Captain Tom Moore has beaten The Weeknd to number one, meaning he’ll be top of the charts for his 100th birthday.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, which is raising money for the NHS as it battles the coronavirus crisis, beat the Canadian singer’s Blinding Lights to first place.
The war veteran’s duet with Michael Ball is the fastest-selling single of 2020.
It means that when he celebrates his birthday on Thursday, Captain Moore will be the first centenarian to grace the top spot.
In becoming the oldest person to reach Number 1, he beats previous record-holder Tom Jones by over 30 years.
It was a close race for this week’s chart-topper though, with Captain Moore said to have been losing ground after an early lead.
But 24 hours before the final count, The Weeknd, whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, urged his UK fans to ditch their loyalty and support the charity single.
Posting a picture of Captain Moore on his Twitter page, the 30-year-old singer wrote: “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!”
A couple of hours later The Weeknd tweeted again, apologising for his poor spelling, writing: “Nothing is more embarrassing than misspelling a word on twitter… *rooting*”.
Official figures show that in the final count You’ll Never Walk Alone beat Blinding Light by around 13,000 sales and streams.
The Weeknd is not the first star to have their chart success scuppered by the 99-year-old Second World War veteran.
Captain Moore knocked Dame Vera Lynn and Katherine Jenkins off the UK iTunes top spot earlier in the week, putting their duet of We’ll Meet Again in second place.
Michael Ball, who has had several Number 1 albums, but never a chart-topping single, called the shared track “one of the proudest moments of my career”.
You’ll Never Walk Alone is raising money for NHS Charities Together.
Meanwhile Captain Moore’s ongoing walking appeal, is now on over £28m after racing through its original £1000 target and capturing people’s imagination around the world.
It’s the highest total raised by an individual on JustGiving.
There have also been calls for him to be knighted, with nearly a million signatures on an online petition.
Captain Moore also won the Mirror Pride Of Britain Award earlier this week.
You’ll Never Walk Alone, which is from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel has become an anthem for medical staff during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new version features an introduction from Captain Moore, who said: “When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high and don’t be afraid of the dark.
“At the end of a storm there’s a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark.”
The single also features the NHS Voices for Care Choir.
Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Captain Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for the Second World War, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma.