Mistletoe and grime: Stormzy beats Cliff Richard’s Christmas album to No 1

2 months ago 29

Stormzy’s 3rd medium This Is What I Mean has debuted astatine No 1 connected the UK albums chart, beating Cliff Richard’s Christmas With Cliff to the apical spot successful a photograph finish. It was reported this week that Richards was blistery connected the grime kingpin’s heels with his archetypal Christmas grounds successful 19 years; ultimately, it was a “last infinitesimal surge”, according to the Official Charts Company, that clinched Stormzy’s win. A comparatively tiny borderline of illustration units – a metric that encompasses streams and income – separated the 2 records, with This Is What I Mean moving 27,800 units compared to Christmas With Cliff’s 24,300.

This Is What I Mean, which was released connected 25 November, is Stormzy’s 3rd consecutive No 1 album. His debut, Gang Signs & Prayer, was the archetypal grime medium to deed No 1 connected the chart. Richard achieved 7 No 1 medium placements passim the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and reached No 3 with 2020’s Music… The Air That I Breathe.

Christmas With Cliff’s No 2 decorativeness is his highest placement since The Album, which peaked astatine No 1 successful April 1993. Appearing connected This Morning, Richard said this week that helium didn’t “know Stormzy astatine all”. He added: “Next twelvemonth is my 65th twelvemonth and present I americium successful the charts with the astir fashionable creator of the decennary and I americium capable to inactive compete. So I americium conscionable truly blessed astir it.”

This Is What I Mean is Stormzy’s archetypal medium successful 3 years but the London rapper has remained successful the nationalist oculus for overmuch of the interim, continuing to people books done his Penguin Random House imprint Merky Books, backing a assistance for Black British students astatine Cambridge University and moving with large brands connected Merky FC, an inaugural aiming to boost off-pitch diverseness successful football.

This Is What I Mean has been noted for its muted tone, with Guardian professional Alexis Petridis describing the medium successful a four-star reappraisal arsenic “noticeably much introverted and personal” than its predecessors. Gary Younge, 1 of the fewer journalists to person interviewed Stormzy successful the past fewer years, told the Guardian past period that This Is What I Mean is “not conscionable different album” for the grime superstar, but “a connection astir his state arsenic an artist.” Stormzy volition enactment This Is What I Mean with a amusement astatine the O2 arena, London, connected 11 December and a header amusement astatine Victoria Park, dubbed This Is What We Mean Day, connected 18 August arsenic portion of London’s All Points East festival.

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