Chart Beat

Pharrell Williams' Record-Breaking 'Happy' Returns to No. 1 in U.K.

Mimi Valdes


Pharrell Williams was in record-breaking form as the Official Charts Company unveiled the U.K.’s weekly sales data on Sunday (March 2). His smash hit “Happy” (Back Lot) became the first single for 57 years to start a third separate run at No. 1. It sold its millionth copy in the territory last week, making Williams only the second artist after the Beatles to appear on three U.K. million-sellers inside 12 months. Bastille’s “Bad Blood” (Virgin/Universal) stayed at the top of the album chart. 

“Happy” first climbed to No. 1 in the final days of last year, and moved back to the summit in January. Williams also topped the chart in 2013 via his guest appearances on Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” The only other artists in U.K. singles chart history to hit No. 1 three times with the same song were Frankie Laine with “I Believe,” in 1953, and Guy Mitchell with “Singing The Blues” in 1957.

Sam Smith’s “Money On My Mind” (Capitol/Universal), which debuted at No. 1 last week, fell to No. 2, as Clean Bandit’s former chart-topper featuring Jess Glynne, “Rather Be” (Atlantic/Warner Music), stayed at No. 3. Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” (Virgin/Universal), featuring Juicy J, moved up 6-4, and A Great Big World dipped 4-5 with “Say Something” (RCA/Song), featuring Christina Aguilera. 

The week’s highest-debuting single was Dutch DJ Tiesto’s “Red Lights” (Virgin/Universal), at a career-best No. 6. Also new in the top ten were “Let Go For Tonight” (Sign Of The Times) by Foxes, at No. 7 (her first U.K. top tenner), and Paloma Faith’s “Can’t Rely On You” (RCA/Sony) at No. 10. John Legend had a banner week, climbing 29-9 with his “All Of Me” single and 29-15 with the “Love In The Future” album (Columbia).

Bastille’s debut album starts another week on top, ahead of Arctic Monkeys’ “AM” (Domino), which held at No. 2, and Ellie Goulding’s “Halcyon” (Polydor/Universal), which improved 4-3. Beck’s “Morning Phase” (EMI/Universal), which was in the early running to top the chart in midweek sales flashes, ended the week with a No. 4 debut, and “Beyoncé” (Columbia/Sony) climbed 7-5.

North of England rock band Wild Beasts entered at a best-ever No. 10 with their fourth album “Present Tense” (Domino), as fellow English indie rock outfit Reverend and the Makers returned at No. 13 with “Thirtytwo” (Cooking Vinyl). On the compilation chart, Ministry of Sound’s dance collection “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat” jumped 3-1.