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Elvis Presley Earns Highest-Charting Billboard Hot 100 Hit Since 1981 as ‘Blue Christmas’ Jingles In at No. 40

Plus, returns for Chuck Berry & Frank Sinatra.

Elvis Presley appears in the Billboard Hot 100‘s top 40 for the first time since 1981, as his classic carol “Blue Christmas” debuts at last, at No. 40 on the chart dated Jan. 5. Powered by streaming, it zooms 48-32 on the Streaming Songs chart, up 61 percent to 21.3 million U.S. streams in the Dec. 21-27 tracking week, according to Nielsen Music. It also drew 9.6 million in airplay audience (in the week ending Dec. 30).

Presley had last ranked in the Hot 100’s top 40 on the chart dated March 28, 1981, when “Guitar Man” peaked at No. 28. The King of Rock and Roll died Aug. 16, 1977.

“Christmas,” recorded and first released by Presley in 1957, arrives as his 81st top 40 Hot 100 hit, tying Lil Wayne for the second-best total in the chart’s history (with Presley’s career predating the survey’s 1958 inception). Drake leads with 94 top 40 hits.

Presley adds his 109th Hot 100 entry overall and first since “Rubberneckin’,” which reached No. 94 in 2003. The Glee Cast holds the record with 207 Hot 100 visits, followed by Drake (192) and Lil Wayne (161). Rounding out the top five, below Presley, Nicki Minaj has tallied 102 charted titles.


Here’s a look at all 23 holiday songs on the latest Hot 100:

No. 3, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Mariah Carey (up from No. 7; new peak, becoming the first top-five holiday hit on the Hot 100 in nearly 60 years)
No. 8, “Jingle Bell Rock,” Bobby Helms (up from No. 13; new peak)
No. 9, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Brenda Lee (up from No. 11; new peak)
No. 10, “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” Burl Ives (up from No. 12; new peak)
No. 11, “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You),” Nat King Cole (up from No. 17; new peak)
No. 13, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” Andy Williams (down from No. 10 peak)
No. 16, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” Gene Autry (up from No. 28; new peak; concurrently, parent set Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Other Christmas Classics becomes Autry’s first No. 1 on the Top Country Albums chart)
No. 20, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow,” Dean Martin (up from No. 32; new peak)
No. 25, “Last Christmas,” Wham! (up from No. 27; new peak)
No. 26, “Sleigh Ride,” The Ronettes (up from No. 33; new peak)
No. 28, “Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane),” Gene Autry (up from No. 35; new peak)
No. 29, “Feliz Navidad,” Jose Feliciano (up from No. 34; new peak)

No. 32, “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays,” Perry Como (up from No. 41; new peak; thanks to this song and his classic at No. 35, Como ranks in the Hot 100’s top 40 for the first time since July 1973)
No. 34, “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby (up from No. 48)
No. 35, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” Perry Como & The Fontane Sisters (up from No. 42; new peak)
No. 40, “Blue Christmas,” Elvis Presley (debut)


No. 42, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” John & Yoko/The Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir (up from No. 45; new peak)
No. 43, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” Darlene Love (up from No. 50; new peak)
No. 44, “Underneath the Tree,” Kelly Clarkson (re-entry; new peak)
No. 45, “Run Rudolph Run,” Chuck Berry (re-entry; new peak)
No. 49, “Jingle Bells,” Frank Sinatra (debut)
No. 53, “Cozy Little Christmas,” Katy Perry (up from No. 68; new peak)
No. 55, “The Christmas Song,” Lauren Daigle (up from No. 90; new peak; plus, it becomes Daigle’s fourth No. 1 on the Hot Christian Songs chart, dethroning her own “You Say” after 23 weeks on top)

Also notably, Chuck Berry and Frank Sinatra, like Presley, return to the Hot 100 after several decades.

Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” re-enters at No. 45, marking the first Hot 100 appearance for the late legend (who died in March 2017), since 1972, when novelty song “My Ding-a-Ling” became his sole No. 1. “Run” debuted and hit a previous No. 69 peak in December 1958.

At No. 49, Sinatra (who passed away in 1998) graces the Hot 100 for the first time since 1980, when “Theme From New York, New York” reached No. 32.

Meanwhile, Sinatra sends a version of “Jingle Bells” onto the Hot 100 for the first time. The standard was written by James Lord Pierpont and it was first published, as “One Horse Open Sleigh,” in 1857 (101 years before the Hot 100’s birth).

As Berry, Presley, Nat King Cole, Perry Como and Dean Martin all ranked on the inaugural Hot 100, dated Aug. 4, 1958, the icons share the record for the longest span of appearances, stretching across the chart’s entire existence (60 years and five months).


(As for holiday songs and their eligibility, or lack thereof, for the Hot 100 over the years, Joel Whitburn notes in his book Christmas in the Charts: “From 1963 through 1972, and from 1983 through 1985 [with minimal exceptions], Billboard published a seasonal Christmas Singles chart and did not chart Christmas singles on the Hot 100.” Per current Hot 100 rules, in place in recent years, older songs, including seasonal titles, can rank in the top 50 if experiencing significant multi-metric gains, and multiple holiday standards re-enter or debut each season.)

As previously reported, Ariana Grande‘s “Thank U, Next” tops the Hot 100 for a seventh week.