James Arthur has made a scintillating start to his professional singing career, selling more copies of his debut single in its opening two days than any other X Factor winner in the show's history.
Arthur's single Impossible went on sale on Sunday night, immediately after he was crowned champion of the ITV1 talent show. By midnight on Monday, it had sold 187,000 copies.
2008 winner Alexandra Burke is Arthur's closest contender – her single Hallelujah had sold 47,000 copies by the end of Monday – while in 2010 Matt Cardle's When We Collide shifted 112,000. Four years before that, Leona Lewis's A Moment Like This racked up a respectable 101,000 copies during it's first two days. But last year’s winners, girl group Little Mix, had managed only 69,000 in the same period, according to Official Charts Company figures.
Shayne Ward’s 2005 hit That’s My Goal is currently the fastest-selling X Factor winner’s single, having sold 742,000 copies in its opening week. Back then, the trend for purchasing digital downloads was yet to take off, and Ward saw only 46,000 copies sold by midnight on Monday. That's My Goal really exploded after the CD was released the following Wednesday, selling 289,000 copies on that day alone.
Arthur's CD single comes out tomorrow (Wednesday 12 December), suggesting the Middlesbrough-born singer can expect a hugely successful opening week – but after such high download sales, whether he can break Ward's record remains to be seen.