George Michael tops Smooth's All Time Top 500 for the fifth time - see the full chart

2 May 2022, 19:00

George Michael tops Smooth's All Time Top 500 for 2022
George Michael tops Smooth's All Time Top 500 for 2022. Picture: Smooth/Global/Sony

By Tom Eames

George Michael has topped the chart once again in Smooth's All Time Top 500 for 2022!

George Michael won out with 'Careless Whisper', making it the fourth year in a row for the late singer, and fifth year in total.

Queen equalled last year's new entry at number two with 'Bohemian Rhapsody', while George again appeared in third place with 'A Different Corner'.


More than 68,000 votes were cast by the public in Smooth’s All Time Top 500 – our annual countdown of the nation’s favourite songs, which were revealed on air across the May Bank Holiday weekend.

George Michael wrote 'Careless Whisper' when he was just 17 years old and the timeless classic reached the number one spot in 25 countries.

The 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.

George Michael - Careless Whisper (Official Video)

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 'Faith' and 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, and with news of a new biopic about the legendary singer announced in April, it is no surprise Whitney has 12 songs placed in the chart.

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.

ABBA are tied with The Beatles and Queen for the most successful group
ABBA are tied with The Beatles and Queen for the most successful group. Picture: Getty

New-entry 'The Joker and the Queen' was 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 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 place of solace and it’s wonderful to see the special place Smooth’s line-up of iconic music artists continue to hold in the nation’s hearts across the country.”

The full top 20 is:

  1. George Michael - 'Careless Whisper'
  2. Queen - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
  3. George Michael - 'A Different Corner'
  4. Michael Jackson - 'Man in the Mirror'
  5. Ed Sheeran - 'Perfect'
  6. John Lennon - 'Imagine'
  7. Eagles - 'Hotel California'
  8. Michael Jackson - 'Billie Jean'
  9. Simon & Garfunkel - 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'
  10. ABBA - 'Dancing Queen'
  11. Toto - 'Africa'
  12. ELO - 'Mr Blue Sky'
  13. Luther Vandross - 'Dance with My Father'
  14. Ed Sheeran & Taylor Swift - 'The Joker and the Queen'
  15. Aerosmith - 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing'
  16. Robbie Williams - 'Angels'
  17. Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers - 'Islands in the Stream'
  18. Foreigner - 'I Want to Know What Love Is'
  19. Prince - 'Purple Rain'
  20. Patrick Swayze - 'She's Like the Wind'

Artists with the most entries:

  1. George Michael - 17 (23 with Wham!)
  2. Michael Jackson - 17
  3. Elton John - 14
  4. ABBA - 12
  5. The Beatles - 12
  6. Queen - 12
  7. Whitney Houston - 12
  8. David Bowie - 10
  9. Fleetwood Mac - 9
  10. Rod Stewart - 8