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 single 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 became the fastest-selling debut in UK chart history, selling 403,027 copies on its day of release and over a million copies by the end of the week. It went on to sell over 1.7 million copies and in the official list of the all-time best-selling singles in the UK issued later that year, it appeared 14th. It was announced as the best-selling single of the 2000s in the United Kingdom as well as in the 21st century so far, having sold 1.8 million copies in total.
The song was included on Young's debut album, From Now On.
Gates' version of the song was also released as a B-side to his single, "Unchained Melody".