Three years on from his death, George Michael has broken a major streaming record in the UK.
Wham! track ‘Last Christmas’ rocketed up the during Christmas week, claiming the number three slot – behind Ellie Goulding’s ‘River’ and Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’.
However, while it didn’t claim the top spot in the overall singles charts, the Official Charts Company revealed that ‘Last Christmas’ still managed to break a unique record.
George Michael broke streaming records
The song received a massive 17.1 million plays on streaming services in the UK during Christmas week, shattering the record for “the biggest week of streams for a song in the UK.”
It overtakes Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings, which racked up 16.9 million plays in a week in January 2019.
The song is always popular at Christmas, but may have gained a boost from the success of romantic comedy adaptation Last Christmas, which was released in November.
George Michael passed away on Christmas Day in 2016, and was found by his boyfriend Fadi Fawaz.
Second Christmas tragedy for George Michael’s family
The singer’s sister Melanie Panayiotou was also found dead on Christmas Day this year – three years to the day since her brother passed.
The family said in a short statement on December 27: “We can confirm that very tragically Melanie has passed away suddenly.
“We would simply ask that the family’s privacy be respected at this very sad time. There will be no further comments.”
Surviving Wham! member Andrrew Ridgeley said: “Utterly tragic news of Mel Panayiotou’s passing. My thoughts are with her sister and father at this desperately sad time.”
In November, Panayiotou told the Big Issue that the Last Christmas film would have meant the world to her brother.
“As many of you know, Yog adored Christmas and he loved the idea of this film,” she said.
“I am sure he will be enjoying seeing Emilia [Clarke]’s amazing light bulb smile, something they share, across the celestial miles.
“And, most importantly, we all, together with our dear departed Yog (my ‘very proud to be gay’ brother – contrary to what you may have read recently!) wish a very merry, merry Christmas to Big Issue sellers and readers alike.”