Former “Pop Idol” runner-up Gareth Gates scored his fourth U.K. No. 1 single yesterday (March 16), while Norah Jones continued her reign over Britain’s album chart. Gates’ new version of “Spirit in the Sky” (S/BMG) featuring the Kumars, from BBC TV’s hit comedy series “The Kumars at No. 42,” is this year’s Comic Relief single for the BBC’s annual telethon.
The track, previously a U.K. chart-topper for Norman Greenbaum in 1970 and Doctor & the Medics in 1986, now becomes only the third song to reach No. 1 in Britain in three different versions — and Gates has a hand in two of those. The others are “Lady Marmalade” and “Unchained Melody,” the latter of which still leads the way with four versions, the last of them Gates’ debut No. 1 last March.
In an all-new singles chart top-4, “All I Have” by Jennifer Lopez featuring LL Cool J (Epic) debuted at No. 2. It was Lopez’s second-highest U.K. chart position, bettered only by her 2001 No. 1 “Love Don’t Cost a Thing.” “All I Have” arrived back to back with “Born To Try” by another Epic signing, newcomer Delta Goodrem, the latest actress to cross over from the cast of Australian TV soap series “Neighbours” to the music charts.
50 Cent’s “In Da Club” (Interscope) debuted at No. 4, and there were also top 10 entries for Shania Twain’s “Ka-Ching!” (Mercury) at No. 9 and “Gossip Folks” by Missy Elliott featuring Ludacris (Elektra), remixed for single release by Fatboy Slim, at No. 10.
With Jones’ “Come Away With Me” (Blue Note/Parlophone) spending a third week at No. 1, the album chart welcomed two newcomers: ex-Spice Girl Melanie C at No. 5 with her second solo album, “Reason,” (Virgin) and Irish crooner Daniel O’Donnell at No. 6 with “Daniel in Blue Jeans” (Demon/DMG TV).
Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” (Interscope) returns to No. 1 on the pan-European Eurochart Hot 100 Singles tally, moving back into the spot it held prior to his labelmate t.A.T.U.’s five-week run with “All the Things She Said.” “Come Away With Me” is in its second week at the top of the European Top 100 Albums chart.