'Santa Claus' brings the gift of a milestone entry.
More than four decades into his legendary career, Barry Manilow continues to make himself at home on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.
Manilow makes his milestone 50th visit to the survey, as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" debuts at No. 22 (as the AC format begins its annual migration to playing holiday music). The song appears on Manilow's new yuletide compilation, "The Classic Christmas Album."
With the arrival of "Santa," Manilow passes Johnny Mathis (49 entries) and becomes just the fifth artist to make at least 50 visits in the AC chart's 51-year history. Elton John leads with 68, followed by Barbra Streisand (64), Neil Diamond (58) and Elvis Presley (53).
Manilow first appeared on AC the week of Nov. 30, 1974, with "Mandy." Seven weeks later, it became his first of 13 No. 1s. In the chart's archives, only John (16) and the Carpenters (15) have logged more leaders.
"My life has been one big miracle," Manilow told Chart Beat earlier this year. "I come from the world of trying to write a song that will outlive me. That's every composer's goal: to write such a wonderful song that will live forever."