Shefford wedding singer makes chart history as The Shires reaches the Top 10 with debut album Brave

The Shires
The Shires

A wedding singer who was kicked off the X Factor is one half of a duo that has made chart history by becoming the first British country band to reach the Top 10.

The duo, who recently became the first UK signing to the re-launched Decca Nashville label, have this week reached number 10 in the Official UK Album Chart with Brave.

Having overtaken Hozier, and just behind Paloma Faith, The Shires now sit comfortably alongside mainstream pop acts such as Kelly Clarkson, Ed

Sheeran and Sam Smith.

Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot said: “This is a fantastic feat by this young British country duo. No country act has ever made this kind of impact on the chart before – it is truly remarkable.”

Crissie failed to make it through the bootcamp rounds to the live shows under X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger in 2013, despite being described as ‘captivating’ by Gary Barlow during auditions.

After forming later that year, The Shires quickly attracted industry fans and mainstream radio support, sparking much interest from the press in the rapidly growing popularity of country music in the UK.

While other pop or folk acts such as Lena Martell and Jimmy Nail have hit the upper reaches of the Official Singles Chart with individual country songs, no act has made such an impact at the upper levels of the Official Albums Chart with a genuine country album – as verified by the UK branch of the Country Music Association.

Director of BBC Music and CMA board member, Bob Shennan, said: “From the very first play, The Shires have proved to be a class act.

“They also prove that a British artist can create authentic country music – and the fact that BBC Music has supported them via BBC Introducing and now Radio 2 is testament to their obvious talent and songwriting ability. We hope they can take Nashville by storm.”