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Tuesday, 12 March, 2002, 15:00 GMT
Pop Idol Will set for hat-trick
Will Young
Will looks set to make it three weeks at the top
Pop Idol winner Will Young is on course to keep his hold on the number one spot in the single charts and break the 1.5 million barrier for records sold, according to midweek figures.

Record chain HMV reports his double A-side single - Evergreen and Anything is Possible - is outselling the nearest rival, Ali G and Shaggy, by two to one.

Gareth Gates
Pre-sales for Gareth Gates outstrip even Will Young
The chain says the continued sales "suggest that Will's announcement that he is gay has not had an adverse affect on sales".

His reign at the top of the chart is unlikely to last beyond next week, however.

Pre-orders of Pop Idol finalist Gareth Gates's single have reached 1.3 million, higher than Young's pre-release sales, and he looks certain to have a number one record with his first release.

'Fans'

Unchained Melody is released on 18 March and will go head to head with George Michael's record Freeek.

Young announced he was gay last Sunday in an interview with a newspaper and the media has been speculating greatly since over what impact, if any, his admission will have on his career.

In an interview with the News of the World, the former drama student said: "I feel it's time to tell my fans I'm gay.

"For me it's normal and nothing to be ashamed about. I'm gay and I'm comfortable with that. I really don't know what the fuss is about."

Music industry experts have predicted Young could earn 5m in his first year alone.

On Thursday, a Pop Idol tour will see the 10 contestants who reached the final stages of the ITV1 talent search performing at several concerts around Britain.

Young is also set to sing for members of the royal family and the public at a Buckingham Palace concert to mark the Queen's Golden Jubilee on 3 June.


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Will Young
Will being gay affect his career?
See also:

10 Mar 02 | Music
Pop Idol Will: 'I'm gay'
10 Mar 02 | Music
Young stays top of the pops
08 Mar 02 | Music
Pop Idol managers 'naive'
01 Mar 02 | Reviews
Will takes web by storm
25 Feb 02 | Music
Will Young's solo gamble
12 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Moody makeover for Will
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