Impossible, which went on sale on Sunday evening immediately after James Arthur was unveiled as the 2012 X Factor winner, had sold 187,000 copies by midnight last night according to Official Charts Company’s sales data. Arthur’s extraordinary performance already puts him on course for a storming full week, which will be bolstered further by the single’s CD release tomorrow (Wednesday, December 12).
No previous X Factor finalists’ debut single has hit such heights so quickly. In 2008, Alexandra Burke’s Hallelujah had sold 147,000 copies by the end of Monday, while Matt Cardle’s When We Collide in 2010 had sold 112,000 and Leona Lewis’ A Moment Like This in 2006 had sold 101,000 during their first two days on sale. Last year’s winners, Little Mix’s Cannonball had sold 70,500 at this stage of its opening week.
Comparisons with Shayne Ward’s all-time fastest selling X Factor winner’s single, 2005’s That’s My Goal, are difficult because it was issued in the early days of digital. The single had sold only 46,000 copies on download by Monday midnight, but exploded when the CD was released on Wednesday – it sold 289,000 copies on that day alone, on its way to a record X Factor opening week total of 742,000.
Official Charts Company Managing Director Martin Talbot says, “There has been a lot said about X Factor’s popularity this year and questions have been raised that perhaps its momentum is beginning to wane. But this amazing opening performance by James Arthur suggests that it remains the pre-eminent launch pad for new artists. Whether Arthur will match Shayne Ward’s 2005 total, only time will tell – but he has a fantastic chance.”
The other previous biggest opening week totals are Alexandra Burke’s Hallelujah (576,000), Leona Lewis’ A Moment Like This (571,000) and Joe McElderry’s The Climb (451,000).
In related news, proceeds from James Arthur's single will be donated to children’s charity, Together For Short Lives, who support children and the families of children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions. For more information, or to donate directly, please visit their website: www.togetherforshortlives.org.ukBack