The holidays might look a little different this year, but The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)’s top seasonal songs are bringing much-needed comfort and cheer to listeners at home. With holiday music taking over the radio waves earlier than ever, ASCAP, a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers, announces the Top 25 ASCAP Holiday Songs of 2020 – a soundtrack to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (written by Carey and her fellow ASCAP songwriter Walter Afanasieff; published by Universal Music Group Publishing, Sony/ATV, Kobalt Music, Tamal Vista Music) takes the #1 spot as the most-played holiday hit, according to an ASCAP analysis of streaming and terrestrial radio data. Holiday music fans have made the joyous tune more popular every year; it consistently tops the Billboard Holiday 100 Chart and last year became the first holiday song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1958. Popularly dubbed the “Queen of Christmas,” Carey shared a special holiday message to fans about the song on @ASCAP on Instagram, saying “I’m deeply grateful… and just so thankful that it is still bringing joy to so many people around the world and I know that we need that more than ever right now.”
Bilingual classic “Feliz Navidad” returns to the top 25 yet again as it celebrates an incredible 50 years as a holiday favorite. In honor of the milestone, songwriter and artist José Feliciano recently released a star-studded re-recording titled “Feliz Navidad 50th Anniversary (FN50).” Produced by Grammy award winner Rudy Pérez, the new version of the timeless tune features 30 artists including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shaggy, Gloria Gaynor, Big & Rich, Styx, Sam Moore, Los Temerarios, Emmanuel, Pitingo, Jesús Molina, Bertín Osborne, Pablo Montero, El Dasa, Gord Bamford, Leo Dan and Patricia Manterola. Feliciano sent holiday greetings to fans in an exclusive video shared @ASCAP on Instagram.
Filling every home with holiday spirit, Johnny Marks’ s “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'' remain steadfast standards on the seasonal charts, no matter the decade. His undeniably classic songs are beloved across generations and have been covered by countless artists including Meghan Trainor, Alan Jackson, Destiny’s Child and Lady A to name a few. And this year Justin Bieber joins the seasonal chorus with a recently released rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” “It’s never too early for holiday music. And now more than ever, the world needs to be reminded of the hopeful spirit of the season and the cherished memories that these classic songs inspire,” said ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams. “It is a true joy to celebrate the talented songwriters behind the music keeping the holiday season bright in these trying times.”
Below are the top 25 most played ASCAP holiday songs of 2020*, all written or cowritten by ASCAP songwriters and composers. Each song lists ASCAP songwriter credits and copyright date.
1. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff (1994)
2. “It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Meredith Willson (1951)
3. “A Holly Jolly Christmas” by Johnny Marks (1962)
4. “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish (1948)
5. “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne (1945)
6. “Jingle Bell Rock” by Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe (1958)
7. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Johnny Marks (1958)
8. “Last Christmas” by George Michael (1984)
9. “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Edward Pola and George Wyle (1963)
10.“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin (1944)
11. “Winter Wonderland” by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (1934)
12.“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie (1934)
13.“White Christmas” by Irving Berlin (1941)
14.“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Johnny Marks (1949)
15.“The Christmas Song” by Mel Tormé and Robert Wells (1946)
16.“Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)” by Oakley Haldeman and Gene Autry (1947)
17.“Home for the Holidays” by Robert Allen and Al Stillman (1954)
18.“Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano (1970)
19.“Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season” by Kay Tompson and Irving Berlin (1942)
20.“Santa Baby” by Joan Javits, Anthony Springer and Philip Springer (1953)
21.“Frosty the Snowman” by Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins (1950)
22.“Jingle Bells” by James Lord Pierpont; Frank Sinatra version arranged by Gordon Jenkins (ASCAP, 1958)
23.“Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson and Greg Kurstin (2013)
24.“You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” by Dr. Seuss and Albert Hague (1966)
25.“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande and Savan Kotecha (2013)
*Based on an analysis of ASCAP streaming and terrestrial radio data.
Learn more at ascap.com.