U.K. Holiday Hits From Band-Aid & More Saturate Billboard’s Global Charts

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As evident on the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100 and Streaming Songs charts, it’s the holiday season. The popularity of Christmas music, however, is not limited to the States.

The Dec. 12-dated Billboard Global 200 boasts 42 holiday-themed songs, while 25 such tracks have infiltrated the Global Excl. U.S. chart. And while the vast majority of these songs are performing better on the Global 200, a handful of acts from the U.K. have holiday titles over-indexing beyond the U.S.

And none are more British than “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The 1984 charity single spearheaded by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure (officially credited to Band-Aid) gathered a gaggle of British stars to record the track, raising funds to fight famine in Ethiopia. Vocalists on the song include Bono, Phil Collins, George Michael, Sting, and more than 30 others.

This week, the song soars exactly 100 spots to No. 42 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart, while leaping from No. 175 to No. 57 on the Global 200.

Just beneath is British singer-songwriter Chris Rea’s 1986 carol “Driving Home for Christmas,” up to No. 44 on the Global Excl. U.S. tally and making a No. 78 debut on the Global 200.

Welsh singer-songwriter Shakin’ Stevens propels his holiday classic “Merry Christmas Everyone” to No. 62 on the Global Excl. U.S. chart, a full 50 positions ahead of his No. 112 rank on the Global 200. The song, originally released in 1985, has yet to appear on the domestic Billboard Hot 100 but re-enters at No. 14 on The Official U.K. Singles Chart.

But the holiday song with the strongest over-performance on the Global Excl. U.S. chart is “Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl. The 1987 song debuts on both charts, at No. 107 on Global Excl. U.S., and No. 164 on the Global 200, sporting a 57-point differentiation. Of its 9.9 million global streams, 8.5 million came from outside the U.S. in the tracking week, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

All holiday titles are led by Mariah Carey’s evergreen “All I Want for Christmas is You” and Wham!’s “Last Christmas,” each song dashing to the top five of both global charts, with time still ahead until Christmas for them to climb further toward the top of the tree.

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