The Beatles Now And Then: Oldest chart-toppers in UK history

Written by on 7th November 2023

With The Beatles on course to score their first Number One single since 1969, we take a look at the oldest artists to top the Official UK Singles Chart. 

Image – Universal Music Group

Sir Paul McCartney will be 81 years and five months old, and Sir Ringo Starr will be 83 years and four months old if Now And Then reaches Number 1 on Friday. But where do two of the Fab Four rank compared to other oldies in chart history? 

5. Kate Bush

Age at Number One: 63 years, 11 months

Kate Bush scored a Number One single in 2022 with Running Up That Hill (Make A Deal With God) after the Netflix show Stranger Things popularised the track 37 years after its initial release. 

At the time of the 2022 re-release, Bush was close to her 64th birthday. 

4. Louis Armstrong

Age at Number One: 66 years, 10 months

In 1968, Louis Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World topped the charts. 

At 66 years old, it made him the oldest chart-topper in UK chart history at the time. It would take decades for him to be displaced at the top of this list. 

3. Sir Tom Jones

Age at Number One: 68 years, 9 months

Legendary Welsh singer Sir Tom Jones eclipsed Louis Armstrong’s record as the oldest chart-topper in 2009 when he featured on a charity single for the BBC’s Comic Relief appeal. 

Ruth Jones and Rob Brydon appeared in character as Gavin & Stacey’s Nessa and Bryn on a cover of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers’ track Islands In The Stream, with Jones providing vocals too. 

2. Elton John

Age at Number One: 74 years, 9 months

In 2021, Sir Elton John released The Lockdown Sessions, his most recent studio album. The single Cold Heart (Pnau Remix) with Dua Lipa reached the top of the charts which made him the oldest chart-topper at the time, but a couple of Christmas releases months later helped him extend his record. 

John appeared on both Ed Sheeran’s festive favourite Merry Christmas and LadBaby’s Sausage Rolls For Everyone and scored Number One hits with both at the age of 74. 

1. Captain Tom Moore

Age at Number One: 99 years, 11 months

During the pandemic, Captain Tom Moore broke the record for the oldest artist to top the Official UK Singles Chart at the age of 99. 

The war veteran and charitable fundraiser worked with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir on a cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone.

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