VMA winner Justin Bieber is a young guy, so he might not be aware that by producing an entirely original Christmas album he is stepping into an arena dominated almost exclusively by one of pop’s biggest divas, Santa’s Helper outfit enthusiast Mariah Carey.
For all intents and purposes, Mariah Carey is the unofficial Queen of Christmas. She wears Santa hats in public (and has miniature ones on her dogs), puts together holiday music spectaculars and usually celebrates the holiday with a lavish vacation in Aspen. A Google search of “Mariah Carey Christmas” returns over 45 million results and the video for her 1994 single “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has over 28 million views on YouTube.
The pop star has released two Christmas albums, 1994’s Merry Christmas and last year’s Merry Christmas II You, and while neither is wholly original (the second is principally standards with only a few original tunes), Carey owns this niche. Merry Christmas is the biggest selling Christmas album of all time, with worldwide sales exceeding 15 million copies.
And if Biebs is taking the original song route, he should be aware that Carey has set a pretty high bar. In the 17 years since its release, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has become a standard itself – the New Yorker called it “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon.” The track resurfaces on worldwide singles charts every holiday season, and topped the Billboard Hot 100 Re-currents Chart every year from 2005-08. The numbers for it are actually kind of staggering – “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is the best selling holiday digital single ever (and the nineteenth best-selling digital single of the 20th Century!), the most downloaded holiday ringtone of all time and is Carey’s biggest single ever in the UK.
It’s probably worth noting here that we cannot speak impartially about Carey or “All I Want.” Like so many others who grew up during the peak of her popularity, the song has become the Christmas track of our generation. Little Drummer who? Jingle what? It is inescapable and amazing. During college we used to ride around with friends singing “All I Want For Christmas Is You” in the middle of July. This song is so good, it’s Christmas every damn day, if you ask us.
And now the kids will have fresh Bieber songs to spike their holiday season. We’ll stick with our girl Mariah, but that’s great for them. Bieber is a talented kid, so there’s no doubt he’ll deliver the goods. And if he plays his cards right, as Carey did, he’ll be living off royalties for years to come. How else do you think she affords all that glitter?!