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U.K. CHARTS: STORMZY HITS #1

Today is a pretty fine day for the British music industry. Indie grime act Stormzy has hit #1 with his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer (#Merky) on 69k combined sales, winning a fierce chart battle with Columbia breakout artist Rag’n’Bone Man, whose Human is racking up high numbers in its third week on sale. Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Atlantic), released today, will continue the sales surge for weeks to come.

Stormzy and team, including Warner distributor ADA, publisher Amber Davis at Warner/Chappell and young manager Tobe Onwuka, have pulled out all the stops this week to hit #1 on the Official Albums Chart in an extremely tight race. Alongside a wide-ranging promo tour, the album had heavy discounts at retail.

Still, 69k is a huge achievement for an indie artist, especially amidst complaints of a stagnant U.K. market. The record has racked up the most first-week streams for a #1 album in chart history, surpassing Drake and Justin Bieber.

Completing this week's Top 5 is Sheeran's x (Atlantic), rising one place to #3, the Trolls Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (RCA), which has reached a new peak of #4, and Adele's 25 (XL) stays put at #5.

Over on the Official Singles Chart, bolstered by Stormzy and Major Lazer’s versions of the track, Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is spending its eighth week at #1 with 144k combined sales (including 10.95m streams) since 2/25—the track’s biggest chart week since its debut in January.

Thanks in part to a BRITs performance, The Chainsmokers  & Coldplay  collab “Something Just Like This” (Parlophone) is up 28 places to #2.

Sheeran stays at #3 with “Castle on the Hill,” Rag’n’Bone Man does the same at #4 with “Human” and Katy Perry concludes the Top 5 with “Chained in the Rhythm” (Virgin EMI).

Stormzy has a further seven appearances in the Top 40 with “Big For Your Boots” climbing 11 places to #6, “Cold” at #21, “Bad Boys” #22, “First Things First” #25, “Mr Skeng” #29 and Kehlani collaboration “Cigarettes & Cush” #30. Previous Top 10 single “Shut Up” also zooms 83 places to #37.

 

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