‘Last Christmas’ reaching UK number one is ‘fitting tribute’ to George Michael, says Wham’s Andrew Ridgeley

1984: British singer songwriter George Michael, lead singer of the pop group Wham!, with the group's guitarist Andrew Ridgeley at the film premiere of the hit 'Dune'. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Last Christmas” finally topping the UK charts 36 years after its release is a “fitting tribute” to “songwriting genius” George Michael, Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley reflected Friday (1 January).

Becoming the first number one of 2021, the Official Charts Company confirmed on New Year’s Day that the beloved song claimed the top spot in the Official Singles Chart.

After inching up the chart throughout December, it climbed from three to one after notching 9.2 million streams in the past week – four years after the death of Michael.

In doing so, the track set a new record for the longest time taken for a single to reach number one.

“I am delighted, somewhat amazed and profoundly pleased that Wham!’s iconic Christmas classic ‘Last Christmas’ has finally achieved the accolade of becoming a number one,” reflected Ridgley, 57, on Twitter.

“It’s a fitting tribute to George’s songwriting genius and one of which he would’ve been immensely proud and utterly thrilled.”

George Michael’s estate ‘grateful’ that ‘Last Christmas’ topped UK charts after decades

Michael’s estate welcomed the historic news in a statement sent to Metro.co.uk.

The family and estate of George Michael are overjoyed to learn that on the first day of a brand new year Last Christmas has reached number one in the UK charts for the first time.

George Michael in a denim shirt and white jeans and Andrew Ridgeley in a tartan suit

Andrew Ridgeley (R) and George Michael (1963-2016) of Wham. (Michael Putland/Getty Images)

“After such a difficult 2020 for all of us and at the time of year that was so special to George we are so grateful to everyone who made this possible and know how much it would have meant to him.

“We are also pleased to be able to continue donating George’s record royalties from sales/streaming from this track to charitable causes close to his heart as he did for so many years.”

When “Last Christmas” first dropped in 1984, it was beaten to the top spot by Band Aid’s charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”.

In quickly becoming a Christmas classic, the song appeared each year in the charts but never budged up beyond number two.