BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Monday, 23 February, 2004, 10:49 GMT
Cliff tops all-time singles chart
Sir Cliff Richard
Sir Cliff's latest single, Santa's List, hit number five in December 2003
Sir Cliff Richard has sold more singles in the UK than any other music artist, according to a Channel 4 TV show.

The veteran star has sold 21 million singles since finding fame in 1958 - ahead of The Beatles with 20.8 million and Elvis Presley's 19.3 million.

Madonna was the top female star - and in fourth place overall - with sales of 14.6 million.

Sir Elton John, Queen and Abba were also in the top 10, shown on Channel 4's The Ultimate Pop Star on Sunday.

1. Sir Cliff Richard - 20,969,006
2. The Beatles - 20,799,632
3. Elvis Presley - 19,293,118
4. Madonna - 14,562,856
5. Sir Elton John - 13,475,063
6. Michael Jackson - 11,310,958
7. Queen - 10,334,713
8. Abba - 10,004,039
9. Sir Paul McCartney - 9,781,603
10. David Bowie - 9,392,410
Sir Cliff, 63, still commands a large, loyal following, and his fans still camp out overnight to get tickets for his concerts.

His first hit, Move It, reached number two in 1958, when he was billed as the UK's answer to Elvis. His most recent single, Santa's List, hit number five in December 2003.

In the meantime, he has broken the record for the most UK hit singles, with 126 songs reaching the chart.

The UK singles chart celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2002 - but the list comes at a time when sales are in freefall.

Some 36.5 million singles were sold in 2003 - down 30% on the previous year and almost 60% less than 1997.

The downward trend has continued in 2004. Sales are down 18% for the year so far, compared with the same period last year - and leading retailer WH Smith is to stop selling the format following the decline in singles sales.

Fans queue for Cliff tickets
15 Feb 04  |  Norfolk
CD singles discarded by WH Smith
22 Feb 04  |  Business
Robbie rockets up all-time list
22 Dec 03  |  Music


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific