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NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 02: Mariah Carey performs onstage during 2016 VH1’s Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night at Kings Theatre on December 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Posted Friday, December 14, 2017 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Sure, Mariah Carey may have embarrassed herself on ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve almost a year ago, but her snafus have not at all dimmed people’s love for her 1994 hit “All I Want For Christmas is You.” Twenty three years later, it is now the most played song during holiday season on multiple platforms: iTune sales, Spotify streams and FM radio airplay, plus Billboard magazine, which combines all three.

And it appears the death of George Michael last year on Christmas Day has fueled popularity of his now wistful-in-retrospect song “Last Christmas,” which he performed with Wham! The song was already among most popular Christmas tunes of all time and ranked No. 10 in airplay from 2011 to 2016, according to Billboard but has now jumped into the top 6 on the four charts below.

Georgia’s Brenda Lee remains an enduring presence with her song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” as do classic decades-old versions of songs by Andy Williams, Burl Ives, Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. And in an ode to diversity, the Jose Feliciano version of “Feliz Navidad” is still a staple on radio nearly 60 years after its release.

The sales chart is the most different of the four charts, showing some newer tunes by Gwen Stefani and Lindsey Stirling and an impressive love for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, whose lead singer died of a drug overdose in April.

And while older acts remain popular, a few modern ones have found their way into regular spins, streams and spins including Pentatonix, Michael Buble and Kelly Clarkson.

The top 10 Christmas songs played on December 14 on Spotify in the United States: 

  1. All I Want For Christmas Is You -Mariah Carey (1994)
  2. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (1958) 
  3. Last Christmas – Wham! (1984)
  4. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams (1963)
  5. A Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives (1965)
  6. Jingle Bell Rock – Anita Kerr Singers (2008)
  7. White Christmas – Bing Crosby (1945)
  8. Let It Snow! – Frank Sinatra (1950)
  9. Christmas Time is Here – Vince Guaraldi Trio (1965)
  10. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole (1946)

The top 10 Christmas songs in radio airplay from Mediabase 24/7

  1. All I Want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey (1994)
  2. Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano (1960)
  3. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms (1957)
  4. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives (1965)
  5. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole (1946)
  6. Last Christmas – Wham! (1984)
  7. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (1958)
  8. Happy Xmas/War is Over – John Lennon (1971)
  9. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams (1963)
  10. White Christmas – Bing Crosby (1945)

The top 10 Christmas songs on iTunes

  1. All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey (1994)
  2.  You Make It Feel Like Christmas – Gwen Stefani with Blake Shelton (2017)
  3. Mary, Did You Know? – Pentatonix (2014)
  4. Last Christmas – Wham! (1984)
  5. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms (1957)
  6. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (1958)
  7. Christmas/ Sarajevo 12/24 – Trans-Siberian Orchestra (1996)
  8. Christmas Canon – Trans-Siberian Orchestra (1998)
  9. Carol of the Bells – Lindsey Stirling (2017)
  10. Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano (1960)

The top 10 Christmas songs according to Billboard, which combines radio airplay, streaming and sales (See the entire top 100 here)

  1. All I Want For Christmas is You -Mariah Carey (1994)
  2. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee (1958)
  3. The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole (1946)
  4. It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams (1963)
  5. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas – Burl Ives (1965)
  6. Last Christmas- Wham! (1984)
  7. Jingle Bell Rock – Bobby Helms (1957)
  8. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow – Dean Martin (1966)
  9. Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano (1960)
  10. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Buble (2011)

 


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