Well he made us wait, but for the first time in a 'normal' chart week since mid-November Justin Bieber is no longer atop the Official UK Singles Chart.
His replacement is a fellow Canadian - 17 year old Shawn Mendes whose single Stitches ends an epic chart climb to become officially the biggest single of the moment in Britain. Epic is indeed the word, for the single's first chart appearance was a Number 97 entry on October 1st last year. It first entered the published Top 75 three weeks later and has been a chart fixture ever since, this 15 week climb the slowest ascent to the top made by any single since Ed Sheeran's record-breaking 19 week wait for Thinking Out Loud at the tail end of 2014.
Mendes also bends records by dint of his youth. At the age of just 17 years and 5 months Mendes is amongst the youngest male soloists ever to top the UK charts, beaten only by Paul Anka and brothers Donny and Little Jimmy Osmond. By a strange coincidence both Mendes and Anka hail from Ontario. Shawn Mendes actually made his chart debut just over a year ago, guesting on the Vamps' Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) which peaked at Number 9 in October 2014.
Those who enjoy keeping track of the split between the sales and streams will note that Stitches still trails Love Yourself in streams but unlike last week its sales lead is sufficient to hold off the challenge and take its rightful place at the top of the charts. It is Justin Bieber's streams which do however ensure he equals a particular chart record of his own this week. Holding firm at Number 4, former chart-topper What Do You Mean this week spends its 21st consecutive week as a Top 10 single - equalling the modern day record set by Bryan Adams (another Canadian!) with Everything I Do (I Do It For You) way back in 1991. I say 'modern day' as the all-time record for Top 10 longevity is held by I Believe by Frankie Laine which embarked on an unbroken 35 week stay in April 1953. This being during what American chartwatchers like to term the "pre-rock" era means it is a record to be treated with some suspicion, although as several people noted to me on social media this week, Bryan Adams' chart run has more in common with that of Frankie Laine than that of Justin Bieber, sales of whose single are now actually at the lower end of Top 20.
Dry January for the music business is finally rolling to a close. New to the Top 10 this week thanks to a three place rise is All My Friends from Snakehips which reaches a new peak of Number 8 this week. Featuring vocal turns from Tinashe and Chance The Rapper the blissed-out single is a beguiling dance cut, its theme of hating the end of a really poor night out finding an ironic home at the very end of many early hours DJ sets. Quirky and yet easy on the ear it is the quintessential January hit and there will be a great many people who are pleased to see it finally reach its chart potential.
Also new to the upper reaches is Major Lazer's Light It Up which rises 13-10 to give the production collective their second Top 10 hit single following 2015's Number 2 smash Lean On (itself still charting and down at Number 45 this week).
One of the next big album releases in the next month or so should be I Like It When You Sleep, the sophomore offering from The 1975. The power of the group's fanbase has been only to evident to day to day chart watchers, their last two singles Love Me and Urgh! opening strongly at the start of the sales week only to ease off and fail to quite make the chart impact their first impressions suggested. This week the third single from the album somehow avoids that pitfall with The Sound coming neatly to rest at Number 15, in the process becoming their highest charting single to date.
For all the albums David Bowie sold last week in the wake of his passing it became increasingly clear that he could have sold even more, but for the stock issues that inevitably resulted in an unexpected high level of demand. As duplication plants worked around the clock to replenish stocks last week these issues eased, freeing the way for the late singer to continue to dominate the Official UK Albums chart. As expected Blackstar spends a second week at the top of the charts, his first album to spend more than seven days at Number One since Let's Dance managed a three week run upon release back in 1983.
2002 compilation The Best Of Bowie is his next biggest seller, up at Number 3 this week to make the Top 10 for the first time whilst 2014 offering Nothing Has Changed - The Very Best Of also continues to find favour with mourners and charts at Number 6.
Sandwiched between the two top selling Bowie albums is Adele's 25 which this week spawns its second significant chart single from a rather curious source. The video of her appearance in 'Carpool Karaoke' on James Corden's CBS talk show (not shown here) prompted a surge of sales for All I Ask resulting in its charting at Number 41. It probably would be higher, but for the fact that Hello remains the only track from the album available for online streaming. With sales now accounting for as little as 23% of the singles market a track which you can only purchase and not play simply doesn't stand a chance right now.