Stormzy beats Cliff Richard to top spot with third number one album

The British rapper went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard for the top spot on the Official Albums Chart.
The British rapper went head-to-head with Sir Cliff Richard for the top spot on the Official Albums Chart.

Stormzy has claimed his third number one album after This Is What I Mean debuted at the top of the UK albums chart.

The British grime star, 29, fought off close competition from 82-year-old veteran singer Sir Cliff Richard’s first new Christmas album in 19 years to secure the top spot in the Official Albums Chart.

Stormzy released his new album last Friday with critics and fans praising the genre-spanning 12-track offering. It comes three years after his 2019 number one album Heavy Is The Head and explores personal topics including forgiving his absent father and his feelings of paranoia, depression and self-doubt.

The Croydon-born rapper, whose real name is Michael Omari, previously topped the charts with his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer in 2017.

Sir Cliff, who secured the second spot with album Christmas With Cliff, was pictured holding his rival’s new record while at the Royal Berkshire Hotel, Ascot this week as he checked out the competition.

Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, said: “Everyone loves a tight number one race, and this week’s battle between Sir Cliff Richard and Stormzy has been an absolute classic, pitching two of our musical icons head-to-head.

Christmas Number One
Sir Cliff Richard at the Royal Berkshire Hotel, Ascot holding Stormzy’s new album This Is What I Mean (Daniel Hinchliffe/PA)

“We at Official Charts are of course delighted to congratulate Stormzy on his big win, but it is also only right to doff our chart cap to Sir Cliff too. It takes two to make a classic chart race and that has certainly been the case this week. Great work, both!”

Following the death of Fleetwood Mac star Christine McVie at the age of 79, the British-American rock band’s 1977 album Rumours and hits collection 50 Years – Don’t Stop returned to the top 40 this week.

Meanwhile, pop superstar Taylor Swift reigned supreme on the singles charts for a sixth consecutive week with her number one track Anti-Hero, fighting off competition from Meghan Trainor with Made You Look which peaked at number two.

Festive regulars including Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You and Last Christmas from Wham also made a re-appearance in the top 10.