CHART SPOTLIGHT. It’s not Daugthtry – the American Idol contestant who ended up at No.4 in the fifth season – but Sweden’s latest rock star Jay Smith. Winner of this year’s Swedish Idol finals, he races the Swedish singles tally with a cover of Madonna’s 1989 hit “Like a Prayer.” The track debuted at No.41 on Christmas eve, and has since vaulted to No.2. He trails September’s “Mikrofonkåt” which tops the tally for an eighth week. The No.2 peak of “Like a Prayer” beats the No.3 peak of his debut single “Dreaming People” which falls 5-8 on this week’s chart.
Born in Helsingborg with English ancestry, Jay Smith not only won the hearts of the public he also caused lots of headlines during the fall. Within a few months, he was caught taking drugs and cheated on his girlfriend with runner-up Minnah Karlsson.
His self-titled debut album immediately topped the album chart and remains there for a third week running. Ahead of the finals, Smith also placed the Everlast cover of “Black Jesus” on the chart. Two other tracks debut as downloads this week, “Enter Sandman” (No.52) and “Bad Romance” (No.56).
Jay Smith’s cover of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” reaches a new peak, trailing September’s “Mikrofonkåt” at No.2 on the Swedish singles tally. Smith won the Swedish Idol last December.
Westlife returns with the new album Gravity on Nov.22. The set is preceded by the new single “Safe,” which will be released digitally on Nov.14 and physically the day after. The group hasn’t issued a single since “What About Now” last October. The Daughtry cover peaked at No.2 in the UK, eventually peaking at No.7 on the European Hot 100 singles chart. It was actually the only single to be released off Westlife’s last studio album Where We Are.
The group was formed in July 1998 and is still the only act to have their first seven (!) singles go straight to No.1 in the UK selling a total of 44m copies worldwide. Despite having enormous success, they’ve never managed to crack the US market. The debut hit “Swear It Again” was issued in April of 1999 and career spanning over more than ten years.
Westlife’s only No.1 hit in Sweden to date is “My Love.” It was the second single off the 2000 album Coast to Coast and a Swedish track written and produced by Jörgen Elofsson, Per Magnusson and David Kreuger. The single succeeded the Mariah Carey duet “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” which peaked at No.3 in Sweden and topped UK singles tally.
This is the original version of “What About Now,” released by the American rock band Daughtry in July, 2008. The song was actually written by two former members of Evanescence and reached No.18 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singer, Chris Daughtry, was a 2005 Idol finalist. He makes an appearance on Timbaland’s latest album Shock Value II, on the track “Long Way Down.”