The carol, which the British stars co-wrote, drew 4.9 million all-format radio audience impressions and 4.6 million U.S. streams and sold 11,800 in the week ending Dec. 9, according to MRC Data, following its Dec. 3 release.
John earns his 70th career Hot 100 hit, becoming the 23rd artist to reach the mark since the list originated in August 1958. It’s his third of 2021, after he hadn’t appeared on the chart since 2000 until this August. The song follows this year’s “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” with Dua Lipa, and his featured turn on Lil Nas X’s “One of Me.”
“Merry Christmas” also bounds to No. 2 on Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart, becoming John’s record-extending 41st top 10. His 40th, “Cold Heart,” ranks at No. 8 (after reaching No. 5), marking John’s first such double-up since the chart dated June 20, 1998, when “Recover Your Soul” and “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” placed at Nos. 6 and 9, respectively.
John has collected his 41 Adult Contemporary top 10s over 50-plus years, having reached the region with his first entry, “Your Song,” which hit No. 9 in February 1971.
Here’s an updated look at the acts with the most Adult Contemporary top 10s, dating to the chart’s July 1961 inception:
41, Elton John
38, Neil Diamond
35, Barbra Streisand
31, Elvis Presley
29, Dionne Warwick
28, Barry Manilow
28, Kenny Rogers
26, Whitney Houston
24, James Taylor
24, Bobby Vinton
“Merry Christmas” concurrently crowns the Official UK Singles chart, soaring in as Sheeran’s 12th No. 1 and John’s ninth. Sheeran ties Take That for the sixth-most No. 1s in the ranking’s history, after only Elvis Presley (21), The Beatles (17), Cliff Richard, Westlife (14 each) and Madonna (13).