List of best-selling Christmas 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 November 25, 2016, 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 3,200,000 copies.[5]

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

This is a list of the top ten best-selling Christmas singles of the SoundScan era in the United States according to the Nielsen Company, as last updated on November 25, 2016.[5] 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" Mariah Carey 1994 Columbia 3,200,000
2 "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Katie Lopez 2013 Walt Disney 1,600,000
3 "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" Trans-Siberian Orchestra 1996 Lava 1,300,000
4 "Mistletoe" Justin Bieber 2011 Island 1,100,000
5 "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" Brenda Lee 1958 Decca 1,000,000
6 "Christmas Canon" Trans-Siberian Orchestra 1998 Lava 918,000
7 "Where Are You Christmas?" Faith Hill 2000 Interscope 897,000
8 "Feliz Navidad" José Feliciano 1970 RCA 808,000
9 "Jingle Bell Rock" Bobby Helms 1957 Decca 780,000
10 "Last Christmas" Wham! 1984 Columbia 751,000

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 singles[edit]

Year of Release Title Artist Label(s) Certification Award[6] Certification Date
2013 "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" Kristen Bell, Agatha Lee Monn & Katie Lopez Walt Disney Platinum 2014-04-23
2011 "Mistletoe" Justin Bieber Island Platinum 2015-02-27
2007 "This Christmas" Chris Brown RCA Gold 2017-11-22
2003 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" Mariah Carey Columbia Gold 2005-12-13
1996 "Chanukah Song" Adam Sandler Warner Bros. Gold 2009-10-05
2003 "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" Trans-Siberian Orchestra Lava Gold 2009-12-14

Cellular ringtones[edit]

Year of Release Title Artist Label(s) Certification Award[7] Certification Date
2006 "All I Want for Christmas Is You" Mariah Carey Columbia 2x Multi-Platinum 2009-12-15
2003 "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" Elmo & Patsy Legacy/Epic Gold 2008-12-10
2003 "Santa Baby" Eartha Kitt Legacy Gold 2008-12-09

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[6]
1964 "Blue Christmas"/
"Santa Claus Is Back in Town"
Elvis 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[6] 1990-01-09
1984 "Do They Know It's Christmas?"/
"Feed the World"
Band Aid Columbia Gold[6] 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"
Brenda 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"
Art Mooney and His Orchestra
Vocal by Barry Gordon
MGM Gold[12]
1952 "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus"/
"Thumbelina"
Jimmy Boyd Columbia Gold[13]
1950 "Frosty the Snow Man"/
"When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter"
Gene Autry and The Cass County Boys Columbia Gold[14]
1949 "I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas"/
"Yingle Bells"
Yogi Yorgesson Capitol Gold[15]
1949 "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer"/
"If It Doesn't Snow on Christmas"
Gene Autry & The Pinafores Columbia Gold[14] 1969-11-10
1948 "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)"/
"Happy New Year"
Spike 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"
Les Brown and his Orchestra Columbia Gold[17]
1947 "Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)"/
"An Old-Fashioned Christmas"
Gene 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"
Frank Sinatra Columbia Gold[20]
1943 "I'll Be Home for Christmas (If Only in My Dreams)"/
"Danny Boy"
Bing Crosby Decca Gold[21]
1943 "Jingle Bells"/
"Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"
Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters Decca Gold[21]
1942 "White Christmas"/
"Let's Start the New Year Right"
Bing Crosby Decca Gold[22]
1942 "White Christmas"/
"Abraham"
Freddy Martin and his Orchestra Victor Gold[23]
1935 "Silent Night"/
"Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)"
Bing Crosby Decca Gold[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Guinness Book of Records, 2007 Edition, page 187 Archived 2015-03-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Guinness Book of Records, 2008 Edition, page 181
  3. ^ Guinness Book of Records, 2009 Edition, pages 14, 15 & 169 Archived 2013-02-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  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. ^ a b Billboard Staff (November 25, 2016). "What Are the Top-Selling Holiday Songs?". Billboard Magazine. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d "RIAA Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on February 25, 2013. Retrieved November 2, 2011. 
  7. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved November 29, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b "RIAA Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on February 25, 2013. 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.