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> The biggest selling X Factor winner's singles revealed, The winner takes it all?
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JCM20
post Aug 24 2016, 10:56 AM
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The winner takes it all? The biggest selling X Factor winner's singles revealed
They won the show, but who scores the ultimate prize as the biggest-selling winner’s single of them all?
By Justin Myers

The X Factor celebrates 13 series of Saturday night domination and unmissability in 2016, and as we start out on the journey to find the new champion, we look back at the 12 who came before.

As diverse artists as they all are, they have at least two things in common – first of all, they won the show and released a winner’s single. And secondly, they all released at least one album (apart from, as of time of writing, Louisa Johnson).

So when we count out the numbers, who comes out on top? It’s the ultimate display of public approval, the actual purchase of their music. When the studio lights have gone down and they’re on their own, did their onscreen popularity guarantee them hefty sales?

Winner's singles
It’s a close-run thing when it comes to singles, with the Top 2 artists benefitting from the digital age. There have been four million-selling winner’s singles and it’s pretty close at the top.

3: Shayne Ward – That’s My Goal
The second winner of The X Factor, all the way back in 2005, super-talented Shayne Ward was the first winner to score a million-seller. Shayne is also the only champion so far to release a totally original song – everyone else has launched their career with a cover version.

Despite not having the advantage of convenient downloads when he won, Shayne still shifted an impressive 740,000 copies in his first week on sale. That’s My Goal has sold a total of 1.11 million copies in the UK. Currently taking a break from music, you can find Shayne running the knicker factory in Coronation Street.

2: James Arthur – Impossible
Finishing a very close second is 2012’s winner James Arthur, who scored the fastest-selling single of the year with this Shontelle cover. Impossible has sold 1.294 million copies in the UK.

1: Alexandra Burke – Hallelujah
The champion is Series 5’s victor Alexandra Burke, who was the first X Factor winner to have her single immediately available for download. Alex still managed to sell over 570,000 physical copies of her cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, and altogether the song cleared a million copies in just four weeks – over 576,000 in its first sales week alone.

It’s sold a total of 1.297 million copies in the UK, giving Alexandra another win to add to her haul.

And the rest…
There’s one more million seller courtesy of 2010’s winner Matt Cardle, whose Biffy Clyro cover When We Collide has sold 1.01 million copies. Series 3 winner Leona Lewis has a million in her sights – she’s currently on 916,000 with A Moment Like This.

Further down the tally, 2014's winner Ben Haenow notched up a healthy 508,000 sales of Something I Need, while the very first winner of the show Steve Brookstein scores a sales tally of 204,000 for his winning single Against All Odds, originally a hit for Phil Collins and a Number 1 in 1999 for Westlife and Mariah Carey.

In last place on the list is 2015's winner Louisa Johnson. Her Bob Dylan cover Forever Young is the only winner's single not to reach Number 1 (it peaked at 9) and has sold 79,000 units in total.

Here’s the full Top 12 ranking of all The X Factor’s winning singles so far…

TRACK ARTIST SERIES
1 HALLELUJAH ALEXANDRA BURKE 2008 1,297,000
2 IMPOSSIBLE JAMES ARTHUR 2012 1,294,000
3 THAT'S MY GOAL SHAYNE WARD 2005 1,110,000
4 WHEN WE COLLIDE MATT CARDLE 2010 1,010,000
5 A MOMENT LIKE THIS LEONA LEWIS 2006 916,000
6 THE CLIMB JOE MCELDERRY 2009
7 WHEN YOU BELIEVE LEON JACKSON 2007
8 SOMETHING I NEED BEN HAENOW 2014 508,000
9 CANNONBALL LITTLE MIX 2011
10 SKYSCRAPER SAM BAILEY 2013
11 AGAINST ALL ODDS STEVE BROOKSTEIN 2004 204,000
12 FOREVER YOUNG LOUISA JOHNSON 2015 79,000
2016 The Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Debut albums
So once the winning single is out, talk turns to debut albums, but who had the selling power for their very first long-player? Let’s just say this is pretty much a one-horse race.

1: Leona Lewis – Spirit
Way out in front of all her fellow winners is 2004’s victor Leona Lewis, whose debut album Spirit has sold an incredible 3.13 million copies, making it one of the bestselling albums of all time in the UK. Leona is behind only Adele and Amy Winehouse when it comes to bestselling albums by British female acts. Spirit’s success may well have been helped along, of course, by Leona’s launch single Bleeding Love, which is a million seller and was Number 1 for an astonishing seven weeks.

2: Alexandra Burke – Overcome
Another Top 2 result for our singles’ winner, Alexandra’s debut album Overcome has shifted almost 820,000 copies since its release in 2009. The album contains three Number 1 singles, Hallelujah, Bad Boys and Start Without You.

3: Shayne Ward – Shayne Ward
Good news for Shayne Ward too: he scores Number 3 position in our albums countdown too, with his debut shifting 539,000 copies.

And the rest…
The only group to win The X Factor, Little Mix, score the fourth bestselling debut. Even though it peaked at Number 3, DNA comes in with a sales tally of 388,000 so far. 2009 winner Joe McElderry comes in 9th place, with just 33 or so copies edging him ahead of Steve Brookstein. Ben Haenow's self-titled collection finishes in last place, with 70,000 copies shifted in its lifetime.

Here's the full rundown…

ALBUM ARTIST SERIES
1 SPIRIT LEONA LEWIS 2006 3,130,000
2 OVERCOME ALEXANDRA BURKE 2008 820,000
3 SHAYNE WARD SHAYNE WARD 2005 539,000
4 DNA LITTLE MIX 2011 388,000
5 LETTERS MATT CARDLE 2010
6 JAMES ARTHUR JAMES ARTHUR 2012
7 THE POWER OF LOVE SAM BAILEY 2013
8 RIGHT NOW LEON JACKSON 2007
9 WIDE AWAKE JOE MCELDERRY 2009 (~33 copies ahead of Steve Brookstein)
10 HEART & SOUL STEVE BROOKSTEIN 2004
11 BEN HAENOW BEN HAENOW 2014 70,000
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JCM20
post Aug 24 2016, 10:57 AM
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They update this every year, so not much change from last time, although the gap between Impossible and Hallelujah is closing even further
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JCM20
post Aug 24 2016, 03:25 PM
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But those are appalling sales for Louisa!
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pippa
post Aug 24 2016, 07:00 PM
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Wonderful to see the ever talented Matt Cardle ahead of James Arthur on the albums list.
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post Aug 24 2016, 09:21 PM
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Louisa Johnsons sales though blink.gif
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JingleBellJupes
post Aug 24 2016, 11:38 PM
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Louisa Johnson's sales are even worse when you remember that her winner's single was also a charity song with the proceeds going to benefit a children's hospice, at Christmas. It was a poor song and even those heartstring pulls couldn't boost it.
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