Music

The Weeknd Lost His No. 1 Chart Spot In The UK To A 99-Year-Old’s First Single

The Weeknd’s hit single “Blinding Lights” has fared well on the charts in the US, as it just returned to the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for its third week at No. 1. The song has also spent multiple weeks at No. 1 in the UK, but it lost the crown this week to a track from a new artist. The musician who went No. 1 over The Weeknd is probably surprising to anybody who doesn’t have the full context: “Blinding Lights” was knocked off the top spot by the debut single from Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old war veteran.

It’s a sweet story: Earlier this month, Moore had the goal of walking 100 laps around his yard before his 100th birthday on April 30, with the hope of raising £1,000 (about $1,234) for the United Kingdom National Health Service (NHS). His feat went viral in the UK, and he ended up raising over £28 million (about $34 million).

After his rise to fame, he partnered with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices Of Care Choir to cover the Rodgers And Hammerstein classic “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Fans had been trying to get the song to top the UK charts before Moore’s birthday, but the track faced a tough challenge from The Weeknd.

However, The Weeknd implored his UK fans to help the cause and to back Moore’s cover, writing on Twitter, “everyone in the UK please support @captaintommoore / @mrmichaelball single so this incredible 99 yr old war veteran, walking for the British National Health Service @NHSuk & now raised $35 Million can have a No 1 for his 100th birthday in the UK!We’re routing for you. XO!” Moore was appreciative of the support, responding, “My goodness, how gracious of you @theweeknd. Benji [Moore’s grandson] tells me you’re rather talented and very popular! What a kind gesture. Thank you!”

Sure enough, the numbers are in, and Moore managed to beat The Weeknd, as his song sold 82,000 units, which was better than the 69,000 sales “Blinding Lights” racked up.

Upon hearing the news, Moore tweeted, “We are NO.1? Really? @mrmichaelball to be part of a number one song, it’s out of this world, truly amazing! #TomorrowWillBeAGoodDay #YoullNeverWalkAlone.” He also spoke with BBC Radio 1, expressing his excitement about his achievement and his gratitude for The Weeknd’s assist.

On top of all that, Guinness World Records reported today that Moore’s walk set the new world record for the most money raised by a charity walk. Moore responded to that achievement, “What a way to finish the week @GWR. It’s simply wonderful and all for such a good cause. The NHS staff and the volunteers are the real heroes & they continue to do such a magnificent job THANK YOU!”

Watch the video for Moore’s No. 1 single above.

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