BBC Young Musician winner is youngest ever cellist to land top 20 album
Classical musician Sheku Kanneh-Mason has become the youngest ever cellist to score an album in the top 20 on the Official Albums Chart.
Eighteen-year-old Kanneh-Mason, who in 2016 became the first ever black winner of the BBC Young Musician award, has debuted at number 18 with Inspiration, his first collection of classical arrangements.
He has also become the year’s biggest-selling British debut artist so far across all genres, and the album has topped the classical chart.
Kanneh-Mason said: “As a classical cellist, I can’t quite believe I’ve made the top 20 in the Official Albums Chart with my first ever album!
“It has been an amazing experience and I’m very grateful to everyone who’s supported me. I hope the pieces on this album inspire others the way they’ve inspired me.”
Kanneh-Mason, who appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2015 with his siblings, recorded Inspiration with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in both Birmingham and his home town of Nottingham.
He told the Press Association he hoped his achievement would inspire more young people to get involved in classical music.
“It’s great to see that there is an audience there and for me, classical music is such an important part of my life and to know young people are interested in it to is amazing,” he added.
Kanneh-Mason said he was now looking forward to performing his debut record at a series of concerts but might “take a few days off next week”.
Elsewhere on the charts, Craig David failed to knock The Greatest Showman soundtrack off the top, meaning his new album has debuted at number two.
The R&B and garage artist’s new effort The Time Is Now is this week’s highest new entry, despite its inability to surpass the film soundtrack.
David’s single I Know You, featuring Bastille, has also managed to climb five places on the singles chart to number five this week, following the record’s release last Friday.
The cast recording for musical film The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron, Michelle Williams and Zendaya, has scored four weeks at number one, making it the longest-running chart-topper since Ed Sheeran’s album Divide in early 2017.
Sheeran is at number three with Divide this week, US hip-hop trio Migos have debuted at number four with their new record Culture II and rapper Eminem rounds off the top five with Revival.
Over on the singles chart, Canadian rapper Drake has earned himself a number one for a second week running with God’s Plan.
South London rapper Ramz remains at number two this week with Barking, his breakout hit, ahead of Eminem and Sheeran’s River at number three.
Dua Lipa’s IDGAF is in fourth place above the David and Bastille track.