Raye ascends the U.K. singles chart for the very first time with “Escapism,” while Taylor Swift snags another albums chart crown.

A teary Raye celebrated her spectacular result on social media. It’s a moment that carries extra significance for an artist who, in 2021, publicly cut ties with her major label after claiming she’d been shelved and overlooked for years.

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Released through Human Re Sources, J. Erving’s distribution and artist services company, “Escapism” is one of several singles Raye has dropped in recent months ahead of her upcoming debut album My 21st Century Blues, alongside “Hard Out Here,” “Black Mascara” and “The Thrill Is Gone.”


The most-streamed song for the latest chart U.K. chart week, with 5.6 million streams, “Escapism,” featuring U.S. rapper 070 Shake, is Raye’s tenth top 40 single, and first U.K. top 10 as lead artist.

Meanwhile, SZA lands her first solo top 10 in the U.K. (and third overall) with “Kill Bill” (up 32-4 via RCA/Top Dawg), while Bugzy Malone and TeeDee also earn their first spot in the top 10, as “Out of Nowhere” (BSomebody) lifts 38-9.

The Christmas music exodus is in full force, which powers a string of singles to new peaks on the latest chart, published Jan. 6. They include Lewis Capaldi’s “Pointless” (up 60-15 via Vertigo); Tiesto & Tate McRae’s “10:35” (up 80-18 via Atlantic/Ministry of Sound); Lady Gaga’s Born This Way-era recording “Bloody Mary (up 74-22 via Interscope); which is powered by a viral TikTok dance sensation inspired by Wednesday star Jenna Ortega; and Australian singer-songwriter Dean Lewis’s tear-jerker “How Do I Say Goodbye” (up 86-23 via Universal Music Australia).

Over on the national albums survey, Swift secures the first No. 1 for 2023 with Midnights.

By racking-up four non-consecutive weeks at the top, Midnights surpasses Swift’s 2020 effort folklore as her longest reigning LP in the U.K.

Brits love the U.S. pop star in 2023 just as much as they did in 2022. Midnights is one of five Swift studio albums in the top 40 — folklore (No. 22), 1989 (No. 24), Lover (No. 35) and Reputation (No. 40).