Monday, December 10, 2018

Wham!'s "Last Christmas" hits top 40 on Hot 100 for 1st time


Wham!'s "Last Christmas," first released in 1984, reaches the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time, rising from No. 43 to No. 34 (on the chart dated Dec. 15).
The song, written and produced by the duo's George Michael, marks its new milestone with 22.3 million in all-format radio audience, 14.4 million U.S. streams and 6,000 downloads sold in the tracking week, according to Nielsen Music. On the Holiday 100 chart, which ranks holiday songs of all eras, "Last Christmas" places at No. 7.
Wham!'s classic carol appeared on the Hot 100 for the first time two years ago, reaching a prior No. 41 high. As for why it didn't chart on the Hot 100 upon its original release, it was not then available as a commercial single in the U.S., and, per chart rules at the time, was ineligible for the Hot 100 (although it was released elsewhere in the world and charted in other countries). In the digital era, the track was made available for purchase as a download and via streaming platforms. (It was finally released as a physical single in the U.S. on the Black Friday edition of Record Store Day in 2014 as a 12-inch vinyl single (in red and green) in honor of its 30th anniversary.)
More chart fine print: Even if "Last Christmas" had been a commercially-available single in the U.S. when it was first released, it likely wouldn't have hit the Hot 100. As chart historian Joel Whitburn notes in his book Christmas in the Charts, "From 1963 through 1972, and from 1983 through 1985 [with minimal exceptions], Billboard published a seasonal Christmas Singles chart and did not chart Christmas singles on the Hot 100."
Per current Hot 100 rules (in place in recent years), older songs can rank in the top 50 if experiencing significant multi-metric resurgences, and multiple venerable holiday songs re-enter or debut each season. 

Source: Billboard


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