The 2015 Christmas Number 1 race took a dramatic twist this afternoon, with Justin Bieber throwing his support behind his closest rival, the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir.
Justin’s single Love Yourself has topped the Official Singles Chart for the past three weeks and was leading the race by a handful of sales – but he took to Twitter this afternoon (December 23) to encourage his 72 million followers to support the Choir.
The Tweets said:
I'm hearing this UK Christmas race is close...but the @Choir_NHS single is for charity. So...— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015
so for 1 week it's ok not to be #1. Let's do the right thing & help them win. It's Christmas. @Choir_NHS good luck https://t.co/ORCtFY1k4i— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015
This is what it's all about. Merry Christmas :)— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015
Within an hour, the tweets had received over 100,000 likes and 70,000 retweets.
Bieber’s support could make all the difference to the race. This morning It emerged that the NHS Choir's A Bridge Over You had closed the gap overnight and was just 662 combined sales behind Love Yourself. The battle is now the closest festive chart race in years, since Rage Against The Machine's Killing In The Name took on Joe McElderry's The Climb in 2009 and ultimately won.
And with two days remaining until this year's Official Christmas Number 1 is announced (at 1pm on Christmas Day), there's every chance the Choir could bag it at the last minute.
Martin Talbot, Chief Executive, Official Charts Company, said: "It was already looking too close to call this morning, but Justin Bieber’s call to arms really could make all the difference between the NHS Choir winning the Christmas race or not. It is a fantastic gesture – and could mean we are all Beliebers this Christmas Day."
The NHS Choir's A Bridge Over You is being released in support of the hard work done by doctors, nurses, midwives and many others in the NHS. Proceeds from the single are going to charities including Carers UK and Mind.
MORE: Read our interview with those behind the NHS For Christmas Number 1 campaign
Sales and streams of songs between 00.01am on Friday, December 18 and midnight on Thursday, December 24 will count towards the 2015 Official Christmas Singles Chart.
The Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 40 will be counted down on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show with Greg James between 10am - 1pm on Friday, December 25, and also revealed on BBC One's Top of the Pops. The full Top 100 will be revealed on OfficialCharts.com at 5.45pm. More info here.
MORE: How to help your favourite song to be Christmas Number 1
Remind yourself of every Official Christmas Number 1 in our gallery below: