History of the Christmas Charts

The official charts began in 1952, but the contest for having the Christmas number one began in 1973 when Slade and Wizzard both released festive songs, which Slade won with Merry Xmas Everybody and Wizzard’s, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday reaching number four in the charts.

Between 2002 and 2014, the top spot at Christmas was dominated by reality singing competitions: Popstars: The Rivals and The X Factor. This trend was interrupted in 2009 by a Facebook campaign to prevent Joe McElderry, X Factor winner, from reaching number one, where people were urged to download Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine.

More recently, non-traditional acts releasing novelty songs have been successful, most notably YouTubers LadBaby, who raised money for the Trussell Trust.

The Beatles are the only group to have had four number ones, Paul McCartney has been at the top of the charts eight times with various acts. Cliff Richard has spent four Christmases at number one; two as a solo act, one with The Shadows and one as part of Band Aid II. The Spice Girls have had three consecutive number one, with Melanie C having a fourth with The Justice Collective. YouTubers Ladbaby have had three consecutive number ones.

Bohemium Rhapsody has reached the top twice at Christmas and Mary’s Boy Child the only song to have reached number one by two different artists. Do They Know It’s Christmas has been Christmas number one for three generations of Band Aid.

1952Al MartinoHere In My Heart
1953Frankie LaineAnswer Me
1954Winifred AtwellLet’s Have Another Party
1955Dickie ValentineChristmas Alphabet
1956Johnnie RayJust Walkin’ In The Rain
1957Harry BelafonteMary’s Boy Child
1958Conway TwittyIt’s Only Make Believe
1959Emile Ford & The CheckmatesWhat Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For
1960Cliff Richard & The ShadowsI Love You
1961Danny WilliamsMoon River
1962Elvis PresleyReturn To Sender
1963The BeatlesI Want To Hold Your Hand
1964The BeatlesI Feel Fine
1965The Beatles Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
1966Tom JonesThe Green Grass Of Home
1967The BeatlesHello Goodbye
1968ScaffoldLily The Pink
1969Rolf HarrisTwo Little Boys
1970Dave EdmundsI Hear You Knockin’
1971Benny HillErnie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
1972Little Jimmy OsmondLong Haired Lover From Liverpool
1973SladeMerry Xmas Everybody
1974MudLonely This Christmas
1975QueenBohemian Rhapsody
1976Johnny MathisWhen A Child Is Born
1977WingsMull Of Kintyre / Girls’ School
1978Boney MMary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord
1979Pink FloydAnother Brick In The Wall
1980St Winifred’s School ChoirThere’s No One Quite Like Grandma
1981The Human LeagueDon’t You Want Me
1982Renee & RenatoSave Your Love
1983The Flying PicketsOnly You
1984Band AidDo They Know It’s Christmas?
1985Shakin’ StevensMerry Christmas Everyone
1986Jackie WilsonReet Petite
1987The Pet Shop BoysAlways On My Mind
1988Cliff Richard Mistletoe & Wine
1989Band Aid IIDo They Know It’s Christmas?
1990Cliff RichardSaviours’ Day
1991QueenBohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives
1992Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You
1993Mr BlobbyMr Blobby
1994East 17Stay Another Day
1995Michael JacksonEarth Song
1996Spice Girls2 Become 1
1997Spice Girls Too Much
1998Spice GirlsGoodbye
1999Westlife I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun
2000Bob The BuilderCan We Fix It?
2001Robbie Williams & Nicole KidmanSomethin’ Stupid
2002Girls AloudSound Of The Underground
2003Michael Andrews featuring Gary JulesMad World
2004Band Aid 20Do They Know It’s Christmas?
2005Shayne Ward That’s My Goal
2006Leona LewisA Moment Like This
2007Leon JacksonWhen You Believe
2008Alexandra BurkeHallelujah
2009Rage Against The Machine Killing In The Name
2010Matt CardleWhen We Collide
2011Military Wives with Gareth MaloneWherever You Are
2012The Justice Collective He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
2013Sam BaileySkyscraper
2014Ben HaenowSomething I Need
2015The Lewisham & Greenwich NHS ChoirA Bridge Over You
2016Clean BanditRockabye
2017Ed SheeranPerfect
2018LadbabyWe Built This City
2019LadbabyI Love Sausage Rolls
2020LadbabyDon’t Stop Me Eatin’

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