2002 in British music

2002 in British music

This is a summary of 2002 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year. Just like the previous year, there were 30 songs that reached the summit. Although there were numerous songs that remained only for a week at the top, many songs managed to carry out runs of 2+ weeks, none achieving above 4.

The UK also celebrated the 50th anniversary of the UK singles chart. The single that hit number one that week managed to break a chart record. After the "Popstars" phenomenon of the previous year, the UK became obsessed with talent show winners and the new show "Pop Idol" became a huge success. The year was thought of as the 2nd Golden Age of Hip-Hop music with many successful artists with Eminem coming out at top once again.



The first week of the month was the last week at the top for 2001's Christmas chart topper, a modern rendition of "Somethin' Stupid", by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman. Returning to the top for one final week was Daniel Bedingfield's debut single, "Gotta Get Thru This". It broke the record for lowest weekly sale for a number one single, selling only 25,500 copies in that week. The single was to decline slightly during 2002, but rapidly after the year's end. The remainder of the month was to be incredibly morbid. Dying in a plane crash in the summer of 2001 at the young age of 22, R'n'B vocalist, Aaliyah hit the top with her posthumous release, "More Than a Woman". She had broken a record in the US, becoming the first artist to make No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 based solely upon airplay points, with her single "Try Again". Overtaking her was what made this month significant. Ex-Beatle, George Harrison died in November 2001. Due to popularity in the Beatles and as a soloartist, the nation was very upset and shocked, due to him being the youngest member of the band. His #1 from 1971, "My Sweet Lord" was re-issued and shot straight to the top of the charts. Despite only lasting a week, it broke two records. It became the first time in UK chart history a posthumous release has taken over from another posthumous release. It also became the second time for a record to return to #1, following "Bohemian Rhapsody" which did so in 1991.

Returning to number one after April in 2001, the Stereophonics returned to the top with their third album, "Just Enough Education to Perform". Spawning two #5 singles, the album remained at the top for 3 weeks in this return, one more week than its original stay. This made its total number of weeks at the top 5. This became their 2nd UK album chart topper, and a 3rd was to follow the following year.


Spanish performer Enrique Iglesias was next to hit the top with what many see as his UK Breakthrough (though he had two top ten in two years prior) with the single release of the ballad "Hero" which stayed at the top for four weeks. He made himself and his father Julio Iglesias the first father/son combination to top the charts separately and as solo artists. His father had hit the top of the UK charts over 20 years before Enrique did, when his cover version of "Begin The Beguine" went to the top in 1981. The track was taken from his chart topping album "Escape" which spawned a #3 hit "Escape" later on in the year two #12 hits by December.

Taking over from the Stereophonics were fusion kings, the Chemical Brothers, with their 3rd #1 album, "Come With Us". Despite having received success on the albums chart throughout their career, they hadn't received a chart topping single early 1997. Topping the charts alongside his only number one single, Enrique's second English album, "Escape" topped the charts for 2 weeks making him the first Latin Artist to have a number one single and album simultaneously in the UK as well as the first person since the Spice Girls.


Overtaking the totals of pop phenomenon's Spice Girls and ABBA, Westlife hit the top for a record 10th time, with their third release from their third album, "World Of Our Own". The album of the same name, became their second consecutive #1 album. They now had as many number ones as the queen of pop herself, Madonna. They also were the act to obtain 10 chart toppers the quickest (now 5 acts had achieved 10 or more) with only 35 months between this and their first. However, it could be said this record is unfair, because it was only a few months after that the Beatles managed to achieve 10, but they tended to spend several weeks at the summit, slowing down their release rate, whereas most of Westlife's #1's spend one to two weeks at the top. Taking over was the fastest selling debut single in UK chart history. Winner of the TV talent show, Pop Idol, Will Young had been voted as the winner by over 4 million people in the final. It was an unexpected win as mostexpected runner up Gareth Gates to take the crown. His debut single "Anything is Possible/Evergreen", topped the charts for 3 weeks and sold over 1.1 million copies in its first week of sale, making it the fastest selling debut single in UK chart history. Altogether it sold over 1.7 million copies becoming the 11th biggest selling single in the UK. It is also the second fastest selling single in the UK with only Elton John's "Candle In The Wind" ahead of it. It became the biggest selling single of the year.

A 2 week run at the top was next from veteran band The Police. Experiencing massive success in the early 1980s with 5 #1 singles, lead singer Sting eventually went solo and became a very successful and highly respected musician, especially in the US. A combination of his greatest hits and the Police's greatest hits was released entitled "The Very Best of Sting & The Police". Greatest hits took over from greatest hits when "The Essential Barbra Streisand" replaced Sting & The Police at the top, however after a week it was knocked off by rock band, Nickelback with their debut album, "Silver Side Up". The album spawned a massive #4 hit, "How You Remind Me", which made #1 in the US.


Taking over from the winner of the show, Pop Idol, runner up Gareth Gates scored a #1 with his debut single, "Unchained Melody". Incredibly he spent one further week at the summit than Will Young did, becoming the second single of the year to have a 4 week run at #1. However, the single itself sold less than Will Young's, selling only 1.3 million copies, but nonetheless it became the 77th million selling single in the UK and the last one until 2004. Overall, it is the 37th biggest selling single in the UK. The more incredible thing about this song is that it is the fourth single to reach the summit 4 times by different artists. First was Jimmy Young in 1955, then a re-issue of the Righteous Brothers in 1990, then the acting duo Robson & Jerome took it the top in 1995 and finally Gareth Gates in 2002. Robson & Jerome's version remains the biggest selling to date. Scoring their 6th UK chart topper Oasis returned to the top of the UK charts with a tracksimilar to their older material, "The Hindu Times". The track was taken off their new album, "Heathen Chemistry". It only lasted a week at the summit, following the same feat as every other #1 single they had.

The top of the albums chart was dominated by a lady with a powerful voice and her 5th UK #1 album, Céline Dion with "A New Day Has Come". Staying at the top for 4 weeks, she did not hit the top again for the next 2 years, but continued charting throughout. The album's singles did not fair as well as the album, one making the Top 10, one settling in the Top 20 and one just creeping into the Top 40.


Having charted since 2000, UK girl band, Sugababes scored their 1st UK #1 with their 5th single, "Freak Like Me". Despite spawning two #1 singles, their album only made #2 later in the year. The song was originally performed by Adina Howard in 1995 who took it to #33. After a short spell of 7 days, a third Neighbours star scored a UK No.1. Her debut single, "Kiss Kiss" was originally released in Europe written in Turkish. Holly scored a #2 hit, "Down Boy" later on in the year and her debut album, "Footprints" made #9. After releasing 2 further singles, she disappeared from the music scene. With his fifth consecutive Top 10 single and 3rd UK #1, Ronan Keating returns to the top of the singles chart with the first release off his new album "Destination". "If Tomorrow Never Comes" was originally a hit in the US for Garth Brooks. Continuing the run of one week number ones were Liberty X. The five losers who justfailed to make Hear'Say in the talent show Popstars formed Liberty X. Despite scoring only one UK #1 single with "Just A Little", the group continued successfully into 2003/4 and proved themselves to be more successful than Hear'Say.

Boyband Blue hit the top with their debut album, "All Rise". The album spawned 2 #1 singles, "Too Close" and "If You Come Back". The title track from their album, which was their debut single only made #4. It was only a week before British indie rock band, The Doves hit the top with their 2nd album, "The Last Broadcast" which remained at the top for 2 weeks. It was quickly knocked off by American electronic musician Moby with his 2nd UK #1 album, "18". Despite having charted since 1991 he has only received 2 Top 10 hits.

On May 23, the Classical Brits award ceremony took place. The most successful British performers were Sir Colin Davis, Russell Watson and Guy Johnston.


Consolidating his position as the rapper with the most UK chart toppers, Eminem hit the top for a third time with the first single from his third album, "Without Me". The album spent 5 weeks at the top of the UK charts, becoming the second longest stay of the year and the longest stay until December. The album, "The Eminem Show" was to become his most successful to date in the UK along with Curtain Call in 2005. Will Young who hit the top again with his second single "Light My Fire", a cover of a classic Doors track which only made #49 in 1967. He had performed this on the show, "Pop Idol", and the performance was praised highly by the general public. The single was successful, topping the charts for 2 weeks.

As for the albums chart, first to hit the top was Ronan Keating with his second album, "Destination". The album had already spawned a #1 single, "If Tomorrow Never Comes". Ronan continued to chart into 2004 and to date has never failed to have a hit that did not make the Top 10.


Becoming another single to spend 4 weeks at the top, "A Little Less Conversation" ended an ongoing chart battle since 1977. Elvis accumulated 15 chart toppers by 1965, during which the Beatles were enjoying their time as global megastars. They then got a record 17 chart toppers by 1969, when they finally began to fade. Elvis scored a 16th chart topper in 1970, when he revived his career in Las Vegas. Then a single made just before his death was released after his death in May 1977 and went straight to No.1, giving him his 17th UK #1. The two biggest music acts in the UK were neck and neck, and despite numerous posthumous releases, it wasn't until 25 years later that one of them finally took the lead. It was indeed the king of pop, Elvis Presley, who scored his 18th UK #1, with a remix of an old hit from a long forgotten movie. "A Little Less Conversation" was remixed by DJ JXL, and used in a Nike World Cup advertisement. As a consequence, it shot straight to the top of the UK charts putting Elvisat the top of the most #1's category. Taking over was Gareth Gates, scoring his 2nd No.1 single this time with an original song, being one of his few singles to have not been cover versions. "Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)" topped the charts for 3 weeks, bettering Will Young by one week once again.

Topping the albums chart for the 4th time, Oasis hit the top with their new album, "Heathen Chemistry". The album's singles had already received success with "The Hindu Times" becoming their 6th #1 and the follow up single, "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" peaking at #2. The album, however, only spent a week at the top quickly overtaken by the first release in 2 years from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, "By the Way". The title track from the album became their highest charting single ever, making #2. This was also their only #1 album.


Hitting the top was Darius Danesh, he ranked 3rd on the Pop Idol competition. "Colourblind" spent 2 weeks at the top, but despite being less successful than the debuts of Gareth or Will, Darius wrote the song himself. The Sugababes hit the top for a second time with their sixth single, "Round Round". Like their first #1 single, it only spent a week at the summit. The song was taken from the soundtrack to the hit film, "The Guru". Specialising in Pop/R'N'B with garage influences, all-male act, Blazin' Squad entered at the top of the charts with their massively hyped debut single, "Crossroads". Their success slowly decline throughout their career.

Interrupting the Chili's run at the top was US singing legend, Bruce Springsteen hit the top with his 5th #1 album, "The Rising". His success on the singles chart was fading rapidly since the early 90's, with no Top 10 hits since 1994. Returning to the top for a further 2 weeks were the Chili's with "By the Way". Having been a successful band throughout the 80's the 90's was a slightly quieter decade for the group, but the release of "Californication" turned them around in 2000 and "By the Way" helped propel them straight to the top. Scoring a 2nd consecutive UK #1 album, another collection of the late Eva Cassidy's work was compiled and released. "Imagine" was not quite as successful as "Songbird", only topping the chart for a week, but put her on the way to breaking a chart record the following year.


Reviving an old #1 for the second time to create another one for themselves were girl group Atomic Kitten. This time it was Blondie's 1980 chart topper "The Tide Is High", which they changed slightly to make "The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)". It topped the charts for 3 weeks and after this they never saw the top of the charts again, however they had managed 3 #1 singles throughout their career. They split at the beginning of 2004, releasing a Greatest Hits album. US solo performer, Pink scored her first solo chart topper with a track taken from her second album, "M!ssundaztood". The track was called "Just Like A Pill" and was contained in a series of tracks that showed Pink for whom she really was. She had previously been with Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim and Mya on their rendition of "Lady Marmalade", so she could claim this as her 2nd UK #1. Despite being her most successful album, "Missundaztood" only made
#2 on the albums chart.

Increasing their popularity even further, Coldplay released their second album, and follow up to massive successful "Parachutes". "A Rush of Blood to the Head" became a great success. Containing hits such as "In My Place", "The Scientist" & "Clocks", the album even sustained their popularity in the US and they became one of the few 21st century British acts to achieve fame and popularity in the US. While topping the singles charts with their 3rd and final #1, Atomic Kitten scored a #1 album with their 3rd release, "Feels So Good". The album spawned two Top 3 hits as well as their 3rd chart topper.


After both having two chart toppers, the two "Pop Idols", Will Young & Gareth Gates joined forces and revived an old Beatles classic, "The Long and Winding Road". It gave them both their 3rd UK chart topper and established both of them as national stars. However, it was from here that Gareth would slowly decline and Will would rise to become an even bigger star. The B-side to this was Gareth's re-working of Elvis' classic #2 from 1969, "Suspicious Minds". Will Young's version of Jackie Wilson's" Sweetest Feeling" also appeared on the B-side The year was proving to be very successful for Elvis in many ways and there was one great album success to still be received. Next to hit the top, but only for a week were three Spanish sisters, Las Ketchup with a holiday novelty song "The Ketchup Song (Asjere)". What was probably considered the tune of 2002 came next and was a duet between US rapper Nelly and Kelly Rowland, a member of Destiny's Child. She was the only one out of the 3from her old group experiencing success as a solo artist, but she soon would be overtaken by Beyoncé Knowles. "Dilemma" became a song no-one would ever forget and stayed on top of the charts for 2 weeks. It also topped the charts in the US. Nelly experienced much greater success in his home country compared to the UK.

Gathering every #1 single Elvis had experienced in both the UK and US, a collection of 30 songs plus "A Little Less Conversation" as a bonus track was released on an album, entitled "". The king of pop clocked up more sales, staying on top for 2 weeks. He was replaced by Pop Idol Will Young, who scored his first #1 album, with 'From Now On'. The album contained his first 3 singles, all of which had topped the chart. The album stayed at the top of the charts for 2 weeks. The album spawned one final hit, which peaked at #2.


Based in Germany, Spanish producer, DJ Sammy, featuring Yanou and Do on vocals re-worked an old Bryan Adams track from 1985, "Heaven" and took it to the top. Bryan Adams only managed to take the track to #38. Only lasting a week at the summit, the song was quickly overtaken by the boyband that could do no wrong. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the UK charts, since when they first started back in 1952, the 941st No.1 came from Westlife yet again, with their 11th #1 single, "Unbreakable". This gave them more chart toppers than the queen of pop herself, Madonna. Only Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Cliff Richard had received more #1 singles than Westlife now. After a week, US superstar, Christina Aguilera returned to the top of the UK charts for the 3rd time promoting a new raunchier image with her first single from her second album, "Stripped". "Dirrty" came with an overtly sexual video and despite its massive popularity in the UK, itfailed to reach the Top 20 in her US homeland.

US rock band, the Foo Fighters scored their 1st #1 album with their 4th release, "One By One". All of the band's 3 previous albums had gone Top 10, 2 of them going Top 3. However, after a week, singer, David Gray took over from them with second album, "A New Day At Midnight". It stayed on top for a week, but was nowhere near as successful as its predecessor "White Ladder". Compiling all of their best to date, boyband Westlife released "Unbreakable - The Greatest Hits - Vol 1" containing their 11 #1 singles and other hits. It was quickly knocked off by the biggest selling album of the year, which topped the charts all through December and part of January.


Twelve months after he hit the top with his debut single, Daniel Bedingfield returned to the top with a slow ballad, "If You're Not The One". It became his 2nd UK #1 and was the third release from his debut album, "Gotta Get Thru This", which despite producing 5 Top 10 singles and 6 Top 40 hits only managed to make #13 in the albums chart. A fourth chart topper confirmed Eminem as the most successful rapper in UK chart history. The song, "Lose Yourself" is considered to be one of his best and is taken from the soundtrack to his own film, "8 Mile", which also proved very popular. The song also topped the charts in the US. Boyband Blue returned to the top of the UK charts for the 3rd time collaborating with Elton John to revived an old hit of his, "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word". Amazingly, despite charting for 31 years, this was only Elton's 5th UK #1 single. became the new phenomenon in the world of talent shows and it produced 2 new acts,boyband One True Voice and girl group Girls Aloud. They both released their singles in Christmas week and the girls beat the boys to the top spot, claiming the Christmas number one with their debut single, "Sound Of The Underground". The song topped the charts for 4 weeks, and escalated them to great fame. They've have had continued success for 5 years releasing 17 top 10 singles and 5 successful albums and are still going strong to this day, but One True Voice quickly disappeared from the music scene after just one more hit.

Robbie Williams took the Christmas number one album spot yet again with his 5th #1 album, "Escapology". The album contained the massive single hit, "Feel" and the soon to be single hits, "Come Undone", "Something Beautiful" and "Sexed Up". The album remained on top for 6 weeks, becoming the longest stay at the top since he himself topped the charts last year in December, when "Swing When You're Winning" topped the charts for 7 weeks. Amazingly, the album did return to the top the following year almost 9 months after it was first released. It became one of the few albums to drop out of the Top 40 and climb back in to reach the top spot again.



Top 40 Albums of 2002

Music awards

BRIT Awards

The 2002 BRIT Awards winners were:

*British album: Dido: "No Angel"
*British breakthrough act: Blue
*British dance act: Basement Jaxx
*British female solo artist: Dido
*British group: Travis
*British male solo artist: Robbie Williams
*British single: S Club 7 – "Don't Stop Movin'"
*British video: So Solid Crew – "21 Seconds"
*International album: Kylie Minogue - "Fever"
*International breakthrough act: The Strokes
*International female: Kylie Minogue
*International group: Destiny's Child
*International male: Shaggy
*Outstanding contribution: Sting
*Pop act: Westlife

Classical BRITS

*Female Artist of the Year — Cecilia Bartoli
*Male Artist of the Year — Sir Colin Davis
*Album of the Year — Russell Watson — "Encore"
*Ensemble/Orchestral Album of the Year — Richard Hickox and London Symphony Orchestra — "Vaughan Williams, A London Symphony"
*Contemporary Music Award — Tan Dun — "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"
*Young British Classical Performer — Guy Johnston
*Critics' Award — Sir Colin Davis and London Symphony Orchestra — "Berlioz, Les Troyens"
*Biggest-selling Classical Album — Russell Watson — "Encore"
*Outstanding Contribution to Music — Andrea Bocelli

Mercury Music Prize

The 2002 Mercury Music Prize was awarded to Ms. Dynamite - "A Little Deeper

Record of the Year

The Record of the Year was awarded to "Unchained Melody" by Gareth Gates.

External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/chart/ BBC Radio 1's Chart Show with JK and Joel]
* [http://www.theofficialcharts.com/ The Official United Kingdom Charts Company]

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