Home MusicCharticles Wham! Breaks Record: “Last Christmas” Claims UK Official Christmas Number 1 After 39 Years

Wham! Breaks Record: “Last Christmas” Claims UK Official Christmas Number 1 After 39 Years

by Jonathan Currinn
12 minutes read Send a Virtual Coffee ☕

In a historic triumph, Wham! has achieved the UK’s Official Christmas Number 1 spot, with their timeless classic “Last Christmas”. This monumental achievement comes after an astounding 39 years since its original release, marking a victory for the ’80s pop duo and their devoted fanbase. On top of that, this week marks their third consecutive week at the top spot.

Composed and brought to life by the late George Michael, “Last Christmas” was initially poised to dominate the charts as the ultimate Christmas Number 1 in 1984. Yet, its ascent was halted by the unstoppable force of Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” – a track that has secured its place as one of the best-selling singles of all time. Over the passing decades, Wham! and their loyal fanbase launched an unwavering campaign across the country, steadfast in their mission to redefine history. Their relentless dedication and unwavering support have finally yielded a well-deserved victory.

Andrew Ridgeley, speaking to the Official Charts Company, expressed the significance of this achievement: “’Last Christmas’ has finally ascended to the much-cherished and sought-after Official Christmas Number 1, which was always the main goal. George would be beside himself [that] after all of these years, [we’ve] finally obtained Christmas Number 1. Yog [George] said that he wrote ‘Last Christmas’ with the intention of writing a Christmas Number 1. It’s mission accomplished!”

During the past week alone, the infectious holiday anthem saw an incredible surge in streams, amassing a staggering 13.3 million plays. This remarkable milestone catapulted “Last Christmas” into the musical history books, securing its place as the UK’s third-biggest song of all time (or the UK’s fifth-biggest song of all time – the Official Charts Company doesn’t quite make this clear in their article, giving conflicting announcements).

Its cumulative impact spans a remarkable 5.34 million chart units, a testament to its enduring popularity. With an impressive tally of 1.93 million sales and an astonishing nearly 4,13 million streams (according to Official Chart Company data), the song has entrenched itself in the hearts and playlists of audiences across the nation, solidifying its position among the most revered musical pieces in British history.

Official single cover artwork for the UK Christmas Number 1 2023 "Last Christmas" which is a black and white photo of the Wham! duo posing at the camera.

This year witnessed an intense chart battle, with Wham! facing off against strong contenders like Sam Ryder, Mariah Carey, The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, and more. Despite proudly holding the title of the UK’s best-selling single never to reach Number 1 for several decades, Wham! finally sealed their lifelong chart goal.

Ridgeley continues to talk exclusively to the Official Charts Company about not getting to the top spot in 1984, “It was a huge disappointment to us both when it didn’t reach Number 1 because, in our opinion, it was nailed-on. Had it not been for Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’, it probably would’ve been Number 1. 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.”

Ridgeley goes on to acknowledge the monumental impact on Wham!’s legacy and their dedicated fanbase talking to the Official Charts Company, “Christmas Number 1 has been a long-held ambition for Yog and I, and for the fans, too. It’ll mean a lot to Wham!’s legacy – it’s the crowning glory. ‘Last Christmas’ was conceived as a Christmas Number 1. Lofty ambitions, but Yog set lofty ambitions for himself as a songwriter. Our fans will have a real sense of achievement and pride in the fact it’s become Christmas Number 1.”

The second position in this fierce chart race was claimed by independent artist Sam Ryder, with his Amazon Music Original single “You’re Christmas To Me”. He went on to express his joy at landing Christmas Number 2 to the Official Charts Company: “Christmas Number 2, isn’t that bonkers? 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! I hope this has given some vigour and some fire to upcoming grass roots and indie artists. You can do it – you’ve just got to set your heart ablaze and get out there. Believe, have faith. We always keep fighting. There’s always next week! Let’s go for it again, let’s get that Number 1.”

Sticking around in the Number 3 position is Mariah Carey’s festive classic that we all love, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” which is followed by Noah Kahan’s “Stick Season” – which is one of two non-Christmas songs in the Top 10 this week so could we see it bound on up to the top spot in the New Year? As that tends to be the trend every year.

Ed Sheeran & Elton John climbed up one place to Number 5 this year with their infectious track “Merry Christmas”, unfortunately knocking The Pogues down to Number 6 with their song “Fairytale of New York” which featured Kirsty MacColl. There was a huge campaign this year to get the iconic Irish Christmas classic to Number 1 after the sad passing of frontman Shane MacGowan to pneumonia on November 30, 2023.

While it may not have skyrocketed to the top spot, and is probably the most-loved Christmas song to never reach the top spot – after both Mariah Carey and Wham! managed to do just that in recent years – it did manage to hit Number 1 in Ireland managing to reclaim the top spot 36 years since it first reached the top. It may not manage to clinch the UK Christmas Number 1, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of a shot from reaching the top spot, as Christmas songs will inevitably continue to be downloaded and streamed this week, and if previous years are anything to go by, it’s likely this festive classic might climb to the top.

Elsewhere on the Top 100, Dean Martin’s “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” manages to claim its highest peak, hitting Number 16, Jorja Smith’s cover version of East 17’s “Stay Another Day” climbs two places to Number 18, and Cher comes flying in at Number 20 with her awesome Christmas song “DJ Play a Christmas Song” marking her first entry in the UK Top 20 Singles Chart in over 22 years with her last entry being “The Music’s No Good Without You”.

She also goes on to break records with this Christmas hit, becoming the first female artist to achieve a Top 40 hit with new material on the Official Singles Chart across seven consecutive decades according to the Official Charts Company. As well as that, she has also become the oldest solo female artist to chart within the UK Top 40 Singles Chart with new material at 77 years and 7 months old.

Further down the chart and who were battling for Number 1 is the TikTok influencers who come under the group name Creator Universe with their cover of Wizzard’s “I Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday”, which went on to become Number 1 on the Official Singles Sales Chart. The collective consists of OSHU, Phil Carr, Alex Dodman, Yorkshire Peach, Liam Dixon, John Reynolds, Jess and Norma, Amy-Jo Simpson, Pia Blossom, Clara Batten, Joshua Morris, Rossi D Woods, The Famileigh, Ann Russell, Aman Sanghera, Lee Chapman, Richard Franks, Lawrence Choto, Tommy Moore, Alfie D Sajir, Lucy Edwards, Gavin Wren, Lafay Williams, Rob Colfer, Anttix, The Nursery Nurse, Shaaba, Jammidodger & Rosie McClelland.

Also making her Top 40 debut is Icelandic singer-songwriter Laufey with her cover version of Christmas classic “Winter Wonderland”. While many other songs make new peaks on the UK Official Singles Chart, it’s the Christmas songs that are notable, with Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby” claiming a new peak of 55, Mariah Carey’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” re-entering the chart and claiming a new peak of Number 80, and John Williams’ 1990 version of “Carol of the Bells” – which was recorded for the iconic Christmas film Home Alone – also re-enters the chart with a new peak of Number 91.

The ascent of “Last Christmas” to the top spot after 39 years is a testament to the enduring power of music and the unwavering support of fans. Wham! has not just claimed a chart position; they’ve etched their legacy deeper into the fabric of Christmas traditions.

Follow Wham! on social media here:

Share this article and tag us @GoodStarVibes to let us know what you make of Wham! finally claiming the UK Official Christmas Number 1 with “Last Christmas”.

Virtual Coffee

Buy the Good Star Vibes team a virtual coffee.

You may also like

Adblock Detected

Please support us by disabling your AdBlocker extension from your browsers for our website.