The Christmas Number 1 has become a national institution ever since the first festive chart-topper was announced in 1952. Al Martino claimed the coveted spot that year with ‘Here In My Heart’.
Over the years we’ve enjoyed a whole host of fantastic Christmas tunes. From Fairy Tale Of New York to Do They Know It’s Christmas and even from Rage Against The Machine.
A growing Xmas tradition is taking a small punt on who you think will top the charts on Christmas Day. UK bookmakers are now taking bets on who will win Christmas Number 1 spot for 2023.
Betfred is leading the way with a full market of Christmas crooners aiming for the top spot!
Below we take a look at the contenders for 2023 and the historical winners of the race to top the charts on the 25th.
Christmas Number 1 Odds 2023
Of course, these are subject to change as different artists release charity songs and Christmas specials on the run-up to the big day.
So keep coming back if you think your favourite will make it to the number 1 spot!
(Betfred December 4th 2023)
|EMF ft Stephen Fry
If you’re looking to put a wager on this year’s Christmas No.1, go to Betfred using the link below.
Once you’ve signed up, click on ‘All Sports’ in the main menu and navigate through ‘Specials’ then ‘Novelty’ and to ‘Christmas Specials 2023’.
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2023 Christmas Number One Contenders
As you can imagine, as we get closer to Christmas Day the pressure to get the number one increases a lot.
That said, there are a few big hitters in the music world that released singles and albums in November, any of which could be the elusive number one song.
Or will a classic outdo them all?
The Pogues – Fairytale of New York
It was the absolute saddest of news when it was announced that Shane McGowan, lead singer of The Pogues, and all round writing genius, died on November 30th 2023.
In what will come as a surprise to many, Fairytale of New York has never actually reached the Number 1 spot at Christmas.
But with the odds now slashed, it looks like posthumously, it will finally make it to the top of the charts.
It would be a fitting tribute to the singer songwriter, on what would also be his birthday, as he was born on Christmas Day.
Can he make it SIX in a row?? The unstoppable YouTube star has already written himself into the history books but can he knock out another hit single?
The answer is a resounding NO!
Sorry to tell fans, but LadBaby will NOT be releasing a song in 2023.
Speaking to The Metro, he said: “After five amazing years we’ve decided to pass the baton over to the Great British public and we’re not going for Christmas number one this year.”
The iconic Sia has started the ball rolling with her aptly titled Gimme Christmas album.
However, despite having a raft of legendary pop songs under her belt, she has only ever had ONE number one single.
That was Titanium with David Guetta back in August 2011. Can she pick up her second number one for Christmas 2023?
Taylor Swift is now officially a billionaire after the success of her worldwide Eras Tour in 2023.
Given that Swifties are so passionate about the singer, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her top the charts on December 25th.
With a staggering 11 Number One albums in the UK and 1989 (Taylor’s Version) due out on November 9th, expect the superstar to top the charts again.
While he doesn’t necessarily have a new album or song due out, Sheeran does tend to collaborate on a Christmas charity song and 2023 should be no different.
In 2021 he not only put out Merry Christmas with Elton John but also a version of Sausage Rolls for Everyone with LadBaby AND Elton John.
Both hit the number 1 spot, but not in the week that counted! Can he do better in 2023?
LadBaby Takes Top Spot In 2022
In 2022, LadBaby was favourite from an early stage to get the top spot, largely because he had been number one in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Previous classics from Wham, Bing Cosby and George Michael re-entered the charts and were all priced as 33/1 outsiders.
The honours did indeed go to the social media sensation LadBaby. Food Aid debuted at #1 on the charts, marking LadBaby’s fifth consecutive Christmas No. 1.
It also meant that LadBaby now holds the record as the act with the most Christmas number ones with five, surpassing the Beatles’ previous record in 2022.
But The Beatles have just released a new single so could they pip him to the post for the Christmas Number 1 in 2023?
The Best Christmas Tunes
Back in 2017, presenter Richard Osman hosted a ‘World Cup of Christmas Songs’ event on his Twitter profile. After days of voting, Fairytale of New York from The Pogues and Kirsty McColl came out on top against the classic Last Christmas from Wham!
A playlist on Spotify celebrates the ‘100 Greatest Christmas Songs Ever’. It features the usual classics from the likes of Michael Bublé, Chris Rea and Shakin’ Stevens.
In 2023, All I Want for Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey was announced as being the most streamed Christmas song on the platform.
To date (and this number will increase), the song has been streamed 1,485,240,606 times – that’s BILLION by the way!
Past Christmas Number One Songs
The irrepressible LadBaby was back for his fifth consecutive Christmas number 1 in 2022.
The Food Aid video featured Martin Lewis and other special guests with 100% of profits from every download of the recording going towards the fight against food hunger.
LadBaby – Sausage Rolls For Everyone
Deviating from the parody songs, in 2021 LadBaby instead released a new Christmas single featuring Elton John and Ed Sheeran. The song Sausage Rolls For Everyone is based on a 2021 number one, “Merry Christmas” which topped the charts for the duo.
LadBaby – Don’t Stop Me Eatin’
For 2020, the couple announced their Christmas single entitled Don’t Stop Me Eatin’, a parody cover of “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey.
LadBaby – I Love Sausage Rolls
In 2019 the Hoyles released a second Christmas charity single called I Love Sausage Rolls, another parody and cover of Alan Merrill’s “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”. As with their previous single, all proceeds went to The Trussell Trust.
LadBaby – We Built This City on Sausage Rolls
In December 2018, the Hoyle couple released their charity single, a parody cover of Starship’s 1985 single We Built This City. It debuted at Number 1 with all profits going to The Trussell Trust.
Ed Sheeran – Perfect
Perfect became the Christmas number-one song for 2017 and peaked at the top of the charts in sixteen other countries. The song comes from the album ÷.
The video has more than 3.5 Billion views on YouTube – no wonder it went to number one!
Clean Bandit featuring Sean Paul and Anne-Marie – Rockabye
Rockabye became the first song in chart history to become Christmas number one after already being at the top of the charts for six weeks. In total, it spent nine weeks at number one in the UK Singles Chart while also topping the charts in over 20 other countries.
Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir – A Bridge Over You
A Bridge Over You is a charity single recorded and released independently by the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Choir.
It is a mashup of ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’ by Simon & Garfunkel and Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’.
Could we see a similar charity single reach number 1 in 2023?
Ben Haenow – Something I Need
Something I Need is a cover of a song originally recorded by the American rock band OneRepublic.
British artist Ben Haenow released the cover as his winners’ single following his victory in the 2014 edition of X-Factor.
Surprise Xmas No.1 Songs
Rage Against The Machine – Killing In The Name
Rock band Rage Against the Machine won one of the most competitive battles for the Christmas number one in 2009.
The band’s single, Killing In The Name, sold 500,000 downloads beating X Factor winner Joe McElderry’s The Climb by 50,000 copies to clinch the top spot.
The success of the song was mostly down to a Facebook campaign designed to prevent an X-Factor number one.
Watch Rage Against The Machine live at Finsbury Park in June 2010.
Bob The Builder – Can We Fix It?
According to the Official Charts Company, this song sold over one million copies in the United Kingdom. It beat Westlife’s What Makes A Man to the coveted top spot in 2000.
Mr Blobby – Mr Blobby
Mr Blobby was produced by Paul Shaw and David Rogers and was released on November 22nd 1993. Despite its great success in the charts, many consider it one of the worst songs ever recorded.
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody/These Are The Days Of Our Lives
These Are The Days Of Our Lives was released as a single in the United States on Freddie Mercury’s 45th birthday, September 5th 1991.
Then again as a double A-side single in Ireland and the United Kingdom on December 9th, in the wake of Mercury’s death, with another classic Queen track Bohemian Rhapsody.
Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas
An iconic charity single. The song by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure was in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia.
It was first recorded on November 25th, 1984 by Band-Aid, a supergroup put together by Geldof. It contained many of the most prominent British and Irish musical acts at the time.
How Much Money Do Christmas Songs Make?
Research carried out for Channel 5 in 2016 attempted to find the answer about which Christmas earned the most in royalties and concluded that the following tunes were the most lucrative Christmas songs…
Amounts vary significantly between artists but songs such as Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade which earns £1 million in royalties.
Other notable examples include White Christmas by Bing Crosby at £365,000 and Last Christmas by Wham! at over £300K.
Mariah Carey, in particular, has earned substantial royalties from her Christmas hit All I Want For Christmas Is You, grossing $1.55 million in annual recording royalties each time the song’s master recording is played or sold.
Additionally she can earn up to $830,000 in publishing royalties. It is alleged that over the years, she has accumulated over $60 million in royalties from this song alone, also benefiting from streaming, merchandise, and specials.
Most Christmas Number 1’s?
LadBaby with five. He bagged the number one songs each year from 2018 to 2022. In 2022 he beat the record previously held by The Beatles.
The Beatles had managed FOUR Christmas number one singles, three of which were in consecutive years from 1963 to 1965.
The fourth was Hello Goodbye in 1967 when they also held the Number 1 and Number 2 spots at the same time.