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List of posthumous number ones on the UK Albums Chart

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Title: List of posthumous number ones on the UK Albums Chart  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of artists by number of UK Albums Chart number ones, 40 Golden Greats (Jim Reeves album), 20 Golden Greats (Nat King Cole album), The Legendary Roy Orbison, Elvis' 40 Greatest
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List of posthumous number ones on the UK Albums Chart

Black-and-white publicity photograph of Elvis Presley from the film Jailhouse Rock.
Elvis Presley is one of only three artists to posthumously top the UK Albums Chart with more than two releases.

The UK Albums Chart is a weekly record chart based on sales of albums in the United Kingdom. It was first published by Record Mirror in July 1956[1] – since then, nineteen albums by deceased artists have posthumously reached number one. Until 2007, the chart was based solely on sales of physical albums; from 2007 onwards, it has also included albums sold through digital distribution.[2] As of October 2011, the listing is created using Sunday to Saturday record sales from more than 3,500 vendors across the UK.[3] It is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC) on behalf of the UK music industry,[4] and each week's new number one is first announced on Sunday evenings on The Radio 1 Chart Show.[5] Before October 1987, the manual calculation of the chart meant that the weekly number one was not announced until Tuesday.[6]

The first deceased artist to top the UK Albums Chart was Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash on 10 December 1967.[7] On 20 May 1968, Redding's sixth studio album, The Dock of the Bay, was released in the UK – three weeks later, it became his first and only UK number-one album.[8] American entertainer Elvis Presley is one of two musicians to have posthumously topped the albums chart with more than two releases: following his death from a heart attack in August 1977, Presley's compilation album 40 Greatest climbed to number one within three weeks.[9][10] Subsequent compilations, ELV1S and The King, also topped the chart.[11] The only other vocalist to achieve this feat is singer Eva Cassidy; after dying in 1996, three posthumous releases from Cassidy reached number one in three consecutive years.[12][13]

The death of a musician can often result in an immediate increase in sales of their albums. As UK chart commentator James Masterton remarked in December 1995: "Death is very commercial."[14] Following the death of Michael Jackson in 2009, the number of purchases of his albums grew significantly worldwide.[15] In the UK, sales of the singer's albums increased by more than 80 times in a single day. On 28 June, Jackson's 2003 release Number Ones climbed 120 places to the top of the chart[16] – the following week, his 2005 compilation The Essential Michael Jackson reached number one.[17] The two albums spent a combined total of eight weeks at the top of the chart.[17] Five of Jackson's records were featured in the top twenty biggest-selling albums of 2009's third quarter, and sales of his albums during the year lifted Warner/Chappell Music's share of the albums market to its highest level in nearly six years.[18]

Like Jackson, British singer Amy Winehouse received a significant increase in sales after her death in 2011, when purchases of her albums grew 37 times over.[19][20] This resulted in her 2006 album, Back to Black, returning to the top of the UK Albums Chart for three weeks and becoming the UK's biggest-selling album of the 21st century for three months before being overtaken by 21 by Adele.[21][22] Four months later, Winehouse's first compilation album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, became her second release to posthumously reach number one.[23]

Number ones

Black-and-white photograph of a bird's eye view of Nat King Cole as he plays an upright piano.
Nat King Cole had a posthumous number-one album in 1978.

Head and shoulders photograph of Amy Winehouse performing live.
Amy Winehouse's album Back to Black returned to number one after her death in 2011.

The following albums were all explicitly credited (either wholly or partially) to deceased artists when they reached number one on the UK Albums Chart. Albums featuring deceased artists who did not receive an explicit credit (e.g. as a member of a band or on a various artist compilation album or soundtrack) are not included.
Artist Album Record label[1] Date of death Reached number one
(for the week ending)
Weeks at
number one
Redding, OtisOtis Redding Dock of the Bay, TheThe Dock of the Bay Stax 10 December 1967[7] 22 June 1968 1
Reeves, JimJim Reeves According to My Heart RCA International 31 July 1964[25] 12 July 1969 4
Reeves, JimJim Reeves 40 Golden Greats Arcade 31 July 1964[25] 25 October 1975 3
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley Elvis' 40 Greatest Arcade 16 August 1977[9] 10 September 1977 1
Holly, BuddyBuddy Holly 20 Golden Greats[2] EMI 3 February 1959[26] 25 March 1978 3
Cole, Nat KingNat King Cole 20 Golden Greats Capitol 15 February 1965[27] 15 April 1978 3
Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon Double Fantasy[3] Geffen 8 December 1980[28] 7 February 1981 2
Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon John Lennon Collection, TheThe John Lennon Collection Parlophone 8 December 1980[28] 4 December 1982 6
Orbison, RoyRoy Orbison Legendary Roy Orbison, TheThe Legendary Roy Orbison Telstar 6 December 1988[29] 21 January 1989 3
Holly, BuddyBuddy Holly Words of Love[2] PolyGram TV/MCA 3 February 1959[26] 20 February 1993 1
Cassidy, EvaEva Cassidy Songbird Blix Street/Hot 2 November 1996[12] 24 March 2001 2
Cassidy, EvaEva Cassidy Imagine Blix Street/Hot 2 November 1996[12] 31 August 2002 1
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley ELV1S RCA 16 August 1977[9] 5 October 2002 2
Cassidy, EvaEva Cassidy American Tune Blix Street/Hot 2 November 1996[12] 23 August 2003 2
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley King, TheThe King RCA 16 August 1977[9] 25 August 2007 1
Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Number Ones Epic 25 June 2009[30] 4 July 2009 1
Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Essential Michael Jackson, TheThe Essential Michael Jackson Epic 25 June 2009[30] 11 July 2009 7
Winehouse, AmyAmy Winehouse Back to Black Island 23 July 2011[31] 6 August 2011 3
Winehouse, AmyAmy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures Island 23 July 2011[31] 17 December 2011 1
Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson Xscape Epic 25 June 2009[30] 24 May 2014 1
  1. ^ The record labels are those given by the OCC.[24]
  2. ^ a b Credited to Buddy Holly & The Crickets.
  3. ^ Credited to John Lennon & Yoko Ono.



The artists, albums, date of reaching number one and number of weeks at number one are those given by the OCC:

  1. ^ Mawer, Sharon (2008). "1956".  
  2. ^ "Snow Patrol Benefit From New Uk Chart Rules".  
  3. ^ "FAQs".  
  4. ^ "The Charts We Compile".  
  5. ^ "The Official UK Top 40 Albums Chart".  
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2005). Roberts, David, ed.  
  7. ^ a b Seidenberg, Robert (9 December 1994). "Death of the King of Soul".  
  8. ^ "Otis Redding". London:  
  9. ^ a b c d "1977: Rock and roll 'king' Presley dies". London:  
  10. ^ "1977". London:  
  11. ^ "Elvis Presley". London:  
  12. ^ a b c d "Eva Cassidy". London:  
  13. ^ "Eva Cassidy". London:  
  14. ^  
  15. ^ Christman, Ed; Bruno, Antony (3 July 2009). "Michael Jackson sales surge expected to last months".  
  16. ^ "Michael Jackson tops album chart". London:  
  17. ^ a b "2009". London:  
  18. ^ Williams, Paul (21 November 2009). Williams, Paul, ed. "Big Four face frantic finish in Q4".  
  19. ^ Silverman, Rosa (25 July 2011). "Sales of Amy Winehouse records surge".  
  20. ^ Sexton, Paul (25 July 2011). Smith, Danyel, ed. "Amy Winehouse's Posthumous U.K. Sales Spike; Adele, The Wanted Top Charts".  
  21. ^  
  22. ^ "Adele's 21 is the biggest selling album of 21st century".  
  23. ^ "Amy Winehouse's posthumous album 'Lioness: Hidden Treasures' tops album chart".  
  24. ^ "Artist Chart History". London:  
  25. ^ a b Hochman, Steve (28 August 1990). "Musicians Who Died in Air Accidents".  
  26. ^ a b "1959: Buddy Holly killed in air crash". London:  
  27. ^ "Nat King Cole". London:  
  28. ^ a b "1980: John Lennon shot dead". London:  
  29. ^ "Roy Orbison". London:  
  30. ^ a b c "Singer Michael Jackson dies at 50". London:  
  31. ^ a b "Amy Winehouse dies at the age of 27". London:  

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