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‘Billboard’ crowns Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” the greatest holiday song of all time

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Mariah Carey

It’s only a matter of days until Christmas songs are back on the radio — but which one is the greatest of all time?  According to Billboard, that honor goes to Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

On Friday, the service unveiled its Greatest of All Time Holiday 100 Songs chart, and spoke to the Grammy winner, who reminisced about creating the 1994 smash-hit.

“When I wrote [it], I had absolutely no idea the impact the song would eventually have worldwide,” she said.  “How could I? It was so early on in my career and most young artists, at that time, weren’t really making Christmas music at the onset of their careers.”

That gamble paid off.  The Economist said that, as of 2017, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” had amassed over $60 million in royalties and was now considered the best-selling holiday single by a female artist. 

When looking back at what makes the song so special, Mariah hints that her mood at the time may have something to do with it. 

“When writing [it], I was tapping into a bittersweet mixture of longing and festiveness,” she recalled. “I had grown up wishing I could have a functional family Christmas like the ones I saw on TV or in the movies, but truth is…that never happened! So, I wrote the song for the little girl in me filled with holiday spirit.”

The singer shared the big announcement to Instagram, and called the honor “truly humbling.”

Rounding out the top five of Billboard‘s newest all-time greatest holiday songs chart are Brenda Lee‘s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” Bobby Helms‘ “Jingle Bell Rock,” Nat King Cole‘s “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)” and Burl Ives‘ “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”

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