Wham! Tops UK Christmas Chart with "Last Christmas" After 39 Years

Wham! Tops UK Christmas Chart with "Last Christmas" After 39 Years

A longtime ambition of the late George Michael and his bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley.

Written 10th June 2024 | Subscribe to our Christmas newsletter

In a heartwarming twist of holiday fate, Wham!'s classic hit "Last Christmas" has finally clinched the 2023 Christmas number one spot in the UK, a staggering 39 years after its original release.

This marks the longest journey to the top of the festive charts, setting a new record and fulfilling the longtime ambition of the late George Michael and his bandmate, Andrew Ridgeley.

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The 2023 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

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A Long-Awaited Victory

Originally released in 1984, "Last Christmas" was intended to be a chart-topping hit, but it was famously kept from the number one spot by Band Aid's charity single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Despite its initial setback, the song became a perennial holiday favorite, deeply ingrained in the fabric of Christmas music.

"This is the crowning glory for 'Last Christmas'," said Ridgeley. "George would be beside himself with joy knowing that after all these years, we've finally achieved the Christmas number one. It's a significant win for both Wham! and our loyal fans who've campaigned tirelessly for this moment"​ 

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A Record-Breaking Journey

"Last Christmas" reaching the top spot is not just a sentimental victory but also a historical one. The song was streamed 13.3 million times over the past week, making it the most-streamed Christmas number one ever. This achievement underscores its enduring popularity and the dedication of its fanbase​ (ITVX)​.

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2023 Competition for Number 1 spot

This year's race to the Christmas number one was fiercely contested. Eurovision star Sam Ryder's "You’re Christmas to Me" secured second place, following an intense promotional campaign involving 26 performances in just six days. Other strong contenders included Mariah Carey's timeless "All I Want for Christmas Is You" and The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York," which saw renewed interest following the recent death of frontman Shane MacGowan​.

For the past five years, LadBaby dominated the Christmas charts with their charity singles, but their absence this year opened the field for other artists to compete for the top spot​.


A Legacy Secured

With this achievement, "Last Christmas" has cemented its place not just as a beloved holiday classic but also as a significant part of music history. Fans and music lovers alike can celebrate this moment, knowing that George Michael's and Andrew Ridgeley's festive masterpiece has finally received the recognition it always deserved.

As Ridgeley aptly put it, "Christmas number one has been a long-held ambition. It’s the crowning glory for ‘Last Christmas’ and a true testament to its timeless appeal"​

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