Chart Beat

Aretha Franklin Earns First AC Entry Since 1994 as Holiday Hits Jingle Onto the Chart

Aretha Franklin
Nicholas Hunt/WireImage

Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Elton John AIDS Foundation Commemorates Its 25th Year And Honors Founder Sir Elton John During New York Fall Gala - Show at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Nov. 7, 2017 in New York City. 

The late Queen of Soul debuts with a new mix of 'Silent Night.'

Aretha Franklin appears on Billboard's Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart for the first time in over 24 years, as a new version of "Silent Night" debuts at No. 28 on the survey dated Nov. 24.

The song, fully titled "Silent Night (Solo Piano Version)," was originally released on the late icon's 2008 album This Christmas, which arrived on vinyl for the first time Nov. 16.

"Her beautiful spirit is radiant throughout the record, and this new mix of 'Silent Night' showcases what an incomparable force she truly was, both on vocals and piano," said the album's producer Tena Clark. "There has [never been] and never will be a voice like the Queen of Soul."

The song is the first by Franklin, who died Aug. 16, to reach the AC chart since 1994, when "Willing to Forgive" reached No. 22 that August. Franklin adds her 17th AC entry, dating to her first, the No. 34-peaking "I'm Losing You," in 1965. She charted highest with two duets: "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)," with George Michael (No. 2, 1987), and "Through the Storm," with Elton John (No. 3, 1989).

"Silent Night" is one of five carols that debut on the latest AC chart, as the format makes its annual segue to playing seasonal songs.

Here's a look at the holiday tunes that dash onto the survey:

No. 20, "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," John Legend feat. Esperanza Spalding
No. 22, "What Christmas Means to Me," Pentatonix
No. 26, "Best Gift Ever," Elizabeth Chan
No. 28, "Silent Night (Solo Piano Version)," Aretha Franklin
No. 29, "White Christmas," Eric Clapton