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 ‘Rage Against The Machine’.
A growing Xmas tradition is taking a small punt on who you think will chart-topper on Christmas Day. Most UK bookmakers are already taking bets on who will win Christmas Number 1 spot for 2020. Below we take a look at the contenders for 2020 and the historical winners of the race to top the charts on the 25th.
In 2019, LadBaby was favourite from an early stage to get the top spot, surprisingly Stormzy was the second favourite at 3/1. Previous classics from Wham, Bing Cosby and George Michael were all priced as 33/1 outsiders.
2020 Christmas Number One Contenders
Paddy Power has odds on the Artists in with a chance of claiming the Christmas Crown in 2020. Ladbaby (Evens) is back again and leading the charge.
He is closely followed by Justin Beiber who has re-recorded his hit song ‘Holy’ to include the NHS Choir. With all proceeds going to charity, he is on odds of 2/1 to claim the Christmas crown.
Another charity song, currently third in the betting markets, comes courtesy of The ICU Liberty Choir with a re-make of the classic Police track ‘Every Breath You Take’. Paddy Power is offering 9/4 odds on that reaching the top spot.
Based on iTunes, another song with a great chance in 2020 is ‘All I Want For Christmas’ by Mariah Carey. She first carved out her niche as the queen of Christmas in 1994 when she hit the charts with the song but it only went to number one in the UK for the first time in 2020! Will she stay there? Paddy Power has odds of 5/1 that she will.
*Odds correct at time of publication – fluctuations can occur, check odds with the bookmaker before you place a bet.
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’ came out on top against the classic ‘Last Christmas’.
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 2019, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey was announced as being the most streamed Christmas song on the platform.
Past Christmas Number One Songs
2019 & 2018
LadBaby has had the honour of having the Christmas Number 1 in both 2018 and 2019.
In both years, he pulled off a festive upset, first with We Built This City …on Sausage Rolls and then in 2019 with I Love Sausage Rolls.
Listen and watch the 2018 Christmas Number 1
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 ÷.
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 2020?
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, and then as 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.
- Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade £1m (in royalties per year)
- Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl £400,000
- All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey £400,000
- White Christmas – Bing Crosby £328,000
- Last Christmas – Wham! £300,000
- Wonderful Christmas time – Paul McCartney £260,000
- Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie £120,000
- 2000 Miles – The Pretenders £102,000
- Mistletoe and Wine – Cliff Richard £100,000
- Stay Another Day – East 17 £97,000
Most Christmas Number 1’s?
The Beatles with four. Three of these were on successive years from 1963 to 1965. In 1963 and 1967, they also held the Number 1 and Number 2 spots at the same time.