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Happy New Year, everyone! Hope everyone has recovered from their wild holiday shenanigans. It almost seems retro to be dealing with “best of 2007” lists, but, on Sunday, the BBC released the top-selling singles and albums of last year. Amy Winehouse‘s Back to Black was the top album, and Leona Lewis‘s “Bleeding Love” edged out Rihanna‘s “Umbrella” for the best-selling single. Mika‘s “Grace Kelly” was, thankfully, out-diva’d and settled for a third-place finish. To demonstrate the continued strength of X Factor, winner Leon Jackson‘s shaky version of “When You Believe” landed at No. 4 despite having only been out a week. Here are the top 10 UK singles of the year:

1. Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
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2. Rihanna – Umbrella
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3. Mika – Grace Kelly
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4. Leon Jackson – When You Believe
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5. Take That – Rule the World
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6. Sugababes – About You Now
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7. Timbaland ft. Keri Hilson, D.O.E.,and Sebastian – The Way I Are
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8. The Proclaimers ft. Brian Potterand Andy Pipkin -(I Would Walk) 500 Miles
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9. Mark Ronson ft. Amy Winehouse -Valerie
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10. Kaiser Chiefs – Ruby
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Pundits are already predicting who will be tops in ’08. The Ting Tings, Glasvegas and Foals are among the up-and-comingmusical acts making the BBC’s Sound of 2008 list. The Times‘ Pete Paphides alsoweighs in with his choices for the stars of 2008,including 16-year-old Gabriella Cilmi, a protégée ofGirls Aloud producers Xenomania. The Guardian recruits industry insiders and 2007’s biggest names – KateNash, Pigeon Detectives, etc. – to chime in with their picks.

The name on the tip of everyone’s tongues right now is, of course, Adele. She’s already running off at the mouth like a seasoned veteran, ripping Nicky Wire from Manic Street Preachers for going on about his humble beginnings in The Times. “It’s all: ‘Oh, I come from nothing.’ Shut up, man! It doesn’t matter. If you’regood, you get places, full stop.” And if Miss Thang can drop records like she drops names, she has a great career ahead of her: “I do getpissed off when people say my friends are apparentlyposh. Jack Peñate went to a public school on ascholarship, you know. You should see Jamie T‘s house- it’s rank. And Kate Nash has never even spoken abouther background. Just ‘cos she sings with an accentdoesn’t mean she’s trying to say that she’s workingclass. Nobody likes a posh voice, do they?”

In other news:

  • New X Factor winner Leon Jacksoncanceled an Edinburgh New Year’s Eve concert, citing tonsilitis.(Mirror)

  • Fellow Scottish singer Amy Macdonald isn’t buying Leon’s excuse, calling him a “lightweight.” “Penicillin. There you go. Take two tablets, four times a day. Tonsillitis doesn’t harm your vocal chords at all so that’s a pretty lame excuse. A sore throat would but tonsillitis you can still sing totally fine on it. I think I’d call it lazy-itis if I’m honest.”(Daily Record)
  • Britain’s most famous soon-to-be unwed mother, Lily Allen, admits she’s “notthe best example” for the youth of the world and rejects talk thatshe’s launching a maternity wear line for girls. “I’ve had a lot of offers from peopleto do my own maternity range but I don’t think it isthe right message to send to young Britain. I’m notthe best example. I’m pregnant and a bit young, aren’tI? My demographic is generally young girls, so I don’tthink a maternity line is suitable. It isn’t the bestimpression to give them.”(NME)
  • Nadia Shepherd of the girl band Booty Luv offers Lily a compliment – only to slap her at the end: “She’s a great songwriter, but sometimes you wonder why Lily says the things she says. Is it because she really feels that way or because she’s just trying to get a bit of attention? You can’t really tell what her motive is and that is what’s quite unattractive about her.”(Mirror)
  • Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has hit out at EMI chiefGuy Hands on the Radiohead website. An EMI spokesmantold the Times of London that the band hadmade unreasonable demands on the label, including anearly $6 million advance for their new album, InRainbows. Yorke responds, “To be digging up such bull, or, more politely, airing yer dirty laundry in public,seems a very strange way for the head of aninternational record label to be proceeding.”
  • Thom Yorke says the band’s Internet experiment with In Rainbows was actually quite successful, but he plays down suggestions that web downloads are the wave of the future for music.
  • That’s not stopping Hot Chip from “pulling a Radiohead.”(NME)
  • Rappers Ja Rule, Jay-Z, and Wu-Tang Clan have beenpermitted by Sony to use Beatles compositions -re-recordings, not original samples – in recentsingles.(Yahoo!)
  • Amy Winehouse has been summoned to appear in aNorwegian court due to her arrest on drug possessioncharges in Bergen back in October.(NME)
  • Amy Winehouse will renew her vows with husband Blake Fielder-Civil. In his jail cell. Class-ay.(Digital Spy)
  • A former BBC Radio 1 DJ, Kevin Greening, died suddenly on December 29th at theage of 44. However, a man who’d been at the southLondon address where Greening’s body was found has been arrested on drug charges.Scotland Yard hasn’t said if there’s a link betweenthe two incidents.
  • Damon Albarn on X-Factor: “I think it’screating a mindset that suggests you can get somethingfor nothing and that it’s easy to acquire status andfame. It should be one of the hardest things to do.”(NME)
  • Morrissey has donated money to save the Salford Lads Club – the iconic red-brick Manchester building featured in The Queen Is Dead artwork – from closure.(Guardian)
  • The Guardian does a cheeky little interview with Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan in which he answers the age-old questions “Deal or no deal?” and “Dude, where’s my car?”
  • Rick Astley, Bananarama, ABC, Paul Young, and Curiosity Killed the Cat are the acts joining the “Here & Now” tour celebrating ’80s artists.(Guardian)
  • Popjustice unveils their top singles of 2007. Lots of overlap with my list.
  • Nothing But Green Lights heralds the top 11 new UK artists of 2007.
  • Noel Gallagher joined Kasabian on stage at their New Year’s Eve gig.(Scotsman)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.