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Mariah Carey’s Christmas Miracle
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” is the first Billboard chart-topping Christmas tune since “The Chipmunk Song” in 1959.
How did the 25-year-old song finally make it to #1?
There’s no denying it’s a near-perfect example of holiday pop music. It has a universal appeal – not overly romantic or kid-centric.
“Anybody can sing it to anybody. It’s about everybody and it can only mean one thing, from father to child or mother to child or wife to husband, it’s just, all I want for Christmas is you,” the song’s co-writer Walter Afanasieff told Spotify.
How ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ Hit #1
But its seasonal staying power goes beyond a catchy hook. It’s driven by an annual push to keep the song relevant with listeners through smart promotion in a changing music industry.
“Every year we focus a campaign around new ways to market ‘All I Want for Christmas’ because the opportunities for people to hear this perennial classic just seem to grow and grow,” said Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer to the New York Times.
The 4-minute song has spawned a children’s book, an animated film and worldwide holiday music tours. More recently, promotion has included a new Amazon Music documentary commemorating the song’s 25th anniversary and a deluxe re-release of the song featuring duets and new music videos. It’s the very first song on Spotify’s most popular Christmas playlist, and it’s the streaming service’s most popular holiday song overall.
Keeping up with the Billboard Hot 100
All those streams and video views matter. Billboard factors them into its chart rankings, and they played a large part in getting the song to #1 this year. Thanks to a constant reimagining of “All I Want for Christmas is You” within a new market context, the 25-year-old tune is more popular than ever.