Adele's theme for the new Bond film Skyfall has shot to the top of the iTunes chart within hours of its release today.
The track is hotly tipped to become the first 007 theme to make it to number one in the official chart when it is announced on Sunday.
Adele's song, which shares its title with the movie, was given its full premiere on her website at 0.07am today and made available to download. Fans had been given a taster of the track earlier in the week when it was leaked online, then swiftly removed.
The song - for which she teamed with Paul Epworth once more, who co-wrote and produced her massive hit "Rolling In The Deep" - is her first new material since her career exploded following the success of second album 21 early last year.
Previous Bond theme artists have all failed to take their songs to the top of the charts, including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Tom Jones and Madonna, while Duran Duran made it to just number two in 1985 with "A View to a Kill".
Bookmaker William Hill has given a figure of 1/2 that she will top the charts and retailer HMV is expecting huge sales.
The track, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London with a 77-piece orchestra, displaced Rihanna's "Diamonds" from the top of the iTunes chart this morning.
The surge of sales is no guarantee of a number one on Sunday and the Official Charts Company said it would be a close-run thing with other popular acts vying for the prized slot.
Managing director Martin Talbot said: "Adele really is helping to put the top hat - or Bond-style black tie - on a classic week for singles.
"Although it will only have two days' sales to contribute towards its Official Singles Chart position this Sunday, Skyfall is likely to be chasing the tails of Rihanna's "Diamonds" and One Direction's Live While We're Young, both of them brand new singles.
"Given her massive popularity, we wouldn't put it past Adele to add to her many chart records by registering the very first James Bond official number one single, whether this Sunday or in future weeks."
The single's release comes exactly 50 years to the day since the world premiere of the first Bond movie, Dr No. And the film company behind the 007 franchise has designated today Global James Bond Day, with a number of activities to mark the anniversary.
They will include the auction of a number of items of Bond memorabilia by Christie's in London, including Daniel Craig's trunks, which he wore in Casino Royale.
The famous sky-blue tight shorts, worn as he emerged from a glistening sea the movie, are expected to fetch up to £5.000 in the sale.
Adele has said she was "hesitant" about recording the song. But she said: "I fell in love with the script and Paul had some great ideas for the track and it ended up being a bit of a no-brainer to do it in the end."
"I'll be backcombing my hair when I'm 60, telling people I was a Bond girl back in the day, I'm sure."
The film, again starring Daniel Craig as Bond, is to be given its premiere on October 26.
- More about:
- Actors And Actresses
- James Bond
- Styles And Clothes
- William Hill