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6 May 2019, 17:55 | Updated: 7 May 2019, 12:09
George Michael's family and his former Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley thank Smooth listeners for the "lovely" surprise of voting 'Careless Whisper' as the number one song in the All Time Top 500 for 2019.
After thousands of votes and four days of fantastic music, George Michael has been crowned the winner of Smooth's All Time Top 500 for 2019.
'Careless Whisper' reclaims the top spot it had in the 2017 vote, and climbs back a place after finishing second last year. Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect' - which was number one last year - swaps places with 'Careless Whisper'.
Almost 45,000 votes were cast in Smooth's annual poll of the nation’s favourite songs, now in its sixth year, which were counted down on air across the Bank Holiday weekend.
Written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley when they were both 17, 'Careless Whisper' reached the number one spot in 25 countries and sold more than six million copies.
Andrew Ridgeley told Smooth: “I’m thrilled and grateful to all the Smooth Radio listeners who voted for 'Careless Whisper' as their favourite All Time Top 500 song.
"It is incredibly flattering to know that the one of the first songs George and I wrote together as unknown teenagers, still has the power to touch people’s hearts and is cherished with such enduring affection.”
George Michael’s family (sisters Mel, Yioda and father Jack) said: “Yog was always so appreciative of the huge support he received from the Smooth team, their loyal listeners (and all his lovelies) who’ve shared his beautiful music, over so many years.
"So we’re positive, that he’d be absolutely delighted to hear (as are we) that Careless Whisper has returned to the top of Smooth’s All Time Top 500 for 2019. Thanks to each and every one of you."
20. Bee Gees - 'How Deep Is Your Love'
19. Elvis Presley - 'Suspicious Minds'
18. Carpenters - 'Close to You'
17. ABBA - 'The Winner Takes it All'
16. David Bowie - 'Life on Mars?'
15. Elton John - 'Your Song'
14. Elvis Presley - 'Can't Help Falling in Love'
13. Adele - 'Make You Feel My Love'
12. Adele - 'Someone Like You'
11. Fleetwood Mac - 'Go Your Own Way'
10. Elvis Presley - 'Always on My Mind'
9. Bryan Adams - '(Everything I Do) I Do it For You'
8. Ed Sheeran - 'Thinking Out Loud'
7. John Legend - 'All of Me'
6. ABBA - 'Dancing Queen'
5. Whitney Houston - 'I Will Always Love You'
4. Robbie Williams - 'Angels'
3. George Michael - 'A Different Corner'
2. Ed Sheeran - 'Perfect'
1. George Michael - 'Careless Whisper'
In this year’s chart, a record-breaking 21 songs feature George Michael – the highest ever number for the singer – confirming him as the nation’s most popular artist of all time. 'A Different Corner' remains at number three, while 'Jesus To A Child' is at number 30, followed by 'Father Figure' at number 33.
Whitney Houston was voted the most popular female artist by Smooth listeners, with 10 songs in the chart – more than ever before. Her iconic version of 'I Will Always Love You' is the highest placed song for the singer, at number five.
19.= Lionel Richie (8 songs)
19.= Fleetwood Mac (8)
14.= Take That (9)
14.= Queen (9)
14.= Prince (9)
14.= Madonna (9)
14.= Adele (9)
6.= The Beatles (10)
6.= Stevie Wonder (10)
6.= Phil Collins (10)
6.= Elvis Presley (10)
6.= David Bowie (10)
6.= Carpenters (10)
6.= Whitney Houston (10)
6.= Bee Gees (10)
5. Rod Stewart (11)
3.= Michael Jackson (14)
3.= ABBA (14)
1. George Michael (17, 21 including Wham!)
As Agnetha, Anni-Frid, Benny and Björn prepare to release their first new songs in more than 35 years this autumn, followed by a digital avatar tour, ABBA have again been voted the most popular band of all time. The Swedish foursome have secured 14 entries in total, led by 'Dancing Queen' at number six.
British music has had another successful year. Ed Sheeran, Take That and Robbie Williams – whose 'Angels' is at its highest ever position at number four – are among the 84 UK artists who feature in the poll.
Smooth's Kate Garraway said: “George Michael and Whitney Houston are two of the greatest music talents the world has ever seen and it’s testament to their enduring popularity that our listeners have chosen them as their favourite artists.
"Smooth’s All Time Top 500 has been the perfect way to celebrate their lives and timeless songs.”
If you missed any of Smooth's All Time Top 500, you can listen again by downloading the Global Player app, or by hitting the 'Listen' button at SmoothRadio.com.