The Justice Collective’s Hillsborough tribute single has extended its lead over X Factor winner James Arthur, but 2012 Christmas Number 1 race is by no means over.
According to the Official Charts Company’s latest sales data, The Justice Collective’s cover of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother has increased its lead over James Arthur’s Impossible after its first four days on sale.
The all-star group, who are raising funds and awareness for the ongoing legal battle of the families of the Hillsborough tragedy, started the week trailing the X Factor winner by 3,000 copies. Yesterday (Wednesday, December 20) The Justice Collective surged ahead of James Arthur by 3,400, and today they have extended their lead to 14,000 copies with sales of 146,000 vs Arthur’s 132,000.
This year’s battle is not as clear-cut as the race to the 2011 Christmas Number 1. Last year The Military Wives and Gareth Malone’s Wherever You Are surged ahead of then X Factor winners Little Mix’s Cannonball by 186,000 copies midweek, with these early sales putting them firmly on course to their place at the top of the Official Christmas Singles Chart. However, this year’s race to Number 1 is expected to go right down to the wire, with fans of both acts battling it out to Saturday evening’s midnight cut off point.
The Official Charts Company’s Managing Director, Martin Talbot said "This is the closest Number 1 battle we can remember,” he added that "it is even closer than 2009 battle between Rage Against The Machine and Joe McElderry."
The Official Christmas Number 1 will be revealed on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show with Reggie Yates and the full Top 100 will be posted on www.officialcharts.com this Sunday (December 23).
In related news, after just 11 days James Arthur’s Impossible is now the seventh biggest selling debut single by an X Factor artist of all time. In a week and a half, it has overtaken the lifetime sales of Little Mix’s Cannonball (Number 10), 2007 winner Leon Jackson’s When You Believe (Number 9) and JLS’s Beat Again (Number 8) with sales of over 622,000. He now has his sights firmly set on overtaking One Direction’s debut single, What Makes You Beautiful (781,000). You can see how the Top 10 biggest selling X Factor artists’ debut singles and album stood before this year’s final, here.