Wham!‘s ‘Last Christmas’ has reached Number One in the UK for the very first time, 36 years after it was first released.
Climbing from Three to One, the Christmas favourite by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley racked up 9.2 million streams over the past week, reaching the top of the chart in the same week as the fourth anniversary of George Michael’s death.
‘Last Christmas’ spent five weeks at Number Two when it was first released in 1984 – kept off the Number One spot by Band Aid’s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’.
Since 2007, shortly after downloads were introduced to the UK singles chart, ‘Last Christmas’ has re-entered the Top 40 on a further 13 occasions, reaching Number Two again in 2018.
It’s followed in this week’s chart by two other vintage Christmas classics, with Mariah Carey‘s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ at Number Two and The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl‘s ‘Fairytale Of New York’ at Number Five.
Taking to Twitter to respond to the news, Andrew Ridgeley wrote: “I am delighted, somewhat amazed & profoundly pleased that WHAM!’s iconic Christmas classic Last Christmas has finally achieved the accolade of becoming a No 1.
“It’s a fitting tribute 2 George’s songwriting genius and 1 of which he would’ve been immensely proud & utterly thrilled.”
In addition to reaching the top spot, the festive track has sets a new record for the longest time taken to for a single to reach Number One, at 36 years, overtaking Tony Christie’s ‘(Is This The Way To) Amarillo’, which took 33 years and four months to claim the top spot in March, 2005.
Until this week ‘Last Christmas’ was the UK’s best-selling single to never reach Number One, accumulating 1.9 million pure sales to date across its lifetime. That title has now handed over to Maroon 5’s ‘Moves Like Jagger’ (1.55 million pure sales), a Number Two hit in 2011.
The track was streamed 10.8 million times in the week leading up to the chart reveal, also breaking the record for the most streams in a week for any song in 2020.
Meanwhile, a County Durham road sign has gained a new addition in the form of a tribute to Wham! and the duo’s single ‘Last Christmas’.