Ed Sheeran, Elton John’s ‘Merry Christmas’ Tops Billboard’s AC Chart – Billboard

Ed Sheeran and Elton John‘s “Merry Christmas” dashes to No. 1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart (dated Jan. 1, reflecting play in the Dec. 20-26 tracking week, according to MRC Data).

The coronation is historic for John, as he notches his record-extending 17th AC No. 1. The carol previously became his record-padding 41st top 10 and 75th entry overall on the tally.


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John extends his lead over the Carpenters, who logged 15 AC No. 1s in 1970-81. Next up: Barry Manilow (13), Celine Dion, Lionel Richie (11 each), Whitney Houston and Olivia Newton-John (10 each).

Here’s a recap of John’s 17 AC chart-toppers:

“Daniel,” two weeks at No. 1, beginning May 12, 1973
“Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” with Kiki Dee, one, Sept. 11, 1976
“Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word,” one, Dec. 18, 1976
“Mama Can’t Buy You Love,” one, Aug. 25, 1979
“Little Jeannie,” two, June 14, 1980
“Blue Eyes,” two, Sept. 11, 1982
“That’s What Friends Are For” (Dionne & Friends; Dionne Warwick, John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder), two, Jan. 11, 1986
“I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That,” one, Aug. 20, 1988
“Healing Hands,” one, Oct. 21, 1989
“You Gotta Love Someone,” five, Dec. 15, 1990
“Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” with George Michael, two, Feb. 8, 1992
“The One,” six, July 25, 1992
“Simple Life,” three, March 20, 1993
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” eight, July 9, 1994
“Believe,” two, May 20, 1995
“Something About the Way You Look Tonight,” 10, Nov. 22, 1997
“Merry Christmas,” with Ed Sheeran, one to-date, Jan. 1, 2022

John now claims the longest span of leading the AC chart: 48 years, seven months and three weeks, from “Daniel” to “Merry Christmas.” He passes Chicago, with a stretch of 25 years, 10 months and two weeks, from “Beginnings” in 1971 to “Here in My Heart” in 1997.

John also breaks the record for the longest break between AC No. 1s: 24 years, one month and two weeks. The Eagles previously held the mark, with a wait of a week shy of 20 years between “Best of My Love” in 1975 and “Love Will Keep Us Alive” in 1995.

“Merry Christmas” is the fifth AC No. 1 for John’s fellow British co-lead Sheeran, after “Thinking Out Loud,” which reigned for 19 weeks beginning in March 2015; “Shape of You” (24 weeks, May 2017); “Perfect” (22 weeks, February 2018); and “Bad Habits” (one week to-date, this December).

Further, “Merry Christmas” is the 27th holiday No. 1 on the AC chart since 2000, around the time that most stations in the format began playing seasonal songs 24/7 between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. It’s the second this season, as it dethrones Michael Bublé’s “Let It Snow! (10th Anniversary)” after three weeks at the summit.

Meanwhile, “Merry Christmas” already boasts a successful reworking: LadBaby’s charity single “Sausage Rolls for Everyone,” featuring Sheeran and John, is the piping hot new No. 1 on the Official UK Singles chart. It also opens at No. 1 on the U.S-based Holiday Digital Song Sales chart with 8,400 sold in the Dec. 17-23 tracking week.

All charts will update Wednesday (Dec. 29) on billboard.com.

Source: Billboard

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