With the holidays in full swing, here are some of the most festive songs of the season from some of the biggest stars – from the Jonas Brothers to Lizzo to the Christmas queen herself, Mariah Carey!
Merry Christmas, everyone! Though December 1st marks the start of the Holiday Season, it seems that Christmas music starts flooding the airwaves the moment it strikes midnight on Halloween. And there is a lot of it out there because Christmas music can be so fun. Whether you’re paying homage to the classic sound of yesteryear, or if you’re throwing on a leather jacket and draping some tinsel around your mohawk for a punk rock sleigh ride through the snow, there’s music this season for everyone.
Some of the music’s biggest names have lent their voices to some tracks that have become holiday favorites and Christmas cult classics. Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, John Legend, Mariah Carey, Toni Braxton, Destiny’s Child, and The Jonas Brothers are just a few of your faves who have celebrated “the most wonderful time of the year” through song. So, if you have already picked up the eight essential Christmas albums that everyone should own, and you’re looking for some additions to your playlist – or are checking our list (twice!) to make sure we didn’t leave off any of your favorites – check out these 20 selections. We even put together a playlist for your perusal. Happy Holidays!
Mariah Carey, “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
A “must-have” for any holiday pop playlist, Mariah Carey’s modern classic remains a beloved staple each Christmas season. It also continues to top the charts whenever December rolls around (In fact, as of Dec. 8, it’s No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100.) In 2020, Mariah teamed up with Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson for an updated version of her 2010 hit, “Oh Santa!”, so there’s plenty of Mariah for your playlists this Christmas.
Taylor Swift, “Christmas Tree Farm”
Any die-hard Swiftie will tell you how Taylor Swift spent ages five-to-ten living on a Christmas tree farm owned by her father. Those same Swifties will also pick Taylor’s 2019 song “Christmas Tree Farm” as their favorite tune to listen to this year. Some might choose her version of Wham’s “Last Christmas” from her 2007 ep, The Taylor Swift Holiday Collection.
Ariana Grande, “Santa Tell Me”
Want more Ariana Grande for your holidays? The music star has released plenty of Christmas music, including her 2015 EP, Christmas & Chill. It’s actually her second holiday EP, following 2013’s Christmas Kisses. Sandwiched between those two is “Santa Tell Me,” like that special present hiding in the back under the Christmas tree.
Katy Perry, “Cozy Little Christmas”
Considering Katy Perry’s love of crazy outfits, celebrations, and all things camp, it makes sense that she would have a very Katy Christmas song. The singer released “Cozy Little Christmas” in 2018 and followed up with a music video (which included reindeer massages) in 2019.
Justin Bieber, “Mistletoe”
For many dedicated Beliebers, there’s nothing they would have wanted more than to meet Justin Bieber under the “Mistletoe.” In 2011, the Canadian superstar released Under The Mistletoe, his second studio album and first collection of holiday songs. Since then, he’s gone on to marry Hailey Baldwin, so expect them to smooch under the mistletoe this Christmas.
John Legend ft. Stevie Wonder, “What Christmas Means To Me”
Stevie Wonder covered “What Christmas Means To Me” on his 1967 album, Someday At Christmas. So, when John Legend put out A Legendary Christmas in 2018, he called upon the music icon to join him and do the song justice. It’s like Stevie was his Secret Santa!
Jonas Brothers, “Like It’s Christmas”
The Jonas Brothers – Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas, and Kevin Jonas – are no strangers to Christmas music. A young “Nicholas” Jonas released “Joy To The World (A Christmas Prayer)” in 2003, and the JoBros released “Girl Of My Dreams,” a holiday-themed love song, in 2007. Fast forward to 2019, and the Brothers – all grown up and married – decided to gift their fans a song about how every day feels “Like It’s Christmas” when you’re in love.
Gwen Stefani ft. Blake Shelton, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas”
Ever since striking up a romance in 2015, Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton have been partners in love – and in music! So, it made plenty of sense that Blake would pop up on Gwen’s 2017 holiday album, You Make It Feel Like Christmas. In fact, Gwen and Blake duet on the album’s title track and pack in the PDA in the official music video.
Dolly Parton ft. Miley Cyrus, “Christmas Is”
Surprisingly, it took until 2020 for Dolly Parton to release an album called A Holly Dolly Christmas. It wasn’t her first holiday album – she and Kenny Rogers released Kenny & Dolly: Once Upon A Christmas in 1984, and she put out Home For Christmas in 1990 – but Holly Dolly is the only Christmas album of hers that features her godchild, Miley Cyrus.
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, “The Christmas Song”
There have been some incredible Christmas duets in the past: Bing Crosby and David Bowie’s iconic version of “Little Drummer Boy”; Tegan and Sara’s “Make You Mine This Season”; even Will Ferrell and Zoe Deschanel’s shower version of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” in Elf counts. So, when it came time for their Christmas duet, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello teamed up for “The Christmas Song.”
Kelly Clarkson Ft. Reba McEntire & Trisha Yearwood, “Silent Night”
There are plenty of selections for Wrapped In Red, Kelly Clarkson’s 2013 Christmas album, that would make your playlist all “merry and bright.” Considering her team-up with country music superstars Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood for starters, as their three voices soar on “Silent Night.”
Destiny’s Child, “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
It might have been too on the (red) nose if Destiny’s Child called their 2001 Christmas album We Three Queens. Instead, they went with 8 Days of Christmas, and it’s full of songs that could be great additions to any playlist, including their take on “Do You Hear What I Hear?”
Toni Braxton, “Christmastime Is Here”
Toni Braxton gifted the world Snowflakes in 2001, a collection of holiday classics like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “This Time Next Year,” and her collab with Shaggy, “Christmas In Jamaica.” One of the gems on this album is her version of “Christmastime Is Here,” the Vince Guaraldi song made famous on A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Jimmy Eat World, “Last Christmas”
George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley carved their names into the Christmas Music Hall of Fame in 1984 when, as the musical duo Wham, they put out “Last Christmas.” Since then, the track has been covered by many acts, including Hilary Duff, Ashley Tisdale, Ariana Grande, and Carly Rae Jepsen. Jimmy Eat World released their version of the song in 2001, and it’s become a staple of their setlist whenever Christmastime rolls around.
Lizzo, “Never Felt Like Christmas”
Lizzo has a Christmas song, everyone! She released “Never Felt Like Christmas” in 2015, and it’s perfect for those who never got into the holiday spirit – until they unwrapped the present that is love. “I never saw a miracle on 50-something Street,” she sings. “ But now I’m singing, bells are ringing, everything is new / I’m fa-la-la-la-la-ling into love with you, ooh ooh oh, you / All these years, I’ve been let down until you came around / It never felt like Christmas.”
Demi Lovato, “Wonderful Christmastime”
Despite Anthony Fantano, aka “The Internet’s Busiest Music Nerd,” despising it, many people adore Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime.” And, like Demi Lovato, many pop stars have decided to cover it. Demi’s version was part of the 2008 Hollywood Records comp, All Wrapped Up.
Britney Spears, “My Only Wish (This Year)”
Britney Spears took a shot at becoming the Queen of Christmas with the release of “My Only Wish (This Year),” one of the songs on 2000’s Platinum Christmas. The compilation also featured Monica, Christina Aguilera, Dido, Backstreet Boys, TLC, and Whitney Houston. While “My Only Wish” failed to dethrone “All I Want For Christmas Is You” as the big pop song of the season, it remains a fan favorite and deserves a spin this year.
Britney Spears, “My Only Wish (This Year)”
Even Mary J. Blige got in on the holiday action by releasing A Mary Christmas in 2013. The album featured appearances by Jessie J, Marc Anthony, and even Barbra Streisand. Yet, one of the best moments on the album is her version of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas,” a song that singer-songwriter Ben Rector described as “jolly, “jazzy” and “funky.” Mary’s version of the song is all that – and more!
NSYNC, “Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays)”
A little bit of boy band love never hurt any Christmas, right? NSYNC put out Home For Christmas in 1998, a seasonal album full of Christmas classics and a handful of holiday originals. One such song was the single, “Merry Christmas (Happy Holidays),” which has gone on to be covered by such groups as Pentatonix for their 2016 Christmas album, A Pentatonix Christmas.
Sabrina Claudio ft. The Weeknd, “Christmas Blues”
Though Sabrina Claudio’s Christmas Blues is less than a month old, we’d be remiss to ignore it if due to The Weeknd’s appearance on the title track (After all, 2020 has been one hell of a year for The Weeknd getting snubbed and overlooked. WE couldn’t do that to him on Christmas.) It’s also a perfect song to put on when you want to turn the lights low and spend the rest of the evening staring at a fireplace with your special someone.