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The Shires soar straight to number three in the UK charts with new album Accidentally on Purpose

Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle of The Shires handcuffed together in Oxford Street, London. Picture: Dominic Nicholls

Crissie Rhodes and Ben Earle of The Shires handcuffed together in Oxford Street, London. Picture: Dominic Nicholls

Dominic Nicholls

Country duo The Shires are celebrating another top five album with new release Accidentally On Purpose.

The Shires' Accidentally on Purpose albumThe Shires' Accidentally on Purpose album

The UK’s most successful country act of all time continue their incredible success with their third album Accidentally On Purpose entering the UK Album Chart at number three this week.

The Hertfordshire/Bedfordshire duo, Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, pushing Hertford’s George Ezra to fourth place.

The Shires enter the chart above rapper Nines, Sting & Shaggy and Amercian rock band Black Stone Cherry.

With over 55 reviews of the album, including 4 star reviews, The Shires have proved that their country pop music really is connecting with mainstream audiences and media, with recent appearances and coverage including The Sunday Times, The Sun, Daily Mail, Evening Standard, The Express, Metro, OK!, The One Show, BBC Breakfast, Sky Sunrise and Zoe Ball on Sunday.

With Album of the Week on Radio 2 and sessions on BBC 5 Live, Radio 4 and BBC London, their single Guilty has been the most played single on Magic and the second most played song on BBC Radio 2.

The album’s top five position rounds off an exciting week for The Shires, who had a big surprise in store for their fans at their album signing at HMV Oxford Street on Tuesday night. Arriving in style in an American police car, The Shires played homage to the theme of their Guilty music video and blared the track from the sirens as they arrived on Oxford Street.

Handcuffed to one another in black and white convict T-shirts, they were assisted from the vehicle by their chauffeur – an American cop.

Crowds of fans gathered to watch the band give an exclusive performance before an album signing to celebrate the release of Accidentally On Purpose.

The Shires’ UK tour starts on May 12, including a date at London’s Royal Albert Hall on May 18 – making them the first ever British country act to perform at the iconic venue.

On Friday, July 13, The Shires will be supporting Michael Bublé at Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park.

As part of the album launch, The Shires brought country music to the streets of London with Stetsons appearing on iconic statues across the capital.

Fans spotted the likes of Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, John Betjeman and Franklin D. Roosevelt all sporting bright pink Shires Stetsons.

UK country superstars The Shires first entered the history books in 2015, when their debut album Brave became the first ever British country album to enter the UK Top Ten.

Their second album My Universe also broke new ground by becoming the fastest-selling British country album of all time and reached the top three in the UK charts.

Ben and Crissie met on Facebook and were spotted performing in a Bedfordshire pub.

They quickly signed to a manager and a record deal with Decca followed soon after.

Prior to The Shires, Crissie was performing at weddings and Ben was a former chorister at Windsor Castle, even living in the grounds of the castle when he was a child before moving to live in Hertfordshire.

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