The year of the debut chart smash

By Daniel Rosney
Newsbeat reporter

image copyrightGetty Images/ BBC

In 2014, a record total of 14 acts entered the charts for the first time at number one.

It used to be a rare thing for a brand new artist to debut at the top spot. Whigfield was the first to do it 20 years ago with Saturday Night.

But in 2014, Sam Smith, Ella Henderson and 5 Seconds of Summer all achieved the feat.

It reflects changes in the way fans consume music. Downloads and streaming can give songs a big first-week boost.

But many of the "new" acts who hit number one had also built up a fanbase by guesting on other people's songs first.

Sam Smith, for example, had already scored a number one as a featured artist on Naughty Boy's track La La La before he launched his solo career.

Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot said the onslaught of new artists kept the charts "fresher than ever".

Mr Probz had the biggest-selling debut single of the year, selling 815,000 copies, while Kiesza's Hideaway was the fastest-selling debut of the year, racking up 135,000 sales in its first week.

This year the Official Charts Company - who compile the UK charts - began including streaming from sites like Spotify, Deezer in the chart.

Radio 1 and 1Xtra's Head of Music, George Ergatoudis, told Newsbeat earlier in the year: "I think there is a real correlation there, that streaming is starting to grow and it's starting to eat into download sales."

Sam Smith

Sam Smith was guest vocalist on 2013 Number 1 La La La by Naughty Boy, but Money On My Mind was his first release as a featured artist.

Speaking to Zane Lowe the winner of the BBC's Sound of 2014 admitted to being scared when his debut single came out.

He said: "I didn't want people to think that song was a cheap shot because it sounded like a hit. Before I give you my most personal piece of work, I'm giving you this to dance and I'm giving you this as therapy."

Ella Henderson

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Ella Henderson told Newsbeat she was really nervous about releasing Ghost but had spent so long working on her sound she was proud of whatever she brought out.

The former X Factor contestant said: "It is exciting to hear what people have to say about me who haven't watched X Factor and don't know me. My music is very different to what I did on the show."

Ella's album Chapter One also debuted at number one and she was nominated for Best British Solo Artist and Best British Breakthrough at the Radio 1 Teen Awards.

Gareth Malone's All Star Choir

Alice Levine became the first ever Radio 1 presenter to hit the top spot with a number one single.

She was part of Gareth Malone's All Star Choir who released a cover of Avicii's Wake Me Up to raise money for Children in Need.

The full list of new acts to debut at number one

  • Money On My Mind - Sam Smith
  • My Love - Route 94 FT Jess Glynne
  • Tsunami (Jump) - Dvbbs & Borgeous/Tinie Tempah
  • She Looks So Perfect - 5 Seconds Of Summer
  • Nobody To Love - Sigma
  • Hideaway - Kiesza
  • Waves - Mr Probz
  • I Wanna Feel - Secondcity
  • Ghost - Ella Henderson
  • Gecko (Overdrive) - Oliver Heldens & Becky Hill
  • Problem - Ariana Grande FT Iggy Azalea [Top 40 debut]
  • Me And My Broken Heart - Rixton
  • Prayer In C - Lilly Wood & Robin Schulz
  • Wake Me Up - Gareth Malone's All Star Choir

The Official Chart Show on Radio 1 is on Sundays from 4pm.

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