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U.K. MIDWEEKS:
1D TAKES THE LEAD

With Justin Bieber pulling ahead in the U.S. sales stakes, Britain’s One Direction are currently up 14k in combined sales in the U.K Official Albums Chart midweek update. Thus, with four days to go, it looks like Sony Music will win the battle of the pop titans in Blighty.

Bieber’s Purpose (Def Jam), which goes through Universal’s Virgin EMI in the U.K., looks set for second spot on Friday. It will be his second-highest position on those shores after 2012’s Believe hit #1.

SYCO will likely be celebrating 1D’s fourth U.K. #1 album with Made in the A.M., the group's final LP before taking a hiatus. 1D performed “Perfect” on last night’s X Factor results show, which has since shot from #16 to #10 on the Official Singles Chart. The foursome also broadcast a special message to fans during the show's ad break, thanking them for their support during the last five years.

Jeff Lynne’s ELO make the first of their two appearances in today’s midweeks with new entry Alone in the Universe (RCA) at #3, while All Over the World – The Very Best of… re-enters at #20.

Current chart-topper Elvis Presley’s If I Can Dream (RCA/Legacy Recordings) drops three places to #4 midweek, trailed by Little Mix’s Get Weird (SYCO), down three places to #5.

Bieber may not win this week’s album race, but he could be set to knock Adele off the U.K. Official Singles Chart spot. “Sorry” is ahead of “Hello” by 150 units at halfway stage. Another track from Purpose, “Love Yourself,” is at #5.

SYCO boasts a third act in the singles and albums Top 5: Last year’s X Factor runner-up Fleur East is at #3 with debut single “Sax.”

Atlantic’s Jess Glynne is at #4 with Children in Need single “Take Me Home.”

HITS LIST: AMPERSANDS
Dynamic duos (12/6a)
NEAR TRUTHS:
WINNING NOMINATIONS
I.B. Bad on music's biggest comeback (12/6a)
ON THE COVER: LADY GAGA & TONY BENNETT
It's De-Lovely. (12/6a)
CALLING THE PLAYS:
JOHN JANICK
We salute the winner and still champ. (12/6a)
SONG STREAMS:
'TIS THE SEASON
It's beginning to look a lot like Xmas. (12/6a)
CHESTNUTS
Roasting.
STOCKINGS
Stuffing.
PIPERS
Piping.
SANTA
Coming.
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