Stormzy challenges Justin Bieber for Christmas number one after X Factor's Louisa Johnson flops

Her cover of Bob Dylan’s "Forever Young" scraped just 39,000 combined sales and streams since its release

Adam Sherwin
Media Correspondent
Friday 18 December 2015 19:26
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Croydon Grime MC Stormzy is now a contender to score an unlikely festive chart-topper with "Shut Up"
Croydon Grime MC Stormzy is now a contender to score an unlikely festive chart-topper with "Shut Up"

Grime rapper Stormzy is the new favourite to score the Christmas number one after Louisa Johnson, the X Factor winner, recorded the lowest-selling winners’ single in the history of the show.

Her cover of Bob Dylan’s "Forever Young" scraped just 39,000 combined sales and streams since its release after the final on 13 December, according to record industry sources.

The song entered Friday’s chart at number 9 and is set to be the first winner's song to miss the top slot since the talent show was launched in 2004.

Johnson’s song was on sale for just four days before the chart was compiled. But music insiders believe the song lacks the momentum to challenge for the Christmas number one, will be announced on Christmas Day itself.

Louisa's cover of Bob Dylan’s "Forever Young" scraped just 39,000 combined sales

Croydon Grime MC Stormzy is now a contender to score an unlikely festive chart-topper with "Shut Up". The track was unveiled in May but is being backed by a web campaign to get it to number one. It leapt from 91 to eight in the new chart.

Justin Bieber, who logged a third week at the singles chart summit with 102,000 combined sales and streams of "Love Yourself", could remain top of the pile. His previous single "Sorry" holds at Number 2 and a third Bieber track is at number 6. Bieber’s chart popularity is largely due to fans playing his songs on streaming services.

Bieber has become the first artist ever to log four weeks at Numbers 1 and 2 consecutively, beating a record previously set by The Beatles.

Seasonal favourites including Mariah Carey’s "All I Want For Christmas Is You" (12), The Pogues’ and Kirsty MacColl’s "Fairytale Of New York" (15) are currently hovering outside the top ten.

Each X Factor winner's single, from Steve Brookstein in 2004 to Ben Haenow in 2014 has reached number one. Shayne Ward sold 740,000 copies of his 2005 single "That's My Goal" inside its first week, with 300,000 of those on its first day of sale.

Adele’s 25 is poised to sell its 2 millionth copy, making it the fastest-selling album to reach that landmark in UK music history. Retaining its number one position, 25 had reached 1.97 million sales by Thursday night, having sold between 46,000 and 61,000 copies a day for the past week.

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