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Chart Watch Weekly - August 23rd 2021

James Masterton's Chart Watch Weekly
Hello there, welcome to the first edition of the Chart Watch Weekly newsletter, your regular roundup of charts facts and gossip from around the world.
This week:
  • Ed Sheeran
  • More Ed Sheeran
  • Roundups from America, Australia and France
  • Your sneak peek at the Monday midweeks

Britain Still Has The Ed Habit
Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits Feat. Tion Wayne & Central Cee (Fumez The Engineer Remix) [Official Video]
Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits Feat. Tion Wayne & Central Cee (Fumez The Engineer Remix) [Official Video]
Ed Sheeran is a past master of the re-version. He practically invented the stunt jump-on with his competing versions of Perfect (featuring Beyonce and Andrea Bocelli respectively) which almost certainly contributed to the song becoming the 2017 Christmas No.1 with ease.
Now he’s done the same thing with his current hit single Bad Habits, releasing a Fumez The Engineer remix which effectively replaces his entire vocal with duelling rhymes from Tion Wayne and Central Cee.
That’s had a dramatic impact on his sales form, propelling Bad Habits back up to its highest levels in over a month. Its eighth week at No.1 sees its streams go back to just under 11 million and its total chart sales reach 87,324 meaning the chances of anything else replacing the song at No.1 any time soon are slimmer than before.
But there’s a twist in the tale. Ed this week announced plans for an October release of a brand new album = (Equals), an as-yet-unnamed new single at the start of September but ALSO dropped a new teaser track, the melancholic ballad Visiting Hours. So the great Ed vs Ed battle has actually come upon us far earlier than I suggested in Music Week this week.
How is the titanic tussle going so far? Check out the midweek teaser update at the bottom.
That total of 11m streams (10,979,742 to be precise) is the 32nd highest weekly total of all time. You can say what you like about Ed Sheeran, he does post some startlingly consistent streaming numbers for his biggest hits:
Rap also gives us the week’s highest new entry in the UK as Digga D and Ardee both land their second Top 10 singles of the year with this tender piece of poetry.
Digga D ft ArrDee - Wasted (Visualizer)
Digga D ft ArrDee - Wasted (Visualizer)
The Top 10 actually has a nicely fresh look to it. Long-running hits Heartbreak Anthem, Save Your Tears and the two Manskin hits Beggin’ and I Wanna Be Your Slave all fall to ACR at once and exit the Top 10. That’s opened the door to not only the above new entry but also Industry Bay from Lil Nas X which climbs to No.7 and Rain Radio/DJ Craig Gorman’s Talk About which zooms to No.9. The latter now moves past the No.14 chart peak of Nelly Furtado’s Big Hoops (The Bigger The Better) which it tears apart to make something magical.
Nugget Of The Week
Here’s a detail you won’t read anywhere else:
Love Again by Dua Lipa climbs nine places to No.51 this week. Except that in sales terms it has remained exactly where it was, its 6,998 chart sales this week almost exactly match the 6,999 it posted to hit No.60 a week ago. If only one more of you had bought it!
Across The Atlantic
The Kid LAROI & Justin Bieber's 'Stay' Leads Hot 100 for Third Week, Lizzo & Cardi B's 'Rumors' Bows in Top Five
No change at the top of the American charts either as Stay from The Kid Laroi and Justin Bieber spends a third week at the summit. It has 51.3m radio impressions, 32.7m streams and sold 14,400 downloads. All are an increase on last week’s totals.
But hey, look at that. Bad Habits is finally up to No.2. It has been a slow grower in America in contrast to everywhere else, but is slowly but surely getting under everyone’s skin. Just as the rest of the world is getting tired of it. Way to go USA.
Rumours by Lizzo and Cardi B is the highest new entry, smashing straight in at No.4. Lizzo is happy:
Billie Eilish continues her domination of the Billboard 200. Happier Than Ever is America’s No.1 album for the third straight week. It is the third album this year to spend its first three weeks on release at the top of the charts. The other one was Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album which had a seven week run back in the spring, this despite the C&W star being suspended by his label and subject to an airplay ban on several major networks thanks to a string of racist outbursts.
Also in America, Lil Nas X takes the crown for the commercial tie-in of the week. Marking the fact that he was once a server at Taco Bell, the American chain has signed a deal to help promote the rapper’s debut album when it is released next month. He is officially Taco Bell’s “Chief Impact Officer”. Full story here:
Lil Nas X Joins Taco Bell as Chief Impact Officer | Billboard
Down Under
Landing at #7 with the @DUALIPA collaboration Cold Heart (@pnau Remix), @eltonofficial hits the #ARIACharts Top Ten for the first time since 1997.
Pnau’s fascinating mash-up of old Elton John lines and new contributions from Dua Lipa has already given his chart form a shot in the arm in many territories, not least in Britain where it has become his first Top 40 single in over a decade (it is No.33 this week). But as ARIA note above, it has resurrected Elton’s career in Australia as his first single to make the Top 10 there since the sodding Candle In The Wind track in 1997.
Meanwhile the Australians like their homegrown stars it seems, as The Kid Laroi is No.1 for a sixth week with Stay, the single having relegated none other than Ed Sheeran to just a fortnight at the top (although Bad Habits remains No.2 there as it continues to throttle the globe with its popularity).
Le Top Singles de la semaine est sorti ! 🎧

Classement complet 👉

"La Kiffance" de Naps est toujours premier ! 👏
France is another territory where Ed Sheeran’s total domination hasn’t quite cut through. Instead the French love their rappers and Naps (better known to his French-Algerian family as Nabil Arlabelek) remains at No.1 with La Kiffance, a position he has occupied since the end of July.
The single is actually an impressive comeback for the star. At the start of 2020 he threw an online tantrum, announced he was quitting music altogether and that he had destroyed his Gold Discs in an effort to purge the past completely.
Naps - La kiffance (Clip Officiel)
Naps - La kiffance (Clip Officiel)
Midweek Teases
So much for a titanic tussle. That new Ed Sheeran track Visiting Hours is, at the end of the day, just a promotional track so despite early promise it is sinking fast. It is still set to be the highest new entry of the week but I doubt whether it will even make the Top 10. Bad Habits is nailed on for a ninth week at No.1. The highest new entry proper will be Wid It by Tion Wayne and Ardee, set for a comfortable Top 20 entry point.
The biggest new album of the week, certainly in terms of pre-release hype is Lorde’s Solar Power but… breaking news! On the first official midweek flash it is only No.2 for the week. Powering ahead, is Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR which seems likely to end up back at No.1 yet again. That’s largely thanks to the album’s belated release on vinyl, which has boosted its physical sales which had dwindled away to almost nothing. If it does top the charts this Friday it will be the album’s fifth week at No.1, the first album to reach that total since Ed Sheeran’s No.6 Collaborations Project almost exactly two years ago.
Jake Bugg’s Saturday Night, Sunday Morning is contending for Top 3 at this early stage. It should easily become his fifth Top 10 album.
That’s all for this week, thank you for subscribing. Don’t forget the new UK charts are announced by Radio One from 5pm every Friday, can be seen in full on and, and subscribers to the latter can read my exclusive chart analysis from 6pm that day.
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James Masterton
James Masterton @chartupdate

From the world famous chart analyst, a weekly roundup of everything fit to print from charts worldwide. Considered coverage of the stories generated by the UK charts along with a summary of events taking place on pop charts in Europe, across the Atlantic, and on the other side of the world.

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