After 25 Year Debut, Mariah Carey’s ‘Christmas’ Anthem Finally Tops the Charts

Posted December 24, 2019 by J Matthew Cobb in News

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” finally hits number one on the pop charts…and it sticks around for second week

Christmas just ain’t Christmas without the one you love…and a few rounds of Mariah Carey’s evergreen holiday bonanza “All I Want for Christmas.”

And it seems like the modern-day carol has finally hit a crescendo; by hitting number one pop on the Billboard Hot 100.

Every year the song seems to register on radio airplay charts, topping even the seasonal Holiday Play charts, but it’s never taken the top spot of America’s beloved jukebox chart. Until last week. And this just in: The song continued its Number One reign for a second week in a row, keeping Lil Uzi Vert‘s “Futsal Shuffle 2020” back at number 2. Carey’s song posted 100,000 more streams than Lil Uzi’s Vert’s song. “All I Want for Christmas” is also the final number one of the 2010’s decade.

“We did it,” Carey tweeted to her fans on social media. The immediate response from the pop diva was short and simple, but proved to be a momentous occasion and a justified honor for a song with incredible steam.













It’s a historic first, where a song with such a throwback date on it climbs to number one pop. And without a remix or a remake or even a slight technological twist. The very original has climbed to the top of the charts almost three-decade later, appealing to generations that hardly grew up with Carey while at her apex. Several outlets, including MTV, have already labeled her the Queen of Christmas.

The mountaintop climb is the culmination of a twenty-five-year trek, reaching back to 1994 when Carey’s third album, Merry Christmas, was originally released. The song itself, styled like Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound achievements and tracing the elements of his 1963 legendary holiday disc (A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector), didn’t get initial fanfare when it first dropped, but over the years it’s grown with popularity and has become developed a legend of its own. Some critics have even cited it as one of the greatest holiday songs ever made. with The New Yorker called it “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon, while Kyle Anderson from MTV wrote that the track was “a majestic anthem full of chimes, sleigh bells, doo-wop flourishes, sweeping strings and one of the most dynamic and clean vocal performances of Carey’s career.”

Penned by Carey alongside longtime writing partner Walter Afanasieff‎;  “All I Want for Christmas Is You” when originally released went as far as number 12 on the Hot 100 Airplay and number 6 on the AC charts. It failed to make the Billboard Hot 100 because her label, Sony, failed to release it as a commercial single. At that time, singles were registered by physical release (pre-digital, streaming age). After recurrent rules were revised, it journeyed up the charts over the years: #21 in 2013; #9 in 2017; #3 in January 2019. It re-charted on December 14th at number 3 on the Hot 100. It becomes the 19th number one hit from Carey, placing her squarely behind the Beatles for the most number ones ever (the Beatles has 20). In most countries, it remains Carey’s best-selling song.

To date, the song has been verified six times platinum by the RIAA. In the US alone it has earned 45.6 million streams and sold upwards of 27,000 in digital sales. Over 3.4 million purchases of the song have been made since the song has been released in all digital and physical forms.

A new documentary detailing the song’s history and Mariah’s perspective of how it originated has been released this month and was uploaded to YouTube (see video below). Over the years, the song has been analyzers heavily by media outlets like Vox, who carefully noted that the song screams with sensational pop melodies and the infectious bubbly sounds of Phil Spector’s girl group nostalgia.

In other holiday music news this week, Brenda Lee saw her iconic “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” made famous from the popular 1990 Home Alone film, rise to number three pop, a career-high for the 1958 hit. Burl Ives’ “Holly Jolly Christmas,” originally released in 1965, rounded out the top ten. Earlier this month, it managed to hit number 6.


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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