The Chase presenter Bradley Walsh will release a second album under Sony Music CMG after selling more copies than pop star Zayn Malik. Bosses at the major record label are reportedly keen to send the 56-year-old out on tour later in 2017 due to his soaring popularity.
Released in November 2016, Walsh's debut album, Chasing Dreams became the year's biggest-selling album by a debut artist after shifting 111,650 copies. The impressive sales trumped those of former One Direction star Malik, whose debut album, Mind Of Mine, sold 65,208.
Now, a source claims Walsh is a priority artist at Sony Music and is already making plans to record a follow-up. An insider told The Sun: "Bradley's album surpassed all expectations and he's now a key focus for the label in 2017. Sony have signed him up for another album and don't want to waste any time getting it out, as well as putting him on stages around the UK."
Chasing Dreams sees Walsh covering classic big band tracks from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Bing Crosby. The 14-track record was certified gold and features songs including Mr Bojangles, Fly Me To The Moon, That's Life and Our Love Is Here To Stay. Although Walsh's second album is still in the works, the source says record label bosses are even planning a third.
The source continued: "He has proven there is an enormous market for his swing covers and they intend to capitalise on it. Discussions have even taken place about a third album at some point too. They know what works and he is already picking out songs for the second record and arranging studio time."
News of Walsh's unprecedented musical success was just as much of a surprise to the public as it was to the singer himself. The former Coronation Street actor previously told The Guardian of his defeat over Malik: "I just laughed when I found out. I thought it was hysterical. I am probably the oldest new artist Sony has ever signed. Niall Horan [Malik's former bandmate] was sending me messages, laughing his head off. And I got big congratulations from Simon Cowell. He thoroughly enjoyed it."