Sam Smith Holds Off Madonna to Score U.K. Chart Double
Sam Smith's pre-eminence in the U.K. market reached new heights yesterday (March 15) as he scored a new chart double. "Lay Me Down" (Capitol/Universal/ Columbia/Sony), his collaboration with John Legend for the Comic Relief charity, debuted atop the singles chart; meanwhile, Smith's In The Lonely Hour album moved back 2-1 to deny Madonna's Rebel Heart (Interscope/Universal) a No. 1 debut.
The Official Charts Company reported a combined chart sales total for the Smith/Legend recording of 105,000. It's Legend's first U.K. chart-topper, but Smith's fourth in less than two years, after guesting on Naughty Boy's "La La La" and with his own "Money On My Mind" and "Stay With Me." The latter track is another of the total of five by Smith currently in the top 40.
As "Lay Me Down" debuted in pole position, Years & Years fell to No. 2 with the electro-dance track "King" (Polydor/Universal). Flo Rida scored a No. 3 debut and his 13th U.K. top ten single with "GDFR" (Atlantic/Warner Music), featuring Sage The Gemini and Lookas.
The other top ten debutant was Usher, whose "I Don't Mind" (RCA/Sony), featuring Juicy J, became his 19th to make that mark, at No. 8. Mumford and Sons' "Believe" (Gentlemen of the Road/Universal Island), the lead single from their upcoming third album Wilder Mind, came in at No. 20.
The Madonna album had topped the sales list earlier in the week, but eventually landed at No. 2, becoming her first studio album to fail to hit the top in the U.K. since 1994's Bedtime Stories. Ed Sheeran's X (Asylum/Warner Music) held at No. 3 as last week's bestseller, Chasing Yesterday (Sour Mash) by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds fell to No. 4.
Former X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson hit the album chart top ten for a third time as her tribute set to Billie Holiday, Lady Sings The Blues (RCA/Sony), started at No. 7. The Fifty Shades of Grey soundtrack (Republic/Universal) started a fifth straight week atop the compilation chart.