The Christmas number one race is heating up as the festive season fast approaches with a plethora of acts still in with a chance of claiming top spot on the big day.
Back in November, the Official Charts Company revealed that sales and streams of Christmas classics were up 51% compared to this time last year.
With the year we’ve had, it seems more people have been searching for some festive cheer in their music much earlier than usual.
But who could take the top prize this year? Will it go to somebody new? Or could we see a familiar face at the top of the charts?
Here is everything you need to know:
Who’s in the running?
Liam Gallagher, Jess Glynne, Matt Lucas, and Robbie Williams are among the contenders for this year’s Christmas number one, after the Official Charts Company included the acts on its list of challengers for the 2020 festive top spot.
Former Oasis star Gallagher is on the list with ‘All You’re Dreaming Of’, while Glynne’s cover of Donny Hathaway’s ‘This Christmas’ is also as a potential chart-topper.
Comedian Lucas has put a festive spin on his successful charity song ‘Thank You Baked Potato’, which was released earlier this year to raise money to feed NHS workers, by recording ‘Merry Christmas, Baked Potato’.
Williams’s ‘Can’t Stop Christmas’ is also likely to be in the running, along with Sam Fender’s ‘Winter Song’.
Becky Hill’s ‘Forever Young’ (which features on this year’s Christmas McDonald’s advert), Nathan Dawe and Little Mix’s ‘No Time For Tears’, and ‘It’s Christmas Time, It’s Time To Lash’ by Rigaid were also named among the contenders.
Martin Talbot, chief executive of the Official Charts Company, said: “After such an extraordinary year, Christmas is sure to feel more special than ever.”
“This year’s race will also feel extra special because the festive chart-topper will be announced on Christmas Day, so we are delighted to fire the starting pistol and unveil some of the key contenders.
“This year, the contenders will be aiming to wrest the Christmas number one title from LadBaby, who has taken the title for the past two years – and there are plenty of big name contenders.”
Of course, he was speaking before LadBaby announced his attempt at a third consecutive Christmas number one.
Who are the big contenders?
One of the big contenders this year comes from Justin Bieber, who has reunited with the NHS Choir with whom he fought a closely fought race for Christmas number one five years ago.
The Lewisham and Greenwich choir gained fame when they beat the Canadian pop star to the coveted top spot in 2015, after he urged his fans to support them.
They have now added their voices to a special version of his track ‘Holy’ in a bid to score another Christmas number one, with profits split between NHS Charities Together and the choir’s local NHS trust charity.
Bieber said of their collaboration: “It’s great to be reunited with the Lewisham and Greenwich NHS choir, as we share a fun bit of UK chart history together.
“Especially in these difficult times, I’m humbled to team up with them for a charity single that will benefit NHS workers on the frontlines of this pandemic and pay tribute to their unbelievable dedication.”
Mariah Carey’s festive classic ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ was at one time expected to claim the Christmas number one, after it finally reached number one in the UK – 26 years after its release.
The song initially peaked at number two in 1994, missing out to East 17’s Stay Another Day, and the last three years have seen it return to match that original chart position.
But it reached the top spot following a closely fought battle with fellow festive anthem Last Christmas by Wham!
That was all before another titan of the Christmas chart battle threw their hat into the ring though…
Could LadBaby do it again?
On 13 December, LadBaby announced a new Christmas single.
It treads a familiar masticatory path as their previous two Christmas singles, and is entitled ‘Don’t Stop Me Eatin’’, a parody cover of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ by Journey.
Once again, proceeds will be donated to food bank charity The Trussell Trust, and if LadBaby does manage to score a third consecutive number one, it will be the first time since the Spice Girls this feat has been achieved.
Despite the song’s existence only being known for a couple of days at the time of writing, ‘Don’t Stop Me Eatin’’ has already leapfrogged more established acts to become the bookies’ favourite at scooping the top spot.
When will the Christmas number one be revealed?
The Christmas number one will be announced on Christmas Day.
A version of this article originally appeared on our sister title, the Scotsman