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Sunday, 19 December, 1999, 18:01 GMT
Westlife number one for Christmas

Westlife Westlife's double A-side outsold Sir Cliff Richard

Boy band Westlife are celebrating their first Christmas number one after toppling Sir Cliff Richard's Millennium Prayer from the top of the charts.

Their double A-side single features a cover of the Abba song I Have a Dream and Terry Jacks' 1974 number one Seasons in the Sun.

The Irish group - singers Mark Feehily, 19, Kian Egan, 19, Shane Filan, 20, Bryan McFadden, 19, and Nicky Byrne, 21 - called it "the icing on the cake" to top a record-breaking year.

They are only the second act to go straight to number one with their first four singles in the week they were released.

Sir Cliff Richard Sir Cliff was number one for three weeks
Last weekend the band won a national TV poll to find the Record Of The Year, with their song Flying Without Wings taking the title.

The band were taking a break on Sunday after a hectic schedule of TV shows and personal appearances to promote the single.

'Icing on the cake'

Kian Egan said: "With four number ones and the record of the year, 1999 has been a really great year - but a Christmas number one is the icing on the cake. It's almost too good to believe.

"We'd like to thank all of our fans for their support, and hopefully next year will be just as good."

The group managed to fend off competition from Sir Cliff who has been at number one for the past three weeks with The Millennium Prayer.

Christmas Top Five
1 - I Have A Dream/Seasons in the Sun - Westlife
2 - The Millennium Prayer
Sir Cliff Richard
3 - Imagine
John Lennon
4 - Cognoscenti vs Intelligentsia
Cuban Boys
5 - Two In A Million/You're My Number One
S Club 7
His banishment from the number one spot means 1999 has become the first year no record has stayed at number one for more than three weeks.

Other strong contenders for the festive number one were John Lennon's re-released Imagine, which came top of the Christmas chart following the former Beatle's death in 1980. On Sunday it entered at number three.

Heavily-tipped novelty record Cognoscenti Vs Intelligentsia by The Cuban Boys - featuring singing hamsters from the cult Hampster Dance web site - managed only number four.

'Very proud and happy'

A spokeswoman for Westlife's record company RCA said: "RCA is very proud and happy for Westlife. It's a wonderful way to end a brilliant year."

The Spice Girls had been the Christmas chart-toppers for the past three years, but opted not to release a record this year.

Instead they appeared on a charity version of the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'n' Roll, which also features Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, James Brown and The Corrs.

But the record - which is being sold in aid of the Children's Promise charity - limped into the chart at number 19.

Meanwhile, Shania Twain has the number one album with Come On Over, with Travis' The Man Who and George Michael's Songs From The 20th Century following in second and third place.

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See also:
12 Dec 99 |  New Music Releases
Jingle hell for singles
19 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Westlife set to topple Sir Cliff
10 Dec 99 |  Talking Point
Are the music charts a joke?
10 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Michael brands Cliff campaign 'vile'
12 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Westlife win song award
10 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
The Cuban invaders
08 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Singing hamsters threaten Sir Cliff

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