George Michael has been named the most popular artist in a poll of radio listeners, while his song Careless Whisper has been crowned the best loved song.
The track, written by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, topped Smooth Radio’s All Time Top 500, an annual poll of the nation’s favourite songs.
Released in 1984, the song reached the number one spot in 25 countries and has topped the poll for the third year in a row as it has found a new audience through TikTok, featuring in more than 210,000 clips.
Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.
Michael’s sister, Yioda Panayiotou, and Chris Organ, co-executor of the George Michael estate, said: “We are once again bowled over to hear the amazing news that, for the third year running, Careless Whisper has been voted number one in Smooth’s All Time Top 500, in 2021.
“To know that George’s music continues to be loved by his fans and lovelies all over the world means everything to us, as it would have done to George.”
Michael has 17 songs in the top 500, making him the most popular artist, with A Different Corner at four; Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, his duet with Sir Elton John, at number 15, Father Figure at 51 and Jesus To A Child at 60.
Sir Elton is the second most popular artist, with 16 entries in the chart.
Whitney Houston is the most popular female artist, with 13 songs, making her the third most popular artist overall.
Her version of I Will Always Love You is the highest-placed song for the singer, at number 16.
Madonna, who took the title last year, is in second place with eight entries, followed by Adele, whose eagerly anticipated fourth album is expected to be released this year.
Abba is the most popular band of all time with 12 entries, led by Dancing Queen at number 14. The Bee Gees are in second place, with ten entries.
Smooth presenter Jenni Falconer said: “Smooth’s All Time Top 500 gives us an insight into the nation’s favourite songs that have become the soundtracks to our lives over the past 12 months.
“In what’s been an unprecedented year, the popularity of those timeless and familiar songs remains ever strong, as people turn to the music they know and love.
“Our listeners tell us that Smooth continues to be a sanctuary and oasis amid the busy news agenda, so it’s testament to the enduring power of music from world artists such as George Michael, Whitney Houston and Sir Elton John that they continue to hold such an important place in the nation’s hearts.”