2022 UK number ones ranked

Every song that hit number one on the UK Singles Chart in 2022, ranked from worst to best

Getting this out of the way before the return of LadBaby

If there’s one chaotic way to reflect on the year, it’s to have a tentative look back at all the songs that made it to the top of the Official UK singles chart. And this year, the top of the charts saw all and sundry more than ever before. 14 songs made it to the top spot, some amazing, and some I’d genuinely rather never listen to again in my worthless life. As someone who lives and breathes charts and music data, I’m so obsessed with what makes it all the way to number one and what doesn’t. So – on that note, may I present to you: Every UK number one from 2022 ranked from worst to best.


One of the biggest pop rock abominations of 2022. Woefully written, tediously sang and oversaturated on TikTok to the point of despair. This song is beyond corny, it’s in the same realm of insufferable as Lukas Graham’s 7 Years. BAD.

13. Forget Me by Lewis Capaldi

The delicious irony of this track being called Forget Me, when literally everyone has forgotten it already thanks to how completely and utterly uninspired every aspect of it is. Boring production, boring vocal, boring writing. Pop nothingness.

12. We Don’t Talk About Bruno (from Encanto)

Maybe it’s because the main character gave me a Carrie Hope Fletcher-esque jumpscare every time she popped up on screen, but Encanto never resonated with me the way it seemed to with everyone else. Its breakout hit, We Don’t Talk About Bruno topped the UK Singles Chart for seven weeks – and it was fucking everywhere. Especially when you have a one year old nephew.

For a musical theatre-esque track, it’s solid. If you like Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songwriting style, there’s a lot of fun to be had with the flow, the melody and the vibes. It’s overplayed to the high heavens, but it’s a decent Disney track all the same.

11. Unholy by Sam Smith and Kim Petras

I do have to say, on the whole, the 14 tracks that got to number one are a lot better than usual. Only the bottom two tracks here are awful. Unholy, whether you love it or hate it – and I’m somewhere in the middle – is a huge win for LGBTQ representation which made Sam Smith and Kim Petras the first two non-binary and transgender artists to get a number one single.

Pair that with the fact the song is bold, brash, unapologetically queer and a complete departure from Sam’s usual style and I’d say you’ve got a number one single here worthy of the top spot. Even if it’s a bit annoying.

10. Easy On Me by Adele

Easy On Me is… an Adele song. That’s all I have to say on the matter. It returned to number one on the 7th Jan, and it’s an Adele ballad that does its job of being an Adele ballad very well.

9. I’m Good (Blue) by David Guetta and Bebe Rexha

Right, I confess. I started listening to this song ironically – a laughably written dance track that heavily samples Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65. Ironic listens slowly evolved into earnest streams, and here we are with me genuinely thinking this silly little song is a bit of an anthem. I love it at the gym, I love it at pre-drinks, I love when Ekin-Su used it on TikTok. Let’s all just have a bit of fun, shall we! When did everyone stop loving FUN!!!

8. Afraid to Feel by LF System

Ahh yes, the song that soundtracked every Love Island influencer’s TikTok of them bombing about some festival we couldn’t afford this summer – and the tune that spent a massive eight weeks at number one. Literally the song of the summer, and a joyous return to good dance music performing well on the UK Singles Chart. Sometimes viral TikTok tunes get it right – Afraid To Feel is one of the biggest, baddest viral tracks of 2022. I love the way they play with the tempo so much it makes you feel like you’re spinning around on the waltzers.

7. Starlight by Dave

It thrills me to my core when a talent as huge as Dave’s gets to number one for a song that deserves it as much as Starlight does. The sample of the melody of Fly Me To The Moon over his bars feels effortlessly beachy. His writing is unmatched.

6. As It Was by Harry Styles

Officially the biggest song of 2022, sitting atop the UK Singles Chart for longer than any of the other number ones ranked here – a whopping 10 weeks. It’s not hard to see why. As It Was was not an immediate wow for me, but a song that crept up on me with endless replay value and some effortlessly gorgeous songwriting and a melody that you can’t stop humming. By this point, after a year where most of us can admit to streaming this song daily for months, As It Was feels like a warm hug.

5. BOTA (Baddest of them All) by Eliza Rose and Interplanetary Criminal

God, what a breath of fresh air this track is! And a thrill that it got to the top of the UK Singles Chart – of all the 2022 number ones ranked here, it sounds like nothing else. It’s bursting with personality, a sick beat that feels like you’re blasting it at the back of the bus on the way to your high school in the damp suburbs of the UK. And yet still manages to sound like a step into the future of mainstream dance bangers? A joy!

4. Anti-Hero by Taylor Swift

A monster song by the biggest pop star on planet Earth, Anti-Hero deserves every second of its acclaim and its commercial success. Swiftian songwriting to full effect, it’s the first time maybe ever Taylor’s chosen the perfect lead single to a record. It’s the centrepiece of Midnights, a true collaboration between Swift and Jack Antonoff that’s resulted in a synth pop banger to remember, and a song that will define 2022 whether the “sexy baby” naysayers like it or not.

3. Last Christmas by Wham!

Should be the Ashley Tisdale version. Jokes aside, it’s the second best Christmas song of all time.

2. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

The best Christmas song of all time. This could go to number one on the UK chart every year from now until the end of my life and I will die a happy man.

1. Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush

The true interception of pop culture: One of the best songs of all time goes to number one, beating its original peak of number three, thanks to its usage in one of the best scenes from Stranger Things, arguably Netflix’s most beloved original series. So many factors sang together in harmony in order to shoot Running Up That Hill to the number one spot 37 years after its release. The brilliance of Stranger Things’ storytelling and direction, the power of Sadie Sink’s performance as Max, the villainous terror of Vecna and the untouchably anthemic staying power of the track itself.

Running Up That Hill getting to number one 37 years after its release garnered Kate Bush a Guinness World Record, and it also got the famously reclusive singer to give an interview about its resurgence. Running Up That Hill not only takes the top ranked spot out of UK number ones in 2022 because of all that, but takes it because of how brilliant it is that now an entire new generation of audience have discovered Bush’s brilliance and artistry. A special cultural moment for sure.

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