Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Monday, 22 December 2008

Christmas double for Hallelujah


Clip is courtesy of Sony BMG

X Factor winner Alexandra Burke has taken the Christmas number one slot with Hallelujah, beating Jeff Buckley's version of the song into second place.

Burke's single became the fastest-selling by a female solo artist, with 576,000 copies sold.

Buckley, who drowned in an accident in Memphis in 1997 at the age of 30, recorded his version in 1994.

Leonard Cohen, who wrote the hit more than 20 years ago, also hit number 36 with his original version.

1. Hallelujah - Alexandra Burke
2. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
3. Run - Leona Lewis
4. If I Were A Boy - Beyonce
5. Once Upon A Christmas Song - Geraldine
Source: Official Charts Company

Buckley finished at number two on downloads - with sales of 81,000.

Official Charts Company (OCC) managing director Martin Talbot said: "It is a particularly amazing week for Alexandra Burke who has broken a string of records to announce her arrival in spectacular style.

"And, chart placings at 1, 2 and 36 are remarkable for a 25-year-old song which has never previously reached the top 40."

HMV's Gennaro Castaldo said: "It was pretty much a given that Alexandra Burke's cover of Hallelujah would dominate the race for this year's Christmas number one, but it's been such a strange year that we thought the charts would throw up some kind of a surprise, and the twist came in the form of the Jeff Buckley cover.

"It's ironic that it's taken the X Factor to get a lot more of us to appreciate the music of Leonard Cohen and the talent of Jeff Buckley."

Jeff Buckley's album Grace
Buckley's Hallelujah is widely regarded as the definitive version

Burke's victory pushed 2006 X Factor winner Leona Lewis off the top after two weeks. She is at number three with her cover of Snow Patrol's Run.

The reality TV theme continued in the charts after comedian Peter Kay's spoof reality TV singer Geraldine entered the top 10 at number five with Once Upon A Christmas Song.

Comeback kings Take That claimed Christmas number one in the album chart with The Circus.

The album is the fastest-selling album in the UK so far this millennium, according to the OCC, and the second biggest-selling album of 2008.

Duffy's Rockferry was the year's runaway biggest seller so far, with 1.5 million copies sold in 2008 to date.

Chart history

Sunday's single chart is the first time in almost 52 years that the same song has been at numbers one and two, according to the OCC.

That was when Tommy Steele and Guy Mitchell held the top two spots with Singing The Blues in January 1957, it said.

Others have claimed the situation arose again in 1965 when the Righteous Brothers and Cilla Black were at number one and number two respectively with You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.

The confusion occurs because there were several competing charts available at the time.

But the Record Retailer chart, which is considered "official" by the OCC and other chart historians, put The Righteous Brothers at number two with Black at number three.

Print Sponsor

Hallelujah set for chart trinity
16 Dec 08 |  Entertainment
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14 Dec 08 |  Entertainment

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