STUNNED Jahmene Douglas could not quite take in the enormity of his achievement on reaching number one with his debut album on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Swindon singer’s breakthrough album Love Never Fails knocked Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines off top spot in the official chart after he launched it last week.
He shot to fame as the runner-up to James Arthur in last year’s X-Factor competition and due to contract rules, all the songs on Jahmene’s album had to be cover versions, or gospel interpretations as he prefers to call them.
But the album, which includes covers of Beyonce’s Halo, Whitney Houston’s The Greatest Love of All with his X Factor mentor Nicole Scherzinger and David Guetta’s Titanium, did not receive a warm welcome from national critics, who said he had tackled songs that were too big.
Seeing the news on his phone and all over Twitter, he said he was only too happy that his fans had proved the critics wrong and shown their support for him.
“I’m really grateful and thankful to everyone – it still has not sunk in,” the soul singer said.
“I had just got back from Swindon to London and I saw it on my phone and on Twitter.
“My mum was so pleased, she was on it more than I was so she will be really happy.
“Nicole messaged me in the middle of the week when it went top in the chart update and she said she was proud of me.
“I hope I’ve answered the critics and I can’t listen to the haters any more if it’s gone to number one.
“I’m going to celebrate with ice cream – Häagen Dazs strawberries and cream – and I’ve got the sprinkles ready.”
Jahmene, who has been in New York working on his second album already, said he is still getting used to the fame that comes with being a pop star.
He said: “It was great to launch the album in Asda last week and see the fans face-to-face. They were crazy – it was really nice.
“I went to B&Q with my mum too and it just was not working.
“But I’m so appreciative and I just want to say thanks to them for the support.”
The former Asda supermarket worker also said he was hoping to bring fans some of his own work in the near future.
He said: “I was in Long Island about two months ago working on my own stuff and I’ve been doing a lot of writing. That’s what I really want to do.”