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Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect' on Course For U.K. Christmas No. 1
It's looking like a "Perfect" Christmas in the U.K.
Based on sales and streams at the midweek stage, Ed Sheeran's “Perfect” remains on track for the coveted U.K. Christmas No. 1. Sheeran's latest hit holds the lead and the top spot on the Official Chart Update, though Eminem's “River” (Interscope) featuring Sheeran, is outperforming “Perfect” on streaming, so the race is far from over, according to the Official Charts Company.
"Perfect" became Sheeran’s fourth No. 1 in the U.K. when it hit the summit of the Official Singles Chart two weeks ago, fueled by a new version featuring vocals with Beyoncé. A third, orchestral version dropped last Friday with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on guest vocals.
Meanwhile, Wham's “Last Christmas” (RCA) trails “closely behind” Eminem at No. 3 on the midweek tally, the OCC reports. George Michael's former Wham bandmate Andrew Ridgeley has backed a campaign to propel "Last Christmas" to No. 1 on the anniversary of the singer's death. Despite its enduring popularity, "Last Christmas" has never been to No. 1. The track missed out when the all-star Band Aid charity song “Do They Know It’s Christmas” (which featured the members of Wham) stormed to No. 1 in 1984, leaving "Last Christmas" with the title as the biggest selling No. 2 single in Official Charts history.
Also on the midweek chart, Rita Ora’s “Anywhere” (Atlantic) improves 5-4 and Mariah Carey's “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (Columbia) dips 3-5. An additional 12 Christmas songs are poised to impact Friday’s Official Christmas Chart Top 40, including The Pogues' “Fairytale Of New York” (Warner Bros) featuring Kirsty MacColl at No. 8, Band Aid's “Do They Know It's Christmas” (Mercury) at No. 16 and Shakin' Stevens' “Merry Christmas Everyone” (RCA) at No. 19.
Eminem might miss out on the singles crown, but he should have a fine Christmas present with a No. 1 album. The U.S. rap star’s ninth studio set Revival is tearing away with 71,000 combined chart sales since its release last Friday (Dec. 15). It's No. 1 on the Official Chart Update, with a towering 30,000-unit lead over Ed Sheeran’s second-placed Divide.