We were teased - briefly - with the prospect of yet another new No.1 single but as the week progressed that prospect faded. The result is a, shall we say, mildly comfortable second week at the top of the Official UK Singles charts for Sprinter by Dave & Central Cee which doesn't manage to sustain the six-figure sale with which it debuted last week but still posts an impressive 89,000 chart sales. The duo's Split Decision EP continues to be enormously popular overall and its two other chart singles both actually improve on their chart placings. Trojan Horse lifts two places to No.12 and UK Rap is up three to No.14.
So what then was the track which briefly teased us with a narrow lead on the Sunday night First Look? Well it is another British-led rap collaboration. J Hus this week lands what is far and away his biggest chart hit to date as Who Told You debuts strongly at No.2, assisted not a little by the presence of Canadian superstar Drake on co-vocals. The track is Mo Jallow's fourth Top 10 single and as noted his first ever to reach the Top 3, beating out the No.5 peak of Must Be from 2019 which was hitherto his chart best. Drake hasn't been to these kind of lofty heights in almost two years, his own Girls Want Girls the last of his many, many hit singles to climb as high as No.2. And trust me there are many. I'm taking Alan Jones in Music Week on trust when he says this is Drake's 130th hit and the 40th time he has appeared on a Top 40 record. So landmarks all around.
Who Told You is however phenomenally unlucky to only reach No.2 because its own sales were utterly superlative. Another strong streaming performance pushed it to just shy of 73,000 chart sales of its own, a mere 16k behind the leaders whose own lead wasn't quite as comfortable as they would have liked. That is, almost needless to say, phenomenally high for a No.2 single and it is the highest chart sale accumulated by a track that doesn't top the charts since December 2020 when Merry Christmas by Ed Sheeran and Elton John was beaten into second place with a sale of 90,508. And if you want to disregard seasonal hits (as many of us like to), then this week marks the highest combined chart sales for "normal" No.1 and No.2 hits since November 2020 when Adele's Easy On Me beat Shivers by Ed Sheeran with a sale of 78,628 versus 75,410.
You'll notice that Who Told You doesn't have anything resembling a video or even an "official visualiser". Is it possible that the streams it missed out on were the difference between it and the No.1 position this week? Something to ponder.
But for all the above, this isn't actually the chart tale that most of the mainstream will be paying close attention to this week. That lies several rungs lower at No.9. It has taken its sweet time to get there but after a four-week climb Padam Padam by Kylie Minogue is finally a Top 10 single, boosted by the release of some special edition physicals including amusingly a cassette edition. Prompting some forums to wonder if there is any music actually on it given that nobody really owns cassette players any more. And let us not understate the significance of that, her first Top 10 hit in over a decade. The last time she flew this high as a solo performer was in 2010 when All The Lovers peaked at No.3, although she also featured on one of the mixes of Taio Cruz' Higher which reached No.8 a year later. And that counts as well. It means Kylie's career longevity has now reached yet another important milestone as she becomes one of only four women in chart history to land a Top 10 hit in five consecutive decades, her reign as Queen of pop now having stretched through the 80s, 90s, 00s, 10s and 20s. She shares the honour with Cher, Lulu and Diana Ross although the latter's 1960s hits were all as a member of The Supremes. But as she enjoyed top billing and was named in the credits I think we can argue that she still counts. If you believe in coincidences, then note that Kylie is the same age (55) that Cher was when she had her final Top 10 hit single back in 2001.
So yes, Padam Padam is a Top 10 single. But Radio One still aren't playing it. You can't escape it on Radio Two of course. So it hardly matters.
Rise Hits, Rise
Three other upwardly mobile hits are worth noting. Good Love from Hannah Laing and RoRo is heading for the Top 10 next week if it keeps this momentum up, shooting 22-13 this week. Little Things is now the second-biggest hit of Jorja Smith's career as it heaves itself to No.20. And it has kind of stayed under the radar as far as this column is concerned but for the past few weeks Waffle House from The Jonas Brothers has been sculling around on the cusp of the Top 30. Five weeks after it made the Top 40 for the first time the hit single reaches its best placing yet with a leap to No.22. They haven't had a Top 20 hit since Sucker reached No.4 in 2019.
Onto this week's newcomers which as per tradition lurk lower down. Leading the charge is dance banger of the week 0800 Heaven from the somewhat dream team combination of Nathan Dawe and Joel Corry, joined by collaboratrix of choice Ella Henderson on vocals. This is the second collaboration between Dawe and Henderson, the pair credited together on last year's 21 Reasons which would eventually peak at No.9. By a funny coincidence it is nine years to the week that Ella Henderson made her chart debut, hitting No.1 with her first single Ghost. Back in the present day 0800 Heaven debuts at No.23 and is surely destined for higher.
The most surprising return of the week is that of Seventeen Going Under by Sam Fender, back on the Top 40 at No.29 and occupying its highest rung since August last year when it was at the end of an extended chart run which saw it peak at No.3. Fender is on tour right now and all his albums have enjoyed a surge of sales and streams, although almost needless to say the hit single is back after being RUTHed back onto SCR to commemorate. And why not after all.
Speaking of artists both on tour and benefitting from older hits being returned to full strength, Harry Styles continues to enjoy a full hand of chart hits as breathless post-teens pack into arenas across the country as his tour swings through his home country. As It Was is still - still! - floating around the Top 10, ticking back up to No.7 this week. Meanwhile he occupies consecutive rungs lower down as Late Night Talking moves to No.30 and his current single Satellite reaches the Top 40 for the first time as it sits at No.31.
However Styles is not the One Direction alumnus with the most to celebrate this week. That honour goes to Niall Horan whose third album The Show follows its predecessor Heartbreak Weather and debuts at No.1 ahead of strong competition from cross-generational acts such as McFly and James.
Oh I Swear To Ya
But to finish this week let's hear it for the most extraordinary collaboration of all. Anne-Marie is rapidly running out of people to collaborate with, so she fishes in a different pond and is joined by no less a legend than Shania Twain on Unhealthy. That makes it a true cross-generational meeting, there being an age gap of no less than 25 years between the two women. Bearing a strong resemblance to Drive By by Train (albeit only in the sense that both are jaunty country-pop tracks) it is the title track from Anne-Marie's forthcoming third album and has the air of a slow-burning classic to it. Already four weeks old, the single reaches the Top 40 for the first time this week at No.36. And as we always like to say - keep an eye on it, but why did it have to follow the trend of all modern pop hits and be so damn short?