Leicester wives celebrate reaching top spot in UK album charts
Two women from Leicester are celebrating after helping to knock Bruce Springsteen off the top of the UK album charts.
Karen Clee and Jane Batchelor both feature on the Military Wives Choir album In My Dreams which shot to number one on Sunday two weeks after being released.
At Christmas, the choir enjoyed a number one single with Where Ever You Are.
Karen, 45, who moved to north Devon from Evington in Leicester, features on five of the album tracks singing with the RMB Chivenor wives choir.
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She has mixed emotions about toppling her idol Bruce.
She said: "It is wonderful to be number one. But I am a real Bruce Springsteen fan."
She is hoping the album will raise more than £1million for the charity they have founded, the Military Wives Foundation.
The foundation will provide money and expertise to help to set up more choirs at military bases around the country.
The album features 11 tracks including versions of U2's With or Without You and Coldplay's Fix You. It also includes the choir's chart-topping single.
Karen, whose husband Andy is in the Royal Engineers, said: "My favourite track is With or Without You by the Plymouth wives choir."
Also singing in the Chivenor choir was Jane Batchelor, 45, who moved from Evington to North Devon several years ago.
Jane said: "It is wonderful to have knocked Bruce off top spot, but we also had to contend with stars like Adele as well.
"But I think Decca were pretty cute bringing out the album in time for Mother's Day.
"I hope that people will continue to go out and buy it as it is for a good cause."
Her favourite track is Chivenor's own version of the seafarer' s hymn Eternal Father (strong to save).
The choir was formed just over a year ago when choirmaster Gareth Malone descended on RMB Chivenor to make a new series of the BBC's The Choir, this time focusing on military wives.
Four years ago, he had worked his magic on students at Lancaster School for the TV programme.
There are now more than 30 military wives choirs across the country which have been set up having been inspired by the original choir.
In all, about 250 wives sang on the album including members of five choirs Chivenor, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Catterick and Lympstone.
The title track is a collaboration between all the wives and X Factor finalist Jonjo Kerr, who is also a soldier currently in Afghanistan.
On hearing the album had hit number one, Mr Malone said: "These women's singing has lifted the spirits of the nation.
"I'm proud to have been able to introduce the power of music to the women on this album who, in turn, are reaching out to military communities across the UK through song."
The single raised more than £500,000 for their chosen two charities, The Royal British Legion and SSAFA Forces Help.
Now £1 from each album sold will go to the Military Wives Foundation