Statistical analysis highlights British talent making a comeback in US charts


A study of Top 10 singles in the US Billboard and UK Official Chart from 1975 to the present day has highlighted a comeback for British artists across the Atlantic in recent years, thanks to the success of musicians such as Adele, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, Mark Ronson, One Direction, Passenger and Sam Smith.


Whilst British artists may not be quite as popular in the States as they were in the glory days of David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd and Queen in the ‘70s and ‘80s, since 2010 Brits are back on the scene after almost disappearing from the US Top 10 in the ‘Noughties’, according to figures gathered by

From 2010 onwards, Brits are making a comeback with a 12.17% presence in the US Top 10 in the last five years. From 2000 up until the start of 2010, just 1.25% of US Top 10 singles came from Brits, a large drop from the 1980s and 1990, which saw a 27.16% and 18.75% British presence in the US Top 10 respectively,

In 1975, 27.5% of the US Billboard top 10 throughout the year consisted of British artists.

As an example of the recent success of British acts, Coldplay – one of a select list of British bands to have achieved a US number one single – have just announced a massive worldwide tour as their newest single, Adventure of a Lifetime, has gone straight into the US Billboard charts at number 11 this week.


Thomas Mesa from, who commissioned the study, commented, “British musicians have a great legacy in the US with bands like The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd enjoying huge success across the Atlantic over the decades. It’s good news that today’s well established artists, such as Coldplay, who were perhaps Britain’s flag bearers in the States in the Noughties, now have the company of younger artists with so much potential.”

“Whilst the current generation of young British artists such as Adele, Ed Sheeran and One Direction still have a long way to go to match the history of British success in the US, we see huge interest in ticket sales whenever those musicians perform in the U.S. Perhaps the sheer raw talent of British artists performing live just adds to their reach and their recent resurgence in terms of commercial success.”

Overall, over the last 40 years Americans have taken up 71.82% of the US Billboard Top 10, with Britons being the second highest represented nationality with a 15.07% presence. When it comes to the US number one spot 68.3% of the artists to reach the summit have been American with Brits second highest with a 13.73% success rate.


Canadian artists – such as Bryan Adams, Celine Dion, Drake, Weeknd and Justin Bieber – have been the third most successful nationality in the US top 10 with a 4.11% success ratio.

The study also examined the success rate of various nationalities in the UK charts, with evolving trends revealed over the decades.

In 1975, 65% of UK Top 10 singles throughout the year came from Brits, with Americans second highest with 32.5%. In the ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s UK top 10 singles were 59.76%, 48.75% and 45% British respectively, with Americans enjoying a 30.29%, 32.5% and 32.5% success rate respectively.

In terms of Christmas number ones, a spot all artists are vying for, both the British artists and the US artists seem to perform best in their own countries, with 91.67% of the UK Christmas number ones coming from the Brits and 83.33% of US Christmas top singles sung by American artists.


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