It is honours even in every sense of the word at the top of the Official UK Singles chart this week as Cheerleader by OMI spends a second week at Number One, matching the spell it spent at Number 2 behind Wiz Khalifa's See You Again which in turn is now two weeks in the runners-up slot. For the first time, however, the OMI track outsells its rival at retail and this has enabled it to pull ahead in the overall sales stakes, the reggae-pop tune now having reached a combined sales total of 568,000 compared to the 549,000 clocked up by Khalifa's soundtrack single. Both are, as you might expect, comfortably among the Top 10 biggest sellers of the year to date albeit for the moment some way behind those singles at the very top of the table.
The highest new entry of the week is at Number 4, as All Cried Out from Blonde makes a storming chart debut. It is the second Top 10 hit single in a row for the Bristol-based house music act, hard on the heels of Number 7 hit I Loved You which reached its chart peak just before Christmas. Credited vocalist on this new hit is former Glee star Alex Newell who is technically speaking making his chart debut whilst at the same time landing his second Top 10 hit in a matter of weeks. This is all down to his widely acknowledged vocal contribution to Clean Bandit's Stronger (down five places to Number 19 this week) which also reached Number 4 a fortnight ago but which did not carry a full chart credit for either Newell or its main singer Sean Bass.
Having climbed steadily for the past nine weeks Where Are U Now reaches a brand new peak of Number 6 for the collaboration of Skrillex and Diplo. It is easily the highest charting single of Skrillex's career, eclipsing the Number 24 scaled by 2012 single Bangarang during its admittedly epic chart stay during that summer. Diplo has been in the Top 10 once before, assisting DJ Fresh on Earthquake which hit Number 4 in August 2013. Guest singer on Where Are U Now is none other than Justin Bieber, his own highest charting hit since a previous guest turn, this time on will.i.am's #thatPOWER which reached Number 2 in April 2013. Despite a long string of chart singles over the past few years (helped not a little by his Music Mondays series of weekly releases at the end of '13) Justin Bieber hasn't had a Top 10 single as a lead artist since Boyfriend landed in the runners-up position in April 2012. [Most significantly of all, this was the point of transition for Bieber, from whiny teenage star into hyper-cool R&B vocalist. By the end of the year he would be nothing less than a chart phenomenon].
Just to prove there are always new chart benchmarks to hit, Sugar by Maroon 5 dips once place to Number 10 this week and thus sets a brand new record - the first single in chart history to spend 11 weeks as a Top 10 hit without ever reaching the Top 5 - its chart peak (at least for now) is a lowly Number 7. The only other relatively contemporary single to come close to this was I Try by Macy Gray which had a nine-week Top 10 run at the end of 1999 without ever charting higher than Number 6.
Also arriving in the Top 20 this week is Talking Body from Tove Lo which charts at Number 17. This is technically the Swedish singer/songwriter's second hit single, the follow-up to "Stay High" which was a Number 6 hit just over a year ago although her most recent chart foray was as the featured singer on Alesso's Heroes (We Could Be) which also reached sixth place back in January. [Also kicking off an ongoing tradition of her flashing the crowd during festival performances for which she should be adored eternally].
The biggest new album of the week is inevitably Wilder Mind by Mumford & Sons, their third album and their Dylan-esque move from semi-acoustic folk to rock securing them a second chart-topper to follow the much-decorated Babel. The arrival of the album duly propels its lead single back into the Top 30, Believe leaping to Number 29, its highest chart placing for seven weeks.