Radio entertainment and showbiz

Careless Whisper tops Smooth Radio’s All Time Top 500 poll

Careless Whisper has once again topped Smooth Radio’s All Time Top 500 poll, which also saw an increase in the popularity of Tina Turner and Sinéad O’Connor songs.

More than 63,000 votes were cast by the public in the station’s annual countdown of the UK’s favourite songs. Across the May bank holiday weekend, the top 500 songs were played on air, with the number one announced just before 7pm today.

Tina Turner, who passed away in May last year, has five songs in the chart. Selling more than 100 million records, Tina became one of the world’s most successful recording artists ever. Her cover version of The Best is her highest placed song, jumping 30 places to its best ever position at number 27. What’s Love Got to Do with it rises to number 148, while Private Dancer is up 82 places to 154.

Sinéad O’Connor’s 1990 version of Nothing Compares 2 U, which reached number one in 14 countries, is one of the chart’s highest climbers, up 87 places to number 12. The singer died in July 2023.

Forty years since its release, Careless Whisper, written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, has been voted the number one song of all time for a record six years in a row. Last year, it surpassed one billion views on YouTube and still enjoys thousands of views each day.

Overall, George Michael is the most popular artist, with 20 songs in the chart including 14 solo songs. A Different Corner is at number three, followed by Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, his duet with Sir Elton John, at number 11.

George Michael Entertainment said: “We are delighted that Smooth Radio listeners and George’s loyal fans have, once again, for the sixth consecutive year, voted for George Michael’s Careless Whisper as their number one song in Smooth’s All Time Top 500 for 2024.

“In this year, the 40th anniversary of its release, this is an incredible achievement, as Careless Whisper has now topped Smooth’s chart for a total of seven years.

“We know that George would be proud and truly grateful, just as we are, for the continued support of Smooth Radio, its listeners and his loyal fans around the world. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Having recently celebrated 50 years since winning the Eurovision Song Contest, ABBA is the most popular group. Björn, Benny, Agnetha and Frida have 13 entries in Smooth’s All Time Top 500, led by Dancing Queen at number nine – up one place from last year – and The Winner Takes It All at number 32.

Whitney Houston is the UK’s most popular female artist, with 12 songs in the countdown. Her version of I Will Always Love You is her highest placed song, at number 10.

Following the release of their biopics this year, the music of Bob Marley and Amy Winehouse is also enjoying a big resurgence. Five Bob Marley songs are in the chart, with Three Little Birds up 100 places to number 84, and with re-entries for One Love (251) and Could You Be Loved (365). Amy Winehouse’s hit Back to Black has jumped from number 197 to 50, while Valerie is up 144 places to number 100.

The full countdown of Smooth’s All Time Too 500 is available to listen to on catch up on Global Player.

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