George Ezra sees off Drake in UK chart race


George Ezra

Image caption

Ezra’s latest album Staying At Tamara’s is the best-selling album released this year in the UK

George Ezra has faced down a challenge from Drake to spend a second week at UK number one with his song Shotgun.

The summer smash actually increased its sales week-on-week, despite Drake’s new album, Scorpion, dominating streaming services over the past seven days.

However, the Canadian star scored three new entries in the top five, led by the Michael Jackson collaboration Don’t Matter To Me at number two.

Scorpion also entered the album charts at number one, selling 64,000 copies.

Top five singles
1) George Ezra Shotgun
2) Drake Don’t Matter To Me (ft Michael Jackson)
3) Clean Bandit ft Demi Lovato Solo (ft Demi Lovato)
4) Drake Nonstop
5) Drake Emotionless

Each of Scorpion’s 25 tracks would have featured in the top 75 but for a rule that excludes all but the three most popular songs from the chart.

The rule was enacted last year after Ed Sheeran’s album ÷ [Divide] proved so popular it propelled 16 tracks into the top 20.

In this case, it led to the odd situation where Drake’s former number one single Nice For What disappeared from the chart altogether, despite being at number 24 last week.

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Media captionThree Lions: How ‘It’s coming home’ went viral first time around

Elsewhere, the chart saw the return of the 1996 England football anthem Three Lions, which jumped 18 places to 24 after the team’s World Cup victory over Colombia.

The song saw a massive spike in downloads and streams – with 450,000 plays on Spotify alone on Tuesday – but due to a chart formula that deliberately disadvantages older songs, those plays translated to about 1,500 sales.

This week also saw official video streams included in the singles chart for the first time.

Maroon 5 and Cardi B’s Girls Like You was the week’s most popular video, with 2.67 million streams, helping to push it into the top 10 for the first time.

On the album chart, Drake’s success denied Florence + The Machine a fourth number one album, with her new release High As Hope debuting at number two.

That meant The Greatest Showman soundtrack, which has spent a total of 21 weeks at number one, moved down to number three.

There were new entries for Gorillaz’ latest The Now Now at number five, David Bowie’s live album Welcome To The Blackout at 16, and cult pop act Let’s Eat Grandma, whose critically-acclaimed record I’m All Ears debuted at 28.

Meanwhile, John Coltrane’s posthumous record Both Directions at Once – The Lost Album charted at 15, becoming the jazz legend’s first ever top 20 album.

Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot said: “It is quite remarkable that it has taken until 2018 for John Coltrane to register a chart hit album – and says everything about the British public’s love for classic, timeless jazz.”

Top five albums
1) Drake Scorpion
2) Florence + The Machine High As Hope
3) Various Artists The Greatest Showman
4) George Ezra Staying At Tamara’s
5) Gorillaz The Now Now

Radio 1: The official charts

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