'X Factor' Star Jahmene Douglas Leads U.K. Albums Chart as 'Now' Comp Smashes 300,000 Sales

“Now That’s What I Call Music! 85” (Sony Music CG/Virgin EMI/Universal) has smashed the series’ own record for the U.K.’s fastest-selling album of 2013, previously held by its “Now 84” predecessor.

As the Official Charts Company’s latest sales data was published yesterday (July 28), Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” (Positiva/PRMD) stayed atop the singles chart, comfortably depriving One Direction of a chart-topping entry with “Best Song Ever” (Syco Music/Sony Music Entertainment). On the artist album survey, “X Factor” star Jahmene Douglas scored a No. 1 debut with “Love Never Fails” (RCA/Sony), selling just 19,000 units.

“Now 85” sold 317,000 copies last week, beating the year-best figure of 262,000 set by the last album in the venerable series at the end of March. Platinum certification in Britain is 300,000 units. Both totals dwarf 2013’s best tally for an individual artist album of 165,000, by Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” (Columbia/Sony), set in March. “Now 85” also substantially outsold the corresponding summer release in the series last year, Vol. 82, which started with 267,000 units. The new “Now” collection is the first since Sony completed its purchase of EMI’s European rights to the series in May.

Avicii followed his opening sales of 267,000, which made “Wake Me Up” the U.K.’s fastest-selling single of 2013, with another 155,000 sales, more than double One Direction’s opening total with “Best Song Ever.” Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (Interscope/Universal), featuring TI and Pharrell Williams, dipped 2-3 as his album of the same name fell to No. 2.

There were no other top ten singles debutants, but Passenger’s durable “Let Her Go” (Nettwerk) climbed back 10-7 and its parent album “All The Little Lights” 5-4, while the Daft Punk single, “Get Lucky,” moved back 11-9.

“Everything Has Changed” (Mercury/Universal) by Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran improved 13-12, “Thinking About You” (Columbia/Sony) by Calvin Harris featuring Ayah Marar 28-14 and “True Love” (RCA/Sony) by Pink featuring Lily Allen 22-16. Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know” (Domino) climbed back 21-18.

Jahmene Douglas was working for supermarket chain ASDA prior to his “discovery” on “The X Factor,” on which he finished runner-up to James Arthur on last year’s ninth series. His “Love Never Fails” album includes gospel-style versions of hits like Beyoncé’s “Halo” and Coldplay’s “Fix You,” plus a guest appearance by Stevie Wonder on “Give Us This Day” and a duet cover, with his mentor on the show, Nicole Scherzinger, of “The Greatest Love Of All.”

Elsewhere on the artist album chart, there was a 24-8 climb for David Guetta’s “Nothing But The Beat” (Parlophone/Warner Music), a No. 14 entry for the Selena Gomez set “Stars Dance” (Hollywood/Universal) and a No. 16 start for the Rolling Stones’ “Hyde Park Live” release (Polydor/Universal).


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