Pop at the tops 'I have to admit, I have never heard of any of the others in the Top Five with me' - Daniel O'Donnell on new album's UK charts success
O'Donnell has been in UK album Top 40 yearly since 1991
Back in the '80s when his career was taking off, Daniel O'Donnell never imagined that one day he'd end up in the golden oldie bracket.
Neither could the popular Irish crooner have predicted that in the autumn of 2020 he'd be involved in a battle with rock and rap artists for the number one spot in the UK albums chart.
Relaxing yesterday at his Donegal home, 58-year-old Daniel reflected on one of the oddest weeks of his nearly 40 years in the world of showbusiness.
On Friday evening, the Irish entertainer learned that his new album, simply called Daniel, had gone straight into the UK charts at number three.
The country and easy-listening singer's album had been pipped for the top spot by British rock group The Vamps, and an album by the late American rapper Pop Smoke, who was shot dead in February.
However, Daniel did leap ahead of British rapper Headie One and hot UK hip hop outfit D-Block Europe, who went in at number four and five respectively.
"It's incredible to be in there among all these modern artists after 33 years since my first album was in the charts, and I have to admit I have never heard of any of the others in the Top Five with me," he tells the Sunday World.
Daniel's first UK Top 40 album entry was back in 1991 with The Very Best Of.
Since then the singer has landed at least one Top 40 album on the official albums chart in every consecutive year, sometimes several in one year, for nearly three decades.
"I do find it hard to believe that this is my 40th album in the Top 40, especially when I think back on how hard it was to get in there the first time," Daniel says.
"In the beginning, when I was starting out, I didn't even think that I could be in the charts. When I first went into the UK country charts I didn't know where to find them."
When he went into the mainstream UK charts, Daniel - who performed on Top of the Pops in 1992 with his hit I Just Want To Dance With You - reveals that he was like a child at Christmas in those early days.
He'd regularly slip into the HMV store in London's Oxford Street "to see my album there among everybody".
Daniel says: "I never ever thought that after this length of time I would still be doing it at this level. I'm very grateful really that people still go out and buy my album."
Next Friday his close pal Cliff Richard will release a new album The Air That I Breathe, to celebrate his 80th birthday.
And on Sunday November 1, Daniel will livestream a pay-per-view show with his band from the Millennium Forum in Derry, where he'll perform without an audience.
All profits will go to his band and crew, who haven't worked since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tickets are €20 and can be booked via danielodonnell.org.