Billie Eilish to discover if Bond theme is chart-topper

Billie Eilish performing on the Other Stage on the fifth day of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset.
Billie Eilish performing on the Other Stage on the fifth day of the Glastonbury Festival at Worthy Farm in Somerset.

Billie Eilish will find out on Friday whether she has become only the second person in history to score a UK number one hit with a James Bond theme.

Her song No Time To Die is expected to debut at the top of the singles chart, days after she performed the song at the Brits where she also won the award for best international female.

Just one other artist has reached number one in the UK with an official Bond theme: Sam Smith in 2015, whose song Writing’s On The Wall appeared in the film Spectre.

SHOWBIZ Bond
(PA graphic)

Smith broke the “curse” of the Bond theme, which had previously seen many of the world’s biggest artists record the title song but always fail to top the charts.

Both Adele (in 2012) and Duran Duran (1985) made it as far as number two, with the themes from Skyfall and A View To A Kill respectively.

Madonna stalled at number three in 2002 with the theme for Die Another Day, while A-ha only made it to number five in 1987 with The Living Daylights.

A-ha pictured in 1987 with composer John Barry (far left) to promote the title song for the James Bond film The Living Daylights
A-ha pictured in 1987 with composer John Barry (far left) to promote the title song for the James Bond film The Living Daylights (PA)

Other high-profile artists who missed out on a Bond chart-topper include Sir Paul McCartney (Live And Let Die in 1973, which reached number nine), Tina Turner (GoldenEye in 1995, number 10), and Matt Monro (From Russia With Love in 1963, number 20).

Shirley Bassey had three attempts at taking a Bond theme to number one but failed every time, including one song (Moonraker in 1979) that didn’t even make the top 100.

Her other themes reached number 21 (Goldfinger in 1964) and 38 (Diamonds Are Forever in 1971).

Shirley Bassey
Shirley Bassey pictured in 1964, the year she recorded the title theme for the James Bond film Goldfinger (PA)

Even the original James Bond theme, written by Monty Norman for the very first 007 film Dr No in 1962, performed only moderately in the charts and peaked at number 13.

Billie Eilish’s theme for No Time To Die follows in the style of Sam Smith and Adele, with all three songs sharing a slow-paced, melancholy feel along with a brooding musical arrangement and introspective lyrics.

The American singer co-wrote the track with her brother Finneas.

No Time To Die, which will be Daniel Craig’s final film as James Bond, is released in UK cinemas on April 2.

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