January 28, 2023

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SZA Album Still No. 1; Nat King Cole’s ‘Christmas Song’ finally hits Top 10

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SZA’s “SOS” rings in the new year for a third consecutive total week atop the Billboard 200 chart, following its impressive debut week on the chart in late December. Meanwhile, the final week of 2022 pushed a number of cheery yuletide favorites to dominate the top 10 of the singles chart which remained a largely unchanged list.

“SOS” has logged 128,000 album units in the U.S., with about 169 million streams accounting for a large portion of that total, according to data from Luminet.

The week represented on both the albums and songs charts — December 23-29 — includes both the days leading up to Christmas and several days after, explaining the dominance of holiday fare on both lists before non-seasonal fare likely takes over. Again for next week’s rankings.

Mariah Carey’s upbeat heavy-hitter “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, atop the chart for a total of 12 weeks. This is the fourth consecutive week at the top of the song this season. But it set a new benchmark for all songs, holiday or otherwise — the contemporary carol became the first song to rule the chart in five different years: in 2019 (for three weeks), 2020 (two), 2021 (three) and now, of course, 2022 and 2023.

With a peak at No. 9 on this week’s chart, Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)” enters the Hot 100’s top 10 for the first time since its release, Believe It or Not. It debuted on the Hot 100 in 1960, and according to Billboard, its 62-year run to finally reach the top 10 is the longest in chart history. It marked the first time Cole (who died in 1965) had been in the top 10 with any hit in 59 and a half years — breaking a record for the span of top 10 hits for a performer, previously set by the Ronettes when their “Slay Ride” reaches the Top 10 after a 58-year hiatus “The Christmas Song”, which initially debuted on the chart in 1960, earned 27.4 million streams as Cole’s third Hot 100 top 10 on the chart dated January 7 (“Ramblin’ Rose” at No. 2 in 1962 and “These” at No. 6 in 1963 lazy-lazy-crazy days of summer).

Cole’s holiday album, also titled “The Christmas Song,” reached a new peak to date, as well, on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 5 with 57,000 units.

The top holiday album of the season was Michael Buble’s “Christmas,” which peaked at No. 3 with 62,000 units. Outside of Coal and Bubbles, other seasonal albums in the top 10 were “A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector,” earning a new chart entry, moving from No. 11 to No. 8; Carey’s “Merry Christmas” held at No. 9 with 47,000 units; and the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack, up 8-10 with 45,000 units.

The four non-Christmas albums are Taylor Swift’s “Midnights,” again followed by “SOS” at No. 2 with 106,000 album units; Metro Boomin’s “Heroes & Villains” remains at No. 4 with 58,000 album units; Drake & 21 Savage’s “Her Loss” is at No. 6 with 50,000 units gained, and former Bad Bunny frontman “Un Verano Sin T” rises 10-7 with 48,000 units.

On the Hot 100, eight of the top 10 are holiday songs Outside of Carey and Cole, Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” is at No. 2; The late Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock” held at No. 3; Hum!’s “Last Christmas” rises one spot to a new No. 4; The late Burl Ives’ “A Holy Jolly Christmas” slipped to No. 5; Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is at number 6, and Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” reaches number 7.

The only non-holiday releases in the top 10 are Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” (No. 8) and Sam Smith and Kim Petras’ “Unholy” (No. 10).

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