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All I Want for Christmas Is You

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"All I Want for Christmas Is You"
Carey wearing a Santa suit, while posing in an upright position. She has long brown curly hair, and is smiling. The background imagery is a pastel version of yellow, almost a beige color, with red letters that spell out the song's title.
Single by Mariah Carey
from the album Merry Christmas
ReleasedNovember 14, 1994
RecordedAugust 1994
StudioThe Hit Factory, New York City, NY
  • Mariah Carey
  • Walter Afanasieff
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"Endless Love"
"All I Want for Christmas Is You"
"Joy to the World"
Music video
"All I Want for Christmas Is You" on YouTube

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" is a Christmas song recorded by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. She co-wrote and co-produced it with Walter Afanasieff for her fourth studio album and first holiday album, Merry Christmas (1994). Columbia Records released it as the lead single from the album on October 29, 1994. The track is an uptempo love song that includes bell chimes, heavy back-up vocals, and synthesizers.

Upon release, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has been critically acclaimed, with The New Yorker calling it "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon."[1] The song remains Carey's biggest international success, reaching number one in numerous countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States.[2] In 2019, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time, 25 years after its original release, thus breaking several records, including the longest trip to number one.[3] With an estimated sales of over 16 million copies, it remains the best selling Christmas single by a female artist and one of the best-selling singles of all time.[4] As of 2017, the song was reported to have earned $60 million in royalties.[5]

Two music videos were originally commissioned for the song. The primary video features grainy home-movie-style footage of Carey, her dogs and family during the holiday season, as well as Carey dressed in a Santa suit frolicking on a snowy mountainside. Carey's then-husband Tommy Mottola makes a cameo appearance as Santa Claus, bringing Carey a gift and leaving on a red sleigh. The second video was filmed in black and white, and features Carey dressed in 1960s style in homage to The Ronettes, alongside back up singers and female dancers. A third music video directed by Joseph Kahn was released in 2019 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the song.

Carey has performed "All I Want for Christmas Is You" during numerous live television appearances and tours throughout her career. In 2010, Carey re-recorded the song for her second holiday album, Merry Christmas II You (2010), titled "All I Want for Christmas Is You (Extra Festive)". Carey also re-recorded the song as a duet with Canadian singer Justin Bieber for his 2011 album Under the Mistletoe, titled "All I Want for Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!)". It has become established as a Christmas standard[6] and continues to surge in popularity each holiday season. The song has also been covered by many artists over the years.[7]

Background and writing

Following the success of the singer's 1993 career best-selling album Music Box, Carey and her management at Columbia Records began devising ideas and strategies for subsequent projects.[8] Carey's then-husband, Tommy Mottola, head of Columbia's parent label Sony Music Entertainment, began mapping out possible follow ups for the singer during the pinnacle years of her career. During initial discussions regarding the thought of doing a Christmas-themed album with Carey and her songwriting partner of over four years, Walter Afanasieff, the fear arose that it was not commercially expedient or wise to release holiday music at the peak of one's career, as it was more often equated with a release towards the end of a musician's waning career.[9]

Afanasieff recalled his sentiments during initial discussions for a holiday record: "Back then, you didn't have a lot of artists with Christmas albums. It wasn't a known science at all back then, and there was nobody who did new, big Christmas songs. So we were going to release it as kind of an everyday, 'Hey, you know, we're putting out a Christmas album. No big deal.'"[8] Ultimately, with Mottola's persistence, Carey and Afanasieff began writing and composing songs for its parent album, Merry Christmas, during the summer of 1994. Carey began decorating the home she then shared with Mottola in upstate New York (which also came equipped with a personal recording studio) with Christmas ornaments and other holiday-inspired trinkets. In doing so, Carey felt she could capture the essence and spirit of what she was singing and make her vocal performance and delivery more emotive and authentic. "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was recorded that August, and took Carey and Afanasieff a total of fifteen minutes to write and compose.[9]

At first, Afanasieff admitted that he was puzzled and "blanched" as to where Carey wanted to take the melody and vocal scales, though she was "adamant" in her direction for the song.[10] In an interview with Billboard, Afanasieff described the type of relationship he and Carey shared in the studio and as songwriters for the song and in general:

It was always the same sort of system with us. We would write the nucleus of the song, the melody primary music, and then some of the words were there as we finished writing it. I started playing some rock 'n' roll piano and started boogie woogie-ing my left hand, and that inspired Mariah to come up with the melodic [Sings.] 'I don't want a lot for Christmas.' And then we started singing and playing around with this rock 'n' roll boogie song, which immediately came out to be the nucleus of what would end up being 'All I Want For Christmas Is You.' That one went very quickly: It was an easier song to write than some of the other ones. It was very formulaic, not a lot of chord changes. I tried to make it a little more unique, putting in some special chords that you really don't hear a lot of, which made it unique and special.

Then for the next week or two Mariah would call me and say, 'What do you think about this bit?' We would talk a little bit until she got the lyrics all nicely coordinated and done. And then we just waited until the sessions began, which were in the summer of '94 where we got together in New York and started recording. And that's when we first hear her at the microphone singing, and the rest is history.[8][11]

Afanasieff flew back to California, where he finished the song's programming and production. Originally, he had a live band play the drums and other instruments with the thought of giving it a more raw and affective sound. He was unhappy with the results of the recording and subsequently scrapped the effort and used his original, personal arrangement and programmed all the instruments heard on the song (with the exception of the background vocals) including the piano, effects, drums and triangle. While Carey continued writing material in her rented home in The Hamptons, Afanasieff completed the song's programming and awaited to rendezvous with her a final time in order to layer and harmonize the background vocals.[10]

In touching on several aspects of what excited her to record and release her Christmas album, Carey went into detail on what writing and recording the song and album meant for her, pointing out, "I'm a very festive person and I love the holidays. I've sung Christmas songs since I was a little girl. I used to go Christmas caroling. When it came to the album, we had to have a nice balance between standard Christian hymns and fun songs. It was definitely a priority for me to write at least a few new songs, but for the most part people really want to hear the standards at Christmas time, no matter how good a new song is."[12]

Composition and lyrics

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" is an uptempo song, composed with pop, soul, R&B, gospel, dance-pop and adult contemporary influences and stylings.[13][14][15] By early August, Carey already had two original songs written alongside Afanasieff: the "sad and ballad-y" "Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)" and the "Gospel-tinged and religious" "Jesus Born on This Day". The third and final original song the pair planned to write was to be centered and inspired and in the vein of a "Phil Spector, old rock 'n roll, sixties-sounding Christmas song".[8][11]

The song begins with a "sparking" bit of percussion "that resembles an antique music box or a whimsical snow globe."[8] After Carey's a cappella style vocal introduction, the song introduces other seasonal percussive signifiers including; celebratory church-like bells, cheerful sleigh bells, and "an underlying rhythmic beat that sounds like the loping pace of a horse or reindeer. These sounds echo religious and secular musical touchstones, without veering blatantly too much in either direction, and give the song an upbeat, joyous tone."[8]

"Carey's masterpiece is an incredible feat of philosophical subterfuge. Christmas is a time of material and affection-based excess, yet the song is narrowly focused on just one thing: getting to be with a specific person; you. It rejects the idea of love in general in favor of love in particular, simultaneously defying and defining pop-music conventions. With more economy of expression and undoubtedly catchier lyrics, 'Want' is a sort of Hegelian dialectic of Christmastime desire, taking the conflicting notions of abundance and specificity and packaging them into an earworm for the generations."[16]

—Emma Green, The Atlantic

In an interview in 1994, Carey described the song as "fun", and continued: "It's very traditional, old-fashioned Christmas. It's very retro, kind of '60s." Afanasieff went further in breaking down the song's musical elements: "A lush bed of keyboards, reminiscent of a small-scale Wall of Sound, cushions the song's cheery rhythms, while a soulful vocal chorus adds robust oohs, tension-creating counter-melodies, and festive harmonies. Most notably, however, the song's jaunty piano chords and melody keep the song merrily bouncing along."[8]

Lyrically, the song describes the yearning desire to be with a loved one for Christmas, regardless of whether they have to forgo the usual commercial aspect of the holiday season such as ornamental lights, trees, snow and presents. The song incorporates various instruments, including piano, drums, violin, oboe, flute, bell chimes, bass effect, and cowbells.[10][17] The song layers background vocals throughout the chorus and sections of the bridge.[14]

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" is played at an original tempo of 150.162 beats per minute. According to the sheet music published at by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, the song is set in common time and in the key of G major. Carey's vocal range in the song spans from the note of G3 to the high note of A6.[15] Carey wrote the song's lyrics and melody, while Afanasieff arranged and produced the piece with synthetically created computerized equipment.[14]

Slate's Ragusea counts "at least 13 distinct chords at work, resulting in a sumptuously chromatic melody. The song also includes what I consider the most Christmassy chord of all—a minor subdominant, or 'iv,' chord with an added 6, under the words 'underneath the Christmas tree,' among other places. (You might also analyze it as a half-diminished 'ii' 7th chord, but either interpretation seems accurate)."[17] According to Roch Parisien from AllMusic, the song contains "The Beach Boys-style harmonies, jangling bells, and a sleigh-ride pace, injecting one of the few bits of exuberant fun in this otherwise vanilla set."[18]

Critics have noted the song's 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s influences which, in conjunction with Carey's voice and its simple melody, heralded its recipe for success.[19][17] In discussing the song's chord progression and stylistic approaches, Slate's Adam Ragusea hailed the song as "the only Christmas song written in the last half-century worthy of inclusion in the Great American Songbook."[17] The A.V. Club's Annie Zaleski attributes the song's enduring appeal to its ambiguity in being able to pin it down as belonging to a specific era.

Critics also noted the song a tad reminiscent of the works of Judy Garland and Nat King Cole, while also describing it as hearkening back to "'60s and '70s Motown covers of prewar Christmas classics, such as The Jackson 5's [and] Stevie Wonder". Slate's Ragusea conceded that "All I Want For Christmas Is You" "sounds like it could have been written in the '40s and locked in a Brill Building safe."[17] In a piece on the song in Vogue, a writer felt the song's lyrics helped solidify its status over two decades later: "those lyrics could have been sung by Frank Sinatra—well, maybe not Frank, but another singer back then. I think that's what gives it that timeless, classic quality."[19]

Critical reception

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" received critical acclaim. Parisien called the song "a year-long banger", complimenting its instrumentation and melody.[18] Steve Morse, editor of The Boston Globe, wrote that Carey sang with a lot of soul.[20] According to Barry Schwartz from Stylus Magazine, "to say this song is an instant classic somehow doesn't capture its amazingicity; it's a modern standard: joyous, exhilarating, loud, with even a hint of longing." Schwartz praised the song's lyrics as well, describing them as "beautifully phrased," and calling Carey's voice "gorgeous" and "sincere."[21]

Kyle Anderson from MTV labeled the track "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".[22] While reviewing the 2009 remix version, Becky Bain from Idolator called the song a "timeless classic" and wrote, "We love the original song to pieces—we blast it while decorating our Christmas tree and lighting our Menorah."[23]

Shona Craven of Scotland's The Herald, said, "[it's] a song of optimism and joy that maybe, just maybe, hints at the real meaning of Christmas."[24] Additionally, she felt the main reason it was so successful is the subject "you" in the lyrics, explaining, "Perhaps what makes the song such a huge hit is the fact that it's for absolutely everyone." Craven opened her review with a bold statement: "Bing Crosby may well be turning in his grave, but no child of the 1980s will be surprised to see Mariah Carey's sublime All I Want For Christmas Is You bounding up the charts after being named the nation's top festive song."[24]

In his review for Carey's Merry Christmas II You, Thomas Connor from the Chicago Sun-Times called the song "a simple, well-crafted chestnut and one of the last great additions to the Christmas pop canon".[25] In a 2006 retrospective look at Carey's career, Sasha Frere-Jones of The New Yorker said, the "charming" song was one of Carey's biggest accomplishments, calling it "one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon".[1] Dan Hancox, editor of The National, quoted and agreed with Jones' statement, calling the song "perfection".[26]

Chart performance

A woman wearing a long white dress. She has long golden hair and is holding a sparkling microphone. She is standing on a large red stage, surrounded by dancers in Santa Claus outfit and generally festive attire.
Carey performing "All I Want for Christmas Is You" at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony near the White House on December 6, 2013

In the United States, in the first week of January 1995, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary and at No. 12 on the Hot 100 Airplay chart.[27] The song placed on these two charts again in December 1995 and in December 1996.[27] The song was ineligible for inclusion on the Billboard Hot 100 during its original release, because it was not released commercially as a single. This rule lapsed in 1998, however, allowing the song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at No. 83 in January 2000). The song topped the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart in December 2005, but it was unable to attain a new peak on the Billboard Hot 100 chart because it was considered a recurrent single and was thus ineligible for chart re-entry.[28]

Every December from 2005 to 2008, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100 Re-currents chart. In 2012, after the recurrent rule was revised to allow all songs in the top 50 onto the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the single re-entered the chart at No. 29 and peaked at No. 21 for the week ending January 5, 2013. In December 2017, the song reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Carey her 28th top 10 in the country and first since "Obsessed" in 2009.[29] "All I Want For Christmas Is You" subsequently rose to No. 3 on the chart dated January 5, 2019, becoming the second holiday track to reach its top 5 after "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" by David Seville and the Chipmunks peaked at No. 1 in 1958.[30] As of January 4, 2020, it has topped the Billboard Holiday 100 chart for a record-extending 40 cumulative weeks. No other song has spent more than two weeks at No. 1 on the Holiday 100 since the chart's launch in 2011.[31][32]

It returned to its No. 3 Hot 100 peak on the chart dated December 14, 2019.[33] On the chart dated December 21, 2019, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" topped the Hot 100 in the United States with 45.6 million streams and 27,000 digital sales sold. It reached the top spot after 35 cumulative weeks on the chart, making it the slowest climb to the top spot in the chart's history, surpassing "Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix)" by Los del Río which reached number one in August 1996 after 33 weeks on the chart. Additionally, it broke the record for the longest trip to the number one position, reaching the spot 25 years after the song's original release.[3] With "All I Want For Christmas is You", Carey extended her record of having the most number-one songs for a solo artist on the Hot 100 with nineteen and Carey achieved a record-extending 80th week at number-one on the Hot 100.[3] Although released in 1994, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was the last number-one single of the 2010s decade,[34] as well as the first number-one of the 2020s decade, spending a third week atop the Hot 100 chart dated January 4, 2020,[31] and in doing so, Carey became the first artist in history to rule the chart in four separate decades: 1990s, 2000s, 2010s & 2020s chart.[31]

It has become the first holiday ringtone to be certified double-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[35] Additionally, of songs recorded before the year 2000, it is the best-selling digital single by a woman, as well as the overall best-selling holiday digital single.[2][36] As of December 2019, total sales of the digital track according to Nielsen SoundScan was 3,588,000.[37] On the US Rolling Stone 100, the song topped the charts during the week of December 12, 2019, becoming Carey's first number-one song on the chart, and fourteenth overall to reach the top of the chart.[38]

In the United Kingdom, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 5 during the week of December 10, 1994.[39] The following week, the song peaked at number 2, staying there for the final three weeks of December (held out of the coveted "Christmas No. 1" honor by East 17's "Stay Another Day").[40] As of January 27, 2017, it had spent seventy-eight weeks on the UK Singles Chart.[41] As of December 19, 2013, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has sold one million copies in the UK.[42] On December 13, 2019, it was certified quadruple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry for shipment of 2.4 million units (including streams) and remains Carey's best-selling single in the UK.[43] In 2010, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was named the No. 1 holiday song of the decade in the United Kingdom.[44] The song peaked at number 2 in the United Kingdom for a second time in December 2017 due to strong downloads and streaming.[45] It has since reached number 2 again twice; in 2018[46] and in 2019.[47]

The song originally peaked at No. 2 on the Australian Singles Chart in 1994, and was certified five-times platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), denoting shipments of over 350,000 units.[48] "All I Want For Christmas Is You" topped the chart in December 2018, becoming the first Christmas song to do so in the 21st century and giving Carey her third number-one song in the country after "Fantasy" in 1995 and "We Belong Together" in 2005. This also made her the eleventh musical act to reach the country's summit in three back-to-back decades. It additionally was the first Christmas track since "Snoopy's Christmas" by The Royal Guardsmen in 1967 to peak at number one in Australia during the Christmas season. The song also topped the New Zealand Charts for the first time in 2018, making Carey's eighth number-one single in the country.[49] In Denmark, it peaked at No. 4, staying in the chart for sixteen weeks and being certified gold by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).[50][51]

"All I Want for Christmas Is You" became Carey's best-selling single in Japan. It was used as the theme song to the popular drama 29-sai no Christmas (29才のクリスマス, lit. "Christmas in 29 Years, 29th Christmas"),[52] and was titled Koibito-tachi no Christmas (恋人たちのクリスマス, lit. "Lovers' Christmas").[53] The single peaked at No. 2 for two weeks, blocked from the top spot by "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Everybody Goes", both released by rock band Mr. Children.[54][55] It sold in excess of 1.1 million units in Japan.[56] Due to strong sales and airplay, the song re-charted in Japan in 2010, peaking at No. 6 on the Japan Hot 100.[28] The single has been certified the Million award by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) on two different formats (compact disc and ringtone), in 1994 and 2008, respectively.[57][58]

On December 25, 2018, the song set the single-day record for the most Spotify streams, with 10.82 million plays.[59] After having been subsequently surpassed by Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber's "I Don't Care, "All I Want For Christmas Is You" re-broke the record exactly a year later with 12.029 million streams in a single day.[60] As of December 2019, the song has earned more than $2 million in royalties since it was first added to Spotify.[61]


When the song was first released as a single in 1994, no remixes were commissioned. Carey re-released the song commercially in Japan in 2000, with a new remix known as the So So Def remix.[62] The remix contains new vocals and is played over a harder, more urban beat that contains a sample of Afrika Bambaataa & the Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock;" it features guest vocals by Jermaine Dupri and Bow Wow. The remix appears on Carey's compilation album Greatest Hits (2001) as a bonus track.[62] A video was created for the So So Def remix, but it does not feature Carey or the hip-hop musicians that perform in the song.[62] Instead, the video is animated and based on a scene in the video from Carey's "Heartbreaker" (1999). It features cartoon cameo appearances by Carey, Jermaine Dupri, Bow Wow, Luis Miguel (Carey's boyfriend at the time), Carey's dog Jack, and Santa Claus. In 2009 and 2010, the song was included in a music video accompanying ESPN's (and their sister station, ABC) Christmas Day coverage of the NBA.[63][64]

In 2009, a remix produced by Carey and Low Sunday, called "Mariah's New Dance Mix", was released. The mix laid the original 1994 vocals over new electronic instrumentation. The remix garnered a positive response. MTV's Kyle Anderson wrote that "it's difficult to improve perfection," but that the remix "does dress up the song in a disco thump that should make your office Christmas party 28 percent funkier than it was last year."[22] Idolator's Becky Bain praised the song's catchiness.[23]

In 2010, Carey re-recorded the song for her thirteenth studio and second holiday album, Merry Christmas II You. Titled "All I Want for Christmas Is You (Extra Festive)", the new version featured re-recorded vocals, softer bell ringing and stronger drumming, and an orchestral introduction that replaced the slow vocal introduction.[65] Steven J. Horowitz from Rap-Up wrote that the new version "sound[ed] just as enjoyable as it did in 1994."[66] While the song was praised, it drew criticism for being too similar to the original. Thomas Connor from the Chicago Sun-Times wrote that the new version "just seems to add a few brassy backup singers to exactly the same arrangement."[25] Caryn Ganz from Rolling Stone agreed, writing that it was "hard to figure out what's 'extra festive'" about the new version.[67] Dan Hancox, editor of The National, also felt the new version was unnecessary.[26]

Live performances

A woman wearing a long black gown. She has long golden hair and is holding a sparkling microphone. She is standing on a large red stage, surrounded by dancers in white attire. Additional background scenery include the audience and three background singers wearing white ensembles and standing on a large platform.
Carey performing the 2010 version of the song live at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, on December 3, 2010

Carey has performed the song during concerts as well as live televised performances.[14] It was part of the setlist of several of her concert tours, including the Japanese shows of Carey's Daydream World Tour (1996), Butterfly World Tour (1998), Rainbow World Tour (2000), Charmbracelet World Tour (2002–03), and The Adventures of Mimi Tour (2006).[14][68]

The first performance of the song was at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, in December 8, 1994.[69] Additionally, Carey performed the song at the 2004 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade, which aired on ABC.[70] Carey sang the So So Def remix version at the opening night of her Angels Advocate Tour on New Year's Eve.[71] On November 9, 2010, Carey taped a live Christmas Special featuring the song, which aired on December 13, 2010, on ABC.[72] Additionally, Carey performed the song alongside "Oh Santa!" airing on ESPN and ABC throughout the day on Christmas Day of 2010. On December 3, 2010, she performed both songs at the Walt Disney World Resort theme park, Magic Kingdom, in a performance that was taped and aired part of the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade on ABC.[73] She performed them again in a music video promoting the day's NBA games that aired on both networks.[63] Carey also included the track as the encore to her sold out, annual Christmas concert series at the Beacon Theater in New York City. The show is entitled All I Want For Christmas Is You, A Night of Joy & Festivity. During The Late Late Show with James Corden on December 15, 2016, Mariah Carey sang this song on the popular feature Carpool Karaoke. Fellow singers Adele, Lady Gaga, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Elton John, Selena Gomez, Gwen Stefani, Chris Martin and the band Red Hot Chili Peppers were featured in the video.[74] It quickly went viral, achieving over 2 million views in less than 24 hours, and 25 million views in less than three weeks. In December 2019, Carey returned to The Late Late Show to perform the song for its 25th anniversary. In addition to this, she performed "Oh Santa!" and "Christmas Time Is in the Air Again".

Music videos

There are four music videos for "All I Want for Christmas Is You". The first, primary video was shot in the style of a home movie using Super-8mm film; it was directed and filmed by Carey during the Christmas season of 1993.[75] The video begins with Carey placing holiday ornaments on a Christmas tree and frolicking through the snowy mountainside. Outdoor scenes were shot at the Fairy Tale Forest in New Jersey, where Carey's then-husband Tommy Mottola made a cameo appearance as Santa Claus.[14] It continues with scenes of Carey getting ready for her album cover photo shoot and spending time with her dog Jack. It concludes with Santa Claus leaving Carey with a bag of presents and waving goodbye.[53] It has more than 633 million views on YouTube as of April 2020.[76] In the song's alternate video, inspired by The Ronettes, Carey dances in a 1960s-influenced studio surrounded by go–go dancers. For a 1960s look, the video was filmed in black and white, with Carey in white boots and teased up hair. This video was also directed by Carey. There are two edits to this version of the video.[75]

In 2019, along with the release of the deluxe 25th-anniversary edition of her album Merry Christmas, she released two new music videos for the song. The first featured an unreleased footages of the first primary video.[77][78] The second, directed by Joseph Kahn was a 'revamped' version entitled, 'Make My Wish Come True Edition' with new scenes of Carey in 2019.[79][80]


A Christmas-themed wax statue of Carey in San Francisco.
A Christmas-themed wax statue of Carey in San Francisco.

Carey released a children's book based on "All I Want for Christmas Is You" on November 10, 2015,[81] which went on to sell over 750,000 copies.[82] She later released an animated family film called Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas Is You, based on the book and song on November 14, 2017.[83]

On March 21, 2017, Carey announced via her Twitter account that a film based on "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was in development.[84] A musical film based on Merry Christmas, the plot revolves around a small town—perhaps not unlike Carey's hometown of Huntington, New York—where a ruthless developer wants to turn the land into a large shopping plaza. "Mariah doesn't want to let that happen," says her producing partner Benny Medina. "Her character uses song and love to keep the Christmas spirit alive." According to Carey, the script will be written by High School Musical writer Peter Barsocchini, but is still in its early stages of production. However, Carey gave Daily News a few more details regarding the project, saying, "Since I recorded the Christmas album, I've always wanted to make a movie to go with it, something that people could watch and hear and enjoy every year. I'm into it. I'm all about the holiday season."[85]


"All I Want for Christmas Is You" has charted every holiday season since its original release. In December 2017, the song reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the first holiday song to enter Hot 100's top ten since Kenny G's cover of "Auld Lang Syne" in January 2000. It became Carey's 28th top ten single in the Hot 100. In December 2018, the song became the second holiday song in the 60-year history of the Hot 100 to reach the top five when it reached number three, with only The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) by David Seville and The Chipmunks having a higher rank (peaking at number one for four weeks in 1958–1959). In December 2019, the song became Carey's 19th number one hit. With global sales of over 16 million copies, the song remains Carey's biggest international success and the 11th best selling single of all time.[4] As of 2017, the song was reported to have earned $60 million in royalties.[5]

In 2010 The Daily Telegraph named "All I Want for Christmas Is You" the most popular and most played Christmas song of the decade in the United Kingdom;[86] by 2015 "Fairytale of New York" had become the UK’s most-played Christmas song of the 21st century.[87] Rolling Stone ranked it fourth on its Greatest Rock and Roll Christmas Songs list, calling it a "holiday standard."[88] In a UK-wide poll in December 2012, it was voted fifth on the ITV television special The Nation's Favourite Christmas Song.[89] Due to the song's lasting impact, Carey was dubbed the "Queen of Christmas", a title she is hesitant to accept. "I don't accept that name because I feel like it's [too much]," she said. "I humbly thank them and I do have an extraordinary love for the holiday season, and it is the best time of the year."[90]

On November 24, 2019, the song won three records in Guinness World Records for one of the best-selling and most recognizable Christmas songs, most streamed song on Spotify in 24 hours (female) (10,819,009 streams in December 2018) and most weeks in the UK singles Top 10 chart for a Christmas song (20) titles.[91][92][93]


Certifications and sales

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[166] 6× Platinum 420,000double-dagger
Belgium (BEA)[167] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[168] 3× Platinum 240,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[169] 3× Platinum 270,000^
Germany (BVMI)[170] 3× Gold 750,000^
Italy (FIMI)[171] 2× Platinum 60,000*
Japan (RIAJ)[172]
Physical sales
Million 1,300,000[56]
Japan (RIAJ)[172]
Digital sales
2× Million 2,100,000[56]
New Zealand (RMNZ)[173] 2× Platinum 20,000*
Norway (IFPI Norway)[174] 4× Platinum 240,000*
Portugal (AFP)[175] Gold 20,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[176] 2× Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[178] 4× Platinum 2,210,000[177]
United States (RIAA)[179] 6× Platinum 3,588,000[37]
United States (RIAA)[180]
2× Platinum 2,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history

Region Date Format(s) Version(s) Label(s) Ref.
Australia November 14, 1994 Original Columbia [181]
Various November 28, 1994 CD single [182]
November 29, 1994 Cassette single [183]
Japan September 21, 1995 MiniDisc (re-release) SMEJ [184]
November 21, 1996 CD single [185]
December 23, 2000
Various November 20, 2009 Digital download Dance remix Sony [182]
November 27, 2015 Picture disc
  • Original
  • So So Def remix
Columbia [187]
Europe December 15, 2017 Digital download [188]
Japan October 24, 2018 7-inch vinyl
  • Original
  • So So Def remix
  • Dance remix
SMEJ [189]
Various December 20, 2019 Original
Casette single [191]
12-inch vinyl
  • Original
  • Live
  • So So Def remix
  • Dance remix
CD single [193]
United States February–March, 2020 [194]

Other versions

Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber version

"All I Want for Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!)"
Single by Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber
from the album Under the Mistletoe
ReleasedDecember 9, 2011
FormatRadio airplay
Mariah Carey singles chronology
"When Christmas Comes"
"All I Want for Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!)"
"Triumphant (Get 'Em)"
Justin Bieber singles chronology
"All I Want for Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!)"
"Live My Life"
Music video
"All I Want for Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!)" on YouTube

All I Want for Christmas Is You (SuperFestive!) is a duet between Carey and Canadian singer Justin Bieber. The song was recorded on his holiday album, Under the Mistletoe,[195] and released as a radio airplay only single in Italy on December 9, 2011, as the second single from the album.[196] The music video for the duet featuring Bieber was filmed in Macy's department store in New York City, and features Bieber shopping with his friends whilst Carey is seen singing in the background.[195] In December 2019, Carey released a new music video for the track to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the song.[197]


Chart (2011–2012) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[198] 35
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[199] 61
Japan (Japan Hot 100)[200] 19
Norway (VG-lista)[201] 2
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[202] 34
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[203] 148
US Billboard Hot 100[204] 86
US Adult Contemporary (Billboard)[205] 3
US Holiday Songs (Billboard)[206] 20

List of cover versions

See also


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Works cited

External links

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