How Much Money Does Mariah Carey Make From Her Hit Song “All I Want For Christmas Is You”?

Every November, she rises from her 10-month slumber to bring joy to the world for the holiday season. No, we’re not talking about Mrs. Claus. We’re talking about the true Queen of Christmas, Mariah Carey.

By Meghan Dillon2 min read
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Mariah Carey is one of the most successful (and one of the most talented) female musical artists in history. Even without her Queen of Christmas status, she’s an icon in pop and R&B music with hits like “We Belong Together,” “Always Be My Baby,” “Hero,” and “Fantasy.” 

However, it’s no secret that she thrives during the Christmas season. So, how did she become the Queen of Christmas? And how much does she make off of her Christmas songs and tours?

How Mariah Carey Became the Queen of Christmas

Her most famous Christmas song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” was released in 1994 on her first Christmas album, Merry Christmas. The popular song celebrates love and Christmas. At the time of the song’s release, she said, “I’m a very festive person, and I love the holidays. I’ve sung Christmas songs since I was a little girl. I used to go Christmas caroling.”

In a 2015 interview, she added, “I wrote it just out of love for Christmas and like really loving Christmas music.” In the 28 years since “All I Want For Christmas Is You” was released, it has re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 during multiple Christmas seasons, although it didn’t hit #1 until 2019. Though the song was always popular, it experienced a surge in popularity after the 2003 release of Love Actually, where Joanna Anderson (Olivia Olson) famously covered the song at a Christmas pageant at the climax of the movie. It has been used in dozens of other movies and can be found on any music streaming platform.

Thanks to social media, the song has become more popular every Christmas season, and Carey embraced the popularity of the song by releasing a second Christmas album in 2010. In 2014, she began her annual Christmas tour, All I Want for Christmas Is You: A Night of Joy and Festivity.

“All I Want for Christmas Is You,” which reportedly took only 15 minutes to write, is Mariah Carey’s “biggest international success, the 12th best-selling single of all time, and the best-selling Christmas single by a female artist overall.”

Mariah Carey Embraces Her Christmas Crown

Mariah Carey is not only aware that she’s the Queen of Christmas, but embraces the title (as she should) on social media and beyond. Her status as the Queen of Christmas has reached meme status, so much so that a popular meme joking that she was “defrosting” before Halloween went viral in October.

Carey got in on the memes herself this year. In one Instagram reel posted on October 28, she began singing “All I Want for Christmas Is You” before a monster attacked her to tell her that it wasn’t time yet. In the second reel, posted on November 1, she’s dressed as a cackling witch before switching into a Christmas outfit when the clock strikes midnight on November 1. She even has a hashtag – #MariahSZN. 

She has gone all out this year with a new Christmas tour, Merry Christmas To All, in New York and Toronto, and she released a children’s Christmas book, The Christmas Princess. This isn’t the first time she’s tackled a non-music-related Christmas venture, as she published another children’s Christmas book, All I Want For Christmas Is You, in 2015, and directed and starred in a Hallmark Christmas movie, A Christmas Melody, the same year.

How Much Does She Make from “All I Want for Christmas”?

There are several estimates of how much Mariah Carey makes every Christmas season on just the song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” alone, but it’s reckoned to be a good chunk of her income. One 2017 report estimated that she makes around $2.6 million a year in just the U.S., while another estimated her annual royalties to be around $600,000 to $1 million. Though these numbers are high, they don’t count for how much she makes for her Christmas tours and shows, meaning that there’s a good chance that her status as the Queen of Christmas might make up close to half (if not more) of her yearly income. For reference, as of 2022, Mariah Carey has an estimated net worth of $320 million.

Closing Thoughts

From her hit song “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to her Christmas tours, Christmas books, and hilarious Christmas-related Instagram posts, it’s no secret that Mariah Carey is the Queen of Christmas. She continues to build on her legacy every year, so chances are she won’t be dethroned anytime soon!

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