'You have sent out an important message to the world' - Families of Viola Beach thank fans as debut album rockets to number one
The families of the British band killed in a car crash in Sweden have thanked music fans for sending Viola Beach's debut album to number one, saying the tragedy will no longer "define their lives".
The indie four-piece were killed in a car crash in February, when their car plunged more than 80ft from a bridge into a canal near the capital Stockholm.
Loved-ones of the Warrington band said that the pain of losing singer Kris Leonard, guitarist River Reeves, bassist Tomas Lowe and drummer Jack Dakin - and their manager Craig Tarry - "will never leave us".
But they said that they hoped that one day the success of the self-titled album and the support from fans would "live longer in the memory than the pain".
They said in a statement: "The tragedy that ended Craig, Jack, Kris, River and Tom's lives in Sweden and the pain and sense of loss will never leave us.
"By sending the Viola Beach album to number one the public have sent out an important message to the world.
"The tragic circumstance that met Viola Beach and their manager Craig that fateful night in Sweden will not now define their lives.
"What will now define their lives and what they will be remembered for, forever, is the music they were so passionate about making together.
"For that, we will be eternally humbled and ever thankful to every single person who by buying this glorious album has invested in their lasting musical legacy.
"The pain will never leave us but neither will the affection shown by every fan. Maybe one day that affection will live longer in the memory than the pain.
"So from us all, a simple but heartfelt 'thank you'."
Viola Beach's album is made up of nine songs including lead single Boys That Sing.
In June, Coldplay paid tribute to Viola Beach at Glastonbury by performing Boys That Sing as part of their headline slot on the Pyramid Stage.
The Official Albums Chart has produced five Number One album awards, recognising the achievement of each band member and their manager.
Its chief executive Martin Talbot said: "It is hard to think of an album which more people were rooting for than the Viola Beach release - nor a success which has felt so bitter-sweet.
"We (and the wider music community) are delighted that it has taken the number one spot - but it is an awful tragedy that Jack, Kris, River, Tomas and Craig are not here to see themselves take a place in the annals of British music."
Last week's number one, ELO's All Over The World, is currently at number two, followed by Christine and The Queens' Chaleur Humaine, Drake's Views and Adele's 25.
In the singles chart, Major Lazer's collaboration with Justin Bieber and MO's Cold Water enjoys a second week at number one.
Calum Scott's Dancing On My Own is at number two, a peak after 15 weeks on the chart.
The top five is completed by Jonas Blue's Perfect Strangers, The Chainsmokers' Don't Let Me Down and Drake's One Dance.