"Santa Baby" was originally recorded by Eartha Kitt with Henri René and his orchestra in New York City, in July 1953. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-5502 (in the USA), and by EMI on the His Master's Voice label as catalog number B 10728. The song was a huge hit for Kitt, and she later said that it was one of her favorite songs to record; she reprised it in the 1954 film New Faces. Kitt re-recorded the song for Kapp Records in 1963, using a more uptempo arrangement (Madonna's popular rendition for the 1987 charity album A Very Special Christmas was based on this latter version). In 1954, Kitt recorded a new version of the song with new lyrics titled "This Year's Santa Baby" to no commercial success. Writers listed did not change.
In December 2000, Kylie Minogue's version of the song reached #6 in the UK due to download sales. It was first released as a b-side to her 2000 single "Please Stay" (released in December of that year), which charted #10 a b-side to her version of the Christmas classic "Let It Snow". Both were released during December 2010 on iTunes on A Kylie Christmas. On 23 December 2010, Kylie released the video for "Santa Baby" via YouTube. The song is also featured on Minogue's 2015 album Kylie Christmas. Minogue's version of the song is featured in the 2006 film The Holiday.
In 2011, Michael Bublé sang a slightly modified version for his Christmas album. The lyrics were altered for grammatical gender including "Santa buddy" and "Santa pally".