Times Like These: All-star Foo Fighters cover goes to UK number one

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

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Image source, Comic Relief
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Singers including Hailee Steinfeld and Dave Grohl (centre) helped record the single.

A star-studded cover version of the Foo Fighters' Times Like These has topped the UK singles chart after a close battle for the number one slot.

The charity single, which features Dua Lipa, Chris Martin, Jess Glynne and Biffy Clyro, beat The Weeknd's Blinding Lights by just 3,000 copies.

It replaces Colonel Tom Moore and Michael Ball's version of You'll Never Walk Alone at the summit.

Their duet drops to number 21 on this week's Official Singles Chart.

It's the first time one charity single has replaced another at the top of the charts since 2014, when Gareth Malone's Children In Need track Wake Me Up was dethroned by Band Aid 30's Do They Know It's Christmas.

Proceeds from the sale of Times Like These will be split between Children In Need and Comic Relief to provide support to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The recording was put together by BBC Radio 1 and Stormzy's producer Fraser T Smith as part of last week's Big Night In fundraiser.

Twenty-five artists recorded their vocals in isolation. They include Rita Ora, Yungblud, Mabel and AJ Tracey, who added a rapped verse to the original.

"I was really emotional when I saw the final video with all the artists and hearing everybody come together," said Dua Lipa, who sings the opening line.

"I'm so happy that we could come together to try to support a better cause."

Top 5 Singles - 1 May 2020. .  .

Earlier this week, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl sent an email to BBC staff thanking them for giving him "the chance to be a part of something so much bigger".

"When my manager first called and explained the project to me, I literally had to fight back tears - that's how flattered I was that the BBC would consider one of my songs for such an important cause," the former Nirvana drummer added.

"To all those amazing artists who took the time to learn and sing the words that I scribbled on a bit of hotel stationery nearly 20 years ago - I am beyond humbled. You have no idea.

"I hope this new version of the song helps lift people's spirits a little, and that the proceeds we're donating to Comic Relief and Children In Need reach as many people affected by Covid-19 as possible."

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The song, which entered last week's chart at number five after just 12 hours on sale, has sold a further 66,000 copies over the last seven days.

In doing so, it has become the Foo Fighters' first ever UK number one. Their previous best was number four with Best Of You in 2005, while Times Like These originally peaked at 12 in 2003.

Meanwhile, Dua Lipa is queen of the albums chart. Her second record Future Nostalgia spends a third non-consecutive week at number one, beating competition from Lewis Capaldi, Billie Eilish and Sir Elton John.

Top 5 albums - 1 May 2020. .  .

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