Harry Styles has entered the charts at number one with his new single, As It Was, ending Dave’s four-week reign at the top.
The star’s airy, effervescent pop song had the biggest opening week of the year so far, said the Official Charts Company, racking up 94,000 chart sales.
It was streamed 10.5 million times over the last week.
The song becomes Styles’ second solo number one, in addition to the four he achieved as part of One Direction.
It is the first track to be released from the star’s upcoming third album Harry’s House, which is due on 20 May.
The title is a nod to the Joni Mitchell song of the same name; while a website for the album suggests it will reflect on themes of isolation, domesticity and belonging, with daily messages like: “Whisper to your houseplants / Sing to your neighbours” and “Every place you’ve ever been will never stay the same and neither will you”.
Speaking to Apple Music’s Zane Lowe in 2020, Styles said the pandemic and the lockdown had informed his new material.
“It gives you an ability to have almost like a bird’s-eye view of the world and your life,” he said.
Harry’s House follows the Grammy Award-winning Fine Line which, after a series of false starts, established Styles as a bona fide solo act.
The song Watermelon Sugar, in particular, was a global hit in the summer of both 2020 and 2021, selling 1.2m copies in the UK alone.
Riding the crest of that wave has helped As It Was become the star’s first number one since his debt single, Sign Of The Times, five years ago.
As a result, Dave’s Starlight falls one place to number two, with Aitch and Ashanti’s Baby in third place.
Camila Cabello’s Bam Bam – which deals with her split from Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, is at number 10 – and is expected to rise higher next week, thanks to the release of her third album, Familia.
Mendes’ own rumination on the end of the relationship, When You’re Gone, enters the Top 40 at 32.
In the album chart, Red Hot Chili Peppers secure their fifth number one with Unlimited Love.
The band’s first album with guitarist John Frusciante since 2009, it knocks Michael Buble’s Higher off the top spot after just one week.
Elsewhere, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour climbs five places to number three following her success at the Grammys this week; while The Wanted’s greatest hits collection, re-enters the chart at 22 after singer Tom Parker’s tragic death from brain cancer.