Ring In The GRAMMY Cheer
Looking for holiday music to help warm the eggnog or party in the new year? Yes, there's the traditional ("Silent Night"), and there's the contemporary traditional (José Feliciano’s "Feliz Navidad" for example, inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame this year). But we can also look no further than top GRAMMY winners for some joyful tidings that may not be standards just yet, but don’t bet against them when St. Nick's hitting the chimneys in 2025.
GRAMMY Winner: Alison Krauss (26 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: "Only You Can Bring Me Cheer (Gentlemen’s Lady)"
Included on A Very Special Acoustic Christmas (buy at iTunes), part of the charitable A Very Special Christmas series, and written with brother Viktor Krauss. Other GRAMMY winners featured on the album are Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Wynnona and more.
GRAMMY Winner: Stevie Wonder (25 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: Someday At Christmas (buy at iTunes)
Released in 1967 when Wonder was in his mid-teens. Includes some traditional fare along with originals, including the jaunty "What Christmas Means To Me," co-authored by Marvin Gaye and Berry Gordy.
GRAMMY Winner: U2 (22 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
From the very first A Very Special Christmas (buy at iTunes) in 1987 comes this U2 cover of the Darlene Love song from Phil Spector's groundbreaking A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector album.
GRAMMY Winner: Eric Clapton (17 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: "Christmas Tears" and more
Looking for a live Christmas? Maybe A Very Special Christmas — Live From Washington, D.C. (buy at iTunes), which features five tracks from Clapton including teamings with Blues Traveler's John Popper and former reported girlfriend Sheryl Crow.
GRAMMY Winner: Sting (16 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheerless: If On A Winter's Night (buy at iTunes)
Sting finds the lump of coal in the holiday season with this decidedly Grinch-esque take on the most wonderful time of the year. "…I trolled through any song from any period and any genre that mentioned snow, ice, Christmas, winter, frost…" Sting told The Wall Street Journal. Brrrr.
GRAMMY Winner: Jimmy Sturr (18 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: A Jimmy Sturr Christmas (buy at iTunes)
Yes, you can roll out the polka holiday with this 1992 album of cheer and beer. Includes the vowel-challenged Christmas classic "Wykrzyknijmy Wiwat (Shout Viva)."
GRAMMY Winner: B.B. King (15 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: A Christmas Celebration Of Hope (buy at iTunes)
King delivered his first Christmas album in 2001, wrapped with a bow for blues fans who could appreciate such songs as "Back Door Santa." It's vintage King with a holiday twist.
GRAMMY Winner: Chet Atkins (14 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: Christmas With Chet Atkins (buy at iTunes)
AllMusic.com calls it "one of the most underrated holiday platters of all time." Certainly it beats the cold-cut platter. Atkins was the king of country guitar and one of the architects of the countrypolitan sound, and he turns those forces into a Christmas present for you.
GRAMMY Winner: Michael Jackson (13 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: The Jackson 5 Christmas Album
This 1970 disc was the second official album release for the Jacksons. It contains mostly classic Christmas tunes, and may have been the last opportunity Michael had to be a kid.
GRAMMY Winner: Paul McCartney (13 GRAMMYs)
Holiday Cheer: "Wonderful Christmastime" (buy at iTunes)
As was always the way with former Beatle mates McCartney and John Lennon, "Wonderful Christmastime" was the sweet, celebratory counterpoint to Lennon's angrier, cautionary "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)." While Lennon railed, "And so this is Christmas/For weak and for strong/For rich and the poor ones/The world is so wrong," McCartney sang, "The mood is right/The spirit's up/We’re here tonight/And that's enough." Both are becoming Christmas standards.