Ed Sheeran is always hard to beat in a chart race, especially in his homeland. Sheeran with Justin Bieber is proving a formidable challenge, with the pair’s collaborative single “I Don’t Care” (Asylum) opening up a huge lead in the sprint to the U.K. chart crown.
The new track accumulated 4.7 million streams across the weekend and has generated more downloads than the rest of the U.K. top 5 combined, to easily lead the Official U.K. Singles Chart Update, the OCC reports.
Should the single hold its position when the weekly chart is published this Friday, it’ll become Sheeran’s sixth leader in the territory and Bieber’s seventh. Between the singers, they’ve enjoyed 37 top 10 appearances, with 77 top 40 hits in total, a figure that will rise to 78 later this week.
“I Don’t Care” is the only new release in the top 10 at the midweek stage. The next highest debutant belongs to London rapper Skepta, whose "Greaze Mode" (Boy Better Know) opens at No. 18 on the sales flash. Skepta is chasing two top 40s this week with “Bullet From a Gun” starting at No. 34.
Former X Factor champ James Arthur is chasing an 11th top 40 as “Falling Like The Stars” (Columbia) enters the midweek chart at No. 24.
Meanwhile, Pink is on track for a third week atop the Official U.K. Albums Chart as Hurts 2B Human (RCA) takes an early lead. The Philadelphia pop star’s latest LP leads the midweek chart with a 1,600 sales advantage over its nearest rival, Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Interscope), according to the OCC.
Veteran heavy rock outfit Whitesnake are poised to strike with the week’s highest new entry, Flesh & Blood (Frontiers), new at No. 3 on the Official U.K. Albums Chart Update. It’s the David Coverdale-led group’s thirteenth studio album, three of which have cracked the top 5.
Also making early moves, Canadian multi-instrumentalist Mac DeMarco is chasing his first top 10 album with Here Comes The Cowboy (Caroline) debuting at No. 8, while U.S. rapper Logic’s Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind (Def Jam) opens at No. 10 on the midweek survey. Finally, ‘80s synth-pop chart favorite Howard Jones’ Transform (D-Tox) is at No. 16, and is on track for the Brit’s first trip to the top 20 in 33 years.