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Cher Notches First Pop Airplay Chart Hit Since 2002 With ‘DJ Play a Christmas Song’

Cher returns to Billboard’s Pop Airplay chart for the first time since 2002, as “DJ Play a Christmas Song” debuts at No. 40 on the survey dated Dec. 23.

The single gained by 10% in plays in the Dec. 8-14 tracking week, according to Luminate. Among top major-market supporters of the song are iHeartMedia’s WHTZ New York, KIIS Los Angeles and KYLD San Francisco.

The legendary singer last appeared on the chart, which began in 1992 and ranks weekly plays on over 150 mainstream top 40 radio stations, in March 2002 with “Song for the Lonely,” which reached No. 38. She tallied two prior entries, both in 1999: “Strong Enough” (No. 31) and her pop-culture juggernaut “Believe” (No. 2).

Cher ends a break of 21 years, nine months and three weeks between Pop Airplay hits. Two years ago, Elton John returned after an even longer wait between charted titles at the format: 23 years, seven months and one week, between “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” in 1998 and the debut of “Cold Heart (Pnau Remix),” with Dua Lipa.

Meanwhile, “DJ Play a Christmas Song” spends a third week at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It became Cher’s first leader on the list since “If I Could Turn Back Time,” which led for a week in September 1989, as she ended the longest gap between No. 1s in the chart’s 62-year history: 34 years, two months and one week (surpassing John’s absence of 23 years, 11 months between “Something About the Way You Look Tonight” and his own modern holiday hit, “Merry Christmas,” with Ed Sheeran, two Yuletide seasons ago).

“DJ Play a Christmas Song” has also topped the Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales and Holiday Digital Song Sales charts, as Cher has now claimed visits to No. 1 on Billboard song surveys in every decade since the 1960s, including her run as half of Sonny & Cher.

The carol is from Cher’s first holiday LP, Christmas, which jingled in at No. 1 on the Nov. 4-dated Top Holiday Albums chart.

All charts dated Dec. 23 will update on Tuesday, Dec. 19.

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