It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas - meaning the race for the Official Christmas Number 1 is coming. The winner of the biggest chart race of the year will be announced on Christmas Day itself, Friday December 25.
The Christmas Number 1 is a British institution and has been claimed by some of the world’s most iconic music stars. Queen, The Beatles, Spice Girls, Cliff Richard and, ahem, Bob The Builder have all landed Christmas chart-toppers in the past.
Compiled by the Official Charts Company and broadcast on BBC Radio 1, last year saw YouTuber and dad-blogger LadBaby claim the Christmas Number 1 crown for a second year in a row with his second sausage roll-themed charity single, I Love Sausage Rolls - a spin on I Love Rock N' Roll - in aid of foodbank charity The Trussell Trust. He topped the chart the previous year with We Built This City, making him only the third act in chart history, after The Beatles and Spice Girls, to land consecutive Christmas Number 1s.
"It’s the best feeling in the world - a Christmas miracle yet again!" LadBaby, real name Mark Hoyle, told Official Charts at the time. "It’s going to the Trussell Trust – to the 14 million people living in poverty in the UK. Who doesn’t love a sausage roll at Christmas?"
Could LadBaby have his eye on a hat-trick in 2020? The latest contenders and race updates will be available on OfficialCharts.com throughout December. Follow @OfficialCharts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for all the latest race updates, and join the Official Charts mailing list for Breaking News on this year’s race.
Christmas 2020 has arrived early on the Official Chart, but will any festive classics go all the way?
OfficialCharts.com recently reported that Christmas favourites have re-entered the Official Singles Chart earlier than ever before, with Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You, Last Christmas by Wham! and The Pogues' Fairytale Of New York already climbing up the Top 40.
Sales and streams of festive classics are up 51% compared to this time last year as Britain wishes away the troubles of 2020 in favour of ushering in some festive cheer. Could this be the year that one of these much-loved classics jingles all the way to the top?
They face some competition from several big new releases. Let’s take a look at the challengers for this year's Official Christmas Number 1.
Liam Gallagher - All You’re Dreaming Of
A song that Bing Crosby would be proud of (according to Liam), All You’re Dreaming Of is a track that the Oasis legend says “is perfect for this time of year, considering the year that we’ve all had”.
Billed as ‘Imagine meets Wonderful Life’, Liam is confident of his chances for a good chart performance; responding to a fan on Twitter who asked if it is going to Christmas Number 1, the rock legend said: “it’s gonna be rite up there you gotta be in it to win it.”
All You’re Dreaming Of is available digitally from November 27, with 12" and limited edition white 7" vinyl versions being available on the day the Christmas Number 1 race kicks off on December 18. Proceeds of the song are going to UK charity Action For Children, who work to protect and support vulnerable children and young people across the country.
Jess Glynne - This Christmas
With no less than 7 UK Number 1s already under her belt, Jess Glynne knows how to deliver a chart smash. Jess has recorded a cover of Donny Hathaway's This Christmas as part of Amazon's Originals series and it’s already proving popular, set to enter this week's Official Singles Chart Top 100. The CD and vinyl singles will be available to purchase from December 18.
Similarly, Justin Bieber's new Amazon Original, a cover of Brenda Lee's Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, is also shaping up to be a hit this Christmas. Last year saw Ellie Goulding's Amazon Originals track, a cover of Joni Mitchell's River, reach Number 1 the week after Christmas, so don't underestimate these singles.
Becky Hill - Forever Young
Becky Hill is also no stranger to the UK Number 1 spot; in fact, she’s the only artist who appeared on The Voice UK to have scored a chart-topping single. Can she reach the peak of the Official Chart once more with Forever Young? Her cover of Alphaville’s 1984 single currently soundtracks McDonalds’ Christmas TV advert, with at least 10p from every download of the song going to food charity FareShare, who McDonalds will also be donating five million meals to this festive season. Out now.
Matt Lucas – Merry Christmas, Baked Potato
Another song raising vital funds for FareShare is Merry Christmas, Baked Potato by comedian and Great British Bake Off host Matt Lucas. The song is a seasonal continuation on from Thank You, Baked Potato, Matt’s first UK Top 40 single that he released during the first lockdown which benefitted the NHS. Out now.
Nathan Dawe & Little Mix - No Time For Tears
While not a Christmas song, the sentiment of Nathan Dawe and Little Mix’s collaboration is one that we hope rings true for everyone this year – there’s No Time For Tears. With Nathan and Little Mix both fresh from scoring Top 3 singles in the last few months, can they climb that little bit further and sit atop the tree this Christmas? Out now.
Rigaid - It’s Christmas Time, It’s Time To Lash.
Archie Curzons is a social media influencer, the self-proclaimed CEO of London's Clapham, and is the host of The Rig Biz podcast - a comedy show with celebrity guests packed with lashings of #banter and #ladchat. He's roped in an impressive line-up of his so-called celebrity pals/podcast guests including Danny Care, James Haskell, Jeremy Irvine, Alex Paine and Darren Gough for a Christmas single - a light-hearted song to wave off a disastrous 2020, raising money for Restart Rugby. Available to pre-order from December 1.
Sam Fender - Winter Song
The musician has released a stunning cover of the '70s folk track by Newcastle legends Alan Hull/Lindisfarne. Money raised from the song goes to social enterprise People Of The Streets. Out now.
The Dancing Binmen - Boogie Round The Bins At Christmas
Three binmen from Wolverhampton - Jack Johnson, Henry Wright and Adrian Breakwell – shot to fame in the city earlier this year for dancing on their routes during the first lockdown. Now they've got their eye on the Christmas Number 1 with Boogie Round The Bins At Christmas. Money raised from the song will go to charity. Out now.
Robbie Williams - Can’t Stop Christmas
Robbie Williams claimed a Number 1 album in December 2019 with The Christmas Present, but can he add a festive Number 1 single to his sack of gifts this Xmas? In a manner that only Robbie could pull off, his new song Can’t Stop Christmas references the rotten year we’ve all had and is a cheeky, feel-good tale of how we need to enjoy ourselves over our five-day Christmas bubble this year, complete with references to social distancing and Zooms.
The Celebs - Merry Christmas Everyone
Lead by X Factor winner and 2013 Christmas Number 1 champion Sam Bailey, The Celebs - including Good Morning Britain's Richard Arnold and Laura Tobin - have recorded a cover of Shakin' Stevens' festive classic in support of the Alzheimer's Society. Out December 11.
A Candle for Carson
The Christmas Number 1 race is often about singles giving back to the community, and an example of that kindness this year comes from Blackburn music producers Chris Dewhurst and Andy Rose and vocalist Miranda Myles. The three have teamed up to record and release A Candle for Carson, a tribute to three-year-old Carson Adams who sadly died this month with congenital heart disease. Out December 8.
Collabro – Christmas Is Here
Collabro - Christmas Is Here - The successful musical theatre group and winners of 2014’s Britain’s Got Talent will be donating 100% of profits from the download of their original Christmas single to military charity Help for Heroes.