20 things from the year 2000 that will make you feel nostalgic
Last Updated: 6 September 2021
Sounds of the 21st Century is a new series of eleven soundscapes featuring the music, media, news, triumphs, tragedies and trivia from the years 2000 to 2010. To mark the launch of 'The Sounds of 2000' episode on BBC Sounds, we look back on a selection of landmark moments in music and popular culture.
We had game-changing debut albums from the likes of Coldplay and Craig David, the emergence of Beyoncé and the resurgence of Kylie, Bowie’s legendary final Glastonbury performance, Sophie Ellis-Bextor taking on Posh Spice in the biggest chart battle since Britpop, a growing obsession with celebrity couples such as Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, sporting highs at the Olympics and lows at the Euros, and big box office smashes such as Gladiator, Mission: Impossible 2, X-Men, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
The turn of the millennium marked a time of possibility and uncertainty in equal measure, with hopeful plans for the future and technological paranoia colliding. We may not have seen flying cars and alien contact, as previously envisioned, but the Internet was starting to show its world-changing potential, reality TV was altering our viewing habits and everyone including your nan was turning to mobile phones.
Over 20 years on, and while the world faces similar hopes and fears about what the future holds, we recall 20 memorable moments from the year 2000.
1. The world didn't end with Y2K
Y2K, the infamous "millennium bug", was expected to cause global chaos, with fears that aeroplanes would fall out of the sky, missiles would fire by accident - all simply by the hypothetical resetting of dates on computers at the stroke of midnight on 1 January 2000.
By now, the Internet is known for its ability to spread hoaxes and prompt unfounded fear, but Y2K was one of the earliest examples of this. Songs like Y2K - The Bug is Coming by the band Y2K (a supergroup featuring Ian Dury, Jim-Bob from Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine and Fuzz Townshend) did little to diffuse the situation.
But in the end, nothing happened and the world continued as it was before. There's two ways to look at millennium bug: one is that it was largely a fuss about nothing, fear mongering from people who should really have known better. The other is that it really was a potential problem, avoided only thanks to the hard work of technicians finding a way around it.
However, that's not to say we've not been dogged by such problems ever since. A slightly less catastrophic instance came in 2014 when PSY's Gangnam Style exceeded YouTube's view limit, breaking the site's view counter in doing so. The massive hit (and its much-parodied video) has since led to the video site to up its the maximum view count to 9,223,372,036,854,775,808, or just over nine quintillion. Correct at the time of publishing, we've not seen a video reach nine quintillion views just yet...
2. The Millennium Dome opened... but didn't last very long
Speaking of things not happening quite as previously envisioned: the Millennium Dome opened on New Year's Eve 1999, with its flagship exhibition, the Millennium Experience, swinging its doors open to the public a day later on 1 January 2000.
Much was expected of the Millennium Dome. The freshly-built upturned salad bowl in Greenwich, south east London was supposed to be a beacon of hope and intent of British culture in the 2000s. However, despite being the most popular tourist attraction of the year and providing a decent day out featuring acrobatics and art installations, reviews were mixed and the exhibition only lasted 12 months, with the New Millennium Experience Company entering liquidation in 2002.
Despite the Dome being a bit of a flop, it was turned into The O2 in 2007, with its O2 Arena venue going on to host concerts by everyone from The Rolling Stones to Beyoncé. Prince’s 21-night residency at the O2 in 2007 remains among the most memorable, with the Purple One selling tickets for £31.21 (a reference to his 3121 album title) and inviting the likes of Elton John and Amy Winehouse to join him onstage during the run.
The Millennium Dome was one of a few special projects announced to celebrate the dawning of a new era, including the Millennium Bridge, the Earth Centre in Doncaster, the National Centre for Popular Music in Sheffield, the Tate Modern, and the London Eye. The turn of the millennium was a time of reinvention for many cities across the UK and not even project turned out as planned (London’s Millennium Bridge was initially closed after complaints of it being too “wobbly”), but many of today’s iconic sights of modern Britain date back to this thoroughly productive period.
3. Olympic dreams came true
The 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney contained moments of real drama and delight, particularly the performance of Team GB's gold-winning heptathlete Denise Lewis.
At this stage in her career, Denise was already an established athletics star, but she saved her standout performance for when it really mattered. It was a rollercoaster ride; Lewis ran the final 800m with a bandaged calf, and it was not clear if she would retain first place with a time of 2:16.83, having surged ahead after a throw of 50.19m in the javelin. After a tense wait, however, her triumph was confirmed, and Britain had a new Olympics hero. She received an honorary OBE the following year.
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We tuned in to watch Steve Redgrave win his fifth Olympic gold in rowing with the coxless four (retiring from the sport soon afterwards), while Jonathan Edwards won gold in the men’s triple jump, and Steph Cook became an Olympic champion in the women’s pentathlon. There was also a sign of future success, with Kelly Holmes winning bronze in the women’s 800m – four years later, she would be the star of the Athens games, winning gold in the 800m and 1500m.
It was all a far cry from Britain's performance at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where a solitary gold medal was won. With new funding being provided by the National Lottery, the 2000 Olympics marked a turning point in Team GB's fortunes that laid the foundations for future success in subsequent games, including the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
4. But Euro 2000 was a disaster for England
Compared to Olympics heroics, the summer of 2000 was a disaster in the football world. An England side, featuring the likes of David Beckham, Michael Owen, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, and future boss Gareth Southgate, endured an abysmal Euro 2000, losing to both Portugal and Romania and failing to make it out of the group stages of the tournament. A 1-0 win against Germany, courtesy of Alan Shearer, provided some minor comfort, but the team massively underperformed given pre-tournament expectations.
Manager Kevin Keegan stayed on after the Euros but resigned a few months later in October 2000 after losing England's final game played at the old Wembley Stadium. And who did they play in the historic match? Germany, of course, with the game finishing 1-0 after a Dietmar Hamann goal.
These events opened the door for England's first non-English manager, Sven-Göran Eriksson, appointed the following January. And just under a year later, there was some redemption for the England team, with a 5-1 victory against Germany in a World Cup qualifier.
5. Destiny’s Child conquered the charts
These days, Beyoncé is arguably the biggest star on the planet. But back in 2000, she was known for her part in R&B/pop group Destiny's Child, who were cementing their domination of the charts following three Top 10 hits during their early career as a four-piece.
2000, though, saw a line-up change, with LeToya Luckett and LaTavia Roberson exiting the group and Michelle Williams joining Beyoncé Knowles and Kelly Rowland to complete the trio. Destiny's Child would go on to top the UK singles chart for the first time with ‘Independent Women Part I’ from the Charlie's Angels soundtrack. (Fun fact: the song's ‘Part 2’ was actually recorded before the one that would later be labelled as the first.)
The group would continue to conquer the charts in the years that followed, securing their first UK number one album in 2001 with ‘Survivor’ and dishing out further hits like ‘Bootylicious’ and ‘Lose My Breath’. The group eventually split in 2006; but each of its members have enjoyed successful careers since: Kelly Rowland serving as a host on X Factor in both the UK and US, Michelle Williams going on to star on Broadway, and Beyoncé? We’re sure you know everything that came next from one of pop’s enduring modern stars.
6. Kylie made an almighty comeback
Kylie Minogue may have been a household name since the late 1980s, but the 2000s cemented her status as a decade-spanning pop icon. The year 2000 in particular saw a marked resurgence in the star's popularity, with Kylie returning to a more pop-centric sound after several years making more alternative music (including 1995's unforgettable Nick Cave collaboration Where the Wild Roses Grow).
2000 saw Kylie releasing a trio of her biggest hits (Spinning Around, On a Night Like This and Robbie Williams duet Kids). Spinning Around, released in June of 2000, bagged Kylie her first number 1 single in 10 years and her sartorial choices for its accompanyinh video swiftly became iconic (her famous gold hot pants later made their way to a Glasgow museum). It also primed the star for the year to follow, 2001, when she would release her biggest chart smash since Especially For You, Can't Get You Out of My Head.
Kylie performed many of these hits at Radio 2 Live in Hyde Park earlier this month, where she looked back upon her 30-year plus career. During a brief technical difficulty, Minogue told the crowd: "Since we're having an issue: any requests? I know I've got enough hits to keep filling". She's right too, she's scored 34 top 10 singles to date... and counting.
7. Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Posh Spice featured in the biggest chart battle since Britpop
Cast your mind back to the year 2000, when music was still largely consumed in physical forms and the charts were decided by fans going out and purchasing their favourite act’s new single on CD, vinyl and cassette formats. In fact, 2000 still holds the records for the most number 1 singles in a calendar year (43) and the longest run of consecutive one-week number 1s.
Over the years we’ve witnessed some great chart head-to-heads (who could forget Oasis v Blur?), but 2000 included one of most unexpected. In August, Victoria Beckham went up against Italian dance producer Spiller and then-upcoming British vocalist Sophie Ellis-Bextor and the outcome wasn’t what many had expected. Out of Your Mind was Posh Spice’s first post-Spice Girls solo single and, having teamed up with garage duo True Steppers and celebrity DJ Dane Bowers, it seemed like a sure-fire chart-topper.
As momentum built around Groovejet (If This Ain't Love), Spiller and Ellis-Bextor’s surprise hit, the media went into frenzy mode - and things even got a bit dirty along the way. Ellis-Bextor accused Beckham and Bowers of underhand tactics, claiming that the pair were “making fans buy the single before signing it”, and even pointed to David Beckham’s record store visits as a sign of desperate marketing efforts (“I can't think of anything my boyfriend would like less than me dragging him around the shops!” Ellis-Bextor told BBC News at the time).
8. It was a prime time for pop
Pop music was in rude health in the year 2000. The charts were awash with boy band ballads (Backstreet Boys, Westlife) and high energy disco (Steps), while Britney Spears took up her position as the biggest pop star in the world. *NSYNC, meanwhile, boasted future mega-star Justin Timberlake (then-boyfriend of Britney) in their line-up.
Elsewhere in the pop charts, Samantha Mumba (pictured) burst on the scene with two Top Five hits (‘Gotta Tell You’ and ‘Body II Body’) from her Top 10-charting debut - and sadly, to date, only - album, while Gabrielle saw a career revival with her first No.1 in seven years, ‘Rise’, a sleeper hit from her chart-topping album of the same name released the year prior.
Two of the UK’s biggest hits, though, came from All Saints, who released a brilliant pair of number 1 singles in the form of ‘Black Coffee’ and ‘Pure Shores’, both lifted from their second record, ‘Saints & Sinners’. They continue to be pop classics to this very day.
Dance hits were crossing over into the mainstream too, with Sonique leading the way. In 2000, the DJ and vocalist reached No.1 with the re-release of her single ‘It Feels So Good’, which had only just managed to break the Top 40 in 1998. She scored two more Top 10 hits too, with ‘Sky’ and ‘I Put a Spell on You’. Sonique’s album, ‘Hear My Cry’, was released in February 2000, breaking the Top 10 and eventually going platinum.
An era-defining R&B talent, Aaliyah scored her only UK No.1 in 2000 with ‘Try Again’. It came a year prior to the singer’s tragic death, while 2001 would also see the star's self-titled album reach No.5 in the UK.
It wasn’t just new talent enjoying chart success. As well as Kyle’s pop comeback, Madonna started the new decade with a bang through two No.1 singles: Her take on Don McLean ‘American Pie’, and ‘Music’, the lead single from her chart-topping album of the same name.
The indie and rock world was evolving too. Radiohead abandoned guitars almost entirely, releasing the more electronic and experimental 'Kid A', while in America, nu-metal bands like Papa Roach and Limp Bizkit fused hard rock with hip hop.
Despite all of the ground-breaking music released in the year 2000, the year’s biggest single was still a novelty hit, namely Bob the Builder’s ‘Can We Fix It?’, which shifted a massive 850,000 copies.
Meanwhile in the UK Albums chart, it was a collection of songs from four decades earlier that had the most sales; The Beatles' '1' compilation was the year's best seller, ahead of Robbie Williams' third album 'Sing When You're Winning'.
9. Big Brother launched and changed reality TV forever
Big Brother may not have been the first big reality TV show - Castaway 2000, featuring a pre-fame Ben Fogle, had aired earlier in the year, while the hugely popular Survivor premiered in the US a couple of months prior. But Big Brother was brasher, bolder and aimed at a younger audience, and hosted the following decade’s biggest TV talking points.
The first series of the show, airing in summer 2000, included everything that made us fall in love with the show: there was drama (like tabloid villain "Nasty Nick" trying to fix the competition, seemingly forgetting the cameras watching the contestants' every move), romance (housemates Claire and Tom ended up getting together outside of the show, having a child before splitting up) and a loveable fan favourite (eventual winner Craig Phillips gave his £70,000 prize fund to friend Joanne Harris, who has Down's syndrome, to pay for a heart and lung transplant.)
From the very first edition of Big Brother, the nation was hooked. The show brought in massive audiences, attracted lots of newspaper coverage, and got the whole country talking about the previous night’s happenings. Its influence and legacy can still be seen in some of the TV reality favourites of today: the onscreen coupling of Love Island, the orchestrated drama of Made In Chelsea and sheer strangeness of programmes like Naked Attraction.
In 2018, Big Brother's day looked to be done when the its makers and network Channel 5 announced the show would be axed. However, recent enthusiasm for retrospective series Big Brother: Best Shows Ever – hosted by Rylan Clark-Neal and Davina McCall – suggested it won't be immune to a comeback.
10. Anne Robinson instilled fear in every Weakest Link contestant
Before The Weakest Link, the worst contestants on a quiz show could expect to put up with was the disappointment of getting an answer wrong, or a reassuring arm around the shoulders as they left the studio. Anne Robinson changed all that, introducing not just a game show in which contestants could vote rivals out, but sending them on their way with stinging barbs such as "Who is the least likely candidate for human cloning?" or "If brains were taxed, who’d get a refund?", even "Who would Lassie not even bother to save?"
She saved some of her sharpest quips for the celebrity editions, once asking Radio 2’s Rylan Clark Neal, "Is that your real name? Did you especially want to sound like a stationery store?", and she pioneered the trend for British stars to go to America just to tell people off (Yes, Robinson is indirectly responsible for Simon Cowell, Gordon Ramsay and more).
Elsewhere in TV, Albert Square would never be the same after the arrival of The Slater family on EastEnders. Their most explosive storylines would transpire over the following decade, not least the “you ain’t my mother!” revelations between Kat and Zoe in 2001. Meanwhile on Coronation Street, the soap celebrated its 40th anniversary with a live episode on the famous cobbles.
And in its third year on-air, ITV's Who Wants To Be A Millioniare finally handed out its top prize to contestant Judith Keppel, who took home £1 million for answering 'Which king was married to Eleanor of Aquitane?'. The show went up against the final episode of long-running BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave in a memorable night of TV.
11. It was a golden age for retro mobile phones (and everyone was playing Snake)
It's hard to imagine life in pre-smartphone times, but before the 2000s, mobile technology mostly consisted of phone calls and SMS messages. Then came a flurry of game-changing devices that dominated the era.
Siemens had its popular M30 and C35, Ericsson had the rugged R310s and the personal organiser/phone R380, while Motorola released the first touch-screen phone, hinting at smartphone developments to come. But it was the Nokia 3310, released in 2000, that became the best-selling phone of its time. Hardcore nostalgists still pine for Snake, the unwieldy and addictive game that came as standard with every handset. Some people are still playing the classic mobile game to this very day.
12. Gaming really took off - and gave us whole new worlds to explore
Of course, video games can be traced back to the days of Pong and old school arcades; but the 00s is really when they came into their own.
In 2000 alone, Nintendo sold its 100 millionth GameBoy, the console which got everyone hooked on collecting all the Pokémon, while Sony launched the PlayStation 2, soon to become a firm favourite among hardcore and casual gamers alike. Throughout the following decade, the PlayStation and its later rival, the Xbox, would push consoles forward, constantly one-upping the other with better graphics and games, ensuring that gaming enthusiasts were getting the very best experience every time.
The hottest new game of the year was The Sims, a virtual reality game with a simple concept: you control the life of Sim people, building their houses, leading them in their careers and even orchestrating their romantic lives. It was easy to see how controlling your Sim's life could soon control your own and the game swiftly became notorious as a ravenous devourer of spare time. The game franchise is still going strong, and broke new ground in 2016 by removing gender barriers in its virtual world.
13. Tiger Woods was the world's greatest golfer
Tiger Woods’ reputation was world-renowned by 1997, when he won his first Masters title. But 2000 was arguably the golfer’s most accolade-filled year.
In June 2000, he led the U.S. Open from start to finish (becoming only the fifth player in history to achieve the feat). In July, aged 24, he became the youngest in his field to win all four majors, after picking up the Open Championship in St Andrews, Scotland. And in August, he retained the US PGA Championship, becoming the first to defend the title since 1937. And this set him up for 2001, when he would become the first golfer to hold all four major championships at the same time.
Alongside the silverware, Woods-mania was in full flow. Sports Illustrated named him Sportsman of the Year for the second time, Associated Press named him Male Athlete of the Year, and The Sporting News called him the Most Powerful Person in Sports. Keen gamers were also engrossed in his ‘PGA Tour Golf’ video games – the 2000 version sold over 100,000 copies in the UK.
At the time, there was no sportsman more decorated or universally-adored than Tiger Woods.
14. We became obsessed with Brad and Jen
The public has always had a keen fascination with celebrity couples - from Cleopatra and Mark Antony to Posh and Becks. However, the early 2000s saw a huge change in celeb culture. Lifestyle magazines like OK!, Now and Heat (which launched in 1999, but took a more celebrity-driven direction from 2000 onwards) honed in on the romances of power couples like Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, allowing readers to get a little closer to stars that previously seemed a lot more remote.
From the get-go, the world was obsessed with "Brennifer", as Brad and Jen became singularly known. He was one of the biggest film stars on the planet and she was in the most popular TV sitcom in history. The pair married in 2000, filling countless column inches.
You can see the legacy of this celeb-focused period right through to the current popular culture that we find ourselves in, where being famous has never been more lucrative and on/off love interests remain a keen source of interest. While gossip mags may be in decline, the likes of online blogs and social media have replaced them to satisfy this insatiable thirst, while TV shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians give celebs themselves a chance to define their own narratives.
15. Ground-breaking cinema took us to a new universe
With its dreamlike fight sequences, surreal set design and comic book-like narrative, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a film like no other, standing out as one of 2000’s surprise success stories.
The big-budget action movie was defined by beautifully cinematic fight scenes (choreographer Yuen Woo-Ping had also worked on 1999 hit The Matrix) and a complex story of love and mortal combat. It ranked 35th in a BBC Culture poll of the 21st Century’s Greatest Polls, voted for by 177 prominent film critics and academics. Notably, Hong Kong drama In the Mood for Love, also released in 2000, came 2nd in the poll.
Elsewhere in cinema, Russell Crowe turned heads with a magnetic performance in Gladiator. His famous quote – “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius…” – was much parroted, but it didn’t overshadow excitement around the release, which also starred Joaquin Phoenix and Oliver Reed, in what was the late star’s final film.
Few blockbusters won hearts quite like the stunt-filled Mission Impossible 2, or the Bryan Singer-directed X-Men. Grossing an estimated $296.3m, it highlighted the globe’s appetite for superhero films, and arguably helped spawn countless subsequent 21st Century epics. A Charlie’s Angels remake was another big seller, although British actress Thandie Newton recently revealed she pulled out of starring in a role, due to being “objectified” by the process.
Other 2000 hits included Erin Brockovich – with Julia Roberts in the lead role – the hilarious Meet the Parents, and stop-motion animation classic Chicken Run.
16. Billy Elliot danced his way into our hearts
Just like Educating Rita did with literature and Brassed Off did with classical music, Billy Elliot joined a handful of great British films that show how art can lift the embattled up and empower them. With this 2000 film, however, the art form in question was ballet.
Set against the background of the 1984 and 1985 miners’ strike and starring Jamie Bell in its titular role, Billy Elliot was a film that hid its powerful messages about class, hope and tolerance in the middle of a tough battle for pride and acceptance. It was a massive hit and, in 2005, became a successful spin-off stage show, running for over 4,000 performances in London’s West End before closing in 2016. Over 80 child stars took on the role of Billy all around the world.
17. Coldplay released their debut album and inspired a generation
Coldplay's first album 'Parachutes' was released on 10 July 2000. Not only a huge moment for Chris Martin and co., but British music as a whole, paving the way for Coldplay to become one of the biggest music acts of the last 20 years.
An instant success, debuting at No.1 in the UK album chart, it has since has gone platinum nine times. In 2019, it was revealed as the UK's 20th best-selling album of the 21st century, while a year earlier it was named as the UK's 40th best-selling studio album of all time.
Speaking to Jo Whiley on Radio 2, on its 20th anniverary, Chris Martin said of the record: "I can’t listen to anything we’ve done - in the same way people can’t hear their voice on an answer-phone. But I do like playing those songs still."
He recalled writing the album when the band were all aged between 19 and 23: "We were living in what might be described as a dump, with Jonny [Buckland] and two of our friends in North Camden. Jonny and them would go out drinking, and I don’t really drink, so if I went with them I’d come back after about 10 minutes and then start working. We’d do that late in the night, and in the afternoons all four of us would work in Jonny’s bedroom."
Drummer Will Champion said when the band were signed to Parlophone on a five-album deal, it was an "amazing opportunity" that they didn't want to waste. "You always dare to dream that you might do something really special. I knew Chris’ songs were fabulous. But we sensed that we had a chance; an opportunity to do something."
Just over a fortnight before its release, Coldplay showcased tracks from the album during a Saturday afternoon set on Glastonbury’s Other Stage. They performed breakthrough hit ‘Yellow’, which remains one of their best-loved tracks to this day, alongside the likes of ‘Shiver’ and ‘Trouble’, before ending with a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s Bond theme ‘You Only Live Twice’.
A year earlier they’d been playing Glastonbury’s New Bands Tent, on a bill that also included David Gray and Muse. Two years later they were headlining the Pyramid Stage, a feat they’ve repeated three times since, making them the first act to headline on four occasions (a record equalled by The Cure in 2019).
‘Parachutes’ inspired an entire scene of introspective singer-songwriters with rousing guitars and tinkering pianos, including the likes of Keane, Snow Patrol and, later, Ed Sheeran.
Coldplay haven't done too shabbily since either. Each of the group's seven following albums have topped the UK charts, most recently with 2019’s ‘Everyday Life’. The band have sold out shows in virtually every country around the world. In 2016, they even headlined the Super Bowl 50 halftime show, which featured special guests Beyoncé, Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars - pretty great famous friends to be able to call upon, such is the extent of the band's kudos.
18. Hip-hop took centre stage
At a time when music TV channels were watched by millions, hip-hop stars with big personalities stole the show. Sisqo’s ‘Thong Song’ was one of the year’s biggest smashes, while fellow chart-magnet Nelly won hearts with his whose debut album ‘Country Grammar’ album, which laid the foundations for a hit-making decade.
Nobody laid the agenda quite like Eminem (pictured). Slim Shady’s ‘The Marshall Mathers LP’ was his first No.1 album in the US and UK. Co-produced by Dr. Dre (whose own ‘2001’ album, released in 1999, was being played everywhere at the time), the record boasted hit singles ‘The Real Slim Shady’ and ‘The Way I Am’. Being offensive was part of Eminem’s mantra, but the record drew serious ire from critics including US Senator Lynne Cheney, who in a Senate hearing claimed he promoted “violence of the most degrading kind against women”. At the turn of the new decade, he was arguably music’s most talked-about love or hate figure.
19. Craig David rose to fame
Following his ‘Re-Rewind’ collaboration with UK garage act Artful Dodger in 1999, the start of the new millennium saw Craig David fast become one of the country’s biggest pop stars.
Craig’s year boasted two Number 1 singles with ‘Fill Me In’ and ‘7 Days’, plus three further Top 10 appearances with ‘Walking Away’, plus ‘Re-Rewind’ (which came out the previous year, but had serious staying power), and another Artful Dodger collab, ‘Woman Trouble’. Meanwhile, his No.1 debut album ‘Born to Do It’ entered at the top of the UK charts, staying for a further week and going on to become the 6th best-selling long-player of the year, selling over a million copies.
All served as proof that here was a versatile vocalist, who could trade in emotional ballads, heartfelt R&B, razor-sharp wordplay and contemporary pop.
Speaking to Radio 2's Trevor Nelson for a 'Born To Do It' special, Craig David remembers the whirlwind success of 2000. "It went from 0 to 100. It catapulted in a way I’d never experienced. Just for RnB music at the time, it wasn’t like it is now, in terms of being accepted – and a UK artist from Southampton being accepted. Man, to come with that record and see how many people it touched and the doors it opened, it’s unbelievable."
He adds: "I look back and it was such a celebration for me, of all my life leading up to that point... That album is special to me. It’s everything; all my years growing up."
Despite the success, there was a sense that Craig didn’t get his full dues at the time. As well as his chart dominance and impressive record sales, he picked up three MOBO Awards in 2000 (in an event hosted by a certain Trevor Nelson and TLC’s Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes). But he infamously won none of the 6 BRIT Awards he was nominated for in 2001. Plus, and was the subject of a controversial character portrayal in the TV show Bo Selecta (something creator Leigh Francis would apologise for, two decades later).
For many, it took a much celebrated comeback in the mid-10s for people to fully appreciate the star’s hitmaking talents, but there is no doubting the endurance of his remarkable No.1 debut album ‘Born To Do It’.
20. Bowie played Glastonbury for the last time
Glastonbury has played host to countless classic sets – Radiohead in 1997, Oasis in 1994, Beyoncé in 2011 and Adele in 2016 to name a few. But one performance that’s taken on extra prominence in the last few years is David Bowie’s Glasto swansong; a headline set in 2000 that would turn out to be his last.
Until recently, his performance had an air of mystery to it: At Bowie’s request, the BBC was only able to broadcast half an hour of footage. Mark Cooper, producer of the BBC’s Glastonbury coverage, later told The Guardian: “Weeks of wrangling, cajoling, even pleading through Bowie’s publicist, Alan Edwards, had resulted in an amiable but immovable stalemate: We could film and broadcast the first four songs of the set and then a song or two from the encore, but no more.” But following the cancellation of Glastonbury 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the festival’s 50th Anniversary became a celebration of its great archive, with the BBC finally being granted permission to air the performance in full for the first time.
The sprawling two hour set is testament to Bowie’s mastery – a genre-spanning mix of classic tracks and theatrical greatness. A spectacle reserved for those in attendance, until this year. Cooper added that he believed Bowie’s decision to limit broadcast was an act of preservation: “I think Bowie knew exactly what he was doing on the night of 25 June 2000. He wasn’t about to give away his peak performance or his catalogue for nothing. He hoarded that night so that one day it could be shown in all its glory as his legacy.”