It only took 36 years for the long overdue accolade to finally land on George Michael and Wham!'s perennial holiday classic, "Last Christmas": becoming the #1 song on the Official UK Singles Charts. The big news was announced this morning on New Year's Day 2021.
The George Michael classic leapt from #3 to #1 on the chart on the most recent UK chart, thanks to more than 9.2 million streams of "Last Christmas" over the past seven days. Given the 36-year gap between the song's release and having it finally hit the top spot sets a new record for the longest time taken for a single to reach Number 1. the previous owner of that particular record was Tony Christie’s "(Is This The Way To) Amarillo," which took 33 years and 4 months to claim the top spot in March, 2005.
Andrew Ridgeley, George Michael's partner in Wham!, paid tribute to the news on social media.
I am delighted, somewhat amazed & profoundly pleased that WHAM!’s iconic Christmas classic Last Christmas has finally achieved the accolade of becoming a No 1. It’s a fitting tribute 2 George’s songwriting genius and 1 of which he would’ve been immensely proud & utterly thrilled.— Andrew Ridgeley (@ajridgeley) January 1, 2021
"This is a fantastic record for "Last Christmas," raved Martin Talbot, chief executive at the Official Charts Company. "Just a few weeks after Mariah Carey’s 'All I Want For Christmas is You' reached Number 1 after a 26 year wait, for the Wham! tune to make its own impact after so long really shows how much the British public love their Christmas classics.”