Mariah Carey's festive favourite, All I Want For Christmas Is You, has seen a seasonal sales surge tip it over the 1 million sales milestone in the UK. And, as new Official Charts Company data shows, the British public have bought an incredible 15 million Christmas tunes, digitally, since downloading began in 2004.
Mariah's much-loved seasonal classic passed the landmark sales threshold yesterday, establishing itself as one of the UK's all-time greatest hits. The US singer was triumphant when told of the achievement yesterday, telling OfficialCharts.com: "I just landed back in the US after performing a charity show in Africa for the Red Cross. I'm driving home looking at the snow in my hometown of NYC, celebrating selling 1 million copies of All I Want For Christmas Is You in the UK. Thank you, thank you to all of my British fans! Love, Mariah."
The British public can't get enough of Mariah's sleigh bell-adorned classic, having snapped up 68,000 copies already in 2013. Co-written/produced by Mariah along with Walter Afanasieff, the track first appeared on the festive album Merry Christmas and its lasting appeal has seen it generate an estimated $50 million in royalties globally since.
All I Want For Christmas Is You peaked at Number 2 in 1994, after being kept off the festive top spot by East 17's Stay Another Day. It was unavailable for several years, however, thanks to the advent of digital and the song's feel-good singalong factor, it returned to the Official Singles Chart in 2007 and has done so over and over again every December since, charting at Number 4 (2007), 12 (2008), 18 (2009), 22 (2010), 11 (2011), 20 (2012) and this year (it reached Number 12 in last Sunday's chart).
The song is one of only 142 singles in the history of the Official Charts to pass the million copies mark in the UK. All I Want For Christmas joins eight other seasonal big hitters to have reached this landmark including Bing Crosby's White Christmas, Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody and Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas. Mariah is currently working on a new solo album, due for release in spring 2014.
The digital revolution has transformed the market for classic Christmas tunes. Brand new Official Charts analysis indicates that, over the past 10 years since legitimate downloading was born in the UK, a total of more than 15.4m Christmas tracks have been sold digitally (spanning festive songs, plus Christmas Number 1s past and present).
A range of classics, including The Pogues' Fairytale Of New York, Wham!'s Last Christmas and Slade's Merry Christmas Everybody, regularly sell between 40,000 and 100,000 copies every year. Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot says: "We've always known that British music fans love their Christmas tunes, but this new analysis shows just how much. Every year, these classics are selling well over 500,000 copies between them, year after year - with some of the biggest titles selling over 100,000 copies a year. We certainly are a nation of festive classic fanatics."
Gennaro Castaldo of the BPI, the trade body for the UK recorded music industry says: ":Along with CD compilations, downloads and now streaming have helped to give our classic Christmas songs a new lease of life and make them a permanent part of our festive celebrations each year. It's great news, not just for the artists who are kept in royalties and for fans who love them, but also for the wider UK music industry, which benefits from the increasingly important contribution they now make."
another day, another record broken. CHEERS, DAHLING