Metro Weekly

Christmas Is Upon Us: Mariah Carey Is Back

Mariah Carey's holiday hit stands alone in the music industry as the only cut that rises to No. 1 on the Hot 100 every year.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey — Photo via Mariah Carey

It’s officially Christmas season — because Mariah Carey is back on the Hot 100 with the song that signals when the jolliest time of year has arrived.

According to Billboard, Carey’s seasonal smash “All I Want for Christmas is You” has returned to the Hot 100, the weekly ranking of the most-consumed tracks in the U.S. The chart company and magazine shared the news on Twitter, officially kicking off the holiday season.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” started off at No. 25 on the Hot 100 this year, but that’s just the beginning. In fact, there’s no reason to believe it won’t climb to the peak position in the coming weeks, just as it has done so many times before.

Carey’s biggest holiday hit – one of the most successful Christmas-themed tunes of all time, actually – stands alone in the music industry as the only cut that rises to No. 1 on the Hot 100 every year.

Such a regular ascent had never been seen before the singer-songwriter began making history a few years back, and nothing has matched it since.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” first reached the Hot 100 in 2000, when it peaked at No. 83. For several years afterward, it was relegated to a separate chart, due to Billboard rules, but once those restrictions changed, the cut began to climb again.

Carey’s smash broke into the top 10 for the first time in 2017. It didn’t reach the No. 1 spot until the last chart week in 2019, and since then, it’s easily conquered the ranking again and again.

Between 2019 and 2021, “All I Want for Christmas is You” has racked up eight nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100, spread out across four different runs–which is also extremely rare to see on the Billboard charts.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” is able to find its way back to the Hot 100’s summit every year due to intense interest in the tune and the structure of the chart. The Hot 100 is assembled every week using three consumption metrics – sales, streams, and radio play.

As the holidays approach, millions of people rush to play the track on Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and more, tens of thousands purchase it, and it is immediately entered into heavy rotation on radio stations across the U.S. Simply put, while it may have been released back in 1994, it seemingly becomes more and more popular with each passing year.

Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey

As if returning to the Hot 100 every year wasn’t impressive enough, there is one stipulation that makes Carey’s annual comeback even more unlikely and astounding.

A number of years ago, Billboard instituted what is often referred to as the recurrent rule, which means that any track is removed from the Hot 100 if it falls below No. 50 (after it reaches 20 weeks on the chart) or No. 25 (if it’s been on the list for a year or more).

That means that “All I Want for Christmas is You” can’t reappear on the Hot 100 unless it ranks as one of the 25 most-consumed tunes in the U.S., which it currently does. The fact that a decades-old single, one which has already sold and streamed incredibly well, is still performing so spectacularly, makes it stand out from all other compositions.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” is the headline-grabber, but it isn’t the only holiday tune that reappears on the Hot 100 this week. Bobby Helms’ “Jingle Bell Rock” returns at No. 50, and Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” bounces back to No. 41.

Both of those cuts are also going to rise in the coming frames, and many other seasonal smashes will also break onto the ranking very soon.

Leave a Comment:

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!