The ultimate pop diva Christmas playlist
All we want for Christmas is one more listen to all of these festive bops.
This story was originally published in Dec. 2018 and updated in Dec. 2019, now with 25% more holiday sparkle!
I’mma let you finish, Michael Bublé, but when it comes to iconic modern Christmas jams, nobody can top our favorite pop princesses.
Obviously, we would never dare disrespect Mariah Carey in this most Mimi time of the year, but for when she needs a cup of tea after hitting those high notes, there are plenty more queens of Christmas to fill the silence. To keep us dancing all December as we count down to Tinseltown, we’ve assembled a playlist of 25 fabulously festive tracks — both covers and originals — from Ariana, Gaga, Britney, Taylor, and more. Because for the most glittering time of the year, who better to soundtrack it than the sparkliest singers in the world?
Let’s start with the originals…
“All I Want for Christmas is You,” Mariah Carey
“Santa Tell Me,” Ariana Grande
Thank u for “Santa Tell Me,” Ariana. We’ll play it next.
“Underneath the Tree,” Kelly Clarkson
The lead single off Clarkson’s 2013 Christmas album Wrapped in Red was an instant hit, destined for classic status to rival Mariah’s.
“My Only Wish (This Year),” Britney Spears
Sweet Britney! Our only wish every year is for Spears to release more holiday music. Santa, can you hear me?
“Christmas Makes Me Cry,” Kacey Musgraves
Break out the tissues and slow it down a little with this melancholy tune from a country Christmas queen.
“It Just Don’t Feel Like Xmas (Without You),” Rihanna
Take a break from holding your breath for a new RiRi album and revisit this sad 2006 slow jam from none other than Now That’s What I Call Christmas 3.
“Cozy Little Christmas,” Katy Perry
Perry released this bubbly addition to the festive diva catalogue in 2018, then followed it up a year later with an over-the-top video illustration of what Christmas à la Katy really looks like.
“Christmas Tree Farm,” Taylor Swift
Merry Swiftmas, everyone! Get wild and leave the lights up until January!
“Never Felt Like Christmas,” Lizzo
Yes, Lizzo has an original Christmas song, and yes, it’s good as hell.
“Christmas Tree,” Lady Gaga
Before she was off the deep end and we were all watching as she dives in, Lady Gaga was still a wacky, arty pop diva delivering dirty-minded holiday singles.
The saddest, sweetest love song on the list comes from Sia’s 2017 album of original Christmas tracks, Everyday Is Christmas (and if the impossible romance of “Snowman” breaks your heart too much, try taking a trip down “Candy Cane Lane”).
“Mr. Right,” Leona Lewis
This irresistible yuletide original from the “Bleeding Love” singer has the same gist as a lot of these romantic holiday bops, but hasn’t caught on to the degree of “Underneath the Tree” or “Santa Tell Me.” Add it to your playlist and help bring about #JusticeForMrRight.
“100 Degrees,” Kylie Minogue feat. Dannii Minogue
Christmas is great and all, but as Kylie Minogue knows, there’s one thing it desperately needs: Disco. So much more disco.
“8 Days of Christmas,” Destiny’s Child
This could be considered a cover, but when you replace “geese a-laying” with “a crop jacket with dirty denim jeans,” you’re kind of interfering with the integrity of the original too much for it to really be considered the same thing, right?
“Winter Song,” Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
Are Bareilles and Michaelson quite sparkly and bubblegummy enough to be considered pop princesses, technically? Maybe not. Should you still listen to “Winter Song,” and also probably cry a little? Absolutely yes.
“Can You See,” Fifth Harmony
Yes, Fifth Harmony recorded an inspiring song for the soundtrack to the 2017 animated biblical film The Star. The more you know!
“Christmas Time,” Christina Aguilera
Have a very Xtina Xmas with this danceable track from Aguilera’s 2000 holiday album, My Kind of Christmas.
“You Make It Feel Like Christmas,” Gwen Stefani feat. Blake Shelton
Stefani and her country bae/fellow Voice coach collaborated for the twangy, catchy lead single off her 2017 Christmas album, which was also filled with some great covers of holiday standards (look out, Bing Crosby).
“Tell Me a Story,” Hilary Duff feat. Lil’ Romeo
This is as 2002-Christmas as it gets. Enjoy.
And now for a few covers…
“Santa Baby,” Madonna
Eartha Kitt’s version is iconic, but Madonna does the flirty ditty justice — and if the Material Girl was ever going to sing a Christmas song, it had to be this one.
“Last Christmas,” Carly Rae Jepsen
The Wham! classic has gotten countless covers, but Jepsen put her own brilliant spin on the wistful track, which couldn’t be more suited to her.
“Sleigh Ride,” TLC
The most scrub-free song on the list.
“The Christmas Song,” Whitney Houston
Slow it down a little with Whitney, who puts her crystal voice on this classic.
“Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” Miley Cyrus with Mark Ronson, feat. Sean Ono Lennon
Miley and her “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” collaborator Ronson updated John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s classic protest song with a little help from John and Yoko’s son Sean.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” Mariah Carey
Mariah, and Mariah alone, is allowed to have two songs on this playlist. We’re not complete idiots.