Justin Bieber congratulates NHS Choir after Christmas number one joy
Pop superstar Justin Bieber has congratulated the NHS Choir after they beat him to be Christmas number one for 2015.
The Lewisham and Greenwich group's charity single, A Bridge Over You, claimed the top spot in the closest chart battle since 2009 when Rage Against The Machine beat X Factor star Joe McElderry.
The ensemble of doctors, nurses and NHS staff stormed in nearly 31,000 copies ahead of Bieber, with a total of combined chart sales of over 127,000 copies against Bieber's 97,000.
Graciously accepting defeat the 21-year-old Canadian singer tweeted to his 72 million followers: "Just heard the news. Amazing. That is what Christmas is all about. @Choir_NHS congrats!! Very cool"
Bieber had given the choir's efforts a boost earlier in the week when he called on his fans to "do the right thing" and help the charity single get to the top spot, saying that "for one week it's OK not to be number one".
Before the result was revealed Bieber tweeted: "I'm hearing this UK Christmas race is close ... but the NHS Choir single is for charity. So ...
"So for one week it's OK not to be number one. Let's do the right thing and help them win. It's Christmas. NHS Choir good luck."
He added: "This is what it's all about. Merry Christmas."
All proceeds from the NHS Choir's single will go to a selection of charities including Carers UK and Mind.
Speaking to OfficialCharts.com the choir said earlier: "We are absolutely overwhelmed and couldn't be any happier! It's a brilliant celebration for the NHS across the country so well done and thank you everyone for downloading and streaming.
"A massive cheer for the NHS, thank you!
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn added his support, tweeting: " Fantastic news that @Choir_NHS are #ChristmasNo1 - NHS in our hearts all year round."
Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company said: "What a fantastic result for the NHS Choir to claim the 2015 Christmas Number 1. There will be thousands of NHS staff across the country working through Christmas Day, while the rest of the nation is putting its feet up - this success is for them. There couldn't be a more deserving group of winners."
Bieber still holds a strong chart presence with three of his songs placing in the second, third and fifth positions in the charts.
Another singer celebrating festive success is Adele, who has scored the biggest selling album of Christmas week for 2015.
Her album, 25, has already made chart history and now holds the top spot for the fifth week running.