Ed Sheeran scores first Christmas No 1 with Perfect

The singer-songwriter hit the top spot after releasing six versions of his single, including duets with Beyoncé and Andrea Bocelli

Ed Sheeran has capped a hugely successful year by winning 2017’s Christmas No 1, with his song Perfect.

“This is an actual dream come true and I’m very proud and happy,” Sheeran said, wishing his fans “a very merry Christmas, happy holidays and a happy new year”.

He benefited from – or perhaps shamelessly exploited – chart rules that count streams and sales of multiple versions of the same song towards its chart placing. Sheeran released six versions of Perfect to aid its chances of getting the festive top spot: the original, an acoustic version, remixes by Robin Schulz and Mike Perry, and two duet versions with A-list names: Beyoncé and Andrea Bocelli.

Sheeran also features on the No 2 song, River by Eminem. The rapper scored the Christmas No 1 album for Revival, its commercial fortunes left undented by generally negative reviews.

Ed Sheeran does a selfie after winning the Christmas No 1 slot.
Ed Sheeran does a selfie after winning the Christmas No 1 slot. Photograph: OfficialCharts.com

The original version of Perfect is taken from Sheeran’s album ÷, which is the biggest-selling record in the UK this year, and features other enormous hits in Shape of You and Galway Girl.

A campaign to get Wham!’s Last Christmas to No 1, 23 years after it was pipped to the top by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? – and one year on from the death of George Michael – didn’t quite succeed. The song reached No 3, with Mariah Carey’s festive perennial All I Want for Christmas Is You at No 4.

The era of streaming means that there are numerous other Christmas classics coming back into the charts this year, with the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York at No 7, Band Aid at 12, Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree at 14, and a further 11 festive hits in the top 40.

British rapper Big Shaq made a late bid for the top spot by releasing a version of his viral comedy hit Man’s Not Hot with added sleigh bells, and rose two places to No 6.


Ben Beaumont-Thomas

The GuardianTramp

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