Justin Bieber Backs NHS Choir for Christmas Number One

Singer Justin Bieber performs on NBC's 'Today' show in New York November 18. The Canadian musician has unexpectedly expressed his support for an NHS choir from South London in the race for the U.K. Christmas number one single. Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The title of U.K. Christmas number one is among the most coveted musical accolades of the year but for Justin Bieber the Christmas season is more about giving than receiving. In a gesture of goodwill, the Canadian superstar has asked his 71.9 million Twitter followers to support a South London hospital choir in their bid to get to number one in the U.K.

Bieber, who currently holds the number one spot with his single Love Yourself and has another two songs in The Official UK Top 40 , tweeted his support for the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir and their single, A Bridge Over You . Prior to the act of festive generosity on Wednesday, the choir was just 662 sales behind Bieber, according to the BBC .

I'm hearing this UK Christmas race is close...but the @Choir_NHS single is for charity. So...

— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015

so for 1 week it's ok not to be #1. Let's do the right thing & help them win. It's Christmas. @Choir_NHS good luck https://t.co/ORCtFY1k4i

— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015

This is what it's all about. Merry Christmas :)

— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) December 23, 2015

Proceeds from sales of the choir's track will be donated to charities including Carers UK, which supports people who care for loved ones, and mental-health charity Mind. Katie Rogerson, a pediatric doctor in London — and member of the choir — told the Guardian that it was "just ridiculous that it's the NHS versus Justin Bieber, but that's all in the jolliness of it."

The Christmas top spot has been occupied almost permanently by talent-show winners in recent years, such as X Factor winners Sam Bailey and Ben Haenow grabbing the title in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The coveted position has also gone to less likely acts, however, with rock band Rage Against the Machine winning the race in 2009 after a Facebook campaign designed to prevent another X-Factor winner triumphing.

The choir expressed their thanks to Bieber for his support and invited him to take part in an unlikely duet the next time he visits the U.K.

@justinbieber Next time you're in the UK, we should have a singalong together. Thank you so much.

— The NHS Choir (L&G) (@Choir_NHS) December 23, 2015