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3 May 2021, 18:55 | Updated: 3 May 2021, 19:00
George Michael has come out on top once again in Smooth's All Time Top 500 for 2021!
After receiving more votes than ever before for Britain's Biggest Music Countdown, George Michael topped the chart with 'Careless Whisper'. This is the third year in a row for the late singer, and fourth year in total, having also topped the 2017 countdown.
Voted for by the public, more than 75,000 votes were cast in Smooth’s All Time Top 500 – the highest number ever – in the radio station’s annual poll of the nation’s favourite songs, which were counted down on air across the bank holiday weekend.
Its enduring popularity confirms the nation’s love of nostalgia, familiarity and timeless songs, which have been a source of comfort over the past year.
Equally, a whole new audience has been introduced to 'Careless Whisper' through TikTok. The song has been remixed and featured in more than 210,000 clips, interacting with more than a million people over the past six months.
Yioda Panayiotou and Chris Organ, on behalf of the George Michael team: “We are once again bowled over to hear the amazing news that, for the third year running, Careless Whisper has been voted number one in Smooth’s All Time Top 500, in 2021. To know that George’s music continues to be loved by his fans and Lovelies all over the world means everything to us, as it would have done to George.”
In total, George Michael has 17 songs in Smooth’s All Time Top 500, confirming his place as the nation’s most popular artist of all time. 'A Different Corner' is at number four; 'Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me', his duet with Sir Elton John, is at number 15, followed by Father Figure (51) and Jesus To A Child (60).
The Story of... 'Careless Whisper' by George Michael
Ahead of Sir Elton John’s world tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road, which is due to resume later this year, he becomes the nation’s second most popular artist, with 16 entries in the chart.
Whitney Houston reclaims the title as the most popular female artist, with 13 songs, making her the third most popular artist overall. Her iconic version of 'I Will Always Love You' is the highest-placed song for the singer, at number 16. Madonna, who took the title last year, is in second place with eight entries, followed by Adele, whose eagerly anticipated fourth album is expected to be released this year.
Dolly Parton is the highest-placed female artist, at number 10, with 'Islands in the Stream', her duet with Kenny Rogers.
With five brand-new songs due to be released this year, plus a forthcoming hologram tour titled Abbatar, ABBA has been voted the most popular band of all time. The Swedish foursome have 12 entries, led by 'Dancing Queen' at number 14. The Bee Gees are in second place, with 10 entries.
Smooth presenter Jenni Falconer said: “Smooth’s All Time Top 500 gives us an insight into the nation’s favourite songs that have become the soundtracks to our lives over the past 12 months. In what’s been an unprecedented year, the popularity of those timeless and familiar songs remains ever strong, as people turn to the music they know and love.
"Our listeners tell us that Smooth continues to be a sanctuary and oasis amid the busy news agenda, so it’s testament to the enduring power of music from world artists such as George Michael, Whitney Houston and Sir Elton John that they continue to hold such an important place in the nation’s hearts.”