Wham!’s Last Christmas has been crowned this year’s Christmas number one, 39 years after it was first released.

The festive classic beat Sam Ryder to the top spot after one of the most open races in years. Mariah Carey was third, with Noah Kahn’s Stick Season fourth.

It’s the first time George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley’s song has been number one in Christmas week.

“It’s marvellous and humbling to have got there,” Ridgeley told the BBC. “Top of the pile is a great place to be.”

He added that Michael, who died in 2016, had always wanted the song to be a Christmas number one.

“He felt any great songwriter should be able to write a Christmas hit to order. Unfortunately, it’s taken too long for George – but he’d be absolutely over the moon.

First released in 1984, Last Christmas was originally held off the top spot by Band Aid’s charity single Do They Know It’s Christmas?

But this week, UK fans streamed the song 13.3 million times, making it the most-played song ever during Christmas week.

The Christmas chart top five

  1. Wham! – Last Christmas
  2. Sam Ryder – You’re Christmas To Me
  3. Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
  4. Noah Kahan – Stick Season
  5. Ed Sheeran and Elton John – Merry Christmas

For the last five years, charity campaigners LadBaby obtained the Christmas number one with their food-based fundraising singles.

They finally dropped out of the race this year, meaning the title was up for grabs.

In total, 33 of this week’s Top 40 songs were Christmas-themed, including tracks like Ariana Grande’s Santa Tell Me and Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree.

George Michael’s ‘jaw-dropping’ inspiration

Wham on the single cover for Last Christmas
Image caption,The song was written while George Michael (right) watched a football match

Last Christmas was written by George Michael in his childhood bedroom in February 1984, “and as far as I was concerned it was a number one”, he told Smash Hits in 1986.

Inspiration struck out of the blue, while the singer was hanging out at his parents’ house in Hertfordshire.

“There was a footy match on the telly and he suddenly jumped up and disappeared upstairs where he had a little four-track studio,” Ridgeley told BBC News.

“About an hour later, he came back and said, ‘Andy Andy, you’ve got to listen to this’. I rarely saw him as excited or as animated as that.

“And as soon as I heard it, it was so apparent that it had all the hallmarks of a Christmas classic. It was a jaw-dropping moment.”

The song was subsequently recorded in the middle of August at London’s Advision Studios, which Michael plastered in Christmas decorations to set the mood.

When the duo played it to their families, “it claimed its first victim”, Ridgeley told RTÉ in 1984.

“One of my mother’s friends had a romance at Christmas, which is what the song is about. She got jilted and when she heard it, she burst into tears.”

The cheesy-but-cheerful video was shot later that year in Switzerland, featuring Wham!’s backing singers Pepsi & Shirlie and model Kathy Hill.

Alongside its famous chunky knitwear, and central role for a silver brooch, the video also marked the final time Michael would be seen without his trademark designer stubble.

The singer jetted back from the film shoot to record his vocals for Do They Know It’s Christmas – which would eventually hold Wham!’s song off the top spot.

But Last Christmas is now the UK’s third-biggest song of all time, with a lifetime total of 5.34 million chart units – a measure that combines streams and sales.

Where was Fairytale of New York?

Shane MacGowan and Kirsty MacColl
Image caption,Fairytale of New York has held every position in the Top 20, except for number one

Sam Ryder was Wham!’s closest competition this year, with a brand new entry to the Christmas canon – You’re Christmas To Me.

Commissioned for the soundtrack to the Amazon film Your Christmas Or Mine 2, it received a significant chart boost from the retail giant, which gave it a prominent place on their Christmas playlists,.

That meant everyone who muttered, “Alexa, play Christmas songs” got a dose of Sam Ryder – and each of those streams counted towards the chart.

Despite a massive publicity push, with Ryder travelling up and down the country in a “Sam-ta Grotto bus”, it couldn’t quite overcome Wham!’s dominance.

The star’s excitement was undimmed.

“Christmas number two, isn’t that bonkers?” he said in a statement.

“When we wrote this song, in the blazing month of August, we didn’t even expect it to chart. But here we are, in a Mariah Carey and Wham! sandwich, and we’re the filling. I’m stoked!”

The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl also made a big push for number one with Fairytale of New York, which was reissued on vinyl to mark the death of frontman Shane MacGowan.

However, despite healthy sales, it ended up in sixth place.

Meanwhile, Cher’s Christmas single, DJ Play A Christmas Song, helped her set an all-time chart record.

The 77-year-old becomes the first female artist to achieve a Top 40 hit with new material in seven separate decades.

She also replaces Shirley Bassey as the oldest solo female performer to secure a place on the chart.

The number one album was the https://beritaberitaterbaru.com Rolling Stones’ Hackney Diamonds, which returned to the top of the countdown after being re-issued with a bonus disc of live tracks.

It became the Stones’ first Christmas chart-topper in the week that guitarist Keith Richards turned 80.

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