Chart-toppers will get new award
Chart-topping acts are to be given a new award to recognise their achievement.
The first trophy will be handed to the act which takes this week's Christmas number one, to be announced on December 25 and most likely to be Gareth Malone's choir of military wives.
The award is being launched by the Official Charts Company (OCC) ahead of next year's 60th anniversary of the singles chart. It will be handed over to the artist behind each new number one and is being launched in conjunction with BBC Radio 1's weekly Official Chart Show, hosted by Reggie Yates, each Sunday.
The creation of the prize - which bears the logo of the OCC - comes as figures from the organisation show the singles market is booming.
This year more than 164 million singles have been sold in the UK, setting a new record after nudging ahead of last year's 161.8 million which had established a new benchmark.
Singles have rocketed from 32 million in 2004 and increased steadily, although the figures take into account both official single releases and downloaded album tracks.
The award has been backed by a number of major chart stars, including 2009 X Factor runner-up Olly Murs.
The singer, who has notched up three number ones, said: "When you release a record, to have people love it and buy into it, and see it at the top of the tree is the best feeling in the world. And now for there to be an award for it, even better."
OCC managing director Martin Talbot said: "For all artists, reaching number one in the Official Singles Chart continues to be the pinnacle of success in the UK. But, until now, they have never had a tangible reminder of this achievement."
Radio 1's head of music George Ergatoudis said the launch of the award meant "artists will finally have something physical to recognise their achievement".