Follow Billboard. All rights reserved. The singer is no stranger to recording hits. This song is a jam starting off with a festive chant that will have you dancing into the holiday season. The whistle note riffs at the end are a bonus. Carey is the angel singing in this song. Her light vocals are the perfect fit for this Christmas classic. From the first "Hmmm" your ears are already blessed. Then the choir comes in with those ethereal harmonies.
By Chris Willman. Its ascendancy took place in a week beginning on Black Friday and ending Dec. A year-old song leaping to No. What may be more surprising is a year-old single bounding to No. Expanding the field, star carolers making it into the Nos. Christmas tunes represented 27 of the top 40 most popular songs, a number that may only grow as the actual holidays grow closer. To see all tracks on the Rolling Stone songs chart, click here.
On Monday, that mission was accomplished as the song reached an unprecedented industry pinnacle, hitting No. But it boasts by far the most miraculous journey, spanning three decades, with a surge in recent years thanks in part to a technology-driven shift in listener habits, including the ubiquity of holiday playlists, and renewed marketing muscle. Perhaps above all else, there is the sturdiness of the songwriting on what many consider to be a final modern entry into the Christmas song canon. Carey, in an interview, demurred on the importance of hitting No. Still, a commercial juggernaut of this size requires a plan. By , that number was up to 61 million, and last year, it reached million streams, reaching a new peak of No. Radio airplay has followed suit, with the song receiving about 42, spins last year, up from 24, spins in
The festive track, a veritable pop masterpiece written and performed by Carey with a co-writing assist from her longtime collaborator at the time, Walter Afanasieff has consistently dominated not only the holiday music charts, but the zeitgeist since it made its joyous debut in Now, 25 years and endless screenings of Love, Actually later, the song has become on of the ultimate modern Christmas anthems, unrivaled by any of its contemporary peers and more than able to hold its own with longtime favorites of the holiday canon. Case in point? Last year, Nielsen found that total digital streaming of audio and video for the song clocked in at just under million, while digital sales of the song were k and radio airplay checked in at over 42, The multi-platinum song consistently tops the Billboard Holiday Hot and made history in early when it hit 3 on the Billboard Hot , becoming the first holiday song in 60 years to break the top 5 and the second-ever holiday song to chart that high. But the savvy songwriting and themes of the song have played an integral role in the success of the track as well. As is her wont, Carey knew exactly what she wanted and kept the melody true to her vision, resulting in a song that Afanasieff says has stayed on top due to precisely that — its uptempo sound, a near rarity in the offerings of American Christmas songs. That song in particular is now neurologically built into the zeitgeist. Lest listeners forget while listening to her hit the whistle register, Carey wrote 17 of her 18 1 hits , a feat that astounds on multiple levels. She just sat down one day and literally invented Christmas.