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Sunday, 24 March, 2002, 21:42 GMT
Pop Idol's Gareth is number one
Gareth Gates's single
Gareth's single flew off the shelves all week
Singer Gareth Gates has realised his dream of becoming a pop idol after crashing in at number one with his first single.

The 17-year-old set the record for the youngest British male solo star when his version of Unchained Melody went straight to the top of the UK singles chart.

The teenager knocked his Pop Idol rival Will Young off the top slot after a week of enormous sales.
Will Young and Gareth Gates
Friendly rivalry for the two Pop Idols

And as both performed at the latest concert on the nationwide Pop Idol tour, Young told him: "There's absolutely no-one I'd rather pass the chart position on to."

Young carried off the Pop Idol title after the hugely successful talent show of the same name and had his own number one glory for three weeks with his first single Evergreen/Anything Is Possible.

Dream come true

The pair claim the rivalry is friendly and celebrated together on stage along with the rest of the Pop Idol finalists, at the NEC in Birmingham.

Young presented Gates in front of 12,000 screaming fans with a special award from Guinness World Records, which compiles the British Hit Singles reference book, to mark his number one.

"I wanted to be the first person to congratulate you on your number one tonight," he said.

Top 10
1. Gareth Gates Unchained Melody
2. Will Young Anything is Possible/Evergreen
3. Ali G and Shaggy Me Julie
4. Shakira Whenever Wherever
5. Marilyn Manson Tainted Love
6. Blue Fly By
7. George Michael Freeek!
8. Darren Hayes Insatiable
9. Nickelback How You Remind Me
10. Lasgo Something

Veteran pop star George Michael also released a long-awaited single this week, but he only managed to enter the charts at number seven with Freeek!, behind new entries from shock rocker Marilyn Manson and Blue.

Michael had earlier this week said how he expected to be at number three behind Gareth and Will.

Freeek! was his first solo single for more than three years, but he has done little in the way of promotion apart from a BBC Radio 1 interview.

His video is so raunchy few television companies are prepared to run it.

Marilyn Manson is at number five with his cover of Tainted Love. Originally sung by Gloria Jones in 1964, the song was first made famous by Soft Cell, who took it to number one in 1981.

See also:

03 Mar 02 | Music
Young scores record number one
20 Mar 02 | Music
Young throws in the towel
06 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Head-to-head: Pop Idol finalists
04 Feb 02 | TV and Radio
Final hurdle for Gareth Gates
04 Mar 02 | Entertainment
Jimmy Young backs Gareth Gates
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