Scene: last night at the Brass Monkey Leith.
Three men at a bar. The chat turns, as it inevitably does in these situations, to Susan Boyle.
One man lays out a fact:
“Susan Boyle is the ONLY artist to ever have a number one album in the UK charts AND the US charts at the same time.”
Usually when I’m given an astonishing FACT like this, the implication is that I use it in the quiz.
But before deploying, I know it’s always worth checking.
So, unsurprisingly, the actual FACT is slightly less astonishing than the initial claim.
Susan Boyle became the first solo female artist to have TWO simultaneous UK-and-US chart-topping albums in the space of less than twelve months.
Two other artists have already achieved this: The Beatles and The Monkees (both in the sixties), but they are bands rather than solo artists.
Note: Boyle’s albums were not in the same calendar year (2009 and 2010).
Note: The achievement is doing the simultaneous no.1 TWICE in 12 months.
Other artists have done the double twice or more, including Adele and Led Zeppelin, but over a wider span of time. The Beatles did it six times.
Plenty of other artists have been simultaneously top of the US and UK charts, including Pink Floyd, Phil Collins and Radiohead.
And this is all albums. The singles chart has a whole different list. In fact, that might make quite a good list round. Noted.
By the way, none of this is to subtract from Susan Boyle’s amazing success. Her chart achievements are pretty phenomenal but the point of this article is to point out how easily the truth can get blended into something completely different.
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