George Michael has been named the most popular artist in a poll of radio listeners, while his song Careless Whisper crowned most-loved song.
The track, written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, topped Smooth Radio’s All Time Top 500, an annual poll of the nation’s favourite songs.
Released in 1984, the song topped the charts in 25 countries and has headed the poll for the third year in a row as it has found a new audience through TikTok, featuring in more than 210,000 clips.
Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.
Michael’s sister, Yioda Panayiotou, and Chris Organ, co-executor of the George Michael estate, said: “We are once again bowled over to hear the amazing news that, for the third year running, Careless Whisper has been voted number one in Smooth’s All Time Top 500, in 2021.
To know that George’s music continues to be loved by his fans and lovelies all over the world means everything to us, as it would have done to George.George Michael has 17 songs in the top 500, making him the most popular artist, with A Different Corner at four; Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, his duet with Sir Elton John, at number 15, Father Figure at 51 and Jesus To A Child at 60.Sir Elton is the second most popular artist, with 16 entries in the chart.
Whitney Houston is top female artist, with 13 songs included, making her the third most popular artist overall with her version of I Will Always Love You placed song at number 16.
Madonna, who took the title last year, is in second place with eight entries, followed by Adele.
Most popular band is Abba with 12 entries, led by Dancing Queen at number 14, ahead of the Bee Gees in second place, with 10 entries.
Smooth presenter Jenni Falconer said: “Smooth’s All Time Top 500 gives us an insight into the nation’s favourite songs that have become the soundtracks to our lives over the past 12 months.
“In what’s been an unprecedented year, the popularity of those timeless and familiar songs remains ever strong, as people turn to the music they know and love.
- “It’s testament to the enduring power of music from world artists such as George Michael, Whitney Houston and Sir Elton John that they continue to hold such an important place in the nation’s hearts.”