Arts and Culture

Race for festive Number One: Who will be top of the Christmas tree?

This year’s yuletide best seller will be revealed on Christmas Eve.

But who will follow in the footsteps of Shakin’ Stevens, Slade, Cliff Richard or Mr. Blobby to clinch the coveted title?

 The current bookies’ favourites are Ed Sheeran and Elton John, who’ve teamed up to record ‘Merry Christmas’. Released this Friday, the song is 5/4 on Skybet, and is described by Sheeran as containing ‘a lot of sleigh bells’, with all proceeds going to his Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation.

 Neither Sheeran or John are strangers to releasing festive singles, with Sheeran’s chart-topping Perfect 2017, and Elton John’s Step into Christmas, which reached number eight in 1973.

Ed Sheeran could be eyeing up his second Christmas number one single. this time with Elton John.

Second in the running are novelty act Ladbaby, the Nottingham duo who are aiming for their fourth top spot in a row.

The pair had success releasing well-known cover tracks, altering their lyrics to include references to sausage rolls. William Hill has them down as 8/11.

Another artist who could well stay on to secure the title is Adele.  

Although Paddy Power only list her odds as 12/1, it isn’t implausible that she could stay at the top spot come Christmas itself, having notched up five weeks at the summit with Easy on Me.

The age of streaming has meant less variety for popular music, with catchy songs spending longer in the charts as listening rather than buying tracks is the dominant form.

In 2016, Clean Bandit Featuring Anne Marie was the first act to go to number one in November, only to remain on top for seven weeks straight.

This was the first since 2003 that the Christmas number one wasn’t a charity or X-Factor winner.

There are also many popular outsiders releasing Christmas singles, such as ABBA, George Ezra and Gary Barlow featuring Sheridan Smith. But with 20 shopping (or streaming) days still to go, the race to see who will be giving us a glistening performance on Top of the Pops come Christmas Day is still wide open.

The Beatles hold the record for the most Christmas number ones, with four during the 1960’s. The Spice Girls achieving three in a row during the 1990’s. Charity band Band Aid, comprising multiple artists, has the highest selling Christmas single and has topped the charts three times; in 1984, 1989 and 2004.

The Christmas number one will first be revealed on December 24th on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show.

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