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Wham!'s "Last Christmas" Takes the Crown

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Wham!'s iconic song "Last Christmas" has finally attained the ultimate festive accolade, securing the number one spot on the UK charts, 39 years after its original release. The Christmas classic, written and produced by the late George Michael, triumphed over stiff competition from Sam Ryder, Mariah Carey, and The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl to claim the coveted title. This achievement is a significant moment for Wham! and a fitting tribute to George Michael's songwriting legacy.

A Long Road to the Top Spot

The path to Christmas number one for "Last Christmas" has been a long and winding one. In 1984, the song missed the top spot, overshadowed by Band Aid's charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" While it has seen success in various chart positions, it had never reached number one during the Christmas week itself. In 2021, it topped the charts on New Year's Day, and in 2022, it once again ascended to the top in December. However, this year's achievement is especially significant as the song has reached number one during the Christmas week for the first time.

A Testament to Enduring Appeal

Andrew Ridgeley, the other member of Wham!, shared his elation and pride at the song's success. He disclosed that George Michael had always intended for "Last Christmas" to be a Christmas number one and believed that any great songwriter should be able to compose a Christmas hit. Ridgeley hailed the achievement as a fantastic one and a testament to the enduring appeal of the song. He also acknowledged the disappointment they felt in 1984 when they narrowly missed out on the top spot.

A Timeless Christmas Classic

"Last Christmas" holds a special place in the hearts of fans and has become an integral part of Christmas celebrations for many. Its catchy melody, heartfelt lyrics, and nostalgic vibes have made it a timeless classic. The song's enduring popularity is evident in its streaming numbers, with UK fans streaming it a record-breaking 13.3 million times during Christmas week.

The Battle for Christmas Number One

The competition for the Christmas number one spot has been intense in recent years, with charity campaigners LadBaby dominating the charts with their food-based fundraising singles. However, they chose not to enter the race this year, opening up the field for other contenders. In total, 33 of this week's top 40 songs were Christmas-themed, underscoring the enduring popularity of festive music.

The Challengers

Sam Ryder, an emerging talent in the music industry, came close to dethroning Wham! with his song "You're Christmas To Me." Ryder's song received a significant boost from retail giant Amazon, which featured it prominently on their Christmas playlists. Despite his best efforts and a massive publicity push, Ryder had to settle for the runner-up position. However, he expressed his excitement and gratitude for reaching number two and hoped that his achievement would inspire other independent and grassroots artists. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl also made a strong bid for the top spot with their timeless hit "Fairytale of New York." The song, reissued on vinyl to commemorate the recent loss of frontman Shane MacGowan, garnered healthy sales but ended up in sixth place. Cher also had reason to celebrate as her Christmas single, "DJ Play A Christmas Song," helped her set an all-time chart record. At 77 years old, she became the first female artist to achieve a Top 40 hit with new material in seven separate decades.

Rolling Stones Rule the Album Chart

In addition to the Christmas singles chart, the Rolling Stones claimed the number one spot on the album chart with their album "Hackney Diamonds." The reissued album, featuring a bonus disc of live tracks, became the Stones' first Christmas chart-topper in the week that guitarist Keith Richards turned 80. In summary, the race for the Christmas number one spot was fiercely contested, with a mixture of classic favourites and new contenders vying for the top position. Wham!'s ultimate triumph with "Last Christmas" is a testament to the enduring appeal of the song and the timeless magic of Christmas music. As the song continues to captivate audiences year after year, it solidifies its place as one of the greatest Christmas hits of all time.
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