Metro Weekly

In America, Christmas Means Mariah. In The U.K., It Means George Michael

Wham!'s 'Last Christmas' rules the singles chart in the United Kingdom, returning to the throne once again.

Wham! Last Christmas
Wham! Last Christmas

A legendary smash single, created by one of the most successful gay musicians of all time, is back on top in one of the largest music markets in the world. This week, Wham!’s “Last Christmas” rules the singles chart in the United Kingdom, returning to the throne once again.

For a little while, it looked like the song might not have a chance to rule this year, as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” sat comfortably at No. 1 last week. This time around, Wham! took over, pushing the singer-songwriter down to second place.

This week is only the second ever in which “Last Christmas” has owned the U.K. singles chart. The upbeat-but-sad seasonal cut first reached the summit in very early 2021 as something of a holdover from the holiday season. Altogether, it has now spent 24 weeks inside the top 10 across half a dozen different years.

While “Last Christmas” was initially released in 1984, it didn’t make it to the main singles chart in the U.K. until the year 2007.

It would take another decade before it finally broke into the top 10, and it has returned to that region every year since. “Last Christmas” once held the record for the bestselling song in U.K. history to never make it to No 1, but of course it lost that bit of history when it finally climbed as high as a track can last year. That honor is now held by Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God).”

While “Last Christmas” may be running the show in the U.K., where Wham! got its start, the tune has never risen to No. 1 in the U.S. The holiday season is very much in full swing in America, as Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is back atop the Hot 100.

A few spaces further down, sitting at No. 9, is “Last Christmas,” which just made its way back into the top 10 yet again. It once peaked at No. 7, but it’s usually held back from climbing higher by even more popular seasonal smashes.

While “Last Christmas” is attributed to the duo Wham! – comprised of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley – Michael is the sole credited writer and producer of the song.

Wham! was together from 1981 until 1986, at which point the two men went their separate ways, and Michael enjoyed a massive solo career. Sadly, he never got to see his holiday hit make it to No. 1 in his home country, as he passed away on Christmas Day in 2016 at the age of 53.

Interestingly, “Last Christmas” seems to be in no way hindered by the fact that it was written and composed by a man who later publicly identified as gay. In fact, the song only reached its zenith after he came out, and it continues to remain a staple of the season, despite his sexual orientation and his later sexually-charged output.

It seems that there really is room for everyone around this time of year, no matter what some overzealous religious fanatics may claim.

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