21 New Holiday Songs From Todrick Hall, Tinashe, Mariah Carey & More To Spark Joy As 2020 (Finally) Comes To A Close
The harrowing year that was 2020 is almost over, but before it ends, we worthy of safe moments of joy. To help you celebrate the season with glee—even while shared through a Zoom screen—GRAMMY.com has rounded up a lovely list of holiday songs released this year. Read on to listen to each track and learn more about these festive new singles and albums dropped recently—there's a lot!
"No mask? Naughty list! Whoville, who dis?" Todrick Hall coyly delivers on the gift that is "Bells, Bows, Gifts, Trees," the holiday update of 2019's, "Hair, Nails, Hips, Heels." Just as this year was filled with great new music that helped us get through it, Santa helped continue this trend and was rather generous with bringing us yuletide bops.
The queen of Christmas since 1994, Mariah Carey, delivered a whole new slew of cheery tracks for her sparkly "Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special" on Apple TV. The soundtrack not only features a Magical Christmas Mix version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You," but two superstar collab songs, the first being "Oh Santa!" (originally recorded by Carey on her 2010 holiday album) with Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson.
Surprise—Santa is actually Snoop Dogg! On "Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) / House Top Celebration," he and fellow hip-hop icon Jermaine Dupri (a regular collaborator of Mimi's) bring some West Coast and Atlanta funk to the North Pole.
We are gifted with more star-studded festive tunes from another soundtrack, for the Hulu's queer Christmas romcom, Happiest Season. Highlights include the soulful "Blame It On Christmas" from Shea Diamond and Bebe Rexha, Diamond's empowering "Mrs. Claus" and Tegan and Sarah's sparkling "Make You Mine This Season."
On Lil Nas X's "Holiday," which comes with a wild, futuristic video directed by the GRAMMY winner and Gibson Hazard, we learn that the young rapper is also Santa. In true Carly Rae Jepsen fashion, the Canadian pop star channels the stress of the holidays in the most upbeat way possible on "It's Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries."
As for festive numbers en Español, Latin GRAMMY-winning, New York City-based all-female mariachi group Flor de Toloache offered up both Spanish and English language versions of classics "Let It Snow" and "Jingle Bell Rock." Speaking of classics, "Feliz Navidad" by José Feliciano turned 50 this year! The legend recorded a new rendition on his 2019 album Behind This Guitar.
Mexican corrido group Fuerza Regida recently released their Christmas album, Navidad Con La Regida, which opens up with the heartwarming "24 de Diciembre.
Many artists gravitated towards making holiday-themed albums this year, and we're not mad about it! On R&B queen Tinashe's Comfort & Joy EP, she serves up sensual 808-backed renditions of classics, including "Angels we Have Heard on Night," "O Holy night" and Wham!'s "Last Christmas." Sabrina Claudio also dropped a festive and sultry project, Christmas Blues. Alicia Keys joins her on "Winter Time" and The Weeknd brings the blues on the title track.
Here are three more artists who gifted us great holiday albums? Andrew Bird's melancholic-yet-bright, whistling HARK! Includes the all-to-relatable "Christmas in April," along with other original songs and covers of late, great John Prine, who we sadly lost to COVID-19.
Dolly Parton gathered a very talented cast of friends for A Holly Dolly Christmas, including her goddaughter Miley Cyrus on "Christmas Is," as well as Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael Bublé, Willie Nelson and more on other songs.
More than a dozen former Mouseketeers reunited virtually to create a 17-track holiday album, Why? Because It's Christmas, that not only delivers sonic cheer, but financial support to those directly impacted by COVID-19. "Go Tell It On The Mountain" brings together all of the artists involved in a powerhouse number.
Offering more good tidings, Phoebe Bridgers dropped a haunting cover of Merle Haggard's 1973 country number "If We Make It Through December" to benefit the Downtown Women's Center in her hometown of Los Angeles.
The Lofi Holiday Mixtape is surely the jolliest collection of tunes to study/read/write to. It dishes out lo-fi remixes of favorites, including the dreamy BLOND:ISH remix of The Temptations' 1970 seasonal gem, "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer."
Up Composer Michael Giacchino wrote the surf rock-reminiscent "Christmas Number One" with Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson for a Christmas variety show he hosted last year at the Royal Albert Hall. He released it as a single this year to spread some cheer, with help from U.K. psych pop band Itchy Teeth, who perform it.
From the GRAMMY.com family to you, we wish you and you loved ones a safe and joyful holidays!