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Dave’s Starlight is the first UK number 1 to be written and produced by one person since 2014

Dave at the piano
(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor)

Hitting the top of the singles chart is an achievement in itself, but when Dave’s song Starlight landed at number one in the UK last week, the British rapper could celebrate another milestone.

Believe it or not, this was the first UK number one of the 2020s to be written and performed by one person (Dave himself) and, more staggeringly still, the first number one to be written and produced by just one person since 2014. 

Music Week (opens in new tab) reports that the last song with just one writer to hit the top spot was Tones & I’s Dance Monkey (opens in new tab), which did it in 2019. Calvin Harris was the last sole writer/producer to have a number one - he achieved the feat with Summer (opens in new tab), in 2014.

There is one caveat, though: Starlight features a hummed ‘interpolation’ of the melody from Fly Me To The Moon, which was written in 1954, so you could argue that it’s not quite all Dave’s own work.

Nevertheless, these stats emphasise how common it is for today’s hit records to be written and produced by teams of people who hone songs for maximum commercial impact. 

At least there are still people, involved, though - how long before we see a number one record that was written, produced and performed by AI? It could happen.

I’m the Group Content Manager for MusicRadar, specialising in all things tech. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 20 of which I’ve also spent writing about music technology. 

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