Charity single for London fire survivors tops UK charts

LONDON • A charity single released to raise money for survivors of the Grenfell Tower block fire reached the top spot in the British charts last Friday after selling more than 170,000 copies.

The track is a cover of Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water by 50 artists, including Stormzy, Emeli Sande, Robbie Williams and Paloma Faith.

It was released last Wednesday, one week after the fire in west London, and had the biggest sales of any single this decade on its first day, selling 120,000 copies, the Official Charts Company said in a statement.

The single was the second-fastest selling one of the year, after Ed Sheeran's Shape Of You.

Seventy-nine people are presumed to have died in the blaze at Grenfell Tower, a council-owned apartment complex built in 1974 and refurbished last year.

The video for the single featured the aftermath of the blaze, including firefighters in tears as they left the building and horrified bystanders.

The song starts with an emotional rap by Stormzy.

"I don't know where to begin so I'll start by saying I refuse to forget you/I refuse to be silenced/I refuse to neglect you," the grime star sings.

The song was organised by music mogul Simon Cowell.

Proceeds from sales of the song and extra donations will go to Artists for Grenfell, which was set up to support survivors and victims' families.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 25, 2017, with the headline 'Charity single for London fire survivors tops UK charts'. Print Edition | Subscribe