Artists who replaced themselves at number 1 of the official singles ranking

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If you’re going to be hit by someone, it could as well be by someone you really care about – yourself! Squeezing your own work out of the top spot is a pretty rare occurrence on the official chart, but it does happen, albeit very, very rarely. But who managed it? We searched the archives.

Simple

The Beatles

W / E December 14, 1963

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
ten 1 I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND BEATLES
1 2 SHE LOVES YOU BEATLES

1963 was the year the Beatles really hit their stride, clinching their top three of their 17 number 1s in total. Early orders for I Want To Hold Your Hand would have passed 1 million and debuted at the top on the day of its release, had it not been blocked by their first million She Loves You sellers. It doesn’t matter, though, as he climbed to number 1 the following week.

John lennon

W / E February 7, 1981

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
2 1 WOMEN JOHN LENNON
1 4 TO IMAGINE JOHN LENNON

In the months following his untimely death in December 1980, John Lennon’s music returned to the charts, with his iconic 1975 hit Imagine returning at number 1. The first single released after his death, Woman – an ode to his wife Yoko – replaced Imagine at the top in February.

MORE: Acts with the most number 1 singles on the official roster

Elvis Presley

S / E January 22, 2005

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
NEW 1 ONE NIGHT / I PICKED UP ELVIS PRESLEY
1 ten THE ROCK OF THE JAILHOUSE ELVIS PRESLEY

Reissues of Elvis’ 18 number 1 singles, released weekly in 2005, saw One Night return to number one and also become the UK’s 1,000th official number 1.

Justin bieber

S / E December 10, 2015

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
2 1 DO YOU LIKE TO JUSTIN BIEBER
1 2 SORRY JUSTIN BIEBER

Justin was on top of the charts at the end of 2015, when his acoustic ballad Love Yourself replaced the Sorry electronic banger at the top. Three weeks later, he became the first artist to hold numbers 1, 2 and 3 in the same week and received the official top ranking record award.

Ed sheeran

S / E January 25, 2018

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
2 1 RIVER EMINEM FT. ED SHEERAN
1 2 PERFECT ED SHEERAN

After dominating 2017 with his album Divide and his singles, Ed kicked off 2018 with another No.1, this time as a guest on Eminem’s River. The song ousted her single Perfect – the official Christmas 2017 number 1 – from the top.

Ariana Grande

S / E February 21, 2019

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
NEW 1 BREAK UP WITH YOU GIRLFRIEND I’m bored ARIANA GRANDE
1 2 7 RINGS ARIANA GRANDE

S / E February 28, 2019

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
2 1 7 RINGS ARIANA GRANDE
1 2 BREAK UP WITH YOU GIRLFRIEND I’m bored ARIANA GRANDE

Not only is Ariana the first female artist to replace herself at number 1, she lays claim to the rare feat of replacing herself at number 1 twice in the consecutive weeks surrounding the release of her album Thank U, Next in 2019.

Ed sheeran

W / E September 23, 2021

PREV POS TITLE ARTIST
NEW 1 THRILL ED SHEERAN
1 3 BAD HABITS ED SHEERAN

Ed is the latest artist to pull off the feat, ending Bad Habits’ 11-week reign at number 1 with Shivers, the second single from his album =. The singer-songwriter helped Shivers secure the # 1 spot with a limited run of singles on CD, moving 9,000 physical copies in his first week.

Albums

Getting back to the top of the official album chart is slightly rarer, it only happens six times. In February 2016, David Bowie’s last studio album, Blackstar, was toppled over by his 2002 Best Of Bowie retrospective after his passing the previous month.

Before Bowie, Michael Jackson replaced himself at the top in July 2009, when his hit album Essential knocked No. 1 off pole after his death.

Going even further back in time, 35 years ago, the folk-rock artist Mike Oldfield achieved the feat in October 1974 with Tubular Bells / Hergest Ridge, while Bob Dylan scored two successive number 1s in May 1965 with Bringing It All Back Home and The Freewheelin ‘Bob Dylan.

Finally, the Beatles have returned to the top on no less than two occasions. The first was in December 1963 with With The Beatles and Please Please Me, and the second was almost exactly a year later with Beatles For Sale / A Hard Day’s Night.


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