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Sunday, 3 March, 2002, 19:02 GMT
Young scores record number one
WIll Young
Young: Set to play his smash hit at the Golden Jubillee concert
Pop Idol winner Will Young has steamed into the number one spot in Sunday's chart with the fastest-selling UK single to date.

The double A-side record Evergreen/Anything Is Possible sold 1,108,269 copies by the time sales figures were calculated at the end of the weekend.

The sales record for a debut single was previously held by Hear'Say - winners of the TV talent show Pop Stars - with Pure And Simple.

On hearing the definitive news of his success, Young said: "It's an amazing feeling to have a number one hit.

"Everything that I've experienced over the past couple of months is just beginning to sink in now.

Shakira
Shakira: Outsold by 12 to one

To have broken records with my debut single is incredible.

"All I can say is the biggest thank you to everyone who voted for me and to everyone who has bought the single - thank-you so much."

Young's single beat the number two single, Whenever Wherever by Shakira, by 12 to one - the biggest ever margin between the top two records.

'Demands'

However, there is every possibility that Young will not appear in person on BBC One's flagship chart show Top of the Pops on Friday.

The programme objects to the demands of his record company, BMG/S Records, that he be allowed to sing both sides of his single.


We would love to have Will on the show if the record company drops its unreasonable demands

Michael Kelpie, producer on Top of the Pops

A BBC spokesperson said: "BMG and Simon Fuller have made what we consider to be unreasonable demands and tried to interfere with the editorial policy of the show by insisting that Will performed two songs - effectively taking up a quarter of the show.

"We believed this was unfair to other artists and their fans and had never had this demand made by any other star in the 38 years of Top of the Pops."

Young's video will be played on the programme, although which track it will feature remains undecided.

The show's producer Michael Kelpie said: "We would love to have Will on the show if the record company drops its unreasonable demands. At the end of the day it's the fans that will miss out."

Competition

Young's record company had high hopes for his success and pressed 1.2 million copies of the single - the highest ever shipment for a debut single.

But many retailers sold out after around 385,000 copies were snapped up during its first day.

Rik Waller was forced out of Pop Idol because of a throat infection
Rik Waller was forced out of Pop Idol because of a throat infection

This overtook Hear'Say's first day debut record of 160,000. The Popstars band went on to set a first week record for a debut single by selling 549,823 copies.

Young now faces the prospect of a future battle for supremacy with Gareth Gates, his rival for the Pop Idol crown.

Gates is releasing his version of Unchained Melody on 18 March.

Another Pop Idol star hoping to take some of Young's glory is Rik Waller who releases his debut single - a version of Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston hit I Will Always Love You - on 4 March.

Young won ITV1's Pop Idol after he beat 10,000 hopefuls in the nationwide search, with more than 4.6 million votes.

Industry insiders believe Young stands to make 5m within the next year through record sales, merchandising and endorsements.

He also looks set to make his record company BMG, headed by Pop Idol's "Mr Nasty" Simon Cowell, more than 100m.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Anything is Possible
"Hear a clip from the single"
Evergreen
"Hear a clip from the single"
 VOTE RESULTS
Can Will make it as a pop star?

Yes
 71.05% 

No
 28.95% 

13215 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


Pop Idol winner Will Young can expect to go straight to number one with his debut single - but how long can he last?
Can Will top the pops?

See also:

13 Feb 02 | Showbiz
Westlife dismiss Pop Idol song
12 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Moody makeover for Will
11 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Pop Idol's career hots up
10 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Will wins Pop Idol
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