There was always every chance that she would blow it, but in the end she managed to pull it off. Eight months after her cousin Dappy became the first member of N-Dubz to score a solo UK Number One hit, X Factor judge Tulisa has the top of the charts licked and climbs to pole position with her debut solo single Young. Her transformation from tracksuited R&B backup singer to sultry mainstream TV and solo star hasn't always been the smoothest of journeys, but after her starring role on the last series of the TV talent show, her proper career launch as a solo music star was always more or less a given.
The release of Young (itself hastily retitled from We Are Young to avoid a tricky chart collision with the Fun single currently at Number 3) comes semi-fortuitously just weeks after the minor scandal of the online circulation of an intimate video of the singer, an incident which actually only served to increase her mainstream profile and for once no pun intended only added to her press exposure. Young can therefore be seen as both her solo career launch and a public image rebirth, reminding people in the best way possible just what it is she is actually famous for. With a sale of 121,000 copies, the track even beats out Call Me Maybe to land the second highest single week sale of the year, still trailing slightly the 127,000 copies shifted by Hot Right Now back in February.
As for the single itself, the worst thing you can say about it is that it most definitely does not suck [behave].
In yet another rather quiet chart week, the only other new entry inside the Top 10 is Sparks from Cover Drive which lands at Number 4. The third Top 10 hit in a row for the Barbados pop group, it is the direct follow-up to the Number One hit Twilight and arrives on the chart just a week ahead of the release of their long-awaited debut album Bajan Style. The single Sparks conforms neatly to the golden rule of pop music which states Thy Third Single Shalt Be A Ballad, although it is more of an end of the night chill-out cut rather than a chest-beating love song.
Where one set of stars from Barbados lead, so I guess another has to follow and so the third highest new entry of the week is naturally enough Where Have You Been from Rihanna which arrives on the Top 40 at Number 21. For those having difficulty keeping track, this single is the third to be officially lifted from her current album "Talk That Talk" although the fourth to actually reach the Top 40 after the title track crept into the Top 30 as an album cut when it was first released back in December. Where Have You Been also had a brief chart life of its own six months ago, perhaps befitting its status as one of the standout tracks from the album and with its ultimate destiny being a single in its own right. For now the single makes a rather gentle start but notwithstanding the failure of her previous single You Da One to climb beyond Number 16, it doesn't appear to be too much of a stretch to see this track adding to her tally of Top 10 hits within the next couple of weeks.
Lower down the singles chart, the impact of both The Voice UK and Britain's Got Talent continues to be felt with a larger than usual smattering of catalogue tracks floating around mid-table. Hard on the heels of John Legend's rather startling career revival comes a Top 40 return for James Vincent McMorrow's take on the old Steve Winwood track Higher Love. Originally released in May last year, the track first became a hit in January this year after its use in a series of TV commercials for LoveFilm which saw it peak at Number 21. Following Tyler James' rendition of the song in the first live heat of The Voice a week ago, the cover version returns to Number 37. Curiously the Steve Winwood original from 1986 is nowhere to be found, this despite the fact that the recent talent show inspired revival of Maxwell's cover of This Woman's Work also dragged the Kate Bush original back into the chart along with it.
As the single Primadonna ascends to Number 11 this week to become her biggest chart hit to date, Marina and the Diamonds can now also brag her highest charting album yet as sophomore offering Electra Heart storms to the top of the long playing charts, beating out the Number 5 peak of her debut The Family Jewels from 2010.
By a strange coincidence, although both Tulisa and Marina are British and Welsh by birth respectively, both come from Greek families meaning that representatives of the Contostavlos and Diamandis families top both British charts this week. If you are a further fan of chart coincidences it is probably worth noting that Tulisa's run at Number One is likely to be confined for now to a single week as despite her huge sale she is set to be deposed by the lady who sang on the only other single in 2012 to sell more copies in seven days - Hot Right Now singer Rita Ora.