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Ed Sheeran and Elton John’s “Merry Christmas” tops ‘Billboard’ Adult Contemporary chart

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Zachary Walters

After hitting number one in their native U.K., Elton John and Ed Sheeran‘s joint single, “Merry Christmas,” has now topped Billboard‘s Adult Contemporary radio airplay chart.

The last time Elton was number one on this chart was in 1997, with “Something About the Way You Look Tonight.”  It’s his 17th Adult Contemporary number one overall, extending his record as the artist who’s topped that chart the most. 

In the number-two position is The Carpenters, who racked up 15 number ones from 1970 to 1981. Barry Manilow is next with 13, Celine Dion and Lionel Richie have 11 each, and Whitney Houston and Olivia Newton-John both have 10.

Elton also now has the longest span of number-ones on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Radio Airplay chart: It’s been 48 years, seven months and three weeks since his first chart-topper, “Daniel” to “Merry Christmas.”  The previous record holder was Chicago, who had a span of nearly 26 years between their 1971 hit “Beginnings” and their most recent number-one, 1997’s “Here in My Heart.”

For Ed’s part, this is the fifth time he’s topped the chart.  He first did it in 2015 with “Thinking Out Loud,” and most recently with “Bad Habits” earlier this month.

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