What is the most streamed Christmas number one of all time?
2 months ago
A top 40 list for BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds has been created with the most streamed Christmas number ones since its records began.
Ed Sheeran’s hit song Perfect has been named the most streamed UK Christmas number one of all time, according to the Official Charts Company.
The romantic ballad, which landed the top spot during the 2017 festive period, fended off competition from global superstars including Queen and Whitney Houston to claim the title.
To usher in the holiday season, the Official Charts Company created a top 40 list for BBC Radio 2 and BBC Sounds of the most streamed Christmas number ones since it began recording in 1952.
Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody followed behind in second and is the only song to get the Christmas number one twice, once when it was first released in 1975 and again in 1991 following the death of the rock band’s frontman Freddie Mercury.
Rockabye by Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie, which claimed the top spot in 2016, comes in third.
Despite the top three having nothing to do with Christmas, the next few most streamed songs are firmly festive classics, with Shakin’ Stevens hailing the seasonal spirit on the list as Merry Christmas Everyone comes in at number four.
Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? and Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody continue to bring seasonal joy by taking fifth and sixth spot respectively.
The list returns to non-festive tracks as number seven goes to Don’t You Want Me? by The Human League and late US star Houston’s I Will Always Love You comes in at number eight.
Rage Against The Machine’s Killing In The Name, which landed the Christmas number one in 2009 following a campaign protesting against The X Factor’s dominance over the spot each year, comes in ninth.
Meanwhile, Boney M.’s Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord rounds off the top 10 by taking 10th place.
The Official Charts Company has calculated the top 40 songs have a combined streaming total of more than 2.25 billion audio plays, although only six of the 40 actually mention Christmas in the lyrics.
Nothing from the first 10 years of the Official Charts, between 1952 and 1961, made the list, likely due to services such as Spotify and Apple Music becoming popular in the last 15 years.
The top 40 will be presented by Steve Wright during a Christmas Day broadcast on BBC Radio 2 but the show will also be available on BBC Sounds from December 1, when the network starts playing festive music.
Breakfast Show host Zoe Ball will officially start the Christmas tunes for Radio 2 during her show on December 1.
Wright said: “Who would have thought we’d be crowning Ed Sheeran’s Perfect as the Most Streamed Christmas Number 1 of all time?
“It’s a brilliant song, but I was sure Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody would take the title. I would never have guessed that Perfect has been streamed almost twice as many times as Freddie and the boys’ classic 1975 hit!
“And I didn’t expect Shakin’ Stevens would be ahead of Band Aid either. It just goes to show how fascinating it is to delve into a list like this.
“Listen on BBC Sounds now or tune into the show on Radio 2 this Christmas Day. It’s the ultimate chart to mark the holiday season!”
Martin Talbot, Official Charts chief executive, added: “We are delighted to have partnered with Radio 2 to create what will be the ultimate showcase of the nation’s favourite Official Christmas number ones – even if some of them are not particularly Christmassy!
“Lists like this are a fascinating reminder that the great British public know what they like, even if their choices are not always the most predictable.”