Monday, December 26, 2011


A charity single recorded by the Military Wives Choir, which includes the wives and girlfriends of British servicemen fighting in Afghanistan, has taken the Christmas number one spot. The song "Wherever You Are" has sold over 556,000 copies.
The choir was assembled by choirmaster Gareth Malone for the BBC2 series, The Choir. The news that the Military Wives Choir single "Wherever You Are" has taken the number one spot was announced today. Emma Hanlon-Penny, 31, took the call confirming they had won the top position. She said: “Taking that call was amazing, pressing that button was really scary but to hear the news that we’re number one and almost platinum sales, so that’s just fantastic, really good." The song has achieved the distinction of being the fastest-selling single since 2008 when Alexandra Burke's Hallelujah sold 576,000 copies in its first week. Plymouth Herald reports that the song is the 7th biggest first week for any single since electronic records began in 1994, and it has sold more copies than the Top 12 combined. It outsold by six to one the song originally tipped to top the charts, Cannonball by The X Factor winner Little Mix. Gareth Malone, according to Daily Mail , said: "It's testament to the Military Wives hard work and the nation's support of them, as well as the power of choral singing. Who would have guessed in those first rehearsals that we could take Christmas Number One?" Plymouth Herald reported that proceeds from sales will be donated to the Royal British Legion and the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA). The British government has also said it will waive VAT on sales of the single. According to Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot, “To have achieved more than 500,000 sales in a week without the backing of a vast promotional operation over many weeks, like X Factor, is truly remarkable. It is hard to think of a more deserving winner in 60 years of Christmas Number Ones.” The single is the 60th official Christmas number one and winner of the first Official Singles Chart Number One Award. Major General Andrew Cumming, chief executive of SSAFA Forces Help, said: “Wherever You Are is a truly inspirational song and the choir has done an amazing job. Their support will make a very real difference, enabling us to provide even more practical help and assistance to military families, young and old alike. The Military Wives Choir typifies all that is good about the Armed Forces community. The bravery, dedication and resilience that they have displayed when their loved ones are serving overseas have been a shining example to us all.”

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