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The latest person to top the British charts is 100 years old

On May 9, 1964, Louis Armstrong became the oldest male artist to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. When “Hello Dolly” peaked that spring, he was 62 years and 279 days old.

A couple of decades later, Cher became the oldest female to reach the top of the singles charts with “Believe.” She was 52 years and 297 days old on March 13, 1999.

If we switch to the Billboard album charts, the oldest person to reach number one was Tony Bennett with Duets II in 2012. He was 85 years old.

Phht. That’s nothing compared to the British charts.

Captain Tom Moore just became the oldest Brit to have a number one single. Just shy of his 100th birthday (it’s coming up Thursday), his charity single, a cover of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” hit the top of the Official Charts.

This all began when he began a fundraising walk for Britain’s National Health Service. He thought that he might be able to raise £1,000 by walking 100 laps of his garden. He’s now at £28.6 million and counting.

A couple of interesting facts about this:

  • This achievement is now in the Guinness Book of World Records
  • The Weeknd was heading for a number one with “Blinding Lights, but he told his fans to support Captain Walker instead.
  • The previous record holder in the UK was Tom Jones, who hit the top of the charts when he was 68 back in 2009.
  • The British record could have been even better. Dame Vera Lynn’s recording of “We’ll Meet Again” challenged Captain Moore from the top spot. She’s 103.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38556 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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