With ‘Blue Christmas,’ Elvis Presley Charts in the Hot 100’s Top 20 for the First Time Since 1977

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Elvis Presley makes a royal return to the Billboard Hot 100’s top 20 as his classic 1957 carol “Blue Christmas” jumps to No. 18, from No. 25, on the chart dated Jan. 6, 2024.

With the ascent, the late King of Rock and Roll appears in the Hot 100’s top 20 for the first time since the chart dated Oct. 1, 1977, when his track “Way Down” likewise ranked at No. 18, its peak.

Presley died, at age 42, on Aug. 16, 1977.


“Blue Christmas” becomes Presley’s 49th top 20 Hot 100 hit, the fourth-best sum dating to the chart’s Aug. 4, 1958, start – after his 1956 commercial breakthrough. Drake leads with 133 top 20 titles, followed by Taylor Swift (85) and Lil Wayne (53).

The song ascends with 23.3 million official U.S. streams (up 15%) and 7.7 million in radio airplay audience (up 3%) Dec. 22-28 – thus, with only four days leading up to and including Christmas Day in the tracking week – according to Luminate.

Written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson, “Blue Christmas” has hit the Hot 100 in three forms. In addition to Presley’s, The Browns’ version reached No. 97 in 1960 and Kane Brown’s interpretation rose to No. 73 last holiday season.

Going back to even before Presley’s recording, Ernest Tubb sent his take on “Blue Christmas” to No. 1 on Billboard’s Most Played Juke Box (Country & Western) Records chart over the 1949 holiday season.

Meanwhile, Presley, Chuck Berry, Nat King Cole, Perry Como and Dean Martin all rank on the latest Hot 100 with holiday titles and share the record for the longest span of appearing on the chart: 65 years and five months; that encompasses the chart’s entire existence to date, as all five legendary artists placed on the inaugural Hot 100.


As previously reported, Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” rebounds to No. 1 on the Hot 100. The fellow seasonal standard, from 1958, adds a third week at the summit, four weeks after it led for the first time. Plus, the Hot 100’s top eight titles are holiday songs for the first time ever, while nine of the top 10 are holiday hits for just the second time and a single-week-record 41 holiday songs decorate the entire chart (surpassing the 40 on the survey a year ago this week).

All charts dated Jan. 6 will update on Billboard.com tomorrow, Jan. 3.

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