The Official Charts Company reports that the track has first-week chart sales of 76,700 chart sales. Of these, 22,100 are “pure” sales from physical copies and digital downloads, and the total also includes 7.6 million streams. Its sales as a CD single are also the highest one-week total of 2021 to date, at 8,100.
“Merry Christmas” is Sheeran’s third UK No.1 of the year, and his 12th in total. It’s Elton’s second of this year, following “Cold Heart (PNAU Remix)” with Dua Lipa, which spent a week at the summit in October. It’s his ninth in total, over a span of more than 45 years, since “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Kiki Dee spent six weeks on top in July and August 1976.
Sheeran is now joint sixth among artists with the most No.1s in UK chart history, drawing level with Take That. The only acts with more are Madonna with 13, Cliff Richard (14), Westlife (14), The Beatles (17), and Elvis Presley (21).
With two more charts to go before the unveiling of the Christmas No.1, the new countdown is unsurprisingly full of familiar holiday fare. Wham!’s “Last Christmas” climbs 4-3, changing places with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” Shakin’ Stevens’ “Merry Christmas Everyone” is up 17-6, the Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale Of New York” 16-7, Michael Bublé’s “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” 20-9 and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” 22-10.
A total of 22 festive tracks are in the new Top 40; other climbers include Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime,” up 54-29 and “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono with the Plastic Ono Band and the Harlem Community Choir, which also returns to the Top 40 with a 53-35 climb.