“All I Want for Christmas is You” has been a mainstay atop the annual list since it began in 2011, hitting No. 1 in 52 out of a possible 57 weeks.
Don’t act surprised.
On Tuesday, it was reported that Mariah Carey, who recently attempted to trademark the phrase “Queen of Christmas,” has officially topped the Billboard Holiday 100 list for an entire year straight with her hit 1994 holiday song, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” Since Billboard, which uses the same formula for this list as it does for its Hot 100 singles chart, started the holiday-specific ranking in 2011, Carey has occupied the No. 1 spot for 52 of its 57 total weeks.
As December approaches, the song jumped from No. 25 to No. 5 on the overall Hot 100.
The only other songs to have claimed the top spot for the other five weeks in question are Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe,” Pentatonix’s “Little Drummer Boy” and “Mary, Did You Know?” and Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me.”
Frankly, the only shock here is that Mariah hasn’t accomplished this 52-week feat already given that her holiday anthem blares through malls, ice skating rinks, and this writer’s car the second the holiday season rolls around and doesn’t let up until Boxing Day. To date, it’s the only holiday-themed single ever to be certified Diamond (10x Platinum) by the RIAA.
Year after year, the song evolves from faintly heard to louder than loud as the calendar year turns over. It all starts with “Half Christmas” in June, where subtle notes of the tune surface at just the mere thought of the holiday season. Then comes the fall season, which is really just a warm-up for the holidays, if we’re being honest with ourselves here. It’s during this time when the echoes of Mariah’s unmistakable five-octave range begin to grow undeniably louder as her time nears.
And while this is a controversial topic, her annual reign really begins the second the candy is put away and the costumes are packed up, never to be worn again, following Halloween night. Yes, Thanksgiving is still there, and what a lovely holiday it is. There is no diminishing the feeling that comes with spending the holiday with loved ones over a carved turkey, some stuffing (the best Thanksgiving food item, period), and pumpkin pie.
But let’s be honest: Christmas SZN begins on Nov. 1 and it’s full-speed ahead from there until the new year. Combine this rapid sprint with the fact that “All I Want for Christmas is You” has the staying power and catchiness to apply year-round, and again: Are we surprised?
We shouldn’t be. In fact, according to a study done by NBC News in 2021, the song’s popularity only grows as time goes on. Per that analysis, the song was mostly reserved for December, perhaps late November. But now? Folks are starting to listen to the Christmas Queen as early as October.
“In the late 2000s, people listened to Carey’s song more than average approximately 31 days in the final three months of the year. In the early 2010s, that number increased to 40 days, and in the past three years that figure has stretched as high as 78,” the study said.
So, while she’s had a few weeks here and there where she falls out of the No. 1 position ever so briefly, the Billboard Holiday 100 belongs to Mariah Carey. Let it be known far and wide — if you’re going to come at the Queen of Christmas, you best not miss.
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