Ren Outpaces Rick Astley For First U.K. Albums Chart Title

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Ren scores his first U.K. No. 1 as Sick Boi, his independently released sophomore album, starts at No. 1.

The Welsh hip-hop artist (full name: Ren Erin Gill) times his chart race to perfection, overcoming a midweek deficit to Rick Astley’s ninth studio album Are We There Yet? (BMG), before putting on the afterburners to roar home in first place.

In the end, it wasn’t even close. Sick Boi had opened-up a 6,000-unit advantage when the Official U.K. Albums Chart was published Oct. 20, thanks in part to a “spectacular push” in the final 24 hours of the cycle, the Official Charts Company reports.

Sick Boi is released through The Other Songs, founded five years ago by brothers Alastair and Billy Webber, formerly of Island Records and Warner Records, respectively, according to the OCC. It’s the indie entertainment company’s first ever U.K. top 10.

Ren’s crown “sees him join a long list of Welsh album chart-toppers,” notes OCC CEO Martin Talbot, “from Tom Jones, Bonnie Tyler and Shakin’ Stevens to Manic Street Preachers, Stereophonics and Duffy, among many others – should not be under-estimated, especially given that it’s been achieved as a wholly-independent artist.”

Astley, meanwhile, misses out on collecting a third leader with Are We There Yet?, which arrives at No. 2. It’s the Brit’s seventh top 10 appearance on the national albums tally.

The previous week’s leader, Drake’s For All The Dogs (OVO/Republic Records), slips 1-3.

Also new to the Official Chart this week is Troye Sivan’s Something To Give Each Other (Polydor), bowing at No. 4. That’s a U.K. career high for the Aussie pop artist, eclipsing 2015’s EP Wild (No. 5 peak) and 2018 LP Bloom (No. 8), for his third top tier slot. Something To Give Each Other is the week’s best-seller on wax in the U.K.

Completing the top 5 is 2022 BRITs Rising Star winner Holly Humberstone with Paint My Bedroom Black, her first full length effort. It’s new at No. 5.

Mike Skinner’s The Streets lands its seventh U.K. top 10 album with The Darker the Shadow (Rhino), new at No. 7, while British blues act When Rivers Meet, the husband-and-wife duo of Grace and Aaron Bond, snag a first top 10 album appearance with Aces Are High (One Road), new at No. 9.

Further down the list, new releases from Scouting for Girls (A Place We Used to Meet at No. 17 via Sony Music CG), CMAT (Crazymad, for Me at No. 25 via Cmatbaby), Creeper (Sanguivore at No. 29 via Spinefarm) and Death of Guitar Pop (Be Lucky at No. 30 via Ska Club Essex) make an impression.

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