And now we wait

It wasn't quite a photo finish, but the race to top the singles chart this week was closer than it has been since the start of Miley Cyrus' reign of terror. But alas this was surely Pinkpantheress' last legitimate chance to knock Flowers from No.1, and deeper alas she failed completely by the matter of just 1,200 copies. Boy's A Liar was actually this week's streaming champion, but Miley edged her by having a stronger set of download sales.

That means Flowers gives Miley Cyrus an eighth straight week at No.1, matching the chart run of LF System's Afraid To Feel from summer last year, and the most impressive performance by a female star since Olivia Rodrigo's golden nine-week chart run with Drivers License at the start of 2021. Although we should also note that Adele's Easy On Me also had eight weeks at No.1 later that same year, even though these were non-consecutive.

What happens next will be interesting. Miley's Endless Summer Vacation album is released today (Friday 10th), and although I hate myself for confessing to this, it is the soundtrack to my writing of these words right now. It is not unreasonable to assume this will prompt an uplift in streams of Flowers (it is Track 1 after all), restoring its commanding lead at the top of the market for ninth straight week at No.1. But more importantly it will reset the ACR clock on the single (which has now ticked twice), and raising the prospect that its time at the top will extend to 12 weeks at the very least. Unless something comes along to blow it away. Ed Sheeran anyone?

People People People

Until then it seems nobody is prepared to take Miley on. The Top 10 remains largely becalmed, although there is one pleasing new arrival in the shape of Libianca's People which finally makes good on its weeks of promise and climbs three places to a brand new peak of No.8. The song has a far deeper meaning than most will at first grasp, the lyrics dealing with the singer's struggles with a mood disorder and the excessive drinking that resulted. She's now more than just a former Voice USA contestant. She now has a genuine global hit single.

Make A Move

Nothing else is making what you might call a MOVE though. Everything, for now, has found its level of appeal and is remaining there. The up-and-coming newer hits are at least moving up, but only very gently. So Mae Stephens is up 2 at No.18 with If We Never Broke Up and Ayra Starr is up just 1 at No.28 with Rush. The biggest move of the week though goes to Caity Baser who rises 35-26 with Pretty Boys. She's basically Kate Nash reborn in Meghan Trainor's clothes, but her debut hit has enough of a cheeky turn of phrase to make you swiftly fall in love with it. "Time is money, and you're not worth the spend" indeed.

She doesn't appear to be singing about her booty for a change (at least as far as I can tell), but that may explain why Nicki Minaj opens at a comparatively lowly No.30 with her new single Red Ruby Da Sleeze. But it is still the highest new entry of the week, meaning more than ten years into her career she still has the ability to be bigger than anyone else around her. The track is notable for reviving the famous "Diwali Riddim" which was the base of a large string of chart hits 20 years ago this summer, this thanks to its sampling of Lumidee's Never Leave You (Uh-Oh) which just happened to be one of them.

22 by American rapper Jayo opened quietly last week at No.67 but over the last seven days it has forced its way onto enough playlists to take a huge leap, and it also now lands inside the Top 40 at No.32. Yes, we are all waiting for a none more appropriate ten place rise next time around.

Jax It Up

It has been around for a month but only now do Jax Jones and Calum Scott make it to the Top 40 with Whistle, a track which in truth sounds like it has arrived three years late but it may have life in it yet. It is Jax Jones' first Top 40 hit since Where Did You Go reached the Top 10 at the start of last year, that track in collaboration with MNEK whose work Whistle seems to oddly resemble. Calum Scott meanwhile makes his own chart return for the first time since his last big dance collaboration, Lost Frequencies' Where Are You Now which peaked at No.3 around this time last year.

Collaborations time ahoy as Nathan Dawe makes the Top 40 for the sixth time with new single Oh Baby, another track which has been loitering in the lower depths for the past few weeks but which finally makes a break for prominence. Collaborators here are Bru-C (who has had his own hits in the past), along with newcomer bshp and Issey Cross - best known for being the singer of Wilkinson's Used To This which was a minor Top 40 hit last year. Hope that puts all in its full context.

Behind The Scenes

The final new arrival of the week is On The Street, the first solo Top 40 single for BTS member J-Hope and indeed the first such single by any members of the group. The Korean rapper and producer has been taking baby steps towards a solo career for some years, releasing his first mixtape in 2018 and even charting with solo hit More last summer (it limped to No.70). International appeal on this hit is provided by J Cole, this his first chart single since 2021. Pleasingly his epic dreads have survived the interregnum.

As predicted in last week's newsletter the albums chart battle wound up a very tight race indeed, the early week lead enjoyed by The Lathums was slowly chipped away by Slowthai whose streaming numbers were naturally stronger. But it was the Wigan indie-rockers who eventually came out on top, although From Nothing To A Little Bit More was the eventual chart victor by a mere 717 sales over Slowthai's UGLY.