Newcomer Ren beats Rick Astley to top spot in UK albums chart

Music artist Ren has beaten Rick Astley to the number one spot in the official UK albums chart (Joe Giddens/PA)
Music artist Ren has beaten Rick Astley to the number one spot in the official UK albums chart (Joe Giddens/PA)

Newcomer Ren has beaten pop singer Rick Astley in the charts, claiming his first number one album with Sick Boi.

The Welsh-born singer said that he welcomed the news as “a victory” over his illness and revealed that he had been relying on fan support to market the independently released LP.

The record’s title track explores Ren’s Lyme disease diagnosis with lyrics that include: “Sick boy, sick boy, bitten by a tick boy. Looking for that fix boy… Stem cell poster boy.”

Speaking to the Official Charts Company, Ren said: “It feels incredible and it just feels so affirming for me and everybody whose worked on pushing this record cause you know I’ve got all my best friends around me helping to push this record who I’ve been working with on it.

“It means so much to me, it means so much to them and it also just feels, like I said before, it feels like a victory over my illness because I’ve been so limited by it that when we do things like this it feels very empowering and it feels great.”

He added: “We’ve done this independently, really the main foundation of the promotion has been just the fans sharing stuff, showing up, showing support because I haven’t been able to do shows.

“What they’ve done in terms of spreading it, especially this last week, the amount that I’ve seen them pushing this record is incredible.

“It’s worth more than any marketing team I could have ever hoped for so I also want to say thankyou so much to them.”

Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot offered his congratulations to Ren and said: “His number one, which sees him join a long list of Welsh album chart-toppers – from Sir Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler and Shakin’ Stevens to Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics and Duffy, among many others – should not be underestimated, especially given that it’s been achieved as a wholly independent artist.

“It’s fantastic news, both for Welsh music and for the independent music scene.”

Elsewhere in the charts this week, Astley’s album Are We There Yet? debuted at number two.

The Lancashire-born singer has had previous success with albums that include hit 1987 debut LP Whenever You Need Somebody.

Drake’s album For All The Dogs entered at number one last week and has been knocked down two positions to number three.

Top Boy UK Premiere – London
Drake’s album For All The Dogs is number three in the charts this week (Ian West/PA)

Hours before he released his new 23-song opus on October 6, the Canadian rapper and singer, 36, said during his radio show Table For One on SiriusXM that he “probably won’t be making music” for a while.

New entry Something To Give Each Other by Australian singer Troye Sivan is at number four while another new entry, Paint My Bedroom Black from English singer-songwriter Holly Humberstone, takes the number five position.

Over in the singles charts Strangers by English musician Kenya Grace has taken the top spot for the second week running, with Prada by Casso, Raye and D-Block Europe also maintaining their spot at number two.

In at number three is Greedy by Canadian singer-songwriter Tate McRae, and Water by South African artist Tyla has risen three places to number four.

This is followed by the single Baddadan by drum and bass heavyweights Chase & Status and music artist Bou featuring Irah, Flowdan, Trigga and Takura.