It’s certainly shaping up to be a very merry Christmas for rock legend Jimmy Barnes as his first Christmas album, Blue Christmas, has secured the top spot on the ARIA charts.
Barnes’ collection of Christmas classics beat out the likes of Mariah Carey, Michael Buble and WHAM to reach number one.
Blue Christmas is Barnes’ 20th studio album and his 15th to reach number one on the ARIA charts.
ARIA CEO, Annabelle Herd said she was “thrilled to be congratulating an Australian artist on leading the charge with a #1 debut, let alone an icon like Jimmy Barnes”.
“His contribution to Australian music over decades is almost untouchable, from shaping the face of local rock and roll, to children’s albums and everything in between. Congratulations again Jimmy,” Herd said.
Upon learning of the achievement, Barnes said the album’s success “is a fantastic Christmas present”.
“I’m grateful to receive it. It’s been a rough week given that I’ve withdrawn from summer touring to have surgery,” Barnes said.
“I’d like to say that the warm reception for this album has put a spring in my step, but that would be a medical miracle right now.
“Instead, I’ll just say thanks to everyone who keeps listening to my new music and thank all the people behind the scenes for their help. I wish everyone the happiest of holidays and can’t wait to get back onstage next year.”
The “rough week” to which Barnes refers is the singing legend’s recent announcement that he has been forced to cancel his upcoming Australian tour following doctors’ orders, with the star requiring urgent surgery amidst growing health issues.
Barnes recently told fans that despite cancelling a show being against his religion, the 66-year-old’s hip and back pain have left him in constant agony.
The Working Class Man singer attributed his health woes to a lifetime of jumping around on stage but is adamant about remedying the issue in order to continue rocking out with fans.
“I’ve been jumping off PA’s and stomping around stages for nearly 50 years, but it’s finally caught up with me”, Barnes said on social media.
“I’ve had niggling back and hip issues for years, but things suddenly got a lot worse over the last few weeks and I’m now in constant and severe pain.
“As everybody knows, it’s against my religion to blow out gigs but the Doctors tell me I need an operation as soon as possible and it will really limit my movement for a few months.
“As much as it kills me to inconvenience everyone, I have to get this fixed so I can jump around onstage for another 50 years.”