Robbie Williams takes 1000th UK number one album with Swing Both Ways

The singer has had as many number one albums as Elvis Presley

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The Independent Culture

Robbie Williams has expressed "a trillion thank yous" after his latest album Swing Both Ways became the 1000th number one in the UK Official Albums Chart yesterday.

The former Take That band member beat US rapper Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2 by 67,000 copies to debut in the top spot.

Click here to see the artists with the most UK number one albums

Last week's chart-topper Lady Gaga fell to number nine with Artpop, while Jake Bugg entered in third place with Shangri La.

After first week sales of nearly 109,000, Williams has now topped the albums chart 11 times as a solo artist to equal rock'n'roll legend Elvis Presley.

If his four number ones with Take That were included, the 39-year old would have reached the summit 15 times , the same number as The Beatles.

The success of Swing Both Ways comes 57 years after Frank Sinatra's Songs For Swingin' Lovers became the UK's first ever number one album in 1956.

The "Angels" singer described his 1000th number one as "a nice thing but it'll be forgotten by everyone on Tuesday."

"It's a nice bit of synchronicity and nice that it hasn't gone unnoticed, but I don't know what it means, really," said Williams. "The story for me is that I'm number one, it's sold a load: ace."

Williams also paid tribute to Sinatra and the "enduring appeal of swing music".

"I think in these days with people taking their clothes off and doing drugs and being cynical in whatever way possible to get attention - and good luck to them - I think there is a market for middle-of-the-road entertainment," he told Sky News. "It harks back to a simpler time."

Since embarking on his solo career after Take That split in 1996, Williams has sold 18.6 million albums in the UK and 55 million worldwide. He scored the 600th number one album landmark in 1998 with I've Been Expecting You.

Williams was in the news last week after admitting to undergoing a hair transplant that he "didn't even need" on The Graham Norton Show.

"I've lived in LA for a long time and they say, 'If you sit in a barber's shop for long enough you will get a hair cut'." Well, if you live in Los Angeles for long enough you're going to get some surgery," he said.