In the near-70 years of Official UK Chart history, there have been surprisingly few artists who have scored a Number 1 under the age of 18.
The most recent artist to claim the rare feat is Olivia Rodrigo, who managed the even rarer feat of landing straight in at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart with her debut single Drivers License, at 17 years and 10 months old.
In July 2020, New Zealand-born producer Jawsh 685 scored a three-week Number 1 with Savage Love, aged 17 and 7 months. The track, a collaboration with Jason Derulo, was a viral hit on TikTok before getting an official single release.
Before that, Canadian singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes was just 17 and 5 months when his track Stitches hit the top spot. He achieved the feat by knocking Justin Bieber off the summit - an artist who made his UK chart debut aged 15, when One Time peaked at 11 in 2010. Watch Shawn celebrating his Number 1 single below:
As for the youngest acts to ever claim at UK Number 1 single, that honour goes to Jimmy Osmond and Helen Shapiro. Helen is the youngest female; her track You Don’t Know reached the peak of the Official Singles Chart mountain in 1961 when she was 14. She would be the youngest chart topper ever for 11 years, and then Jimmy Osmond came along.
Jimmy was just nine years old when Long Haired Lover From Liverpool climbed to Number 1 in December 1972. He's officially the youngest credited chart topping artist.
Who is the youngest act to debut at Number 1? Fast-forward 25 and a half years to July 1998 and in comes Billie Piper. Aged just 15, Billie’s rebellious pop anthem Because We Want To went straight in at the top and plenty of hits were to follow.
The youngest male to have a song reach the summit in its opening week is Gareth Gates – the Pop Idol runner-up took his cover of Unchained Melody all the way aged 17 in March 2002.
And now we look at even younger acts that didn’t manage a Number 1, but did make major history. In 2005, Joy Gruttman scored a Top 40 hit voicing the German cartoon character Schnappi with a song of the same name. While she’s not credited, she’s one of the youngest ever chart stars. She was seven when the song charted at Number 32, but she laid her vocals down aged just four!
Even younger than her was three-year-old Ian Doody, who under the alias Microbe, scored a Number 29 hit with Groovy Baby in 1969. The song came about after Ian, whose Dad was BBC Radio 1 newsreader Pat Doody often brought Ian into the studio. The toddler appeared on-air from time to time, resulting in how Groovy Baby came about.
Would you believe that there has in fact been uncredited vocals on a Number 1 hit from someone less than a year old? Jessica Smith, believed to be around seven months old at the time, holds the record for the youngest person to appear on a UK hit single.
Jessica was the baby who played The Sun in the Teletubbies. Famously, Tinky Winky, Dispy, La La and Po stormed to Number 1 in 1997 with Teletubbies Say Eh Oh!, and Jessica’s laugh can be heard at the start.