In 2002, the song was chosen to be the winner's single for the first series of Pop Idol and was recorded by the three finalists: Will Young, Gareth Gates and Darius Danesh. During the final, the song was performed by both Young and Gates. Young went on to win the show, and released "Evergreen" as a double A-side single, along with "Anything Is Possible", which was also recorded by the final three and performed by the final two. The song was later included on Young's debut album, From Now On (2002). Gates' version of the song was also released as a B-side to his single, "Unchained Melody".
The song went straight to the number one spot in the UK Singles Chart and stayed there for three consecutive weeks, only to be knocked off the top spot by Gates' debut single, "Unchained Melody". It was the best-selling song of 2002 and was also the fastest-selling debut in UK chart history, selling 403,027 copies on its day of release and over 1.1 million copies by the end of the week.