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 chart-topper on Christmas Day. Most UK bookmakers are not yet taking bets on who will win Christmas Number 1 spot for 2021. But that hasn’t stopped Paddy Power from leading the way as one of the first to offer odds!
Below we take a look at the contenders for 2021 and the historical winners of the race to top the charts on the 25th.
In 2020, LadBaby was favourite from an early stage to get the top spot, largely because he had been number one in both 2018 and 2019. 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 for the third consecutive year. The charity song was called Don’t Stop Me Eatin’ with all the proceeds going to the food bank charity The Trussell Trust.
It also meant that LadBaby matched a joint record held by The Beatles and Spice Girls, who are the only other musical acts to score a hat-trick of consecutive Christmas number ones.
2021 Christmas Number One Contenders
As you can imagine, at the time of writing this there aren’t many contenders for 2021. It is only November after all and hit songs come and go very quickly these days.
That said there are a few big hitters in the music world releasing albums in October and November which could contain the elusive number one song.
Kelly Clarkson is definitely in the running. Her latest album, released on October 15th, is titled ‘When Christmas Comes Around…‘. With a name like that, her hat has definitely been thrown into the ring.
Ed Sheeran is currently flying in the UK charts with his second number-one single from his upcoming fifth studio album. = (Equals) was released on October 29th and with 14 tracks has every chance of producing a song right in time for Christmas.
Hedging their bets and waiting until mid-November to release their latest album, Little Mix could be in the actual mix for Christmas.
Now a trio, their album Between Us may finally reward them with their first-ever Christmas number one. They nearly made it in 2011 but were pipped to the post by the charity single from the Military Wives with Gareth Malone.
And last, though not least, Adele is keeping everybody guessing about her latest offering. After nearly six years since her last album, the award-winning singer is returning with her highly anticipated fourth studio album called ’30’.
Given how insanely successful ’25’ was in 2015 – selling 22,000,000 copies worldwide – it’s not a stretch to suggest that Adele will have another mega-hit on her hands. But will it spawn the Christmas No. 1 in 2021?
Christmas Number 1 Odds 2021
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!
|Paddy Power Odds applicable as of 29th November 2021|
|LadBaby||EVS||Elton John & Ed Sheeran||5/4||Ed Sheeran||10/1|
|Adele||12/1||The Lathums||16/1||Elton John||16/1|
|Dua Lipa||25/1||Steve Steinman||33/1||Taylor Swift||33/1|
|Michael Buble||33/1||Westlife||33/1||Elton John & Dua Lipa||33/1|
BET £20 AND GET IT BACK AS CASH IF IT LOSES
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
2020, 2019 & 2018
LadBaby has the honour of having the Christmas Number 1 in three years in a row.
Each year he pulled off a festive upset, first with We Built This City …on Sausage Rolls. Then in 2019 with I Love Sausage Rolls. His 2020 winner was called Don’t Stop Me Eatin’.
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 2021?
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.
- 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.
BET £20 AND GET IT BACK AS CASH IF IT LOSES