Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s dream start to 2024 continues, as “Murder on the Dancefloor” has reached No. 2 in the U.K. singles charts, matching its original peak position of 22 years ago.
After making a surprise return to the Top 10 last week, the single has climbed a further six places – with only Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season” keeping it from the top spot. According to data from the Official Charts Company, “Murder on the Dancefloor” earned the most one-week streams since its release, amassing 4.7 million streams in the U.K. alone over the past seven days.
After news of the chart position broke, Ellis-Bextor released a statement on her social media channels: “Exactly 22 years ago to the day, #MurderOnTheDancefloor hit #2 on the UK charts and now, it’s back!” she wrote. “It’s just a wild and glorious adventure to see another generation embrace the song and show off their dance moves. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
“I honestly can’t quite believe what’s happening with this track - I don’t think I’ve used the word ‘bonkers’ so much in one week! - but honestly I’m so grateful to all who have supported this song… then, and now Xxxx.”
The song was originally released in December 2001 as the second single from Ellis-Bextor’s debut solo album Read My Lips. Its unlikely resurgence two decades later has been attributed largely to the controversial film Saltburn.
In the final scene of the hit movie, which premiered on Amazon Prime shortly before Christmas, “Murder on the Dancefloor” plays as the lead character, played by Barry Keoghan, dances around a mansion completely naked.
The scene was quickly picked up as a trend on the social media network TikTok, with users filming themselves dancing through their own houses (fully clothed, thankfully). As well as the network’s core Gen Z audience, actor Richard E. Grant – who also stars in the film – has also recorded a viral video of himself lip-synching to the song.
On New Year’s Eve Ellis-Bextor released her own version of the trend, dancing through a hotel in sparkly dress and deer antlers. She later commented: “Everyone thought I was in a Wetherspoon’s”.
Speaking about the success of the song two decades after its first release, Ellis-Bextor recently told the Official Charts Company:
“I’m always very connected to my music, and one thing I’ve always loved about my work is its ability to surprise me. ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ is a song I’ve been singing for 20 years, and I’m on really good terms with it. I love singing it, I love performing it and what’s happening at the moment is kind of magical, actually.
“Thank you [to all the fans new and old streaming the song] for such a magical adventure. I’m so proud of 'Murder on the Dancefloor', but I also share it with everybody who has love for it. I’m just having so much fun. Thank you!”
The song has given Ellis-Bextor another career milestone, as “Murder on the Dancefloor” recently became her first-ever chart entry in the US Billboard Hot 100. The resurgence in popularity could not be better timed: in March she embarks on a European headline tour, before summer dates with Nile Rodgers and Chic.