Josh Groban 'Thrilled' About 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' Topping AC Chart

Brian Bowen Smith
Josh Groban

The singer scores his first No. 1 on the list in nine years, his sixth overall & his record fourth holiday-themed leader.

Josh Groban earns his first No. 1 in nine years on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart, as his new version of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" jumps 6-1 on the list dated Dec. 24.

"I'm thrilled to see 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' hitting No. 1," Groban tells Billboard. "I've always wanted to put a fresh take on this classic and am so happy people are enjoying it this holiday."

As Groban hangs "Merry" upon the AC chart's highest bough, he tops the tally for the first time since his rendition of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" led for three weeks beginning Dec. 22, 2007. With his having notched two earlier holiday No. 1s – the original composition "Believe" (from The Polar Express; five weeks beginning Dec. 11, 2004) and "O Holy Night" (two, beginning Dec. 28, 2002) – Groban passes Kimberley Locke as the artist with the most seasonal AC leaders (four) in the chart's history. Locke strung up three in 2005-07 (see below).

"Merry" is Groban's sixth total AC No. 1. He arrived in 2002 with the two-week leader "To Where You Are" (produced and co-written by Richard Marx) and additionally ruled for six weeks in 2004 with "You Raise Me Up."

Groban also boasts a strong holiday album pedigree. His 2007 set Noel is the second-biggest-selling holiday album of the Nielsen Music era (1991-present), with 5.9 million sold in the U.S. It trails only Kenny G's 1994 release Miracles: The Holiday Album, at 7.4 million. ("Merry" is a stand-alone single, not on any album.)

Meanwhile, "Merry" crowns AC for the first time. Of the 15 versions of the song that have made the chart (dating the ranking's 1961 inception), James Taylor previously took the carol highest, to No. 4 in 2002.

Groban's new release dethrones Train's "This Christmas," which ascended to No. 1 on the Dec. 17 AC chart.

Here's an updated recap of all the holiday songs that have slayed (sleighed?) atop the AC chart. (None did so until 2001, around the time that a majority of AC stations began playing seasonal songs 24/7 between Thanksgiving and Christmas annually.)

Holiday No. 1s on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart
Title, Artist, Chart Date Reached No. 1, Weeks at No. 1
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," Josh Groban, Dec. 24, 2016, one (to date)
"This Christmas," Train, Dec. 17, 2016, one
"This Christmas," Seal, Jan. 2, 2016, one
"Baby It's Cold Outside," Idina Menzel duet with Michael Buble, Dec. 20, 2014, three
"Underneath the Tree," Kelly Clarkson, Dec. 2, 2013, four
"Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," Rod Stewart, Dec. 8, 2012, five
"All I Want for Christmas Is You," Michael Buble, Dec. 10, 2011, five
"Oh Santa!," Mariah Carey, Dec. 18, 2010, four
"A Baby Changes Everything," Faith Hill, Dec. 20, 2008, three
"I'll Be Home for Christmas," Josh Groban, Dec. 22, 2007, three
"Frosty the Snowman," Kimberley Locke, Dec. 15, 2007, one
"It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," Daryl Hall John Oates, Dec. 30, 2006, two
"Jingle Bells," Kimberley Locke, Dec. 23, 2006, one
"Up on the Housetop," Kimberley Locke, Dec. 17, 2005, four
"Believe," Josh Groban, Dec. 11, 2004, five
"Sending You a Little Christmas," Jim Brickman with Kristy Starling, Jan. 3, 2004, one
"O Holy Night," Josh Groban, Dec. 28, 2002, two
"Simple Things," Jim Brickman featuring Rebecca Lynn Howard, Jan. 5, 2002, one
"The Christmas Shoes," NewSong, Jan. 6, 2001, one