Image copyright Official Charts Company
Image caption Rick Astley: “I’m ecstatic, I couldn’t be happier!”

Pop star Rick Astley has returned to the top of the UK album chart after a gap of 29 years.

The singer’s comeback album, 50, beat new releases by Tom Odell and Paul McCartney to reach number one.

“It’s amazing, it’s incredible,” said Astley. “It’s been a very, very, very long time.”

The star first found fame in the 1980s as part of the Stock, Aitken, Waterman hit factory – but his new material presents a more mature, soulful sound.

He was engaged in a battle for the number one slot over the last week, changing places with Tom Odell on several occasions. In the end, he outsold the Chichester-born singer by just 3,700 copies.


According to the Official Chart Company, Astley sold more physical CDs, while Odell secured more digital sales and streams.

“I like Tom Odell,” Astley said. “I bought his last album, and I’m going to buy this one as well, but I’ve held off from buying it this week!”

Media captionRick Astley: ‘Singing was my escape’

Astley last topped the chart in 1987, three years before Odell was born, with his debut album Never Gonna Give You Up.

The star said he’d enjoyed the support of pop royalty in his quest for the top slot this week.

“Elton John’s sent a few texts over the last couple of days and just called me now to celebrate and said ‘just make sure you enjoy it.’

“He’s one of those people I’ve always respected… so it was a nice moment to get that congratulations.”

Top five albums
1) Rick Astley 50
2) Tom Odell Wrong Crowd
3) Paul McCartney Pure McCartney
4) ELO All Over The World – The Very Best Of
5) Drake Views

Elsewhere in the chart, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds climbs 63 places to number 26, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary; while the Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ Greatest Hits jumps 97 places to 19, ahead of the release of their new album The Getaway.

ELO’s best of album fares even better, climbing 101 places to number four as the band, led by Jeff Lynne, tour the UK. The group will play the Sunday teatime “legends” slot at next week’s Glastonbury festival.

Drake equals singles chart record

In the singles chart, Drake spends a tenth week at number one with One Dance, meaning he ties with his on-off girlfriend Rihanna for the longest-running chart-topper of the 21st Century.

Her song Umbrella was the last record to achieve a double-digit reign at the top of the charts in 2007.

The pair are also at number five in the chart with their latest collaboration, Too Good.

Image copyright Getty Images
Top five singles
1) Drake ft Wizkid and Kyla One Dance
2) Kungs vs Cookin’ on Three Burners This Girl
3) Justin Timberlake Can’t Stop The Feeling
4) Calvin Harris ft Rihanna This Is What You Came For
5) Drake ft Rihanna (pictured) Too Good

There are new entries for the Stone Roses, whose eight minute-long Beautiful Thing debuts at number 21, and David Guetta and Zara Larsson, who chart at 16 with their Euro 2016 anthem This One’s For You.

However, it is the only football song to feature in the countdown, with the Manic Street Preachers’ Together Stronger (C’mon Wales) and Shaun Ryder’s We Are England failing to attract strong sales.

Kosovo-London singer Dua Lipa scores her top 40 debut with Hotter Than Hell at 18; while former Britain’s Got Talent contestants Neales have a new entry at 22 with the charity single I’ll Be There, which supports the British Heart Foundation and Diabetes UK.

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