Who's the biggest X Factor star of them all?

As 1D score a new million-seller, we reveal which X Factor stars have the biggest singles' and albums' totals.

The X Factor Midas touch has struck again, with its latest million-seller. Congratulations to One Direction, whose Number 1 What Makes You Beautiful has become only the 167th song to gain access to the million-sellers club.

It's the show that can make you a star, a household name or, sometimes, a laughing stock, but when it comes to the numbers, or who's buying or streaming your hits, who finishes in front?

We add up singles and albums' combined chart sales to reveal the ultimate X Factor stars. Here's our Top 5:

One Direction

Baby they lit up our world like nobody else, and they certainly managed to set the charts alight too. For singles, 1D lead the way, with 10.7 million combined sales, especially thanks to their very first Number 1 What Makes You Beautiful, which is our newest million-seller. They've scored four Number 1 singles altogether: What Makes You Beautiful (2011), Little Things (2012), One Way Or Another (2013) and Drag Me Down (2015). On the albums' front, things aren't too shabby either, with an impressive combined sales and streams tally of 4.16 million, and all but one of their albums hitting Number 1. That gives them a combined UK chart sales tally of 14.9 million albums and singles, meaning that, for the moment, anyway, they are the biggest stars of The X Factor. And they didn't even win!

Olly Murs

Next up, another guy whose career has flourished despite not winning the show. Olly came second to Joe McElderry in 2009, but has stormed to success since, scoring four Number 1s. Those big hits have helped lift Olly to almost 7.5 million combined chart sales on the singles countdown. Olly can also count three successful albums to his name – with a fourth imminent – and he's eyeing One Direction's winning tally. Olly's showing almost 4.1 million combined album chart sales, and he's about to release another, his chances of overtaking 1D soon are pretty good. Olly's overall haul adds up to 11.6m.

MORE: All Olly Murs' big hit UK singles and albums are in his archive

Leona Lewis

Our most successful winner, Leona made a worldwide impression with her first post-X Factor single Bleeding Love, which has sold over a million copies, with her winner's single A Moment Like This also making a decent showing. Her tally of three Number 1s means Leona boasts 5.2m combined singles' sales, and her albums give her 4.06m chart sales, thanks in part to her mega-selling debut, Spirit, which shifted 3.14 million copies.

MORE: See all Leona Lewis's smashes in her Official Charts history

Little Mix

Another group, and another winner, Little Mix are very much still active and racking up hits all over the places. They scored a third Number 1 with Black Magic in 2015, and this smash has helped boost their singles tally to 5.9m combined sales. Their third album Get Weird was their most successful to date, despite missing the top spot, and this means they can count 1.34m albums' chart sales as their very own. Totting it all up, Little Mix come in fourth with a combined singles and albums tally of 7.2m.


Looks like groups do best in the X Factor success stakes, even when they don't win, and over the course of their four-year career, JLS notched up five Number 1 singles, racking up 3.7m chart sales. Over on the albums' front, they've a tally of 2.8m – so mroe than Little Mix. But it's the big total that counts: 6.5 million, and fifth place.

MORE: You heart won't beat again until you see all JLS' hit singles and albums

Other notable entries

2008 winner Alexandra Burke, who actually beat JLS, just misses the Top 5, with a combined tally of 4.2 million, including million-selling single Hallelujah, while the second-ever winner Shayne Ward boasts 2.23 million combined chart sales, but just ahead of him is 2012's victor James Arthur, currently at Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart with Say You Won't Let Go, who's on 2.24 million.

Take a look at the weird and wonderful  judging panel lineups of talent shows the world over in our gallery:

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TV Judges - 1 Iggy Azalea