Best-selling Christmas/holiday singles in the United States

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This page shows the best-selling Christmas singles in the United States. It includes artists from around the world, but it only reflects sales in the United States of America. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby is not only the best-selling Christmas/holiday single in the United States, but also the best-selling single of all time, with estimated sales in excess of 50 million copies worldwide.[1][2][3][4]

Prior to March 1, 1991, the only means of tracking sales figures for record albums and singles in the United States was via the certification system of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), based specifically on shipments (less potential returns) on a long-term basis. From March 1, 1991 through the present day, the Nielsen SoundScan tracking system has been more widely used to accurately track sales of record albums and singles at the point of sale (POS) based on inventory bar code scans, as well as digital music download sales starting in 2003. As of December 25, 2011, the holiday single with the most digital downloads is Mariah Carey's 1994 track "All I Want for Christmas Is You," which SoundScan estimates as having sold 2,311,000 copies.[5]

Best-selling Christmas/holiday singles since Nielsen SoundScan tracking began[edit]

This is a list of the top thirty best-selling Christmas singles of the SoundScan era in the United States according to the Nielsen Company as last updated in December 2010.[6] Nielsen SoundScan began tracking digital download sales data at the end of June 2003.

Best-selling Christmas singles[edit]

Rank Title Artist Released Label(s) Digital Downloads
1 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" Carey, MariahMariah Carey 1994 Columbia 1,794,000
2 "The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" Alvin and the Chipmunks 1958 Capitol 780,000
3 "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" Trans-Siberian Orchestra 1996 Lava 763,000
4 "Christmas Canon" Trans-Siberian Orchestra 1998 Lava 590,000
5 "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" Lee, BrendaBrenda Lee 1958 Decca 572,000
6 "The Chanukah Song" Sandler, AdamAdam Sandler 1995 Warner Bros. 548,000
7 "Where Are You Christmas?" Hill, FaithFaith Hill 2000 Interscope 535,000
8 "Feliz Navidad" Feliciano, JoséJosé Feliciano 1970 RCA 482,000
9 "Jingle Bell Rock" Helms, BobbyBobby Helms 1957 Decca 469,000
10 "White Christmas" Crosby, BingBing Crosby 1942 Decca 451,000
11 "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)" Cole, Nat KingNat King Cole 1946
1954
Capitol 431,000
12 "Santa Baby" Kitt, EarthaEartha Kitt 1953 RCA Victor 428,000
13 "Last Christmas" Wham! 1984 Columbia 405,000
14 "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" Springsteen, BruceBruce Springsteen 1981 Columbia 387,000
15 "Blue Christmas" Presley, ElvisElvis Presley 1957 RCA Victor 380,000
16 "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" Ravenscroft, ThurlThurl Ravenscroft 1966 Island/Mercury 369,000
17 "Believe" Groban, JoshJosh Groban 2004 Warner Bros. 366,000
18 "A Holly Jolly Christmas" Ives, BurlBurl Ives 1964 Decca 363,000
19 "Baby, It's Cold Outside" Martin, DeanDean Martin 1959 Capitol 349,000
20 "Wizards in Winter" Trans-Siberian Orchestra 2004 Lava 321,000
21 "Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" Bublé, MichaelMichael Bublé 2003 143/Reprise 314,000
22 "Same Old Lang Syne" Fogelberg, DanDan Fogelberg 1980 Full Moon 309,000
23 "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" U2 1987 A&M 297,000
24 "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" John & Yoko and the Plastic Ono Band with The Harlem Community Choir 1971 Apple 293,000
25 "The Christmas Shoes" Newsong 2000 Benson 291,000
26 "Christmas Time Is Here" Guaraldi Trio, VinceVince Guaraldi Trio 1965 Fantasy 289,000
27 "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" Williams, AndyAndy Williams 1963 Columbia 288,000
28 "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"/"We Three Kings" Barenaked Ladies with Sarah McLachlan 2000 Nettwerk 268,000
29 "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas (Hippo the Hero)" Peevey, GaylaGayla Peevey 1953 Columbia 264,000
30 "Little Saint Nick" The Beach Boys 1963 Capitol 254,000

Best-selling Christmas/holiday singles by RIAA certification[edit]

This is an incomplete list of the best-selling Christmas/holiday singles in the United States based on certification by the RIAA. This list provides a more complete representation of the best-selling Christmas/holiday albums in history, as it includes those released well before the Nielsen/SoundScan era of music sales.

Digital downloads[edit]

Year of Release Title Artist Label(s) Certification Award[7] Certification Date
1996 "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" Trans-Siberian Orchestra Lava Gold 2009-12-14
1995 "The Chanukah Song" Sandler, AdamAdam Sandler Warner Bros. Gold 2005-10-05
1994 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" Carey, MariahMariah Carey Columbia Gold 2005-12-13

Physical singles[edit]

According to the most recent record album certifications, the holiday single title with the highest RIAA certification is Elvis Presley's 1964 single "Blue Christmas", which is certified Platinum by the RIAA (though its date of certification came more than ten years after the RIAA reduced the threshold for Platinum level for singles from two million copies to one million copies).[8]

Year of Release Title
(A-side/B-side)
Artist(s) Label(s) Certification Award Certification Date[7]
1964 "Blue Christmas"/
"Santa Claus Is Back in Town"
Presley, ElvisElvis Presley RCA Victor Platinum[8] 1999-12-15
1989 "This One's for the Children"/
"Funky, Funky Xmas"
New Kids on the Block Columbia Gold[7] 1990-01-09
1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?"/
"Feed the World"
Band Aid Columbia Gold[7] 1984-12-19
1959 "Alvin's Harmonica"/
"Mediocre" (David Seville)
The Chipmunks Liberty Gold[9]
1958 "The Chipmunk Song"/
"Almost Good" (David Seville)
The Chipmunks with the Music of David Seville Liberty Gold[9]
1958 "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree"/
"Papa Noël"
Lee, BrendaBrenda Lee Decca Gold[10]
1957 "Jingle Bell Rock"/
"Captain Santa Claus (and His Reindeer Space Patrol)"
Bobby Helms Decca Gold[11]
1955 "Nuttin' for Christmas"/
"Santa Claus Looks Just Like Daddy"
Mooney, ArtArt Mooney and His Orchestra
Vocal by Barry Gordon
MGM Gold[12]
1952 "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"/
"Thumbelina"
Boyd, JimmyJimmy Boyd Columbia Gold[13]
1950 "Frosty the Snow Man"/
"When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter"
Autry, GeneGene Autry and The Cass County Boys Columbia Gold[14]
1949 "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas"/
"Yingle Bells"
Yorgesson, YogiYogi Yorgesson Capitol Gold[15]
1949 "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"/
"If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas"
Autry, GeneGene Autry & The Pinafores Columbia Gold[14] 1969-11-10
1948 "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)"/
"Happy New Year"
Jones, SpikeSpike Jones and his City Slickers RCA Victor Gold[16]
1948 "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm"/
"I'm A-Tellin' You, Sam"
Brown, LesLes Brown and his Orchestra Columbia Gold[17]
1947 "Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)"/
"An Old-Fashioned Christmas"
Autry, GeneGene Autry Columbia Gold[14]
1946 "Christmas Island"/
"Winter Wonderland"
Andrews Sisters and Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians Decca Gold[18]
1946 "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)"/
"In the Cool of Evening"
The King Cole Trio Capitol Gold[19]
1944 "White Christmas"/
"If You Are But a Dream"
Sinatra, FrankFrank Sinatra Columbia Gold[20]
1943 "I'll Be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams)"/
"Danny Boy"
Crosby, BingBing Crosby Decca Gold[21]
1943 "Jingle Bells"/
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"
Crosby, BingBing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters Decca Gold[21]
1942 "White Christmas"/
"Let's Start the New Year Right"
Crosby, BingBing Crosby Decca Gold[22]
1942 "White Christmas"/
"Abraham"
Martin, FreddyFreddy Martin and his Orchestra Victor Gold[23]
1935 "Silent Night"/
"Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)"
Crosby, BingBing Crosby Decca Gold[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guinness Book of Records, 2007 Edition, page 187
  2. ^ Guinness Book of Records, 2008 Edition, page 181
  3. ^ Guinness Book of Records, 2009 Edition, pages 14, 15 & 169
  4. ^ Roy J. Harris, Jr. (December 5, 2009). "The Best-Selling Record of All. 'White Christmas' and the reasons it endures". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 6, 2009. It was a peaceful song that became a wartime classic. Its unorthodox, melancholy melody—and mere 54 words, expressing the simple yearning for a return to happier times—sounded instantly familiar when sung by America's favorite crooner. But 67 years after its introduction, some still are surprised to learn that Bing Crosby's recording of the Irving Berlin ballad "White Christmas" became not only the runaway smash-hit for the World War II holidays, but the best-selling record of all time. 
  5. ^ Grein, Paul (December 17, 2012). "Chart Watch Extra: Christmas Albums, From Bing To Buble". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  6. ^ Grein, Paul (December 22, 2010). "Chart Watch Extra: Top Holiday Hits". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Retrieved December 8, 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c d "RIAA Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  8. ^ a b "RIAA Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 27. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 45. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 40. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 50. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  13. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 22. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  14. ^ a b c Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 19. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  15. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 66. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 43. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  17. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 25. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  18. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 18. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  19. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 28. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  20. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 58. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  21. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 31. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  22. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 30. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  23. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 47. ISBN 0-89820-161-6.