Alexandra Burke, Jeff Buckley storm Christmas charts with 'Hallelujah'

Leonard Cohen's song is at Number One and Two

Alexandra Burke, Jeff Buckley storm Christmas charts with 'Hallelujah'
'The X Factor' winner Alexandra Burke has raced to Number One in the UK singles chart tonight (December 21), nabbing the coveted Christmas top spot with her cover of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'.

Burke's 'Hallelujah' became the fastest-selling single by a female solo artist, with 576,000 copies shifted this week. For the first time at Christmas the same song is at Number One and Number Two, as Jeff Buckley's cover entered on download sales alone.

It's only the second time this has happened at all in the UK charts in almost 51 years. In January 1957 Tommy Steele and Guy Mitchell held the top two places with 'Singin' The Blues'.

To add a further twist, the song's creator Cohen, who returned to tour this year, entered the chart with his original version at Number 36.

HMV chart spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said, "It was pretty much a given that Alexandra Burke's cover of 'Hallelujah' would dominate the race for this year's Christmas Number One, but it's been such a strange year that we thought the charts would throw up some kind of a surprise, and the twist came in the form of the Jeff Buckley cover."

Burke's triumph pushed a former 'X Factor' winner from the top spot - again covering a well loved track. Leona Lewis had been Number One for a fortnight with her version of Snow Patrol's 'Run'. Comedian Peter Kay's reality show parody 'Once Upon A Christmas Song' entered at Number Five.

A host of seasonal favourites made reappearances further down the chart - including The Pogues' 'Fairytale of New York' at 12, Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' at 17, Wham!'s 'Last Christmas' at 27 and Wizzard's 'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' at 33.

In the album chart Take That reigned supreme. Their latest album 'The Circus' is still Number One and has become the fastest-selling album in the UK of the millennium. The highest climber is Beyonce, leaping from 24 to nine.

The Christmas 2008 UK Top Ten singles are:

1. Alexandra Burke - 'Hallelujah'
2. Jeff Buckley - 'Hallelujah'
3. Leona Lewis - 'Run'
4. Beyonce - 'If I Were A Boy'
5. Geraldine - 'Once Upon A Christmas Song'
6. James Morrison/Nelly Furtado - 'Broken Strings'
7. Kings Of Leon - 'Use Somebody'
8. Beyonce - 'Listen'
9. Take That - 'Greatest Day'
10. Britney Spears - 'Womanizer'

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