On Oct. 20, 2013, "X Factor" U.K. alumni James Arthur and boy band Union J went head-to-head on the charts, as their second singles in the U.K. and Ireland were released on this same date. And based on first-day sales reported by iTunes, Arthur's "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" is far outselling Union J's "Beautiful Life."
On the iTunes Top 100 Songs chart in the U.K., "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" was No. 2 by the end of the day on Oct. 20, 2013. "Beautiful Life" was No. 10 on the chart. Lorde's "Royals" (which has become an international smash hit) has a lock at No. 1 on iTunes in the U.K. and several other countries. "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" appears unlikely to knock "Royals" from the top of the iTunes chart in the coming week.
Arthur was the winner of "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012. Union J came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012. They are both signed to Syco Music, the record company co-owned by Simon Cowell and Sony Music.
Arthur outselling Union J should not come as a surprise since Arthur's first single (a cover version of Shontelle's "Impossible") was a bigger hit than Union J's first single, "Carry You." "Impossible" debuted at No. 1 in the U.K. and went on to sell 2 million copies worldwide, according to Sony Music. Union J's "Carry You" debuted at No. 6 in the U.K. and has not been yet had a wide international release.
Union J's self-titled debut album is due out in the U.K. and Ireland on Oct. 28, 2013. Arthur's self-titled first album on Syco Music is set for release in Europe on Nov. 4, 2013.
There's no word yet on when either Union J's or Arthur's singles or albums will be released in the U.S. and Canada. However, Union J's "Carry You" is on the "Kick-Ass 2" soundtrack.