Will Young tops U.K. singles of decade


LONDON -- Will Young's 2002 debut hit "Anything Is Possible"/"Evergreen" (RCA/Sony Music Entertainment) was named as the U.K.'s bestselling single of the decade, as the Official Charts Company's 2000-2009 sales data roundup was officially released Thursday. "Now! That's What I Call Music 47" was named the biggest-selling compilation of the "noughties."

English pop star Young's first single after he won the initial series of "Pop Idol" sold 1.1 million units in its first week on release in March 2002, and subsequently climbed to 1.8 million sales. That placed it well ahead of the 1.3m total for the U.K.'s No. 2 hit of the decade, by the artist he beat to win the series. Then-RCA labelmate Gareth Gates' "Unchained Melody" replaced Young's single at the top of the singles chart that same month.

Sales totals in the OCC data are up to date to Dec. 30, and show the 2005 reissue of Tony Christie's 1971 Neil Sedaka cover "(Is This The Way To) Amarillo" (UMTV/Universal) at No. 3 in the singles hall of fame. With a video featuring comic Peter Kay, the single was re-released to raise money for the Comic Relief charity, and spent seven weeks atop the U.K. chart.

The top five for 2000-09 was rounded out by the 2001 chart-topper "It Wasn't Me" (MCA/Universal) by Shaggy featuring Ricardo 'Rikrok' Ducent, at No. 4, and Alexandra Burke's 2008 smash "Hallelujah" (Syco Music/Sony Music Entertainment) at No. 5.

Young, Gates and Burke were among the eight artists in the top 20 singles bestsellers for the decade who emerged from reality TV shows. There were ten million-selling singles during the period, according to the OCC. 2009's bestseller, Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" (Interscope/Universal), landed at No. 15 across the ten-year term.

"Now! 47" (EMI/Virgin/Universal), released in 2000, sold 1.4m copies to take the compilation honors, ahead of "Now! 50" at No. 2. The venerable series accounted for 29 of the 50 biggest-selling compilations in the U.K. during the decade, and "Now!" titles sold a collective 29m in that period. The No.1 video/DVD title of the decade was 2008's "Mamma Mia! The Movie" (Universal), with sales of 5.9m.

James Blunt's "Back To Bedlam" (Atlantic/Warner Music) had already been named the top-selling artist album of the decade, with sales now confirmed by the OCC of 3.2m units in the territory. Dido's "No Angel" (Arista/Sony Music Entertainment), at No. 2, and Amy Winehouse's "Back To Black" (Island/Universal), at No. 3, both finished the decade north of 3m sales.

EMI's Robbie Williams and Coldplay had three albums each in the album artist top 20, and another EMI release, the Beatles' "1," was the most successful artist compilation, with 2.9m sales.
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