Wham!'s Last Christmas finally tops UK chart, 39 years after its release

For decades, the song was known as the best-selling single to have never reached No 1

R18JP7 Last Christmas - WHAM 7inch single on a wooden background produced in 1984 George Michael
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Wham!'s inescapable festive hit Last Christmas has been named the UK’s Christmas No 1 for the first time since it was released 39 years ago.

The song, written and performed by the late George Michael, has topped charts before, but never on Christmas Day. First released in December 1984, it was famously beaten to the top spot by Band Aid's charity single Do They Know It's Christmas?.

"An award that’s been 39 years in the making. Merry Christmas to Wham! and every fan that’s helped make Last Christmas the UK’s Christmas Number 1 2023," the Official Charts Company posted on social media.

With the feat, the song has now made history as the longest-ever journey to make it to the top spot on Christmas Day.

"Last Christmas has finally ascended to the much-cherished and sought-after Official Christmas number one, which was always the main goal," said instrumentalist Andrew Ridgeley, who co-founded Wham! with Michael.

"George would be beside himself that after all of these years we've finally obtained Christmas number one. Yog [Michael] said that he wrote Last Christmas with the intention of writing a Christmas number one. It's mission accomplished."

Michael, who had an extensive solo career with singles including Careless Whisper, died on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

Official Charts Company said Last Christmas is now the UK's third biggest song of all time, with a combined lifetime total of 5.34 million chart units. It was streamed 13.3 million times this week, and was helped to the top spot by special vinyl and CD editions.

Singer Sam Ryder, who placed second at the 2022 Eurovision competition, landed the second spot on the Christmas singles chart with his new song You're Christmas To Me. Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You is at number three.

For several decades, Last Christmas was known as the UK's best-selling single to have never reached number one, until January 2021 when it finally landed the top spot.

Wham! released their debut album, Fantastic, in 1983 which peaked at number one, before their second album Make It Big a year later also reached the top spot.

Between 1984 and 1986, the duo has many hits including I'm Your Man, Freedom and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. Wham! decided to split after the release of their chart-topping single The Edge Of Heaven in 1986, with Michael going on to establish a massive solo career.

– Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: December 24, 2023, 6:45 AM