White, male and dead stars freeze female artists out of UK Top Ten

First female voice in pre-Xmas albums chart is Shirlie Kemp at number 12

Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:00 pm

Updated Friday, 29th November 2019, 6:02 pm
Bing Crosby’s White Christmas will be given a makeover (Photo: Fox Photos/Getty)

Female artists have been frozen out of a UK music chart populated entirely by white, male and in some cases, dead stars.

The Official Charts Company Albums top ten, released on Friday, is the least diverse in decades.

A slate of releases aimed at casual Christmas record-buyers has boosted sales – but at the expense of black and female artists.

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Coldplay beat Robbie

Coldplay, straight in at number one with their eighth studio album Everyday Life, head a top sellers list that includes Robbie Williams, veterans such as Sir Rod Stewart and posthumous new releases from Leonard Cohen and Bing Crosby.

There’s room for “king of the waltz” Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra, showtunes duo Michael Ball & Alfie Boe, evergreen boyband Westlife and the inevitable placing for Ed Sheeran. Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi is the youngest contender.

Shirlie Kemp No 12

However the highest-placed woman in the chart is Shirlie Kemp, whose album of swing duets with husband Martin, is at number 12, behind an album of covers by singing actor Luke Evans.

Celine Dion’s new album, which entered the chart at number two last week, crashes out of the top ten altogether.

The diversity deficit will be addressed when Stormzy releases his second album Heavy Is The Head, on December 13.

The 16-track record, which includes a collaboration with Sheeran, is expected to top the Christmas chart.

Robbie fastest cassette sales

It’s a different story on the singles chart where Dance Monkey by Tones and I – Australian singer/songwriter Toni Watson – enjoys a ninth week at number one.

Stormzy, Dua Lipa and Billie Eilish also feature in the top five. Mariah Carey’s festive classic All I Want For Christmas is You has made its thirteenth consecutive return to the Top 40.

Although Williams missed out on the number one album, the star claimed the fastest-selling cassette release in almost two decades, shifting nearly 10,000 copies of his Christmas Present collection on the format, which is enjoying a cult revival.

Top Ten albums – Official Charts Company

  1. Coldplay – Everyday Life
  2. Robbie Williams – The Christmas Present
  3. Rod Stewart – You’re In My Heart
  4. Lewis Capaldi – Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent
  5. Michael Ball & Alfie Boe – Back Together
  6. Andre Rieu & Johann Strauss Orchestra – Happy Days
  7. Leonard Cohen – Thanks For The Dance
  8. Westlife – Spectrum
  9. Bing Crosby & LSO – Bing At Christmas
  10. Ed Sheeran – No 6 Collaborations Project 


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