Some of country’s biggest names are helping bring the holiday cheer this week with CMA Country Christmas, which airs tonight (Nov. 27). The likes of Luke Bryan, Kelsea Ballerini and more of country’s hitmakers performed holiday favorites like “O Holy Night” and “White Christmas” during the two-hour special, but, unsurprisingly, the songs they took to the stage aren’t the only songs these superstars like to sing during the Christmas season.
Before everyone delivered their country renditions of holiday classics, Billboard found out the go-to Christmas jams of some of the night’s performers. Check out their picks below.
I think “Mary Did You Know?” and “O Holy Night” are my two favorite ones. The melodies and the harmonies, I like minor chords.
Probably my favorite, go-to Christmas song is “White Christmas,” Bing Crosby. I love his low voice and it’s just as warm as Christmas dinner [Laughs].
“White Christmas” is always at the top of the list. Just Bing Crosby’s voice puts you in the — I think growing up in Georgia, it was always like you dreamed of a white Christmas. I think it made me even dream more. It’s so classic, it reminds me of simpler times, sweeter times. It always feels good when you hear “White Christmas.”
I mean Rudolph’s kinda awesome. I catch myself singin’ that in July. It’s just fun — and he’s my favorite reindeer [Laughs].
I think my all-time favorite is “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” I sang that the first year I did Country Christmas. I just think it’s classic, and there’s so many renditions of it, but there’s something nostalgic about it.
Christian Clementi: I love “White Christmas.” I think it’s just the throwback element. We’re usually in Colorado with our grandpa for Christmas and he loves those songs. We kind of grew up around that music, and it really inspired us.
Brody Clementi: “The Christmas Song.” it’s a fun song to sing. It just reminds us of being in Colorado.
I did a Christmas record last year, and other than the collaborations and everything, the one that I always have to play is “The Christmas Song.” Which sounds fairly obvious, but it’s one of my faves. And unfortunately now, because of my niece, I now walk around singing “I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas.”
Charles Kelley: Anything off of Michael Buble’s Christmas record is just special. I think he’s made one of the most classic Christmas records of our time.
Hillary Scott: I kind of cut my teeth on performing Christmas songs, so “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” was my first number.
Dave Haywood: I love “White Christmas” by Sinatra, I think it’s just the top of the top for me. I love that movie.
Dan + Shay
Shay Mooney: I love “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” We did that the first year we did [CMA Country Christmas] and that’s always been — not just because we did it, but you can pick it up on iTunes right now for 99 cents — but no, it really is. I love that song, it always gets me in the Christmas spirit.
Dan Smyers: “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” that’s a rocker for sure. It feels good!