Each of Cheryl (Cole)'s last two solo albums have topped the charts in their first week on sale with consummate ease, yet neither had the handicap of being released alongside music from Justin Bieber.
In a back and forth struggle which lasted all week, the two albums from the two pop stars arrive at Numbers 1 and 2 on the UK album chart and in the end there were just 3000 copies in it. Spoils however go to the bowl-cut Canadian star as Bieber's second album proper Believe gives him his first ever Number One. His debut My World charted at Number 4 first week out in January 2010, falling back dramatically before rallying to reach a new peak of Number 3 later that spring. Since then he's also charted with Never Say Never - The Remixes which made Number 17 and festive offering Under The Mistletoe which hit Number 13 last December. His tactic of drip-feeding single tracks to download ahead of the album's release means he has a number of different tracks on the singles chart, although oddly enough the biggest seller is the one that has been available for the longest - first single proper Boyfriend leaping back to Number 31.
Cheryl thus finds herself a runner up on both charts, with long player A Million Lights tucking in to Number 2 and last week's chart-topper Call My Name also surrendering its crown after a week, despite the massive lead it had over the competition. Inevitably she is replaced at Number One by the original version of last week's controversial cover version as Maroon 5 and Wiz Khalifa storm to the top with the real version of Payphone. It is another Number One with another massive six figure sale as well as the single shifts an impressive 141,000 copies. That's the third week in a row that the chart-topping single has sold into six figures and the tenth time this year.
Payphone is Maroon 5's first ever Number One single in this country although it will have to go some to become their biggest seller ever, given that it is after all the follow-up to Moves Like Jagger which was the second biggest hit of 2011 and a million seller to boot, despite never managing to move beyond Number 2. Last week we wondered why their label weren't panicked into a midweek early release for the track in the face of the Precision Tunes cover version. On this evidence, holding their nerve paid off in spades.
For the second time in their career it is a case of so far yet so far for Stooshe who follow up Number 5 hit Love Me with a Number 4 entry for their second chart single Black Heart. Once again the girl group have put out an enormously appealing pop single, this one with a pleasing hint of Motown in the melody and once again have landed themselves a good sized hit, but somehow not quite the smash which you feel they deserve. Still, there is time yet - their debut album is not scheduled until September leaving room for one more hit single before it hits the shops.
It seems an unlikely choice of slow burner, but Paloma Faith's relentless round of promotional activity over the last few weeks is paying off in terms of consistent sales for her current single Picking Up The Pieces. After debuting at Number 7 at the start of June, the single had slipped to Number 19 a fortnight ago before starting an unlikely comeback. This week it rises four places to reclaim a Top 10 placing at Number 10. The single was already her biggest UK hit to date and has now spent longer in the upper reaches of the chart than any of her previous releases.
Unlucky not to reach the Top 10 this week was Katy Perry's Wide Awake which instead motors 31-12 in a strong statement of intent. The second single to be lifted from the special edition re-release of her Teenage Dream album, if it manages at least a two place climb this week it will end up being the seventh Top 10 hit to be taken from all versions of the long player, an almost unprecedented total.