GATES STILL ON TOP!

The 'Pop Idol' loser keeps a resurgent Shaggy and Ali G from the top...

‘POP IDOL’ runner-up GARETH GATES has retained his position at the top of the UK single chart tonight (March 31), his second week on the summit.

The 17-year-old’s debut release, a cover of ’Unchained Melody’, dropped 73% in sales from the 900,000 shifted on the first week, but it still outsold the Number Two single, ‘Me Julie’ from Ali G and Shaggy by four to one, with just under 229,000 copies sold. Despite the dip, the single has now climbed to Number 64 in the all-time best-sellers list.

‘Pop Idol’ winner Will Young slipped from two to four with his own massive single ‘Evergreen’, one behind Shakira with ‘Whenever, Wherever’ .

The highest new entry of the week appeared at Five for Missy Elliott with ‘4 My People’, her 11th chart hit.

With little other movement on the Top Ten, the next highest new entry came at 11 from Anastacia scoring her sixth hit with ‘One Day In Your Life’. Her album ‘Freak Of Nature’ is also at Number 11 this week, after 18 weeks on the chart.

Badly Drawn Boy’s comeback track ‘Silent Sigh’ entered at 16 – mirroring his previous highest chart place scored for ’Disillusion’. That was two ahead of Travis, who watched ‘Flowers In The Window’, the third single from current album ‘The Invisible Band’, nudge in at 18.

Atlantan hip-hop duo OutKast scored the only other new entry on the Top 20 at 19 with ‘Whole Wide World.

Sum 41 score their third hit from 400,000 selling album ’All Killer, No Filler’, entering at 21 with ‘Motivation’, while indie journeymen The Bluetones go in at 26 with ’After Hours’.

On the album chart, veteran Celine Dion notched up her fifth Number One album, going straight to the top with ‘A New Day Has Come’. Last week’s chart-topper from Nickelback slide down to Two. There was little new movement on the chart.