The veteran pop-rocker returns to the top with the format's latest holiday leader.
Rod Stewart ends a more than 19-year hiatus from the Adult Contemporary summit, as "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" roars 18-1. The song scales the survey as, following Thanksgiving, almost half of the chart's reporters have switched to all-seasonal programming.
Stewart had last led AC with "Have I Told You Lately" beginning the week of May 29, 1993. "Snow" marks his fourth AC No. 1; he first reigned back-to-back with "Downtown Train" and "This Old Heart of Mine" (with Ronald Isley) in 1990. (Despite having arrived with the five-week Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 "Maggie May" in 1971, Stewart didn't grace AC until 1976 and didn't reach the AC top 10 until 1986, his signature rasp perhaps a bit too rough for the format that then often specialized in smoother beautiful-music sounds.)
"Snow" appears on Stewart's first holiday album, the Verve-released "Merry Christmas, Baby," which bowed at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 two weeks ago. The set has sold 242,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
Stewart's 19-year, six-month and one-week gap between notching leaders is the AC chart's second-longest. The Eagles waited exactly 20 years between rising to No. 1 with "Best of My Love" in 1975 and "Love Will Keep Us Alive" in 1995.
As "Snow" storms the AC apex, the song becomes the 14th yuletide title to top the tally (with all such songs ruling since 2001; around that time, the number of new holiday releases increased as AC stations began to make higher ratings-seeking 24/7 switches to seasonal songs in bulk for the first time in the format's history).
Here is a look at the holiday titles to top AC. In each of two years (2006, 2007), two holiday tracks reached No. 1.
Title, Artist, Date Reached No. 1, Weeks at No. 1
"The Christmas Shoes," Newsong, Jan. 6, 2001, one
"Simple Things," Jim Brickman featuring Rebecca Lynn Howard, Jan. 5, 2002, one
"O Holy Night," Josh Groban, Dec. 28, 2002, two
"Sending You a Little Christmas," Jim Brickman with Kristy Starling, Jan. 3, 2004, one
"Believe," Josh Groban, Dec. 11, 2004, five
"Up on the Housetop," Kimberley Locke, Dec. 17, 2005, four
"Jingle Bells," Kimberley Locke, Dec. 23, 2006, one
"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," Daryl Hall John Oates, Dec. 30, 2006, two
"Frosty the Snowman," Kimberley Locke, Dec. 15, 2007, one
"I'll Be Home for Christmas," Josh Groban, Dec. 22, 2007, three
"A Baby Changes Everything," Faith Hill, Dec. 20, 2008, three
"Oh Santa!," Mariah Carey, Dec. 18, 2010, four
"All I Want for Christmas Is You," Michael Buble, Dec. 10, 2011, five
"Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," Rod Stewart, Dec, 8, 2012, one to date