Vera Lynn enters UK top 20 with D-Day anniversary album aged 97

The singer has become the oldest living artist to enter the UK top 20

Dame Vera Lynn has entered the top 20 at the age of 97 - extending her lead as the oldest living artist to figure so high up in the album chart.

The Forces' Sweetheart released Vera Lynn: National Treasure - The Ultimate Collection this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings on Friday.

The album, featuring more than 40 wartime songs including We'll Meet Again and The White Cliffs Of Dover, reached number 13 in the chart, beating the likes of Pharrell, the Arctic Monkeys and rapper 50 Cent whose new album missed out on the top 20.

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran achieved his first UK number one single with Sing, while fellow British solo star Sam Smith remained at the top of the album chart with In The Lonely Hour.

Dame Vera said: “I am delighted of course. It is wonderful to hear these songs again that were at the top of the charts so long ago, and it's warming to think that everyone else is listening to them too.”

The veteran singer's last major chart feat was five years ago when, at the age of 92, she achieved a number one with an earlier best-of release.

Dame Vera - who made her professional debut at the age of seven - already holds the record as the first British artist to top the US charts in 1952 and as the only artist over 90 to top the UK album charts.

Sheeran's single, which was co-written and produced by US star Pharrell, sold nearly 124,000 copies over the last seven days, according to the Official Charts Company.

It knocked Sam Smith's Stay With Me off the top spot, with the 22-year-old's track slipping to number two.

A charity single inspired by teenage cancer victim Stephen Sutton also stormed into the top 20.

Hope Ain't A Bad Thing by The Neon Brotherhood finished in 16th place.

Tom Drover from Neon Sound Studios, who played guitar on the track, said: “The idea was hatched when Stephen posted his thumbs up picture. We all decided to come together to do something for Ste, one of the things on his bucket list was to have a charity single.”

Stephen, 19, raised millions of pounds for Teenage Cancer Trust before his death last month and all the profits from the song will go to the charity.

PA

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