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Music

The biggest selling single of the noughties was by Will Young

Josh Milton September 24, 2019
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Singer Will Young in 2003 (L) and in 2019. V-necks are timeless, apparently. (Brian Rasic via Getty Images/Jeff Spicer via Getty Images)

Singer Will Young in 2003 (L) and in 2019. V-necks are timeless, apparently. (Brian Rasic via Getty Images/Jeff Spicer via Getty Images)

With the world getting hotter, the perils of global warming becoming increasingly clear and catastrophic, hurricanes swirling and droughts lengthening, the noughties seem like a fever dream in comparison to today.

But not too long ago, people plugged headphones into MP3 players, rather than iPhones, and one study has found that if these people lived in the UK, chances are they were probably listening to Will Young.

OfficialCharts.com has revealed the biggest selling songs of the first decade of the millennium, based on physical copies and, once they were incorporated into the chart in 2005, downloads as well.

Young’s double A-side ‘Anything is Possible/Evergreen’ topped the charts in 2002, selling 1.1 million in its first week alone. It dropped as the debut from Young, the first winner of Pop Idol in the UK.

The single tallied up 1.79 million sales in the noughties and is still the biggest selling debut single of all time.

Nearly two decades on since its release, Young told the charting company: “I cannot believe, and still find it hard to fathom, how many people supported me in buying ‘Evergreen/Anything Is Possible’.

“They are songs I still sing on tour 18 years later! It will forever humble me.”

Who else made the cut?

The 2000s were clearly the decade of the music competition, considering that the top 10 is dominated by alumni from various shows.

Fellow Pop Idol alumni Gareth Gates and his debut release ‘Unchained Melody’ scored second in the list. The single sold 1.35 million copies on CD and download.

Three further reality TV stars landed in the top 10 biggest-selling songs of the noughties list; Alexandra Burke’s ‘Hallejuah’ is at five, Shayne Ward’s ‘That’s My Goal’ is at eight and Hearsay’s ‘Pure and Simple’ is at 9.

A cartoon character claimed the final spot. The 2000s were a strange time.

The top ten selling singles of the 2000s were:

  1. Anything Is Possible/Evergreen, by Will Young.
  2. Unchained Melody, by Gareth Gates.
  3. It Wasn’t Me, by Shaggy ft. Rikrok.
  4. (Is This The Way To) Amarillo, by Tony Christie ft. Peter Kay.
  5. Hallelujah, by Alexandra Burke.
  6. Do They Know It’s Christmas, by Band Aid 20.
  7. Can’t Get You Out of My Head, Kylie Minogue.
  8. That’s My Goal, Shayne Ward.
  9. Pure and Simple, Hear’Say.
  10. Can We Fix It?, by Bob the Builder.

The chart compilation organisation

In 2002, people tried to persuade Will Young not to come out.

After winning Pop Idol in 2002, Young publicly came out as gay, pre-empting tabloid newspapers from outing him.

But speaking on ITV’s Loose Women in 2018, the British singer said: “I came out twice.”

When the panel responded with shock, he explained: “I came out personally, and then when I became famous I had to do it again.”

He said that his record company didn’t attempt to dissuade him from going public with his sexuality, but that during his run to the Pop Idol crown in 2002, people tried to persuade him against coming out.

Related topics: alexandra burke, evergreen, singles, will young

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