When it comes to Christmas, there is only one song—not even Wham!’s “Last Christmas” or James Lord Pierpont’s Thanksgiving-turned-Xmas classic “Jingle Bells” comes close—that dominates homes, radio stations, and public spaces: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
Yet, for a song that appears nearly ubiquitous one month out of each year, the track had never cracked the top 10 on the BillboardHot 100 until this year. As reported by Billboard, the song jumped from its previous summit at No. 11 to No. 9 on the chart dated December 30, making its 23-year climb to the topmost tier of the chart the longest in history.
“This is such an amazing Christmas gift!” Carey told Billboard. “As a songwriter, I feel so honored to have this song reach Billboard’s [Hot 100] top 10 for the first time. I honestly never thought we’d be talking about this happening, but I’m so thankful to everyone who embraces this song as part of their holiday tradition. It truly warms my heart, and I am proud of this song that I wrote basically as a kid on my little Casio keyboard.”
Spotify recently revealed that Carey’s hit is the platform’s all-time most-streamed Christmas song, sitting at over 280 million streams and counting at the time of publish. Carey’s video for the track has also reportedly picked up over 100 million plays so far throughout December, bringing its total to over 373 million (one year ago the video had just under 250 million views). A second music video for the song was released in June 2016, and has so far only accumulated just over two million views.
When the song’s album Merry Christmas released on November 1, 1994, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” wasn’t released commercially as a single, making it ineligible for the Hot 100. It wasn’t until January 8, 2000 that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” finally broke into the chart, sliding in at No. 83 for one week. After the rule regarding recurrent singles was revised in 2012, along with the addition of streams to chart totals, the song has consistently made its way into the Hot 100 each year, with the 2015–2016 holiday season marking its previous peak of 11.
As for the song’s performance in other countries, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” surged all the way to No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart the year of its release, held off by East 17’s “Stay Another Day.” It also peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Singles Chart, No. 5 on Germany’s GfK Entertainment Charts, and No. 6 on the Japan Hot 100.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” also marks Carey’s 28th track to crack the Hot 100’s top 10 slots. Tying Stevie Wonder for fifth in this category, only Madonna (38), The Beatles (34), Rihanna (31), and Michael Jackson (29) have her bested.
Carey’s”All I Want For Christmas Is You” is the first track to reach such an achievement with “Christmas” in its title, but a few other holiday tunes have seen similar success. “The Chipmunk Song” by The Chipmunks with David Seville managed to make it all the way to No. 1, reigning there for four weeks during the 1958 season. From there, Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne” hit No. 9 in 1981, New Kids on the Block’s “This One’s for the Children” hit No. 7 in 1989, and Kenny G’s “Auld Lang Syne” hit No. 7 in 2000 all hit the top 10 prior to Carey.
With little time left before Christmas day, it is unlikely that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” will rise much higher this year, but considering that the track ages like a fine wine, we shouldn’t consider a No. 1 ranking in the near future out of the question.
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