCE & THE MACHINE 1 2011
24 LIGHTS ELLIE GOULDING 1 2010
25 GET WEIRD LITTLE MIX 2 2015
26 A PERFECT CONTRADICTION PALOMA FAITH 2 2014
27 UNAPOLOGETIC RIHANNA 1 2012
28 4 BEYONCE 1 2011
29 FALL TO GRACE PALOMA FAITH 2 2012
30 RED TAYLOR SWIFT 1 2012
31 HEAVEN REBECCA FERGUSON 3 2011
32 TURN IT UP PIXIE LOTT 6 2009
33 DO YOU WANT THE TRUTH OR SOMETHING PALOMA FAITH 9 2009
34 BEYONCE BEYONCE 2 2013
35 THE GIFT SUSAN BOYLE 1 2010
36 MY LOVE - THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION CELINE DION 5 2008
37 I AM SASHA FIERCE BEYONCE 2 2009
38 RATED R RIHANNA 9 2009
39 DELETED SCENES FROM THE CUTTING ROOM CARO EMERALD 4 2010
40 MESSY LITTLE RAINDROPS CHERYL COLE 1 2010

©2019 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.