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25 most downloaded songs ever

  • As iTunes nears its 10 billionth download, the retailer has revealed its 25 most downloaded songs since it launched in 2003. And at 25, it’s clean-cut piano-rockers The Fray, with ‘How To Save A Life’. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • At 24, it’s a song that was only released in America in July 2009, and in the UK even more recently – ‘Fireflies’ by synth-pop act (and Postal Service rip-off merchant) Owl City.

    Photo: Pamela Littky

    Added: 25 Jan 2010

  • At 23, it’s ‘Use Somebody’, by one of only three guitar bands in the list, Kings Of Leon. You’d have thought ‘Sex On Fire’ would have sold more downloads, but in America – which accounts for the lion’s share of iTunes downloads – ‘Use Somebody’ was a bigger hit. Pic: Dean Chalkley

    Photo: Dean Chalkley

    Added: 26 Jan 2010

  • 22. Lady Gaga, ‘Bad Romance’. Lady Gaga is the undisputed queen of the download age, with three songs in the Top 25.

    Photo:

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 21. Journey, ‘Don’t Stop Believin'’. Originally released in 1981, this power ballad is the only song in the Top 25 that’s more than five years old. It was given a new lease of life by its use on high-profile TV shows such as The Sopranos, The X Factor and Glee.

    Photo:

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 20. Miley Cyrus, ‘Party In The USA’. One of many huge stateside hits for the Hannah Montana star, this midtempo track has sold 3 million copies in America – though Cyrus has yet to score a Top 10 hit in the UK. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 19. Flo Rida, ‘Right Round’. Sampling Dead Or Alive’s 1985 hit 'You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)’, in the States this song broke a record for the most digital one week sales, with 636,000, beating the previous record Flo Rida had set himself with ‘Low’.

    Photo:

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 18. Plain White Ts, ‘Hey There Delilah’. A big hit on both sides of the Atlantic in 2006/7, this lovelorn ballad was written by Tom Higgenson about Delilah DiCrescenzo, a professional steeplechase and cross country runner. He’d only met her once, and they didn’t end up going out. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 17. T.I. (featuring Rihanna), ‘Live Your Life’. In America, a week after being released in October 2008, the song jumped from Number 80 to Number One on the Hot 100, setting a record for the highest jump to Number One in history.

    Photo:

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 16. Kanye West, ‘Stronger’. Released in 2007, the second single from ‘Graduation’ sampled Daft Punk’s 2001 track ‘Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger’. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 15. Katy Perry, ‘Hot N Cold’. Perry’s second hit, after ‘I Kissed A Girl’, was described by now-defunct music mag Blender as a "spunky, climate-controlled kiss-off".

    Photo: PA Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 14. Beyonce, ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)'. Recently, this track won no fewer than three Grammy awards, for Song of the Year, Best R&B Song, and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 13. Katy Perry, ‘I Kissed A Girl’. Perry’s breakthrough hit was co-written by Swedish songwriter Max Martin (who also wrote another song in the Top 25, Pink’s ‘So What’) – with a little help from Cathy Dennis, the brains behind such tracks as ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ and ‘Toxic’. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 12. Pink, ‘So What’. Pink’s first solo US Number One was also a hit around the world, hitting the top spot in 26 countries.

    Photo:

    Added: 30 Nov 2009

  • 11. Rihanna, ‘Disturbia’. Originally written by Rihanna’s then-boyfriend Chris Brown – who later disgraced himself by assaulting her – the song was intended for his debut album, but ended up being given to Rihanna instead. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 10. Ke$ha, ‘Tik Tok’. The woman born Kesha Rose Sebert found fame singing the chorus on Flo Rid’s ‘Right Round’, before releasing this, her debut single. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 9. Leona Lewis, ‘Bleeding Love’. One of only two British acts on the list, Leona Lewis’ weepy ballad was recently judged to be the ‘most romantic song in Britain’ in a slightly dubious survey conducted by music royalties body PRS. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 8. Taylor Swift, ‘Love Story’. The best-selling country song of all time. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 7. Flo Rida (featuring T-Pain), ‘Low’. One of the longest-running UK hits ever, spending over a year inside the Top 75. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 6. Lady Gaga, ‘Just Dance’. Gaga describes writing her debut single thus: "I was very hungover. I wrote the song in about 10 minutes with [producer] RedOne And it was my first time being in a Hollywood studio. Very pristine, big huge room with giant speakers.” Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 03 Dec 2009

  • 5. Coldplay, ‘Viva La Vida’. Only the sixth song in digital history to reach the four million mark in paid downloads. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo:

    Added: 16 Mar 2009

  • 4. Jason Mraz, ‘I’m Yours’. While not a major success in the UK, this track from the Californian singer-songwriter spent 76 weeks on the US chart - the longest chart run in Billboard history. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 3. Black Eyed Peas, ‘Boom Boom Pow’. Released in March 2009, this was the group's first US Number One, holding the spot for 12 consecutive weeks. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010

  • 2. Lady Gaga, ‘Poker Face’. According to Gaga herself, this is a song about sex and gambling: “I’ve dated a lot of guys who are really into sex and booze and gambling, so I wanted to write a record my boyfriends would like too.” Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 03 Dec 2009

  • 1. And the most downloaded song in iTunes history is… ‘I Gotta Feeling’ by Black Eyed Peas, which topped the charts in no fewer than 20 countries. Pic: PA Photos

    Photo: Pa Photos

    Added: 15 Feb 2010