It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, with festive singles accounting for more than half of this week’s UK top 40 chart.
Twenty-one seasonal songs appear in the latest rundown, led by Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You.
Mariah is at number two, kept off the top spot by Ariana Grande’s Positions.
Martin Talbot, head of the Official Charts Company, said it was “very unusual” to see such a “surge of interest” in festive tunes.
The appetite for Christmas music “essentially started in November”, Talbot said, with people throwing themselves into “familiar TV, film, books and music as comfort from the miserable tone of so much of this year’s news”.
Wham’s Last Christmas and Fairytale of New York by The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl have both gone back into the top 10 this week.
“The public are also buying their Christmas trees and putting up their decorations much earlier this year too, almost certainly finding solace in Christmas at the end of a year that most people want to put behind them as soon as possible,” Talbot said.
Little Mix, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa and Tate McRae are among the artists with non-Christmassy singles in the top 10.
The 21 Christmas singles in the top 40:
- 2. All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
- 3. Last Christmas – Wham
- 8. Fairytale of New York – The Pogues ft Kirsty MacColl
- 13. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Buble
- 14. Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin’ Stevens
- 15. Do They Know It’s Christmas – Band Aid
- 16. Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande
- 18. Step Into Christmas – Elton John
- 19. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
- 20. Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
- 21. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Justin Bieber
- 22. Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea
- 23. I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day – Wizzard
- 28. This Christmas – Jess Glynne
- 32. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
- 33. One More Sleep – Leona Lewis
- 36. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
- 37. Holly Jolly Christmas – Michael Buble
- 38. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms
- 39. Wonderful Christmastime – Paul McCartney
- 40. Happy Xmas (War is Over) John & Yoko/Plastic Ono Band
Gary Barlow’s latest release Music Played by Humans topped the album chart, which he said felt to him like “Christmas Day”, adding: “What an honour, what a privilege, I can’t believe it. This could, possibly, mean the most to me than any other before.”
He was followed by Steps’ new album What the Future Holds at number two.
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The album chart also featured plenty of Christmas cheer, with Michael Ball and Alfie Boe’s Together at Christmas at number three, Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra at number eight with Jolly Holiday, and Michael Buble’s Christmas at number nine.
Miley Cyrus, AC/DC, Little Mix, Kylie Minogue and Shakin’ Stevens also made it into this week’s top 10 album chart, while BTS fell from number two last week to number 33 with Be.