Ed Sheeran (And Beyonce) Have Christmas Number One

Ed Sheeran has beat competition from Eminem – and himself – to land his first Christmas number one single.

Perfect – which he released in three separate versions in a bid to clinch the Christmas crown – had faced a challenge from Eminem’s River, on which Sheeran provides guest vocals.

But the rapper ended in second place, while Wham’s Last Christmas came third.

In a video message, the British singer said securing the Christmas top spot was “an actual dream come true”.

“I’m very proud and happy,” he said. “Thank you so much and have a very merry Christmas, happy holidays and a happy new year.”

Sheeran’s domination of the Christmas chart was all but assured after he released a new version of his doe-eyed ballad with Beyonce.

That version drove most of his sales – though chart rules mean Beyonce is denied a credit on the Christmas number one, with Sheeran’s original counted as the lead track.

Eminem’s River took an early lead on streaming services but faltered as the week went on.

Fans had hoped to send Last Christmas to number one to mark the first anniversary of George Michael’s death.

Despite support from ITV’s This Morning and Michael’s ex-bandmate Andrew Ridgeley, however, the song failed to beat its original chart position of number two.

Back in 1984, it was denied the top spot by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? charity single.

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