What better way for a rising boy band to make their mark on the holiday music scene than by covering one of the biggest boy bands of all time? For their first Christmas single, SoCal quintet Midnight Red covered 'N Sync's first holiday single "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays," originally released 15 years ago in 1998. (Who feels old?)
Even if you don't watch A&E's hit reality show Duck Dynasty, you probably recognize the show's male leads by their beards. Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson teams up with country singer Luke Bryan to wish everyone a very hairy Christmas on a hilarious standout on the Robertson's hit holiday album Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas.
On "Hairy Christmas," the duo sing, "Like Jesus and Santa Claus / We got love behind these beards / Wishin' you a hairy Christmas / And a happy, happy, happy New Year."
Not traditional, but we dig it.
Playing a former couple who reconnect over the phone, R&B veterans Toni Braxton and Babyface deliver a subtle, soulful rendition of the Christmas classic.
Pissed this Christmas? So is Kate Nash. At least she is on the punk-rock yuletide gem "I Hate You This Christmas."
"It's for anyone who has just been f-cked over by a boyfriend or girlfriend," the English singer/songwriter told MTV News. "Christmas always makes you think of people that you've loved or do love or you're still in love with. It's a good Christmas anthem for people in that situation." We'll cheers to that!
On "Home for Christmas," R&B-pop singer Mateo crafted what sounds like a sex jam for the holidays. But not so fast: The sultry track boasts sweet lyrics ("I'd give anything just to hear sleigh bells in Harlem/And feel the cold outside and my arms wrapped around my baby darling") along with a heartwarming video.
P.S. You can download the song for free (legally!) at this link that Mateo shared.
A Top 10 hit on the Billboard 200, the R&B queen's debut Xmas album A Mary Christmas, is stuffed with soulful renditions of holiday classics. Our favorite is Mary's take on '70s classic "This Christmas." Watch a live performance at the Wall Street Journal to find out why.
Despite a somber beginning—the track opens with the line, "This song goes out to all the broken-hearted people"—this old-school jazz ditty soon picks up the tempo, transforming into a heartwarming bob. A cast of K-pop all-stars (like diva G.NA, girl groups 4Minute and Apink, boy bands Beast and BTOB, vocal crooner Huh Gak and more) sing about all exchanging gifts, watching snow fall and cuddling with a lover during the holiday season.
For all the lovey-dovey Christmas songs out now, the youngest Braxton sister sings an empowering, breakup anthem for the ladies done wrong this holiday.
At the beginning of the track, Tamar admits, "Ain't nothing like being alone at Christmas," but by the end, the R&B diva is roaring back, "I'll be alone but you won't find a better woman / She can have you / 'Cause I put up with enough / She can have you!"
Never Shout Never's Christofer Drew Ingle teamed up with The Voice contestant Dia Frampton for this adorable, original holiday tune. Listen up for sweet lyrics like, "All I want for Christmas is a kiss under the mistletoe / So come close / Cause when our lips meet I feel a fire in the winter cold." D'awwww!
Ariana Grande finished her fantastic 2013—which included her debut album opening at No. 1 on the Billboard 200— with four special holiday singles: covers of classics "Last Christmas" and "Santa Baby"; plus two original songs "Love Is Everything" and, our favorite, "Snow in California" (above). The 20-year-old asks Santa for a Cali snowstorm so that her baby can't fly out of town after the holidays in this soothing, R&B joint.
It's been a minute since we've heard of British beaut Leona Lewis, but the "Bleeding Love" singer zoomed straight back onto our playlists with this throwback-inspired holiday single. Lewis sings about the anticipation of waiting "one more sleep" to reunite with her love on Christmas Day.
The a cappella quintet, who first achieved fame winning Season 3 of NBC's The Sing Off, have found their biggest success with their rendition of "Little Drummer Boy." Its video has amassed more than 20 million views in less than a month, helping to send the single to No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week while the quintet's PTXmas EP is at No. 10 on the Billboard 200.
Kelly Clarkson's first Christmas album Wrapped in Red has been a smash success this holiday season—certified platinum in less than a month. The centerpiece is its lead single, "Underneath the Tree." The cheery, jazz-pop track (look out for the sax solo!) features lyrics like, "You're all that I need / Underneath the tree," making it an appropriate successor to Mariah Carey's now-classic "All I Want for Christmas Is You."