The NHS Choir has beaten Canadian pop star Justin Bieber to secure the UK’s official Christmas number one for 2015.
The Lewisham and Greenwich choir’s charity single, A Bridge Over You, has claimed the top spot in the closest chart battle since 2009 when Rage Against The Machine beat X Factor star Joe McElderry.
Speaking to OfficialCharts.com the choir said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed and couldn’t be any happier! It’s a brilliant celebration for the NHS across the country so well done and thank you everyone for downloading and streaming.
“A massive cheer for the NHS, thank you!”
— James Longman (@JamesAALongman) December 25, 2015
The choir clinched the top spot nearly 31,000 copies ahead of Bieber, with a total of combined chart sales of over 127,000 copies against Bieber’s 97,000.
The NHS Choir’s bid was boosted by Bieber earlier in the week when he called on his fans to “do the right thing” and help the charity single get to the top spot, saying that “for one week it’s OK not to be number one”.
Bieber tweeted: “I’m hearing this UK Christmas race is close … but the NHS Choir single is for charity. So …
“So for one week it’s OK not to be number one. Let’s do the right thing and help them win. It’s Christmas. NHS Choir good luck.”
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015
He added: “This is what it’s all about. Merry Christmas.”
All proceeds from the NHS Choir’s single will go to a selection of charities including Carers UK and Mind.
Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company said: “What a fantastic result for the NHS Choir to claim the 2015 Christmas Number 1. There will be thousands of NHS staff across the country working through Christmas Day, while the rest of the nation is putting its feet up – this success is for them. There couldn’t be a more deserving group of winners.”
Bieber still holds a strong chart presence with three of his songs placing in the second, third and fifth positions in the charts.
Another singer celebrating festive success is Adele, who has scored the biggest selling album of Christmas week for 2015.
Hew album, 25, has already made chart history and now holds the top spot for the fifth week running.
According to the Official Charts Company, sales in the final week before Christmas reached nearly 450,000 copies.