SZA’s ‘SOS’ Rules Album Chart for Third Week; Nat King Cole’s ‘Christmas Song’ Finally Hits Top 10 After 62 Years

SZA’s “SOS” rings in the new year atop the Billboard 200 chart for a third consecutive total week, following its impressive debut week on the chart in late December. Meanwhile, the final week of 2022 pushed a number of cheery Yuletide favorites to dominate the top 10 of the singles chart in what has largely remained an unchanged list.

“SOS” logged 128,000 album units in the United States, with nearly 169 million streams accounting for a large portion of that sum, according to data by Luminate.

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The week being represented on both the album and song charts — Dec. 23-29 — encompassed both the days leading up to Christmas and several more days afterward, explaining the preponderance of holiday fare still dominating both lists before non-seasonal fare presumably takes over again for next week’s rankings.

Mariah Carey’s festive heavy-hitter “All I Want for Christmas Is You” stays at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, topping the list for a 12th total week. It’s the song’s fourth week in a row at the top this season. But it set a fresh benchmark for all songs, holiday or otherwise — the contemporary carol has become the first song to reign over the chart in five different years: in 2019 (for three weeks), 2020 (two), 2021 (three) and now, of course, 2022 and 2023.

With its rise to No. 9 on this weekly chart, Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)” entered the top 10 of the Hot 100 for the first time since it came out, believe it or not. It debuted on the Hot 100 in 1960, and according to Billboard, its 62-year journey to finally reach the top 10 is the longest in chart history. It also marks the first time Cole (who died in 1965) has been in the top 10 with any hit in 59 and a half years — breaking a record for the gap between top 10 hits for a performer, previously set by the Ronettes when their “Sleigh Ride” reached the top 10 after a 58-year lull. “The Christmas Song,” which initially debuted on the charts in 1960, achieved 27.4 million streams on the Jan. 7-dated chart as Cole’s third Hot 100 top 10 (following “Ramblin’ Rose” at No. 2 in 1962 and “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer” at No. 6 in 1963).

Cole’s holiday album, also titled “The Christmas Song,” reached a new peak to date, as well, on the Billboard 200, rising to No. 5 with 57,000 units.

The top holiday album of the season remained Michael Bublé’s “Christmas” album, which rose to No. 3, with 62,000 units. Beyond Cole and Bublé, the other seasonal albums in the top 10 were “A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector,” achieving a new chart high, moving from No. 11 to No. 8; Carey’s “Merry Christmas” holding on at No. 9 with 47,000 units; and the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s “A Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack, descending 8-10 with 45,000 units.

The four non-Christmas albums rounding out the chart are Taylor Swift’s “Midnights,” again following “SOS” at No. 2, with 106,000 album units; Metro Boomin’s “Heroes & Villains” remaining at No. 4 with 58,000 album units; Drake and 21 Savage’s “Her Loss” holding at No. 6 with 50,000 units earned, and Bad Bunny’s former leader “Un Verano Sin Ti” rising 10-7 with 48,000 units.

On the Hot 100, eight of the top 10 are holiday songs. Beyond Carey and Cole, there is Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” staying at No. 2; the late Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock” holding at No. 3; Wham!’s “Last Christmas” rising one spot to a new No. 4 high; the late Burl Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas” slipping to No. 5; Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” keeping on at No. 6, and José Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad” reaching a new high of No. 7.

The only non-holiday releases in the top 10 are Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero” (No. 8) and Sam Smith and Kim Petras’s “Unholy” (No. 10)

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