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Captain Tom goes to number one following Weeknd intervention – Stay Home Live Lounge on course for top spot this week

By | Published on Monday 27 April 2020

Michael Ball & Captain Tom Moore

Having raised nearly £30 million for the NHS by walking around his garden, Captain Tom Moore has now entered the week of his 100th birthday with a number one single too. His version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ – with Michael Ball and The NHS Voices Of Care Choir – topped the chart after The Weeknd demanded that people listen to it in order to break his six week run at the top of the UK singles chart.

Initial chart data at the beginning of last week already had Captain Tom’s track on course for the top spot. However, as the week went on, The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ overtook him.

With just hours to go, The Weekend tweeted: “Everyone in the UK please support [Captain Tom Moore and Michael Ball’s] single so this incredible 99 year old war veteran, walking for the British National Health Service and now raised $35 Million can have a No 1 for his 100th birthday in the UK! We’re routing for you”.

This seems to have hit home, despite the headache-inducing grammar and length of that sentence. Don’t even mention the spelling error at the end. I think the one thing we know from all of this is that Moore knows his way around his garden, no routing assistance needed.

Anyway, who knows if this was really what tipped the balance – the tweet did come very close to the wire – but it makes for a better story if we assume it did. In the end, Moore scored the equivalent of 82,000 single sales to The Weeknd’s 69,000. He not only scooped the top spot, but also became the oldest person to ever have a number one single in the UK – beating previous record holder Tom Jones by more than 30 years.

“What wonderful news to receive today, a number one single and a record breaker too”, says Moore. “My grandchildren can’t believe I am a chart-topper!”

Presumably this was after he explained to them what the charts are. Anyway, he goes on: “I have to thank Michael Ball, the NHS Voices Of Care Choir and everyone behind the scenes, who shared their talents and expertise in order to raise money for the NHS, to whom we owe so much. And, of course, the public for buying the single and donating – we’re in this together, and I am forever grateful for your support. And this just proves ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone'”.

Ball adds: “This is the most extraordinary thing, one of the most proudest moments of my career, but it’s not about me, it’s about Captain Tom. Thank you for giving him a number one on his 100th birthday”.

Commenting on all of this, Official Charts Company boss Martin Talbot says: “It has been a roller coaster week, starting with a big initial lead for Captain Tom, before The Weeknd closed the gap yesterday to almost nothing – before a massive surge in the final day by Captain Tom. Huge thanks to The Weeknd for lending his support at the eleventh hour. But this is Captain Tom’s week – congratulations sir and happy birthday for next week. You are a hero to us all”.

Among the many changes we’ve seen during this health crisis is a real resurgence of the good old fashioned charity single. To that end, it’s looking like Captain Tom will be knocked off the number one position this Friday by another one – the BBC’s Stay Home Live Lounge recording of Foo Fighter’s ‘Times Like These’.

That track – featuring an array of stars, including Foo Fighter’s Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins – is raising money for Comic Relief and Children In Need in the UK, and the WHO’s COVID-19-Solidarity Response Fund for international income.

It managed to hit number five in the current chart, despite only coming out twelve hours before the cut off for Friday’s countdown. Initial stats yesterday had the track in the number one spot on this week’s upcoming chart, but again The Weeknd is close behind. It remains to be seen if he’ll be willing to get his fans to back off for a second week in a row.

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