Tom Moore celebrates 100th birthday, becomes first centenarian to have a Number 1 single

Plus we look back at what songs were at the top of the charts on Captain Tom's milestone birthdays.

Happy 100th birthday to Captain Tom Moore, who can add an Official UK Chart Record to his celebrations today as he becomes the first centenarian to have Number 1 single.

The war veteran leads the Official Singles Chart with his rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein/Gerry and the Pacemakers’ You’ll Never Walk Alone, featuring his favourite singer Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir.

Captain Tom released the song earlier this month in his continued to efforts to raise money for the NHS during the coronavirus crisis, which stands at an incredible £30 million. You’ll Never Walk Alone debuted at Number 1 with 80,000 downloads sold, making it the UK’s fastest-selling single of 2020 so far.

Watch Radio 1’s Official Chart show host Scott Mills break the Number 1 news to Captain Tom in an emotional interview below:

Captain Tom is now the oldest artist to land at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart. Tom Jones previously held the record, scoring a chart-topper when he was a significantly younger 68 years and 9 months old. "From one Tom to another, congratulations on beating my chart record," Jones said. "If I was going to lose to anybody, it's an honour to have lost it to you." Read more the oldest musicians to claim a Number 1 single here.

In addition to his Number 1, Tom got lots more gifts for his 100th birthday including 140,000 birthday cards, a personalised message from the Queen, and was promoted to honorary colonel by Lt Col Thomas Miller, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment. He even had Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft fly over his home!

At 100 years old, the Captain Tom pre-dates the Official Chart – he would have been 32 years old when the first chart was published in the New Music Express on Friday, November 14 1952. The first Number 1 single was Al Martino's Here In My Heart, while Number 2 was Jo Stafford's You Belong To Me. The very first UK singles chart was published as a Top 12, although it comprises 15 singles because of ties at Number 7, Number 8 and Number 11. View the very first UK singles chart here.

To celebrate Captain Tom’s outstanding achievement, look back at what songs were at Number 1 during his milestone birthdays.

40th birthday: Do You Mind - Anthony Newley (1960)

This track was the British singer-songwriter’s second and final Number 1 single, featuring in the film Let's Get Married. It spent one week at the top and was the UK’s 100th Number 1 single – spooky! View the full chart here.

50th birthday: Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky (1970)

A global hit upon its release, Norman’s Spirit In The Sky was the first of three versions of the song to reach Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart – a rare claim You’ll Never Walk Alone also held until Captain Tom gave it a fourth run at the top. Check out that week's chart here.

60th birthday: Geno – Dexy’s Midnight Runners (1980)

The Birmingham pop-rock band scored their first Number 1 this week in 1980. The song is a tribute to soul singer Geno Washington and was performed in the style of his Ram Jam Band.

70th birthday: Vogue – Madonna (1990)

One of Madonna’s most notable hits was spending its third of four weeks at the top of the Official Chart when Captain Tom turned 70 in April 1990. It went on to become one of the Top 10 best-selling songs that year.

80th birthday: Bound 4 Da Reload - Oxide & Neutrino (Casualty) (2000)

During Captain Tom’s 80th year, garage music reigned over the UK charts, and this song by So Solid Crew members Oxide & Neutrino - which samples the theme tune of BBC’s Casualty (!) - was one of the first of the genre to top the Official Chart. View the full chart here.

90th birthday: Once - Diana Vickers (2010)

By Captain Tom’s 90th birthday, X Factor finalist Diana Vickers had just launched her career, debuting at Number 1 with her first single Once. Check out the full Top 100 here.

Article image: Emma Sohl