Arts Entertainments

Wham! hits Christmas No 1 after 39 years ‘George Michael would be beside himself’ | Music | Entertainment

After 5 years of LadBaby charity singles consecutively scoring Christmas No 1, the YouTuber announced he wouldn’t be trying for a sixth this year.

Since then it’s been a close race with classics like Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You and The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York being in contention, especially after the latter’s singer Shane McGowan died less than a month ago.

Meanwhile, Sam Ryder has been campaigning hard for his single You’re Christmas To Mine with 26 performances in the last six days.

However, he had to settle for second place as Wham! have pulled off Christmas No 1 with Last Christmas for the first time after a record-breaking 39 years since the song was released.

This marks the sixth time Last Christmas has topped the Official UK Singles Chart, but it is only the first time they’ve scored Christmas No 1 with it. Upon its original release in 1984, the festive tune was beaten to the top spot by Band Aid’s Do They Know Its Christmas?

Surviving Wham! member Andrew Ridgeley responded to the news on behalf of himself and George Michael, who died on Christmas Day 2016. He said: “Last Christmas has finally ascended to the much-cherished and sought-after Official Christmas No 1, which was always the main goal.  George would be beside himself [that] after all of these years, [we’ve] finally obtained Christmas No 1. Yog [George] said that he wrote Last Christmas with the intention of writing a Christmas No 1. It’s mission accomplished!” 

According to the Official Charts Company: “Last Christmas was streamed a staggering 13.3 million times over the past seven days, according to Official Charts Company data – the most-streamed Christmas Number 1 ever during Christmas week. It’s now the UK’s third biggest song of all time with a combined lifetime total of 5.34m chart units, comprising 1.93m sales and nearly 413 million streams.”

The track also recently achieved 6x platinum in the UK and US and has now garnered more than 1.6 billion streams worldwide.

Ridgeley added: “I am delighted that Last Christmas has finally become a Christmas No.1. It is the ultimate accolade for the song George composed with just that goal in mind and with the aim of conceiving a Christmas classic. I’d like to thank the legions of WHAM! fans, old and new, who have supported us unceasingly in our ambition for a great many years, it is very much appreciated, and I am truly grateful.”

George Michael Entertainment said: “At what is an incredibly emotional time of year for his family and all of us associated with George we would like to thank everyone who helped make this particular dream come true – George adored Christmas and he would have truly loved having the Number 1 Christmas single with WHAM! – if only he were here to share it with us. Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year.”

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