George Michael is number one on Smooth’s All Time Top 500
More than 68,000 votes were cast by the public in Smooth’s All Time Top 500 – the radio station’s countdown of the nation’s favourite songs, which were revealed on air across the May Bank Holiday weekend.
The song voted number one by listeners is George Michael’s Careless Whisper, which he wrote when he was just 17 years old and the timeless classic reached the number one spot in 25 countries.
Public interest in George and his music is being brought to life with the release of the highly anticipated George Michael documentary, Freedom Uncut, next month. With George’s third studio album,Older, set to be re-released this summer to mark 25 years since its launch, he continues to be as popular and relevant today as he was 38 years ago, when Careless Whisper was first released.
The estate of George Michael and family said: “We are absolutely delighted that given the Freedom to vote for the songs they love the most, George’s fans and Smooth Radio listeners have once again shown their Faithand voted Careless Whisper to number one.”
George Michael has 23 songs in Smooth’s All Time Top 500 – 17 of which are solo songs – cementing his position as the most popular artist of all time. A Different Corner is at number three; Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, his duet with Sir Elton John, is at number 24, followed by Jesus To A Child (52) and Father Figure (74).
Whitney Houston is the nation’s most popular female artist. With news of a new biopic about the legendary singer announced in April, Whitney has 12 songs in the chart. Her world-famous version of I Will Always Love You from the film The Bodyguard is her highest-placed song, at number 22. Adele is in second place with nine entries in the chart, while Madonna slips to third position with seven songs in the countdown, as rumours speculate about the release of new music from her later this year – her first since 2019.
After releasing Voyage, their first album of new material in 40 years in October 2021 and ahead of their new avatar concert at a custom-built arena in London later this month, ABBA is the most popular band of all time. The Swedish line-up have 12 entries in the chart, led by Dancing Queen at number 10 and The Winner Takes It All at number 40.
New-entry The Joker and the Queen is the highest-placed song by a female artist, at number 14, beating last year’s winner, Dolly Parton. Released in February by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, it is the most recent song to be voted into the chart.
Smooth presenter Angie Greaves, who announced the number one song on air, said: “Every year, Smooth’s All Time Top 500 gives us an unprecedented insight into the nation’s favourite songs and artists.
“George Michael’s music clearly stands the test of time and it’s wonderful to see him retain the top spot with Careless Whisper, ahead of his much-anticipated documentary released this year.
“For many of us, music continues to be a sanctuary and a place of solace – and it’s wonderful to see the special place that Smooth’s line-up of iconic music artists continues to hold in the nation’s hearts.”
Smooth’s All Time Top 500 – top 20:
- Careless Whisper – George Michael
- Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- A Different Corner – George Michael
- Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
- Perfect – Ed Sheeran
- Imagine – John Lennon
- Hotel California – Eagles
- Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
- Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel
- Dancing Queen – ABBA
- Africa – Toto
- Mr Blue Sky – Electric Light Orchestra
- Dance with My Father – Luther Vandross
- The Joker and the Queen – Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift
- I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith
- Angels – Robbie Williams
- Islands in the Stream – Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers
- I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
- Purple Rain – Prince
- She’s Like the Wind – Patrick Swayze