George’s family and estate are delighted (Picture: Wham!/YouTube)
George Michael’s estate and family are ‘overjoyed’ that Wham!’s Last Christmas has finally made it to number one.
Thirty-six years after the Christmas classic was released, it finally reached the top of the UK charts yesterday, making it the first number one of 2021.
In a statement marking the incredible achievement, the late singer’s family and estate shared how pleased they were to be able to continue making charitable donations off the back of the song.
The statement read: ‘The family and Estate of George Michael are overjoyed to learn that on the first day of a brand new year Last Christmas has reached number one in the UK charts for the first time.
‘After such a difficult 2020 for all of us and at the time of year that was so special to George we are so grateful to everyone who made this possible and know how much it would have meant to him.
‘We are also pleased to be able to continue donating George’s record royalties from sales/streaming from this track to charitable causes close to his heart as he did for so many years.’
Andrew Ridgeley is amazed by the feat (Picture: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
George’s bandmate Andrew Ridgeley also expressed his amazement that Last Christmas had finally beaten its number two peak nearly four decades after it was released.
The 57-year-old said: ‘I am delighted, somewhat amazed and profoundly pleased that WHAM!’s iconic Christmas classic, Last Christmas has finally achieved the ultimate accolade of becoming a number 1 – albeit 36 years after its first release which is, perhaps more than anything a testament to its timeless appeal and charm.
‘It is a fitting tribute to George’s songwriting genius and one of which he would have been immensely proud and utterly thrilled.’
A rep from Sony added: ‘Sony would like to add – “We are absolutely delighted that after a wait of 36 years WHAM!’s Last Christmas has topped the UK Chart.
‘We thank the fans for their support and Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael for creating this timeless treasure.’
Last Christmas was kept from the Christmas number one spot upon its release in 1984 by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas?, and over the years, only ever reached number two at Christmas.
After being streamed 9.2 million times in the last week, Last Christmas has set a new record for the longest time taken for a single to reach number one, beating the 33 years, four months Tony Christie’s (Is This The Way To) Amarillo took when it hit the top in 2005.
It also loses the record of biggest selling single never to make number one, with 1.9 million pure sales – the record is now held by Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger ft Christina Aguilera, which reached number two in 2011 and has sold 1.55 million.
The achievement comes four years after George Michael’s death, with the pop icon dying on Christmas Day 2016 at the age of 53.
His cause of death was attributed to dilated cardiomyopathy with myocarditis and a fatty liver.
Wham!’s number one comes after another long-suffering Christmas classic made it to the top.
All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, originally released in 1994, had reached number two over the years, but finally made it to number one on December 11, 26 years after its release.