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U.K. CHARTS: A SWIFT RETURN TO #1

Taylor Swift claims a rarely seen feat of landing two chart-topping albums within a calendar year as evermore (EMI) debuts at #1 on this week’s U.K. Official Albums Chart. At singles, Mariah Carey ekes out a second week at #1.

Swift, whose folklore spent three weeks at #1 in August, is the first artist in four years to hold the #1 spot with two albums in a calendar year. Following his death, David Bowie scored two #1s in January and February of 2016 with Blackstar (Columbia) and Best of Bowie (EMI).

As evermore, the most downloaded and streamed album of the week, hits #1, it becomes Swift’s sixth chart-topper in eight years. Among female artists, she surpasses only Madonna’s six #1s over the course of 11 years. Only Robbie Williams and Westlife have scored six #1 albums in a shorter time period, six years.

Swift also registered the three highest-charting new entries of the week at singles: “willow” is #3 (Swift’s 11th Top 5), “champagne problems" opens at #15 and “No Body, No Crime” f/Haim lands at #19.

The week’s Top 40 album chart features a mere four new releases: Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon III–The Chosen (Republic) is #26; James’ live album Live in Extraordinary Times (BMG) enters at #31; Katherine Jenkins’ Christmas Spectacular (Decca) wraps up #36; and The Avalanches fall in at #39 with their third album, We Will Always Love You (EMI).

At the top of the chart, fans are digging the orchestral sound. Neil Diamond’s symphonic set, Classic Diamonds (Capitol), is up two spots to #2; violinist Andre Rieu and the Johann Straus Orchestra hit a new high with Jolly Holiday (Decca), up two spots to #4; and Andrea Bocelli’s Believe (Decca) rebounds five places to #5. Sony Legacy’s Johnny Cash & the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra leaps seven spots to #8.

At singles, Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” finishes only 3,600 in sales ahead of Wham!’s “Last Christmas.” Both songs had more than 10m listens across audio and video streaming platforms.

Jess Glynne scoops up her 13th Top 10 hit with Amazon Original “This Christmas,” which climbs four places to #9, while “Whoopty” by CJ also reaches a new peak, climbing two spots to #10.

Finally, The Ronettes’ “Sleigh Ride” enters the Top 40 for the first time this year and second time overall since its 1963 release, climbing one place to #40. 

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