The Climb

Album: Wide Awake (2010)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • This power ballad is a cover of a song from Hannah Montana: The Movie originally recorded by Miley Cyrus. English music executive Simon Cowell chose it as the single to be released by 2009 X-Factor winner Joe McElderry in the aftermath of his winning the competition.
  • McElderry said shortly after the song's release that the lyrics meant a lot to him. "It's an emotional song, because it's what's been happening in the last few months. It all feels very, very surreal."
  • The lyrical content about moving mountains, and keeping your head held high is perfect winner's single material, so it was no surprise that Cowell chose it for the X-Factor champ. It is the sort of song that Geraldine McQueen, a.k.a. comedian Peter Kay, poked fun at on his 2008 hit "The Winners Song."
  • This was the odds on favorite to be the UK Christmas #1 in 2009. However, despite selling a more than respectable 451,000 copies, it was eventually beaten by Rage At The Machine's sweary "Killing In The Name" after an anti-Simon Cowell campaign was launched on Facebook to have an alternative song at the festive top position. Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine said on BBC 6 Music's breakfast show: "The one thing about the X-Factor show, much like our own American Idol, is if you're a viewer of the show you get to vote for one contestant or the other, but you don't really get to vote against the show itself until now."
    He added: "It's this machinery that puts forward a particular type of music which represents a particular kind of listener. There are a lot of people who don't feel represented by it and this Christmas in the UK they're having their say."
    The following week "Killing In The Name's" sales faltered allowing McElderry to bounce back and top the singles chart in its second week on the list.

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