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Wham!’s Last Christmas crowned Christmas number one

todayDecember 22, 2023 1

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Wham!’s Last Christmas crowned Christmas number one

Wham! has been declared the UK’s official Christmas number one with Last Christmas – 39 years after first being denied the festive top spot.

George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s festive classic beat hits from Eurovision star Sam Ryder, Mariah Carey, and The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

Ryder’s You’re Christmas To Me secured second place, followed by Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You.

Stick Season by Noah Kahan came fourth and Merry Christmas by Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John came fifth.

Written and produced by the late Michael, Last Christmas was beaten to the crown in 1984 by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?

The 80s pop duo’s hit has now set the record for the longest-ever journey to UK Christmas number one, according to the Official Charts Company.

“It is a big moment, and it is a big moment for me and everyone involved with Wham! and George Michael,” Ridgeley told BBC Radio 1.

“He (Michael) wrote it with number one in mind, that was the goal. He happened to write what distills the essence of Christmas in audio form.

“It is an extraordinary achievement. It makes it all the more wonderful to experience.”

When asked what it takes to write a Christmas number one, Ridgeley said: “That’s the magic, it is very difficult to identify quite what it is that makes a number one that has that breadth of appeal.

“What Yog (Michael) did with this track was distilled what Christmas represents in many people’s minds.”

Sam Ryder

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Sam Ryder

In this Dec. 3, 2014 file photo, Mariah Carey performs at the 82nd Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony in New York. Caesars Palace announced Thursday, Jan. 15, 2015, that the pop icon would launch a residency May 16 at The Colosseum in Las Vegas. Carey has announced 18 performances so far. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

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Mariah Carey in 2014

‘Huge disappointment’ to miss out in 1984

Ridgeley said it was a “huge disappointment” for the pair not to reach the top spot in 1984 as they believed it was “nailed on”.

“Had it not been for Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, it probably would’ve been number one,” the 60-year-old said.

“Thwarted for many years subsequent to that – the perennial bridesmaid – over recent years it seems it’s become part of the fabric of Christmas for a lot of people.

“Christmas number one has been a long-held ambition for Yog (Michael) and I, and for the fans, too. It’ll mean a lot to Wham!’s legacy – it’s the crowning glory.”

Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! Pic: Official Charts

Image:
Andrew Ridgeley of Wham! Pic: Official Charts

‘Fans will have a real sense of achievement’

Ridgeley said the song was “conceived as a Christmas number one” as Michael had “lofty ambitions for himself as a songwriter”, before the band split in 1986.

“Our fans will have a real sense of achievement and pride in the fact it’s become Christmas number one,” Ridgeley added.

Michael died on Christmas Day in 2016, aged 53.

Last Christmas is now the UK’s third biggest song of all time, with a combined lifetime total of 5.34 million chart units, the Official Charts Company said.

It was streamed 13.3 million times over the last seven days, making it the most-streamed Christmas number one ever during Christmas week.

Written by: Newsroom

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