This year’s UK Christmas number one.
The text of Wherever You Are is a love poem compiled from letters written between the women and their absent husbands and partners [serving in Afghanistan]. It was set to music by composer Paul Mealor, who is noted for his composition of a choral work sung at the Royal Wedding in 2011.
The Military Wives was formed in 2011 by Gareth Malone for the BBC Two television series The Choir: Military Wives. The programme documented Malone’s visits to Chivenor Barracks and to Royal Citadel, Plymouth – both in Devon, in which he formed two choirs of wives and partners of British military personnel deployed on active service in the Afghanistan War. In forming the choirs, Malone aimed to raise the women’s morale and raise their profile in the public perception.
The first public performance of the piece was at The Royal British Legion’s Remembrance parade at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 November 2011 attended by The Queen. The event was broadcast in the final episode of The Choir television programme to an estimated television audience of 2.65 million viewers.
First day sales, which included all pre-orders, indicated that they were outselling their closest rivals, The X-Factor eight series winners Little Mix, by a hundred singles to one, causing Ladbrokes to close betting for the Christmas number one, and Simon Cowell congratulating them for their achievement. The pre-order sales has caused the single to become one of the top 20 best-selling music products of all-time at Amazon.co.uk. Wikipedia.