Forget Mariah, Is ‘White Christmas’ Pop’s True No. 1 Holiday Song?
Next to fir trees and beady ornaments, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has proven to be a holiday staple, and in 2017 — 23 years after its release — it shows no signs of stopping, having officially cracked the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100 for the very first time.
But is there another X-mas tune that is bigger, better and even more influential to pop?
"White Christmas," originally written by Irving Berlin and recorded by Bing Crosby in 1942, has sold more copies than Carey's earworm (and every other Christmas song ever...), boasting sales of more than 50 million. Oh, and that number just so happens to make it the biggest-selling single of all time, too — holiday-themed or otherwise! By contrast, Carey's "Christmas" has sold 14 million, according to Quartzy.
Still, as music continues to migrate to streaming platforms, Carey's track is far outperforming Crosby's, with "All I Want for Christmas is You" topping this year's list of Christmas songs on Spotify, Apple Music and additional services, while Crosby's has had to settle for ninth. Plus, Carey has the No. 1 Christmas song of all time where digital sales are concerned, notching more than three-million units sold, according to Billboard.
On the other hand, "White Christmas" has become a pop-ubiquity of sorts, and since 2000, covers by Kelly Clarkson, Destiny's Child, Taylor Swift, Michael Buble, Pentatonix, Kelsea Ballerini and Leona Lewis have all found eager listeners. Plus, sales of some of the aforementioned covers have helped to boost the song's overall sales to more than 100 million, according to Billboard. You're kindly welcome, Bing.
And let's not forget anecdotal evidence "White Christmas" may be the most influential Christmas song of all time — members of the RIAA ranked it No. 2 on its "Songs of the Century" list in 1999 (and no, the collection is not exclusive to X-mas tunes), it's been added to the National Recording Registry and now boasts more than 500 versions in several languages, according to the ASCAP.
But where do you stand on the matter — is Crosby's classic "White Christmas" the season's top Christmas song, or does Carey's contemporary contender "All I Want for Christmas Is You?" take top honors? Look at some of the best selling Christmas songs in the poll below, and tell us which you think is Holiday Royalty!
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