The history of the Official Charts: the Teens

Adele, Calvin Harris, Ed Sheeran and Rihanna rule, as music streaming arrives on the chart for the first time.

2010 – Michael Buble's Crazy Love starts the year as the first new Number 1 album of the decade, while Joe McElderry's The Climb is the first new Number 1 single of the decade. 

In March, the Official Charts take a twice-weekly slot on BBC Radio 1 for the first time, with the launch of the Official Chart Update. This comprises “half-time” bulletins for the Official Singles Chart and Official Albums Chart, covering sales from Sunday through to the end of Tuesday. It is unveiled every Wednesday afternoon and the subject of an MTV show each Thursday.

Bringing to an end the biggest holdback of the digital era, The Beatles’ catalogue becomes available on iTunes for the first time in November, pushing a number of their albums into the Top 100 albums in the first week of release.

2011 – Adele’s 21 album hits the Number 1 spot in February, on the way to becoming the biggest selling album of the Millennium, with sales of more than 4.7 million copies.

Maroon 5’s collaboration with Christina Aguilera spends 7 weeks at Number 2 in the autumn (pipped by singles from Example, Rihanna FT Calvin Harris, Sak Noel, Pixie Lott, One Direction and Dappy) to become the second biggest selling Number 2 single of all time (after Wham’s 1984 hit Last Christmas).

In December, the Military Wives score the year’s Official Christmas Number 1 with Wherever You Are and, in so doing, become the first recipients of the Official Number 1 Award – a trophy designed to celebrate every new Number 1 in the Official Singles Chart.

2012 – in May, the UK’s first Official Streaming Chart is launched, reflecting a growing form of consumption and including data from services including Spotify, Napster and We7. The first Number 1 is Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe, while Ed Sheeran is named the most-streamed act of 2012 so far.

The 60th anniversary of the Official Singles Chart in November is celebrated through the year via a range of activities, including TV and radio broadcasts, a Parliamentary reception (attended by Number 1 acts Sandie Shaw, Boney M, Soft Cell’s Marc Almond and chart show hosts past and present, Tony Blackburn and Jameela Jamil) and Omnibus’s official book The Million Sellers.

New research by the Official Charts and the BPI estimates that over 3.7 billion singles have been sold during the life of the Official Singles Chart.

Another milestone is celebrated, as Classic FM reaches its 20th anniversary and two decades of broadcasting the Official Classical Chart.

2013 – Jameela Jamil is confirmed as the first solo female host of The Official Chart on BBC Radio 1.

19 years after it peaked at Number 9, Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble by PJ & Duncan (aka Ant & Dec) reaches Number 1 on the Official Singles Chart during March, boosted by a performance of the song by the duo on Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway ITV show.

In one of the most controversial chart battles of all time, a campaign to get Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead to Number 1 is launched after the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in April. Their attempt falls short, as the track (taken from 1939 film the Wizard Of Oz) peaks at 2. A rival campaign places I’m In Love With Margaret Thatcher by the Notsensibles at 35.

Among the biggest singles of recent years, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky not only sells a million copies in just 69 days, but becomes the first track to be streamed one million times in a single week during May. By the end of the year, Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines has matched the feat.  

Calvin Harris’s 18 Months sets a new record in August, becoming the first album to generate nine Top 10 singles – they are Thinking About You featuring Ayah Marar, Bounce FT Kelis, Feel So Close, We Found Love FT Rihanna, Let's Go FT Ne-Yo, We'll Be Coming Back FT Example, Sweet Nothing FT Florence Welch, Drinking from the Bottle FT Tinie Tempah and I Need Your Love FT Ellie Goulding.

Robbie Williams’ Christmas album Swings Both Ways is confirmed as the 1,000th Number 1 album in November 2013 –  it is a fitting winner,  the very first Number 1 album back in July 1956 being  Frank Sinatra’s Songs For Swingin’ Lovers.

2014 – Queen’s Greatest Hits becomes the first album to top 6 million sales in the UK. It is one of only three albums to sell 5 million copies in the UK, along with the Abba Gold hits package and The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper.

MTV begins broadcasting the Official Streaming Chart countdown in April, the biggest TV announcement of the chart every week.

In one of the biggest changes to the Official Singles Chart in its history, streaming is added to the rundown from July – 100 streams equating to 1 single/download sale. Among the services polled are Spotify, Deezer, Napster, O2 Tracks and many others.

The combination of her first shows for 35 years and a series of BBC4 documentaries help Kate Bush become the first female to score eight albums simultaneously in the Official Albums Top 40 in August. They are The Whole Story, Hounds of Love, 50 Words For Snow, The Kick Inside, The Sensual World, The Dreaming, Never For Ever and Lionheart. The Director’s Cut, The Red Shoes and Aeriel chart elsewhere in the Top 100 too. 

As the 10th anniversary of the Official Download Chart is confirmed in September, Pharrell Williams’ Happy is confirmed as the biggest selling download of all time in the UK – he features on three in the all-time Official Top 10, with Happy joined by Get Lucky and Blurred Lines, all of which sold more than 1 million units in less than 12 months.

The year ends with both Ed Sheeran's X and Sam Smith's In The Lonely Hour classified as million-selling albums in the UK. Smith's release also becomes the only album to top 1m sales in both the UK and US.

2015 – The Official Albums Chart follows on from changes to the Official Singles Chart, reflecting streams for the first time, alongside sales of album on CD, vinyl and download, from the end of February.