U.K. Haiti Benefit Single Debuts At No. 1

U.K. Haiti Benefit Single Debuts At No. 1

Syco Music/Sony Music Entertainment's star-packed charity cover of R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts," rush-released under the name Helping Haiti to raise funds for victims of the Haiti earthquake, stormed to No. 1 on the new U.K. singles chart.

Alicia Keys' "The Element of Freedom" (J/Sony) started a second week atop the album chart last night (Feb. 14).

Helping Haiti, hastily convened by Syco supremo Simon Cowell, sold 453,000 copies last week to become the U.K.'s fastest-selling charity single of this century.

It features the vocals of Syco artists Alexandra Burke, Leona Lewis, Susan Boyle and Joe McElderry, Cowell's fellow "X Factor" judge Cheryl Cole, plus Kylie Minogue, Robbie Williams, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Gary Barlow and Mark Owen of Take That, Mika, Michael Bublé, James Morrison, Jon Bon Jovi, James Blunt and two members each of JLS and Westlife.

R.E.M.'s original version of the song reached No. 7 in the U.K. in 1993.

After three weeks at the singles summit, Owl City's "Fireflies" (Universal Island) thus fell to No. 2, as "If We Ever Meet Again" (Interscope/Universal) by Timbaland featuring Katy Perry held at No. 3. Keys climbed again, 5-4, with "Empire State of Mind Part II."

As their cover of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" (Epic/Sony Music Entertainment) fell 4-5, the cast of hit TV series "Glee" scored two more substantial hits, as "Halo"/"Walking on Sunshine" debuted at No. 9 and "It's My Life"/"Confessions Pt II" at No. 14.

Beneath Keys on the album chart, Andre Rieu's "Forever Vienna" (Decca/Universal) held at No. 2 and Paolo Nutini's "Sunny Side Up" (Atlantic/Warner Music) at No. 3. Two heavy-hitting British acts made top ten debuts, Sade's "Soldier of Love" (RCA/Sony Music Entertainment), new at No. 4 and Massive Attack's "Heligoland" (Virgin/EMI) at No. 6.

George Benson's "Classic Love Songs" (Rhino/Warner Music) made an eye-catching 30-13 climb.