All respect to Santa Claus, but Christmas isn't really about him anymore. In 1994, Mariah Carey became the face of the most anticipated holiday of the year with the release of her original song "All I Want for Christmas Is You."
The song, which was the single from the singer's fourth studio album (and first Christmas project) Merry Christmas, almost didn't happen. Because holiday albums were usually reserved for older, more seasoned artists, it didn't make much sense for Mariah to release a Christmas album so early in her career. But the "Emotions" singer's personal love for the holidays won out, and she ended up creating the undisputed best Christmas song ever — we're not arguing about this.
Over the years, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" has signaled the arrival of the holiday season, with radio stations around the world queing up the catchy tune as early as Thanksgiving Day. This year, the iconic song claimed the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100, earning Mariah her 19th No.1 on the chart. It even spawned its own Amazon documentary, Mariah Carey Is Christmas, giving fans the unique origin story of the song.
Carey's discography boasts classics like "Shake It Off," "Hero," and "Fantasy," but "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is undoubtedly one of her most famous songs. She's been performing it nonstop throughout her career, delighting all who have the pleasure of singing along with her.
These are the most iconic live performances of the unofficial anthem of Christmas, ranked from "Come on, queen!" to "let's just pretend that never happened." Feel free to sing along — you know MC would want you to.