Quiz: Can You Name the UK Artists With U.S. #1 Hits?: HowStuffWorks
Can You Name the UK Artists With U.S. #1 Hits?
By: Zoe Samuel
7 Min Quiz
Image: Wiki Commons by NBC TelevisionUnited Press International
About This Quiz
Ever since the 3rd of August, 1958, the Billboard Hot 100 kept track of the hottest singles in the United States, with the coveted number one spot meaning nationwide fame and success. Ever since Ricky Nelson inaugurated the chart with his two-week stint at number one with "Poor Little Fool," the Billboard Hot 100 has been the yardstick of musical success.
British artists began to make inroads in American pop music in the 1960s with what is often referred to as "The British Invasion." This phenomenon was not limited to the boys from Liverpool. Dozens of British acts earned number one spots, including The Tornados and David Rose, both of whom reached number one before The Beatles. As America increasingly looked to a British culture steeped in American jazz, more bands crossed the Atlantic, from Led Zeppelin to Amy Winehouse. This tradition continues with today's artists, especially with the massive number of singles that involve collaborations between several artists, as is often the case in hip hop.
How well can you connect the faces to the voices? Would you know a huge star if you laid eyes on them, or is your musical knowledge limited to the artists whom you follow? It's time to find out!
This band has the most number one hits in the U.S. of any UK band. What is their name?
Perhaps one of the most iconic bands of all time, in the short time they had together, The Beatles collected 20 number ones in the Billboard Hot 100. These chart-toppers stayed in the number one slot for a collective 61 weeks.
Do you know this artist, who only had two number one hits in the US?
That is correct: David Bowie only had two songs that topped the Billboard Hot 100! It will surprise no one familiar with his music that those tracks were "Fame" and "Let's Dance," which are both classic Bowie.
Can you recall the name of this artist, who charted with "Photograph"?
Ringo Starr is one of the more recognizable British music icons, having provided the Beatles with percussion. He also gave the U.S. charts with hits "Photograph" and "You're Sixteen" in 1973 and 1974, respectively.
Do you know the name of this singer, who is experiencing something of a renaissance right now?
Rick Astley's immortal "Never Gonna Give You Up" may be something of a meme today, but it was a lot bigger than that in 1988 when it hit number one in the U.S. Don't worry. We won't Rick Roll you.
Despite being a top band, this group didn't have a number one in the Hot 100 in the US until 2008! Who are they?
Coldplay has always had a considerable degree of success in the U.S., but it was not until 2008 that the band achieved their first Billboard Hot 100 hit in the U.S. "Viva la Vida" hit number one in June of 2008.
Wiki Commons by Raph_PH
The band just wanted to paint it black. Who are they?
With eight singles that reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100, The Rolling Stones can paint it whatever color they want. In order, those hits are "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Get Off of My Cloud," "Paint It Black," "Ruby Tuesday," "Honky Tonk Women," "Brown Sugar," and "Angie."
Do you know the name of this singer whose work spent 14 weeks at number one?
In October of 1997, Elton John released "Candle in the Wind 1997", a tribute to the late Princess Diana, which rocketed to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, staying in the number one spot for fourteen weeks. It was released as part of a single "track" with "Something About the Way You Look Tonight."
Can you name this young, British hit maker?
Zayn's single "Perfect" hit number one on Billboard's Hot 100 in February 2016. The song was his first solo single, on his first solo album, and signaled Zayn's rise as a solo artist, following his departure from band One Direction.
Do you know the name of this British superstar?
Ed Sheeran achieved two number one Hot 100 Billboard hits in the U.S. — one with "Shape of You" in January of 2017, and one with his collaboration with Beyoncé on "Perfect" later that year. Surely, more number ones are on their way from the young singer.
Can you name this group of women?
The year 1997 saw the rise of the phenomenon that was The Spice Girls. Their hit "Wannabe" hit the U.S. charts like a hurricane, sitting atop the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks.
Love him or hate him, this artist has a string of hits. Who is he?
Phil Collins is a massively successful artist, with number one hits in the U.S. including "Against All Odds," "One More Night," "Sussudio," "Separate Lives," "Groovy Kind of Love," "Two Hearts," and "Another Day in Paradise."
Do you know the name of this second-generation pop music creator?
Mick Jones's son Mark Ronson was raised in New York City and born in England, but the truth is that he was born to make music. 2015 saw his collaboration with Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk," reach number one in the U.S.
GQ via YouTube
Do you recognize this rapper, who was featured on a number one?
Post Malone's "Rockstar" hit number one on Billboards Hot 100 in the U.S. in October 2017. British rapper 21 Savage was featured on the track, though rap fans unfamiliar with him might not know that he was born in the UK, as he spent most of his young life in Atlanta, Georgia.
Virgin EMI Records/Universal Music Operations Limited
Do you know this UK artist who was featured by proxy?
One shouldn't be expected to know Kyla unless one is very fond of house music. In that case, you would likely know the German-born DJ from her track "Do You Mind." Drake sampled this hit for his single "One Dance," which made the Billboard Top 100 in the U.S.
Can you name this former soldier?
James Blunt's 2006 hit "You're Beautiful" was not only a number one hit in the U.S. in March of 2006 but also one of the first music videos distributed on the then-new iPod Video platform, a forerunner of all mobile video platforms. It spent one week at number one.
What's the name of this UK-born U.S. hit maker?
If Adele retired from music today, she would have already cemented her legacy with several number one hits in the U.S., including "Rolling in the Deep" (2011), "Someone Like You" (2011), "Set Fire To The Rain" (2012) and "Hello" (2015).
Do you know the name of this man, who reached number one on his own and with some fellow Englishmen?
Former Beatle George Harrison was no slouch, hitting number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in January of 1988 with "Got My Mind Set on You." It was his third solo to reach number one in the U.S. charts, following "My Sweet Lord," "Isn't It a Pity," and "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" in the 1970s.
What's the name of this DJ?
Calvin Harris is famous for his collaborations, but it was his collaboration with Rihanna that hit number one in the U.S. in 2011. "We Found Love" hit number one after six weeks and became one of the longest-running number-one hits on Billboard for the year.
Pop Cult Pictures
This singer's voice contributed to a hit. Who is she?
Lauren Bennett has been a part of many collaborations over her career, but it was her turn with LMFAO and GoonRock that resulted in "Party Rock Anthem." That track peaked at number one in July 2011, just in time to be the hit of the summer.
What's the name of this British musician?
2010's Billboard Hot 100 hit "Break Your Heart" was a collaboration on the inaugural album of Taio Cruz, who had been a producer until then. A collaboration with Ludacris, it hit number one in March 2010.
Cash Money/Universal Republic
Do you know the name of this singer, who put it all on the line?
Jay Sean's album "All or Nothing" gave birth to the hit single Down, a collaboration with Lil Wayne. On October 17, 2009, the track reached number one on Billboard's Hot 100, giving Jay Sean his first number one U.S. hit.
Who is this singer who achieved number one status in the U.S.?
Leona Lewis's hit "Bleeding Love" achieved number one status on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. on the 27th of March, 2008. It is her first and so far only U.S. number one hit on that chart and marked her pop immortality. It was number one for four weeks!
Would you know the name of this artist, whose "kiss" put him on top?
The summer of 1995 was the time when Seal reached the apex of his popularity with the single "Kiss from a Rose." A track from his second album, it would go on to be used in the "Batman Forever" soundtrack.
Do you know the name of this singer who is a not too distant relation to you-know-"Who"?
Glaswegian singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, whose father is a cousin of Peter Capaldi of "Doctor Who" fame, scored a U.S. number one hit in 2019 with his song "Someone You Loved." This is quite an achievement, given that this is from his first album.
Who is this singer, who contributed to a number one hit in the U.S.?
1994 was a good year for Rod Stewart and fellow British artist Sting. The pair collaborated with Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams on the song "All For Love," written by Adams, Robert Lange, and composer Michael Kamen for the film "The Three Musketeers."
Can you remember the name of this iconic 1980s band?
The saga that is the story of Def Leppard would take too long to tell in this medium, but suffice it to say that any band whose drummer can chop as hard as anyone, after losing an arm, is worth reckoning with. Their hit "Love Bites" made it to number one in the U.S. in 1988.
Virgin Records/Virgin Atlantic
What is the name of the band you see here?
"Can't Help Falling in Love" took UB40 to the top of the U.S. charts in 1993, with the track spending seven weeks at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The Birmingham-based Reggae band remained hot in the U.S. for some time after that.
Are you too sexy to know the name of this band?
Perhaps the only song U.S. audiences are familiar with by the band, Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" took a few weeks to reach number one in the U.S., but once it did, it stayed there for a solid three weeks. The song, the band claims, was inspired by fellow members of the band's gym.
Do you recognize this band on sight?
Alternative band EMF made their mark on the American pop charts with their single "Unbelievable." It only spent one week at number one, but as part of the huge wave of alternative artists, EMF found itself in good company.
Wright Tech Media via YouTube
What's the name of this artist, who achieved a U.S. number one hit in 1990?
Maxi Priest came into 1990 with the number one hit "Close to You." The single stood atop the Billboard Hot 100 for only one week, but he is the only reggae fusion artist to achieve this level of popularity.
Do you remember this obscure act?
If "Stranger on the Shore" doesn't sound familiar to you, then you probably weren't alive in 1962. Acker Bilk was the first British artist to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 with a number one hit.
Can you recall the name of this band, which had two songs go to number one in the U.S.?
Fine Young Cannibals' album "The Raw & The Cooked" had two major hits reach number one in the U.S. charts. "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Good Thing" each spent a week at number one in 1989.
Royal Albert Hall via YouTube
Do you know the name of this artist who was really the cream of the crop?
Former Cream guitarist and musical genius Eric Clapton only ever topped the Billboard Hot 100 once, with his single "I Shot the Sheriff" in 1974. It was by no means his only U.S. hit, but it's one of his more memorable ones.
Wiki Commons by Raph_PH
What's the name of this influential rock band?
Fleetwood Mac was at times dysfunctional, at times sublime rock band with one foot in America and one in the UK. While the band had more popular songs than "Dreams," it was their one number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
Who is this band, whose big hit inspired arguments for decades?
While the song was originally by Bruce Springsteen, it is Manfred Mann's Earth Band's version of the iconic "Blinded by the Light" that one would hear on the radio all the time. Between Springsteen's arcane lyricism and Manfred Mann's pronunciation, no one could agree on the words.
Love them or hate them, this band knew how to score U.S. hits. What is the name of this band?
The Brothers Gibb, aka The Bee Gees, were a Manx-born, English band with eight hits over their many years recording music. These included "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" "Jive Talkin'," "You Should Be Dancing," "How Deep Is Your Love," "Too Much Heaven," "Tragedy," "Love You Inside Out," and, of course, "Stayin' Alive."
Who is this adorable duo?
Peter and Gordon were among the first groups of UK artists to chart with a number one hit in the U.S. They were friends with Paul McCartney, and some of their early hits were written with McCartney, who used a pen name to test if he could write a popular song without using his name.
What's the name of this band that reached number one in the 1960s?
Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders would go their separate ways one day, but in the meantime, the group recorded "Game of Love." The song only spent a week at number one but ranked 34th in the year among the Billboard Hot 100.
The hair! Who is this group?
Paper Lace is a one-hit-wonder band from Nottingham whose one big hit was a song called "The Night Chicago Died," which makes perfect sense when you see the way they wore their hair in 1974. It only spent a week at number one, but the band is still around.
This singer's hit spent a week at number one in the U.S. Who is she?
Scottish singer Sheena Easton had a number one hit in the U.S. with "Morning Train," sometimes also called "9 to 5," but not the song by Dolly Parton. Written by Florrie Palmer, the song took Sheena Easton to number one in the U.S. for the only time.
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