The holiday season brings a gift for Dr. Elmo, whose classic “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” (credited to Elmo & Patsy) returns to the top of a Billboard survey for the first time in 27 years.
The song dashes 4-1 on Comedy Digital Tracks with 6,000 downloads sold (up 140%) in the chart’s tracking week, according to Nielsen SoundScan. (It’s sold 230,000 dating to the 1991 advent of SoundScan data.)
“Grandma” crowns a Billboard chart for the first time since 1985, when it led the then-named Christmas Singles survey. Still, it’s remained a light-hearted yuletide staple annually, with Dr. Elmo (aka Elmo Shropshire) conducting approximately 100 radio interviews each holiday season.
“The following comments have been made about my voice: it has a ‘vaguely menacing hillbilly vibe’ and it ‘sounds like Santa has a light grip on his throat’,” Dr. Elmo jokes.
“But, when you are No. 1 on a Billboard chart, it’s all good!”
The song’s latest week in charge marks Rihanna’ 47th total week at No. 1 on the Hot 100, tying her with Usher for the fourth-best sum. Only Mariah Carey (79 weeks), the Beatles (59) and Boyz II Men (50) have logged more time in the list’s lead spot. Rihanna has racked her total with 12 No. 1s, which also ties her (with Madonna and the Supremes) for the fourth-highest total. Only the Beatles (20), Carey (18) and Michael Jackson (13) have tallied more No. 1s.
Here’s a look at the acts that have spent the most total weeks at No. 1 in the Hot 100’s history:
Weeks, Artist (Total No. 1s)
79, Mariah Carey (18)
59, the Beatles (20)
50, Boyz II Men (5)
47, Rihanna (12)
47, Usher (9)
37, Michael Jackson (13)
36, Beyonce (5)
34, Elton John (9)
33, Janet Jackson (10)
32, Madonna (12)
With 47 weeks at No. 1 accumulated among her 12 leaders, Rihanna has averaged almost four weeks atop the chart once reaching the summit; eight of her toppers have spent multiple weeks at No. 1, led by “We Found Love” (featuring Calvin Harris), which was amid a 10-week reign a year ago this week.
The list above also highlights what chart fans have surely noticed: that Boyz II Men’s No. 1 stays have been uncommonly lengthy. Of their five leaders, three spent 13 or more weeks in charge: “End of the Road” (13, 1992), “I’ll Make Love to You” (14, 1994) and “One Sweet Day,” with Carey (a Hot 100-record 16, 1995-96).
Beyonce, too, has made the most of her visits to No. 1, spending no fewer than four weeks in control with each of her five leaders.
‘SKYFALL’ SALES RISE: Behind a seemingly inconspicuous 32-43 drop on the Hot 100 for Adele‘s former No. 8-peaking “Skyfall” is a notable sales feat: with 71,000 sold in the tracking week, according to SoundScan, the theme from the latest James Bond movie passes 1 million in sales (1.039 million) since its release.
“Skyfall” joins Adele’s million-sellers “Rolling in the Deep” (7.6 million), “Someone Like You” (5.3 million), “Set Fire to the Rain” (4.3 million), “Rumour Has It” (2 million), “Chasing Pavements” (1.5 million) and “Make You Feel My Love” (1.1 million).