The Record of the Year

The Record of the Year was an award voted by the United Kingdom public. For many years it was given in conjunction with television programmes of the same name. The first show ran in the early evening on a December Saturday just before Christmas with the ten finalists represented as either live performances or filmed inserts or dance routines; then the phone lines were declared opened and the second show, an hour or so later, at prime time and also live, went around the TV regions revealing the votes and culminating in the announcement of the winner.

The Record of the Year
CountryUnited Kingdom
First awarded1998
Last awarded2012
Television/radio coverage
NetworkITV (1998–2005)

It became one of the highest rated music TV ceremonies in the UK, boosting sales of CDs and then downloads in the crucial fortnight before Christmas every year. For that reason, it was much respected by the industry, labels, publishers and retailers. It was the only music award in the UK to be chosen by the public.

The award began in 1998 and was televised on ITV for eight years before being dropped in 2006 after disagreements over the phone voting element. Since then, it had been an online poll, administered through the Record of the Year website. In 2013, the online poll was axed, signaling the end of the award.


The most frequent winner was Irish boy band Westlife, with four awards (1999, 2000, 2003 and 2005), two of which were consecutive. The only other artist to win multiple awards was American singer Lady Gaga, with two awards (2009 and 2011).

The 2008 winner, "Rockstar" by Canadian band Nickelback, was the first winner from outside the British Isles.

The only artist to receive multiple nominations in the same year was American rapper Pitbull, who was nominated as both a lead and featured artist in 2011, although he never won.

Year Song Artist Host
1998 "No Matter What" Boyzone  Denise Van Outen
1999 "Flying Without Wings" Westlife 
2000 "My Love"
2001 "Don't Stop Movin'" S Club 7  Ant & Dec
2002 "Unchained Melody" Gareth Gates 
2003 "Mandy" Westlife  Cat Deeley
2004 "Thunderbirds Are Go" Busted 
2005 "You Raise Me Up" Westlife  Vernon Kay
2006 "Patience" Take That  N/A
2007 "Bleeding Love" Leona Lewis 
2008 "Rockstar" Nickelback 
2009 "Poker Face" Lady Gaga 
2010 "Fireflies" Owl City 
2011 "Born This Way" Lady Gaga 
2012 "Somebody That I Used to Know" Gotye   feat. Kimbra 

Year by yearEdit


The ten finalists were:[1]

Song Artist
"No Matter What" Boyzone 
"Angels" Robbie Williams 
"Believe" Cher 
"C'est la Vie" B*Witched 
"Feel It" The Tamperer featuring Maya  
"Got the Feelin'" 5ive 
"How Do I Live" LeAnn Rimes 
"My Heart Will Go On" Celine Dion 
"Never Ever" All Saints  
"One for Sorrow" Steps 


The ten finalists were:[2]

Song Artist Notes
"Flying Without Wings" Westlife 
"...Baby One More Time" Britney Spears 
"Blue (Da Ba Dee)" Eiffel 65 
"Bring It All Back" S Club 7 
"If You Had My Love" Jennifer Lopez 
"Livin' la Vida Loca" Ricky Martin 
"Mambo No. 5" Lou Bega  Pérez Prado  cover
"Perfect Moment" Martine McCutcheon  Edyta Górniak  cover
"That Don't Impress Me Much" Shania Twain 
"When You Say Nothing at All" Ronan Keating  Keith Whitley  cover


The ten finalists were:[3]

Song Artist Result
"My Love" Westlife  1st - 129 points
"Rock DJ" Robbie Williams  2nd - 121 points
"Reach" S Club 7  3rd - 114 points
"Life Is a Rollercoaster" Ronan Keating  4th - 103 points
"Fill Me In" Craig David  5th - 84 points
"It Feels So Good" Sonique  6th - 71 points
"Pure Shores" All Saints   7th - 60 points
"Rise" Gabrielle  8th - 34 points
"Gotta Tell You" Samantha Mumba  9th - 29 points
"Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" Spiller  feat. Sophie Ellis-Bextor  10th - 25 points


The ten finalists were:[4]

Song Artist
"Don't Stop Movin'" S Club 7 
"All Rise" Blue 
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" Kylie Minogue 
"Do You Really Like It?" DJ Pied Piper and the Masters of Ceremonies 
"It Wasn't Me" Shaggy 
"Perfect Gentleman" Wyclef Jean 
"Pure and Simple" Hear'Say 
"Survivor" Destiny's Child 
"Teenage Dirtbag" Wheatus 
"Whole Again" Atomic Kitten 


The ten finalists were:

Song Artist Notes
"Unchained Melody" Gareth Gates  Todd Duncan  cover
"A Little Less Conversation" Elvis  vs. JXL  Remix of Elvis's 1968 song
"Colourblind" Darius 
"Evergreen" Will Young  Westlife  cover
"Hero" Enrique Iglesias 
"If Tomorrow Never Comes" Ronan Keating  Garth Brooks  cover
"Just a Little" Liberty X  
"Kiss Kiss" Holly Valance  Cover of "Şımarık" by Tarkan , based on a previous cover by Stella Soleil 
"The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" Atomic Kitten  Cover of "The Tide Is High" by the Paragons 
"Whenever, Wherever" Shakira 


The ten finalists were:

Song Artist Notes
"Mandy" Westlife  Cover of "Brandy" by Scott English 
"Be Faithful" Fatman Scoop 
"Bring Me to Life" Evanescence 
"Crazy in Love" Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z (both  )
"If You're Not the One" Daniel Bedingfield  
"Make Luv" Room 5  feat. Oliver Cheatham 
"Sweet Dreams My LA Ex" Rachel Stevens 
"Where Is the Love?" The Black Eyed Peas 
"White Flag" Dido 
"Year 3000" Busted 


The ten finalists were:

Song Artist Result
"Thunderbirds Are Go" Busted  1st – 92pts
"5 Colours in Her Hair" McFly  2nd – 91pts
"Left Outside Alone" Anastacia  3rd – 90pts
"Leave Right Now" Will Young  4th – 88pts
"The Closest Thing to Crazy" Katie Melua   5th – 79pts
"Laura" Scissor Sisters 
"Love Machine" Girls Aloud  
"Real to Me" Brian McFadden 
"These Words" Natasha Bedingfield 
"This Love" Maroon 5 


The ten finalists were:[5]

Song Artist Result Notes
"You Raise Me Up" Westlife  1st Secret Garden   cover
"All About You" McFly  2nd
"My Humps" The Black Eyed Peas  3rd
"You’re Beautiful" James Blunt  4th
"Bad Day" Daniel Powter  5th
"Feel Good Inc." Gorillaz  feat. De La Soul 
"If There's Any Justice" Lemar 
"Nine Million Bicycles" Katie Melua  
"Since U Been Gone" Kelly Clarkson 
"What You Waiting For?" Gwen Stefani 


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Patience" Take That  1st 15.5%
"Hips Don't Lie" Shakira  feat. Wyclef Jean  2nd 15.3%
"No Tomorrow" Orson  3rd 14.9%
"Maneater" Nelly Furtado  4th 10.8%
"Crazy" Gnarls Barkley  5th 10.6%
"I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" Scissor Sisters  6th 10.4%
"From Paris to Berlin" Infernal 
"I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (with Flowers in My Hair)" Sandi Thom 
"Smile" Lily Allen 
"SOS" Rihanna 


The result was:

Song Artist Result Notes
"Bleeding Love" Leona Lewis  1st 24.2%
"Shine" Take That  2nd 20.2%
"Grace Kelly" Mika   3rd 19.3%
"Hey There Delilah" Plain White T's  4th 13.3%
"Umbrella" Rihanna  5th 12.8%
"How to Save a Life" The Fray  6th 3.6%
"Beautiful Liar" Beyoncé  & Shakira  7th 3.5%
"The Way I Are" Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. (all  ) 8th 1.2%
"Ruby" Kaiser Chiefs  9th 1.1%
"500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be)" The Proclaimers feat. Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin (all  ) 10th 0.8% Comic Relief rerecording of the Proclaimers' 1988 song


The result was:

Song Artist Notes Result
"Rockstar" Nickelback  1st 20.3%
"4 Minutes" Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake and Timbaland (all  ) 2nd 19.8%
"Mercy" Duffy  3rd 11.9%
"I Kissed a Girl" Katy Perry  4th 10.5%
"American Boy" Estelle  feat. Kanye West  5th 10.4%
"Viva la Vida" Coldplay  6th 10.3%
"Chasing Pavements" Adele  7th 4.9%
"Take a Bow" Rihanna  8th 4.7%
"Now You're Gone" Basshunter  and DJ Mental Theo's Bazzheadz  Remake of Basshunter's song "Boten Anna" 9th 3.9%
"Hero" The X Factor finalists  Mariah Carey  cover 10th 3.3%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Poker Face" Lady Gaga  1st 20.6%
"Use Somebody" Kings of Leon  2nd 13.9%
"Fight for This Love" Cheryl Cole  3rd 12.2%
"I Gotta Feeling" The Black Eyed Peas  4th 11.1%
"The Fear" Lily Allen  5th 10.6%
"Bonkers" Dizzee Rascal  feat. Armand van Helden  6th 10.5%
"In For The Kill" La Roux  7th 10.1%
"Number 1" Tinchy Stryder   feat. N-Dubz  8th 4.6%
"Broken Strings" James Morrison  feat. Nelly Furtado  9th 3.5%
"Sexy Chick" David Guetta  feat. Akon  10th 2.8%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Fireflies" Owl City  1st 21.7%
"Telephone" Lady Gaga feat. Beyoncé (both  ) 2nd 13.7%
"Empire State of Mind (Part II)" Alicia Keys  3rd 13.0%
"Just The Way You Are (Amazing)" Bruno Mars  4th 11.8%
"Love the Way You Lie" Eminem  feat. Rihanna  5th 10.9%
"California Gurls" Katy Perry feat. Snoop Dogg (both  ) 6th 10.0%
"Pass Out" Tinie Tempah  7th 9.3%
"We No Speak Americano" Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP (both  ) 8th 6.9%
"Airplanes" B.o.B. feat. Hayley Williams (both  ) 9th 2.3%
"OMG" Usher feat. (both  ) 10th 0.4%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Born This Way" Lady Gaga  1st 38.2%
"Someone Like You" Adele  2nd 19.8%
"The A Team" Ed Sheeran  3rd 14.4%
"Moves Like Jagger" Maroon 5 feat. Christina Aguilera (both  ) 4th 9.6%
"Price Tag" Jessie J  5th 6.4%
"Grenade" Bruno Mars  6th 3.7%
"Party Rock Anthem" LMFAO  7th 3.6%
"S&M" Rihanna  8th 2.3%
"On the Floor" Jennifer Lopez feat. Pitbull (both  ) 9th 1.9%
"Give Me Everything" Pitbull feat. Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer (all   except Afrojack, who is  ) 10th 0.3%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Somebody That I Used To Know" Gotye   feat. Kimbra  1st 18.5%
"Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae Jepsen  2nd 17.4%
"Gangnam Style" Psy 
"Titanium" David Guetta  feat. Sia  3rd 10.9%
"We Are Young" fun. feat. Janelle Monáe (both  ) 4th 10.3%
"Starships" Nicki Minaj   5th 6.5%
"Next To Me" Emeli Sandé  6th 6.3%
"Payphone" Maroon 5 feat. Wiz Khalifa (both  ) 7th 5.4%
"Domino" Jessie J  8th 3.9%
"Whistle" Flo Rida  9th 3.7%

Criticism and praiseEdit

Many have criticised the 'Record of the Year' Award, as they feel the nominations are unfairly dominated by pop acts and thus the winner is usually not the "true" record of the year. One suggested reason for this is that it is done to attract young girls, who the organisers are sure will watch the televised final and vote for the records. Others have argued that it is an attempt to boost the sales of pop artists' albums, which traditionally have limited success relative to their singles, in the crucial pre-Christmas period. Of the examples cited as evidence for this, the most famous include the exclusion of rap artist Eminem's "My Name Is..." in 1999 as he was unavailable to perform live on the Record of the Year final and the omission from nominations of rock act The Darkness's track "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" in 2003 despite being one of the highest selling singles of the year.

Memorable moments from the TV show include, among other incidents, Wyclef Jean forgetting the words to his hit "Perfect Gentlemen" whilst performing on stage.

In spite of this, many winners of the award, as well as the organisers, argue its significance and integrity on the basis that it represents the views of the public, rather than critics. It inspired Simon Cowell to get into television and he attributes the show for his entry into the media. Some may argue this is not entirely a good thing. However, it always gets massive ratings. Indeed, Westlife have often said that their first win for the single "Flying Without Wings" was the most exciting moment in their career. Unsurprisingly, critics eventually began to say that it was just an award to prove Westlife were still around, hence why Heat Magazine dubbed it "Westlife Record of the Year" in 2004. However, a counter-argument is that this, and similar awards based on phone polls, are a true representation of public opinion, a possibly better indication than sales, which calls BBC Radio 1's countdown of the 20 best selling singles of the last calendar year a more accurate indication of the record of the year. Still, the chosen tracks on the televised Record of the Year contest reflect the views of the television programme viewers only, and not necessarily the music-buying public at large, who might not phone in multiple times to vote for their favourite song. In contrast, the Radio 1 end-of-year chart includes all music sales in all formats.


Below is a list of companies that have sponsored the award since it began:

1998–2001: Britannia Music
2002–2005: T-Mobile

Theme musicEdit

From 1998 to 2004, the theme music was the club track Disco Cop by Blue Adonis.

In 2005, ITV used a specially recorded track.


  1. ^ "BBC News - Entertainment - Boyzone scoop record of the year". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  2. ^ "BBC News - ENTERTAINMENT - Westlife win song award". Retrieved 24 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Westlife win Record of the Year". 10 December 2000. Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via
  4. ^ "S Club 7 win Record of the Year 2001". 9 December 2001. Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via
  5. ^ "Westlife scoop ITV record prize". 10 December 2005. Retrieved 24 June 2018 – via

External linksEdit