John Lewis Christmas advert songs: Meet the singers from Tom Odell to Gabrielle Aplin

Ellie Goulding and Slow Moving Millie have also covered songs for the retailer

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The Independent Culture

John Lewis has everyone reaching for their tissues today as this year's Christmas ad drops on social media.

Tom Odell has covered John Lennon's "Real Love" for the retailer's latest campaign, which tells the story of a cute little boy who finds a lover for his penguin friend Monty at Christmas.

The 23-year-old singer-songwriter now stands in pole position for the UK Christmas number one after Lily Allen's chart success with "Somewhere Only We Know" last year.

Interestingly, it was Allen who signed Odell to her record label in 2012 - his debut album Long Way Down topped the album charts shortly afterwards. Odell has gone on to win Songwriter of the Year at the prestigious Ivor Novello Awards.

But what about John Lewis' past singers, many of whom used the platform to launch or boost hugely successful music careers?

Take a look back at the past five Christmas adverts and the voices behind them:

Lily Allen (The Bear and the Hare, 2013)

Last year's festive advert became John Lewis' most popular ad campaign ever when Twitter went into meltdown over Lily Allen's soundtrack to the endearing story of a hibernating bear that had never seen Christmas.

Allen's rendition of "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane reached number one in the UK singles chart, with some sales proceeds donated to Save the Children’s Philippine Typhoon Appeal campaign.

Since then, Allen has released her third album, Sheezus, and performed at Glastonbury festival.

Gabrielle Aplin (The Journey, 2012)

Aged just 20, Gabrielle Aplin provided the haunting vocals to one of the most memorable John Lewis Christmas ads to date, in which a snowman embarks on a challenging, wintery mission to buy the perfect gift for his wife.

Aplin's melancholic take on Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "The Power of Love" topped the UK singles chart in December that year and rocketed her into the mainstream.

Aplin released her debut album English Rain in May 2013 to positive reviews.

Slow Moving Millie (The Long Wait, 2011)

This was the year that John Lewis' Christmas ad became an online sensation, amassing 1 million views within days of its launch.

Amelia Warner, who performs under the name Slow Moving Millie, covered "Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want" by The Smiths and reached number 31 on the UK singles chart.

This schmaltzy yet undeniably cute 90-second narrative follows a little boy as he counts down the days until he can give his parents a present.

Since recording the soundtrack, Warner has continued her career as an actress and married Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan. The couple have a one-year-old daughter.

Ellie Goulding (A Tribute to Givers, 2010)

Ellie Goulding, then an up-and-coming singer who had just won Critics' Choice at the Brits, peaked at UK number two with her cover of Elton John classic "Your Song".

The John Lewis Christmas ad showed people wrapping gifts for their families – including parents sneaking a rocking horse upstairs as their children watch TV and a little boy hanging a stocking from his dog's kennel.

Goulding's soundtrack was so popular that she was invited to perform the song during Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s Buckingham Palace wedding reception the following April.

Taken by Trees (Remember the Feeling, 2009)

Folk singer Taken by Trees, real name Victoria Bergsman, dared to cover Guns 'N' Roses' famous "Sweet Child O'Mine" for John Lewis’ Christmas ad.

The clip showed children delighting in unwrapping adult presents such as laptops and cameras, encouraging gift-buyers to remember how Christmas used to feel.

Her rendition was also used for the closing scene in 2010 film Life As We Know It. Bergsman released her third album Other Worlds in 2012 after a trip to Hawaii.