George Michael’s Careless Whisper retains top spot in favourite song poll

Careless Whisper which was released by the late singer George Michael has come top of a radio poll for the nation’s favourite song for a fifth year in a row.

The 1984 track – written by Michael and pop partner Andrew Ridgeley for their Wham! album Make It Big – was voted top of Smooth Radio’s All Time Top 500, an annual list of the UK’s best-loved songs.

Careless Whisper has more than one billion views on YouTube and Michael, who died on Christmas Day in 2016 aged 53, has also been crowned the most popular artist in the poll with 20 songs, 14 of which are solo numbers, making the list.

In a joint statement, George Michael Entertainment and his family said: “Five years in a row at number one! What can we say?

“It means so much to us that you have shown how much Careless Whisper means to you by voting and getting it to the top once again this year.

“We are truly grateful for your continued support and George would be so delighted”.

Next month would have been Michael’s 60th birthday and there has been continued interest in the star, most recently with the March release of the Channel 4 documentary series George Michael: Outed.

Smooth Radio said Sir Elton John is the second most popular artist, with 14 songs in the top 500 including his collaboration with Michael, Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me.

The 76-year-old singer-songwriter and global superstar said in December “there is no more fitting way to say goodbye to my British fans” than playing his final UK show at Glastonbury following his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

Clive Davis Pre-GRAMMY Party – Los Angeles
Whitney Houston was named the radio station’s most popular female artist (Ian West/PA)

Whitney Houston, who died in 2012 aged 48, was named the Global radio station’s most popular female artist with 12 songs including I Will Always Love You at number seven.

A new biographical film Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody, starring Naomi Ackie, was released in December which explored the life of the American singer and actress.

Madonna, who is about to embark on a new tour featuring four decades of her greatest hits, has taken second place from singer Adele, with eight entries in the poll.

Abba was voted the most popular band of all time following their Abba Voyage digital concert being launched in London last year.

Abba Voyage
(L to R) Bjorn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Faltskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson attending the Abba Voyage digital concert launch (Ian West/PA)

The Swedish band have 14 entries in the countdown, led by Dancing Queen at number 10 and The Winner Takes It All at number 40.

Smooth presenter Angie Greaves said: “Smooth’s All Time Top 500, now in its 10th year, celebrates the best music and gives us a fantastic insight into the nation’s favourite songs and artists.

“Next month would have been George Michael’s 60th birthday and it is wonderful that his incredible legacy lives on through his music, as Careless Whisper is voted the nation’s all-time number one song and George is voted the most popular artist.

“Looking across the chart, from Sir Elton John and Whitney Houston to Abba and Madonna, it is wonderful to see the variety of music the public has chosen this year.”

Almost 32,000 votes were made to Smooth for its All Time Top 500 poll.