A fortnight after her tragic death at the age of 72, singing legend Cilla Black is still managing to inspire tributes and headlines, her funeral on Thursday televised across all news channels. The continuing exposure and re-evaluation of her work as a singer also means that in death she achieves something that not even a series of career anniversary celebrations across the decades were able to manage - handing her a first-ever Number One album in Britain.
The work in question is hits collection The Very Best Of which climbs seven places to the top of the Official UK Albums chart this week, prior to today her best ever showing on this countdown had been the Number 4 peak of 1966 offering Cilla Sings A Rainbow. The Very Best Of was first released to mark her 50th anniversary in show business back in October 2013, meaning it has taken almost two years to reach the top of the charts, although as a re-packaging of a collection first released in January 1983 it has technically taken even longer. Debate on whether that counts as a record is beyond the scope of the space I have here, suffice to say that arriving as it does 50 years and six months after her album chart debut it means she has waited longer to top the charts than any other female artist in history. It should also be noted that Cilla is the third deceased female singer to reach Number One on the album chart since the start of the 21st century, following in the slightly more tragic footsteps of Eva Cassidy and Amy Winehouse.
Whilst the singles chart race was not totally settled until the end of the week, this is one of those occasions when the midweek leader after the weekend does manage to sustain that edge until the stores closed on Thursday. The result is yet another Number One for Jess Glynne as Don't Be So Hard On Yourself soars to the top of the charts having spent the last fortnight building up a head of steam via streams. It gives the flame-haired singer her third Number One single this year, hard on the heels of her own Hold My Hand and the Tinie Tempah collaboration Not Letting Go to make her the first artist to achieve this feat since Rita Ora's trio of 2012 chart-toppers. Added to the brace of Number One singles she appeared on in 2014 it means that Jess Glynne has now appeared on five chart-topping singles in a little over 18 months. Technically speaking this matches Cheryl Cole's British record of most Number One singles by a solo female, although it should be noted that all Ms Cole's Number One singles were achieved as a lead artist whereas three of Glynne's have been as the featured singer on someone else's hit. It all sets the stage nicely for the eagerly awaited release of her debut album I Cry When I Laugh which hit the stores today (Friday 21st).
Frenchman Martin Solveig made his chart debut as far back as 2004 yet his tally of hit records to date has been limited compared to some of his contemporaries and countrymen. This week for the first time ever he lands in the Top 10 as new single Intoxicated leaps to Number 5, eclipsing the Number 13 chart peak scaled by Dragonette collaboration Hello in 2011. Co-performers on Intoxicated are Miami-based house producers GTA, better known to their families as Julio Mejia and Matthew Van Toth.
There is a pleasing sense of upward mobility on the singles chart this week with a number of singles penetrating the Top 40 from lower down. Leaping 67-20 is Pia Mia's Do It Again which comes with both Chris Brown and Tyga in tow. It lands Chris Brown with his second Top 40 hit single in as many weeks, following the Rita Ora collaboration Body On Me which sadly takes a dive to Number 41 this week. It is the debut chart single for 18-year-old Pia Mia from Guam and whose fame first developed via YouTube.
Also new, Swedish electronica stars Galantis with Peanut Butter Jelly which moves 41-24. This is the follow-up to Number 4 hit single Runaway (U & I) which charted in May. Finally for this week there is either the latest slow-burning in waiting or a frustrating flop from Maroon 5 as their rather notorious new single which the Official Charts Company have elected to bill as This Summer enters at Number 40 as it picks up airplay and exposure after finally and belatedly being made available to buy in this country. Read nothing into this chart placing for now, given that Sugar first charted at Number 55 back in January and would subsequently peak on two different occasions at Number 7 during an 11 week run in the Top 10. Singles by Adam Levine's group don't conform to expected patterns of popularity and for all we know this could be their next major chart fixture.