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Beatles beat Elvis and Cliff with biggest selling singles

The Beatles have held off artists such as Elvis Presley and Madonna to be declared the biggest selling singles act since charts began 60 years ago.

And two Irish acts -- U2 and Boyzone -- made it into the top 30 of the list.

The Fab Four notched up 17 number ones during their relatively brief eight year chart domination, but split more than 40 years ago.

But performers such as Cliff Richard, whose careers have lasted decades longer, failed to outsell them, a new Radio 2 chart reveals.

A countdown will be broadcast today of the all-time biggest sellers since the singles chart began in 1952 -- the year Queen Elizabeth took the throne.

Presley, who continued to have strong sales in the past decade thanks to a reissue campaign, is ranked second.

Cliff Richard, who has had 124 top 40 hits and 14 number ones, finished in third place in the list compiled by the Official Charts Company.

Madonna, who has made the top 40 more than 60 times, is ranked fourth.

There are some surprising entries with Rihanna, who charted for the first time in only 2005, in tenth place, yet The Rolling Stones, who racked up their first hit in 1963, only make it to number 13.

US rapper Eminem is ahead of enduring chart stars such as Tom Jones and U2 in 18th place.

DJ and producer David Guetta (ranked 49) ranks ahead of big names such as Coldplay (60) and Duran Duran (51).


Paul McCartney is listed twice for his Beatles years and his solo career (number 11), and George Michael is also in the chart twice, for his own hits (21) and with Wham! (43).

Blackburn, who will play each artist's biggest hit in the bank holiday show, said: "This chart offers a fascinating look at the past 60 years in music and shows the impact that modern stars like Rihanna and Katy Perry have had.

"The list is really varied and will provide something for everyone. There are definitely a few surprises in store. It is sure to be an interesting listen."