The U.K.’s Official Charts Company has presented Paul McCartney with the prestigious Official Chart Record Breaker Award in recognition of the rock legend being the most successful album artist in the history of his home country. McCartney received the honor for scoring more total #1 albums on the U.K.’s Official Albums Chart, 22, than any other artist.
The 74-year-old musician’s old band The Beatles notched up 15 chart-topping albums, while Sir Paul also hit #1 four times as a solo artist, twice with Wings and once with his late wife, Linda.
In a video message, McCartney says the honor “feels unbelievable, because when you write your songs you don’t count how well they’re doing. I remember when Please, Please Me went to number one, that was our first number one record, and it’s a beautiful feeling to suddenly get this [award].”
He adds, “So thank you to the people for giving it to me, I love you. And thank you to everyone who made it possible by buying the records, we love you too!”
The Official Charts Company notes that McCartney has also spent the most total weeks atop the albums chart, 191, while the Fab Four’s first album, 1963’s Please Please Me, was #1 for more weeks, 30, than any other debut effort.
Following McCartney on the list of artists with the most #1 U.K. albums are his three Beatles band mates: John Lennon at #2 with 18; George Harrison at #3 with 17; and Ringo Starr tied at #4 — with pop star Robbie Williams — with 15. Phil Collins is tied with Elvis Presley and Madonna for sixth place on the list with 12 chart-topping albums. David Bowie is #9 with 11.
McCartney receives his award on the 60th anniversary of the publication of the first Official Albums Chart.