Ren and Rick Astley locked in battle for number one album
It’s a battle between a famed and fresh face in in this week’s album chart, as stalwart pop star Rick Astley and Welsh newcomer Ren go head-to-head in the race for the UK’s official number one album.
Never Gonna Give You Up icon Rick is currently in pole position with his ninth studio album Are We There Yet? (1), which would become his third overall chart-topping LP in the UK, following Whenever You Need Somebody (1987) and 50 (2016).
But less than 400 chart units behind is a brand-new face to the Official Chart – Welsh singer-songwriter Ren.
Ren, from Anglesey is an internet sensation, having built up a huge audience online.
The musician has built a dedicated cult following from his stark and confessional tracks that blur genre boundaries.
His second album Sick Boi is currently expected to debut at Number 2, but with so few sales in it, it will go right to the wire.
Much has happened in the intervening years since he left his North Wales home to live in Brighton.
He has battled a rare debilitating illness which has seen him seek specialist treatment in Calgary in Canada. He has also fought his own personal demons to attract millions seek out his videos on YouTube.
A word of mouth sensation, he’s achieving success under his own steam. Resolutely under the radar, he’s become a grassroots phenomenon.
With an ever growing following, he recently turned to his loyal army of fans to help him raise thousands for Beaumaris RNLI in Anglesey in memory of his close friend Joe Hughes.
His full name is Ren Eryn Gill. To those who love his music he’s simply known as Ren
The musician, who wears his heart on his sleeve and who is loved for starkly autobiographical songs, is now hoping to take his career to the next level and score a number one album with Sick Boi, something he says he still can’t get his head around.
In a post on his Facebook page, the musician wrote: “In a very surreal turn of events, I have entered at number 2 in the UK charts right behind Rick Astley. We find out the official results on Friday.
“Yes ladies and gentlemen, I have been rick rolled in the biggest way possible. There are only about 400 sales in difference between us.
“Getting a number 1 would be a super cool victory for independent artists who are competing with major labels, but more than anything it would be a victory for me over my health at a time I’ve been in clinic in Canada 5 days a week treating my autoimmune issues.”
You can help Ren secure a number one by purchasing his album HERE
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.