Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old former British Army serviceman whose fundraising efforts for the National Health Service have made him a hero in the UK and beyond, now has a No. 1 single to his name.
His sponsored walk to raise NHS funds during the coronavirus crisis, for which he set a goal of £1,000, has at this writing realised £28.6 million. Now his Decca single, a version of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with vocalist Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir, makes Moore the oldest-ever artist to top the UK singles chart. He turns 100 next Thursday (30).
The single was leading the way in the Official Charts Company’s midweek sales data, but fell behind The Weeknd’s ‘Blinding Lights’ on Wednesday. Then, in a late development yesterday (23), The Weeknd himself generously urged UK music fans to support Moore and Ball’s single. Moore, whose Twitter account is handled by his family, then thanked The Weeknd, as their mutual appreciation continued.
In the final tally, Moore and Ball’s release scored 82,000 combined units, and The Weeknd’s 69,000. Proceeds from sales of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ go to NHS Charities Together. ‘Blinding Lights’ had been No. 1 in the UK for a non-consecutive eight weeks, and it now falls to No. 2 in chart data published by the OCC today.
Moore thus becomes easily the oldest artist ever to reach the UK singles summit, at more than 30 years older than Tom Jones, who was 68 when he appeared on the spoof release ‘Barry Islands In The Stream’ in 2009. Decca artist Ball has had four UK No. 1 albums, but this is his first chart-topping single.
“This is the most extraordinary thing, one of the most proudest moments of my career,” said Ball. “But it’s not about me, it’s about Captain Tom. Thank you for giving him a No. 1 on his 100th birthday. You are the best, God bless ya.”