Mariah Carey’s Reign as the Queen of Christmas

How Her Legacy Goes Beyond The Season of Giving

Courtesy of

Haresh Oudhnarine and Maryam Pervaiz


Mariah Carey re-released her coveted fourth studio album Merry Christmas on November 1st in a special Deluxe Anniversary Edition to celebrate its 25th year of release.


On the re-release, Carey takes the world to heaven in her “Sugar Plum Fairy Introlude.” Bridging Disc 1 to Disc 2, it is the only completely new song to be added, in addition to the acapella version included later in the album.


Praised as the “Queen of Christmas” by many, her iconic song “All I Want For Christmas is You” can be heard nearly anywhere you go during the holiday season. On January 3rd, 2019, the song peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the highest it has ever gotten. The song is also one of the best selling singles of all time with over 15 million copies sold.


Knowing that her holiday tunes were released since 1994, they still remain relevant today. Even radio stations start off the holiday season with “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” as their first Christmas song. Some even start as early as the day after Halloween.


On December 8th, 1994, at The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Mariah Carey performed songs from Merry Christmas for the first time live in concert. Six of the performances were featured on her re-released album’s second disc. Raising over $700,000 from the concert, the proceeds were donated to the Fresh Air Fund, a non-profit organization which Mariah Carey loves to support. According to their website, the Fresh Air Fund “provides free summer vacations in the country to New York City children from low-income communities.”


In 2015, Carey wrote a book called “All I Want For Christmas Is You” for children which was the basis for a feature length animated film of the same story and title. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the book sold over 750,000 copies.


In December 2018, it was reported that the song has broken Spotify’s single day streaming record of all time. It has incomparable results of more than 10.8 million streams that day on December 24th. On September 9th, 2019, “All I Want For Christmas is You” became the first holiday song to surpass 500 million streams on Spotify. Streams increased more and more as the year went by.


The popularity of the song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” has cemented the song as a Christmas classic in the record books. There is not one Christmas where this song has not been played since its release. The song itself does not represent holiday traditions, yet instead it has given a reminder to people that Christmas is about spreading love. It is one of the reasons as to why its fondly known and often played.


Beyond her dominance during the holidays, Mariah Carey has achieved so much during her career, which spans 3 decades in length. In 1990, Carey made her first step into the music industry with her breakout hit “Vision of Love.”


She went on to release multiple chart breaking songs along with putting a spell on the world with her multi-octave vocal range. Carey has attained 18 number 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, the most for any solo female artist of all time.


Her single “One Sweet Day” featuring Boyz II Men spent 16 weeks at the number 1 spot, the longest a song has ever remained there. Carey held the record for 22 years until becoming tied with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito,” and 24 years until getting broken by Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus. Carey spent a total of 79 weeks number 1 on the charts during the span of her career, also the most for any solo female artist. She often is even credited for the popularization of pop/rap hybrid songs with her “Fantasy (Remix)” featuring O.D.B. in 1995.


In 1999, Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston showed the world that women with immense vocal capabilities did not have to compete against each other with their duet “When You Believe” for the animated film The Prince of Egypt.


After slight maturity in her vocals around 1997, it was believed that she was no longer able to produce the same levels of vocality in comparison to the earlier years of her career. In 2001, she received a lot of bad publicity in the media for her behavior, in addition to her film Glitter underperforming along with its accompanying soundtrack.


Staging one of the greatest “comebacks” in 2005, Carey was able to return to her peak with the chart topping single “We Belong Together.” The accompanying album The Emancipation of Mimi went on to break records and sell millions of copies. Carey even went on to have multiple successful releases, and 2 more number 1s. “We Belong Together” is even considered the song  of the decade for the 2000s by Billboard.


Mariah Carey’s talents can be described as beyond human. Her achievements, monumental. Today, recognition of her capabilities and successes are far from associated with her name. Every ounce of talent in her left thumb is still there as it was in the 90s. She is so much more  than just the “Queen of Christmas,” but for this season, that is who she will me.


As the month of November fades into view, Christmas becomes the talk of the city. Festive decorations and trees begin to appear in our local stores and colorful red and green lights become visible on every street you walk. And before you know it, you, as well as many others, will hear the melodious Queen of Christmas tell us the one thing she needs for Christmas.