Billboard's Holiday 100 Chart Returns, Led by Mariah Carey's 'Christmas'

Courtesy of Columbia Records
Cover of Mariah Carey's 1994 album, Merry Christmas.

We unwrap the seasonal chart… and find Carey's 1994 classic at its familiar spot on top. Plus, Her 'Merry Christmas' ranks in the Top Holiday Albums top 10 for the first time in 17 years.

The Holiday 100 makes its annual sleigh ride back to Billboard's charts menu, ranking the top seasonal songs via the same formula used for the Billboard Hot 100, measuring sales, airplay and streaming.

In what's become a modern tradition, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" leads the Holiday 100 (for a 16th week of the chart's 21 frames since it launched in 2011). The 1994 chestnut keeps roasting, topping the Holiday Digital Songs chart (17,000 sold, up 78 percent, according to Nielsen Music) and Holiday Streaming Songs (3.2 million U.S. streams, up 58 percent). It ranks at No. 2 on Holiday Airplay (24 million in audience, up 163 percent), just below Brenda Lee's 1958 classic "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

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Lee's "Tree" places at No. 2 on the Holiday 100, followed by Nat King Cole's "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" (No. 3), Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" (No. 4) and Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" (No. 5). See the entire Holiday 100 here.

Meanwhile, Carey's first holiday album, Merry Christmas, featuring "Want," brightens the top 10 of the Top Holiday Albums chart for the first time in nearly 17 years, dashing 15-6 (8,000 sold, up 136 percent). It's the set's first visit to the tier since Jan. 9, 1999, and its highest rank since it placed at No. 3 on Jan. 11, 1997. That long absence from the top 10 is perhaps surprising, considering the enduring appeal of the album and, of course, its iconic hit atop the Holiday 100. The album has sold 5.4 million copies since its release (and 61,000 in 2014 alone).

Maybe even more surprising: Merry Christmas has spent just one week at No. 1 on Top Holiday Albums: Nov. 26, 1994, its debut frame (of 219 total).