In honor of the holiday season, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at some of our favorite celebrity Christmas albums from beloved classics to big surprises plus new offerings in 2020… We can always count on Kelly Clarkson to deliver some bangers. On Oct. 25, 2013, the "American Idol" alum and talk show host released "Wrapped in Red," her sixth studio album — and first Christmas album. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and hit No. 1 on the Billboard Top Holiday Albums chart. By the end of 2013, it had become the year's best selling Christmas album in the United States. Keep reading to see more stars who jingle-bell-rock our worlds during the holiday season…
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Mariah Carey released the holiday album "Merry Christmas" in 1994 featuring classics as well as our favorite more modern festive pop song — the iconic "All I Want for Christmas is You." It's so enduring that in 2019, that single topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time — 25 years after its original release.
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It's hard to believe, but country music superstar Carrie Underwood waited until 2020 to release her first holiday album. "I've always wanted to make a Christmas album and it's been a long time coming," she said on her website. The result — "My Gift" — features a mix of traditional holiday classics like "O Come, All Ye Faithful" and "Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee" as well as some original tunes. She also delivers an absolutely adorable duet with eldest son Isaiah Fisher on "Little Drummer Boy."
2011 marked the year that Justin Bieber released his first Christmas album and second studio album, "Under the Mistletoe." The Canadian pop star, who was just 17 at the time, earned praise for the holiday-themed tracks — plus the album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making him the first male artist to have a Christmas album debut in the top spot. The album includes singles "All I Want for Christmas is You (SuperFestive!)" with Mariah Carey and "Mistletoe."
On Nov. 8, 2019, EGOT winner John Legend re-releases his acclaimed 2018 Christmas album with some bonus material. The 18-track "A Legendary Christmas: The Deluxe Edition" includes four new recordings of holiday classics — most notably an updated version of the classic tune "Baby, It's Cold Outside" performed as a duet with John's "The Voice" co-star Kelly Clarkson. This one features lyrics that are far less controversial than those in the original.
Simply titled "Christmas," Canadian singer Michael Buble's 2011 album is the holiday album you didn't know you needed. The Grammy-winning singer's smoother-than-silk vocals on songs like "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" turns traditional holiday tracks into modern classics that we could almost listen to all year long.
If rap and hip hop are more your speed, then there's no better holiday soundtrack than Long Beach O.G. Snoop Dogg's 2008 album "Snoop Dogg Presents Christmas in Tha Dogg House." Blending his funkadelic rap style with a little yuletide cheer, Snoop dropped unconventional hits like "Xmas on Soul" and "My Little Mama Trippin on Xmas," which add a distinctly smooth urban feel to you holiday season.
In 2017, No Doubt frontwoman-turned-"The Voice" coach Gwen Stefani released the holiday album "You Make it Feel Like Christmas." Gwen lent her pop vocal talents to classic hits like "Santa Baby" and "Jingle Bells" and sang the holiday-romance titular track as a duet with her country music beau, Blake Shelton.
Elvis Presley wasn't just rock 'n' roll royalty — it turns out he was also the king of holiday cheer. From his 1957 "Elvis' Christmas Album" to 1971's "Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas," this iconic singer gifted us with blues- and rock-inspired holiday songs like "O Come All Ye Faithful," "Santa Bring My Baby Back" and, our favorite, "Blue Christmas."
Just because Destiny's Child parted ways doesn't mean we have to part with their 2001 holiday album, "8 Days of Christmas." It includes a mix of traditional hits like "Silent Night" and "This Christmas" plus three completely original songs including the album's titular track and "Winter Paradise." For those who loved the Beyonce-led group's R&B-meets-pop sound, then "8 Days" will make you feel like it's the best part of the '90s all over again.
In 2020, Meghan Trainor released her fourth studio album and first holiday project, "A Very Trainor Christmas," which is full of covers of Christmas standards like "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" and "Last Christmas" as well as six original tracks. It also features a few guest stars including Seth MacFarlane and Earth, Wind & Fire.
While Sia is known for her smash hits like "Chandelier," "Titanium" and "Cheap Thrills," in 2017, she released her first Christmas album and eighth studio album overall, "Everyday Is Christmas." It features new songs penned by Sia and collaborator Greg Kurstin including lead single "Santa's Coming for Us."
Perhaps no celebrity has cemented themselves into our collective Christmas conscious more than Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. The Grammy- and Oscar-winning singer and actor left us numerous holiday hits beginning with his 1957 album "A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra." Featuring songs like "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "The First Noel," Frank's jazz-inspired melodies are some of the most recognizable Christmas songs in the world and continue to be beloved classics each holiday season.
In need of holiday songs that feel like a warm hug on a cold winter day? Ingrid Michaelson's "Songs for the Season," which was released in 2018, should do the trick. Ingrid tackles classics herself like "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "Auld Lang Syne" and also sings with other artists like Christina Perri on "White Christmas," Grace VanderWaal on "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Hamilton" alum Leslie Odom Jr. on "All I Want for Christmas is You."
Is there even a Christmas without the vocal stylings of Josh Groban? We don't think so. Thankfully, we have his 2007 holiday album "Noël" to ring in the season of joy. Josh's powerful baritone voice on songs like "Silent Night," "Little Drummer Boy" and "Ava Maria" instantly make us feel like we're sitting next to a fire on a white, snowy day.
Taylor Swift's 2007 holiday album "Sounds of the Season" (which was later renamed "Taylor Swift's Holiday Collection") is an endearing relic of this Grammy-winning pop icon's early days as a country music star. With youthfully sweet, country-tinged renditions of holiday classics like "Last Christmas" and "Silent Night," Taylor brings a sweet magic to the season that will make you feel like a kid again.
Attention, "Hamilton" fans: Singing like an angel from heaven, Leslie Odom Jr. delivered a soft, jazz-inspired holiday album with the 2016 release "Simply Christmas" then updated it with a deluxe version in 2017. As close to harmonic perfection as there could be, this Tony- and Grammy-winning "Hamilton" star sings classic Christmas tunes like "My Favorite Things," "First Noel" and "Ava Maria" that instantly transport us to a place full of all things holiday magic. In 2020, Leslie got into the spirit again and released his second holiday project, "The Christmas Album," which features classic songs, a few originals plus contributions from Cynthia Erivo, the Mzansi Youth Choir and his wife, Broadway and TV star Nicolette Robinson.
While Ariana Grande has yet to release a full Christmas album, she has released two holiday EPs — 2013's "Christmas Kisses" and 2015's "Christmas & Chill" — which deserve a spot on our list because they're the perfect soundtrack to a Christmas romance. While "Kisses" has a more festive feel, "Chill" takes the holidays to a sensual place with songs like "Wit it This Christmas" and "True Love" that have us wanting to snuggle up with our bae and make some yuletide cheer.
Longtime Zooey Deschanel fans already know she's not just an actress — she's also one-half of the indie-folk group She & Him with singer-songwriter M. Ward. Zooey's surprisingly powerful vocals (which were on full display in the hilarious holiday film "Elf") lend themselves perfectly to their 2011 album, "A Very She & Him Christmas." One of our favorite tracks is "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," which features slow-paced lyrics and twangy guitar notes, giving us an entirely new way to fall in love with this classic holiday tune.
Giggle all you want but *NSYNC's 1998 album "Home For the Holidays" has us seeing stars. With rhythmic songs like "Home For Christmas," "Under My Tree" and "In Love on Christmas," this beloved boy band's take on the holidays makes us feel like we're in a pop winter wonderland that we never want to leave.
The same year *NSYNC released their holiday album, French Canadian songbird Celine Dion debuted her first Christmas compilation with 1998's "These Are Special Times." Celine's legendary voice soars across the album with songs like "O Holy Night" and "Happy Xmas (War is Over)," giving us goosebumps every single time.
Younger generations might not recognize Burl Ives, but chances are they're still fans of his work. The legendary musician, songwriter, folksinger, stage, screen and voice actor is perhaps best known — even today — as the voice of Sam the Snowman in the 1964 stop-motion animated holiday special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," which still plays each year on our TV screens. For the movie, Burl recorded several classic holiday songs that later went onto his 1965 Christmas album "Have A Holly Jolly Christmas." The album is a fun folk- and country-rich ode to the merriest season of all and never fails to get us into the Christmas spirit.
In 2018, Jessie J released "This Christmas Day," her fifth studio album and first Christmas album. It features the powerhouse British vocalist singing tracks like "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree," "Let It Snow" and "Jingle Bell Rock" as well as a few collaborations with Boyz II Men and Babyface.
Say what you will about his TV shows and films, but no one does holiday music as smooth as Emmy-winning producer, writer and actor Seth MacFarlane. Led by a voice that's part Brian the dog from "Family Guy," part Frank Sinatra, Seth's 2014 album "Holiday For Swing" features romantic, jazz-inspired renditions of songs like "Baby It's Cold Outside" and "Let It Snow" that will make you look at the "The Orville" creator and star in a totally new Christmas light.
A long time ago, Hilary Duff released a Christmas album: On Oct. 15, 2002, the former "Lizzie McGuire" star dropped her debut studio album, "Santa Claus Lane," which featured the titular original track plus covers of songs like "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Last Christmas" and "Jingle Bell Rock." The album was certified gold by the RIAA and the title track was featured in the 2002 holiday flick "The Santa Clause 2."
Ten years before her death in 2018, the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, made sure to gift the world with a gorgeous holiday album to last the ages. Her simply titled 2008 compilation, "This Christmas," is anything but simple thanks to its rich, soaring songs like "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and (our personal favorite) "My Grown Up Christmas List," which never fails to bring a tear to our eyes.
Stage, screen and music star Dean Martin might have only recorded one holiday album, but his remains one of the most iconic of the season. Released in 1966, "The Dean Martin Christmas Album" features his warm, melodic vocals covering classic songs like "White Christmas," "Let it Snow!" and "Jingle Bells," which have found their way onto every holiday radio station's playlist (and our hearts) for more than 50 years.
Singer-actress Barbra Streisand might be Jewish, but her 1967 work "A Christmas Album" remains one of our favorite sounds of the holiday season. The Oscar-, Emmy-, Golden Globe- and Grammy-winning stage and screen star captures the spirit of wonder and delight with songs like "White Christmas," "Silent Night" and "Ava Maria" all while showcasing her incredible range and vocal elegance.
Country music heartthrob Brett Eldredge made his Christmas album debut in 2016 with "Glow," and we're shocked at how well it crosses music genres. Tackling classic hits like "Silent Night" and "Let it Snow," Brett flexes his trademark country twang with a big-band sound that makes it enjoyable for every listener. He even has a duet of "Baby It's Cold Outside" on the album with another famous name — pop star Meghan Trainor.
We were as shocked as you to learn that TV personality and former "Today" show host Kathie Lee Gifford has a jaw-droppingly good holiday album. Released in 1993, "It's Christmas Time" is a fun, upbeat compilation of classic holiday songs like "It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas," "Silver Bells" and "O Holy Night" that showcase Kathie Lee's beautiful voice.
What makes late singer Natalie Cole's 1999 holiday album "The Magic of Christmas" so shocking and spectacular isn't just that it's so, so good, but that it was an homage to her late father's 1960 Christmas album of the same name. Of the many songs on her effort, our favorite is easily "Merry Christmas To You," which digitally mixed her father's cover of the song alongside her own, allowing them a chance to duet more than 34 years after his death.
In 2000, Christina Aguilera gave us the Christmas album we didn't know we needed! "My Kind of Christmas" marked the "What A Girl Wants" hitmaker's first holiday album and third studio album overall. Though she covered beloved holiday classics like "Angels We Have Heard on High," the album of course still incorporated Xtina's dance-pop music style.
It turns out that alternative rock can also roll with the holiday season — just listen to Weezer's 2008 six-song EP "Christmas with Weezer." In less than 13 minutes, the band delivers classic hits like "O Come All Ye Faithful," "The First Noel"and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" with their unique geek-rock sound. The EP is short and sweet but also good enough to add to everyone's Christmas playlist.
Last but not least on our list is the late Grammy-winning singer Whitney Houston's 2003 holiday album, "One Wish." Featuring Whitney's trademark soulful vocals on songs like "Joy to the World," "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and titular track "One Wish" — which is a touching duet with her late daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown — the album reminds us all why Whitney reigned as one of music's most talented stars.
Though not technically an album, Lady Gaga's 2011 EP "A Very Gaga Holiday" — which features four songs she performed on her ABC special "A Very Gaga Thanksgiving" — deserves a mention on our list because it includes a great rendition of "White Christmas," which she Gaga-fied with her own extra verse.