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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.

Year Song Artist Host
1998 "No Matter What" Boyzone Denise Van Outen
1999 "Flying Without Wings" Westlife
2000 "My Love" Westlife
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

"Rockstar" is the first winner which did not make #1 on the UK singles chart, and also the first by a non-UK or Irish artist.

Year by yearEdit


The ten finalists were:[1]

Song Artist
"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
"No Matter What" Boyzone
"One for Sorrow" Steps


The ten finalists were:[2]

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


The ten finalists were:[3]

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


The ten finalists were:[4]

Song Artist
"All Rise" Blue
"Can't Get You Out of My Head" Kylie Minogue
"Don't Stop Movin'" S Club 7
"Do You Really Like It?" DJ Pied Piper
"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
"A Little Less Conversation" Elvis vs. JXL
"Colourblind" Darius Danesh
"Evergreen" Will Young
"Hero" Enrique Iglesias
"If Tomorrow Never Comes" Ronan Keating
"Just a Little" Liberty X
"Kiss Kiss" Holly Valance
"The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" Atomic Kitten
"Unchained Melody" Gareth Gates
"Whenever, Wherever" Shakira


The ten finalists were:

Song Artist
"Be Faithful" Fatman Scoop
"Bring Me to Life" Evanescence
"Crazy in Love" Beyoncé
"If You're Not the One" Daniel Bedingfield
"Make Luv" Room 5 feat. Oliver Cheatham
"Mandy" Westlife
"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
"The Closest Thing to Crazy" Katie Melua 5th – 79pts
"Five Colours in Her Hair" McFly 2nd – 91pts
"Laura" Scissor Sisters
"Left Outside Alone" Anastacia 3rd – 90pts
"Leave Right Now" Will Young 4th – 88pts
"Love Machine" Girls Aloud
"Real to Me" Brian McFadden
"These Words" Natasha Bedingfield
"This Love" Maroon 5
"Thunderbirds Are Go" Busted 1st – 92pts


The ten finalists were:[5]

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


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
"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 featuring Keri Hilson & D.O.E. 8th 1.2%
"Ruby" Kaiser Chiefs 9th 1.1%
"500 Miles (I'm Gonna Be)" The Proclaimers featuring Brian Potter and Andy Pipkin 10th 0.8%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Rockstar" Nickelback 1st 20.3%
"4 Minutes" Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake 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 9th 3.9%
"Hero" The X Factor finalists 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 featuring Beyoncé 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 featuring Rihanna 5th (10.9%)
"California Gurls" Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg 6th (10.0%)
"Pass Out" Tinie Tempah 7th (9.3%)
"We No Speak Americano" Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP 8th (6.9%)
"Airplanes" B.o.B featuring Hayley Williams 9th (2.3%)
"OMG" Usher featuring 10th (0.4%)


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Born This Way" Lady Gaga 38.2%
"Someone Like You" Adele 19.8%
"The A Team" Ed Sheeran 14.4%
"Moves Like Jagger" Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera 9.6%
"Price Tag" Jessie J 6.4%
"Grenade" Bruno Mars 3.7%
"Party Rock Anthem" LMFAO 3.6%
"S&M" Rihanna 2.3%
"On the Floor" Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull 1.9%
"Give Me Everything" Pitbull 0.3%


The result was:

Song Artist Result
"Somebody That I Used To Know" Gotye featuring Kimbra 18.5%
"Call Me Maybe" Carly Rae Jepsen 17.4%
"Gangnam Style" Psy 17.4%
"Titanium" David Guetta featuring Sia 10.9%
"We Are Young" fun. featuring Janelle Monáe 10.3%
"Starships" Nicki Minaj 6.5%
"Next To Me" Emeli Sandé 6.3%
"Payphone" Maroon 5 featuring Wiz Khalifa 5.4%
"Domino" Jessie J 3.9%
"Whistle" Flo Rida 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