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News Archive: 2020

Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" Gifts Much-Needed Holiday Cheer as #1 ASCAP Holiday Song in 2020
Updated December 7, 2023

Gene Autry is a member of ASCAP as a songwriter, and up until his music publishing catalogs were sold to Warner Chappell in 2019, he was also a music publisher. ASCAP annually writes about the popularity of holiday songs during the Christmas season that are written, performed, or published by their members. Christmas and the Holiday Season for 2020 was very different for everyone as the world faced the many challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic. While many families and friends did not gather together in person due to restrictions, they did connect via video calls and seasonal songs were part of those virtual gatherings. Gene Autry and his music was there, too.

We've noted all the songs performed by Gene Autry – released on record or sung on his Melody Ranch Radio Show – with a star on the ASCAP Top Holiday Songs Chart.

"Feliz Navidad" Celebrates 50 Years as a Seasonal Standard

NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2020 – The holidays might look a little different this year, but The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)'s top seasonal songs are bringing much-needed comfort and cheer to listeners at home. With holiday music taking over the radio waves earlier than ever, ASCAP, a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers, announces the Top 25 ASCAP Holiday Songs of 2020 – a soundtrack to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.

Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (written by Carey and her fellow ASCAP songwriter Walter Afanasieff; published by Universal Music Group Publishing, Sony/ATV, Kobalt Music, Tamal Vista Music) takes the #1 spot as the most-played holiday hit, according to an ASCAP analysis of streaming and terrestrial radio data. Holiday music fans have made the joyous tune more popular every year; it consistently tops the Billboard Holiday 100 Chart and last year became the first holiday song to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 since 1958. Popularly dubbed the "Queen of Christmas," Carey shared a special holiday message to fans about the song on @ASCAP on Instagram, saying "I'm deeply grateful… and just so thankful that it is still bringing joy to so many people around the world and I know that we need that more than ever right now."

Bilingual classic "Feliz Navidad" returns to the top 25 yet again as it celebrates an incredible 50 years as a holiday favorite. In honor of the milestone, songwriter and artist José Feliciano recently released a star-studded re-recording titled "Feliz Navidad 50th Anniversary (FN50)." Produced by Grammy award winner Rudy Pérez, the new version of the timeless tune features 30 artists including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Shaggy, Gloria Gaynor, Big & Rich, Styx, Sam Moore, Los Temerarios, Emmanuel, Pitingo, Jesús Molina, Bertín Osborne, Pablo Montero, El Dasa, Gord Bamford, Leo Dan and Patricia Manterola. Feliciano sent holiday greetings to fans in an exclusive video shared @ASCAP on Instagram.

Filling every home with holiday spirit, Johnny Marks's "A Holly Jolly Christmas," "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'' remain steadfast standards on the seasonal charts, no matter the decade. His undeniably classic songs are beloved across generations and have been covered by countless artists including Meghan Trainor, Alan Jackson, Destiny's Child and Lady A to name a few. And this year Justin Bieber joins the seasonal chorus with a recently released rendition of "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

"It's never too early for holiday music. And now more than ever, the world needs to be reminded of the hopeful spirit of the season and the cherished memories that these classic songs inspire," said ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President Paul Williams. "It is a true joy to celebrate the talented songwriters behind the music keeping the holiday season bright in these trying times."

Below are the top 25 most played ASCAP holiday songs of 2020*, all written or co-written by ASCAP songwriters and composers. Each song lists ASCAP songwriter credits and copyright date.

ASCAP Top Holiday Songs Chart

  1. All I Want for Christmas Is You
    Mariah Carey and Walter Afanasieff (1994)
  2. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas
    Meredith Willson (1951)
  3. A Holly Jolly Christmas
    Johnny Marks (1962)
  4. Sleigh Ride
    Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parish (1948)
  5. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
    Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne (1945)
  6. Jingle Bell Rock
    Joseph Carleton Beal and James Ross Boothe (1958)
  7. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
    Johnny Marks (1958)
  8. Last Christmas
    George Michael (1984)
  9. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
    Edward Pola and George Wyle (1963)
  10. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
    Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin (1944)
  11. Winter Wonderland
    Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (1934)
  12. Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town
    Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie (1934)
  13. White Christmas
    Irving Berlin (1941)
  14. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
    Johnny Marks (1949)
  15. The Christmas Song
    Mel Tormé and Robert Wells (1946)
  16. Here Comes Santa Claus (Down Santa Claus Lane)
    Oakley Haldeman and Gene Autry (1947)
  17. Home for the Holidays
    Robert Allen and Al Stillman (1954)
  18. Feliz Navidad
    Jose Feliciano (1970)
  19. Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season
    Kay Tompson and Irving Berlin (1942)
  20. Santa Baby
    Joan Javits, Anthony Springer and Philip Springer (1953)
  21. Frosty the Snowman
    Steve Nelson and Walter E. Rollins (1950)
  22. Jingle Bells
    James Lord Pierpont; Frank Sinatra version arranged by Gordon Jenkins (ASCAP, 1958)
  23. Underneath the Tree
    Kelly Clarkson and Greg Kurstin (2013)
  24. You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
    Dr. Seuss and Albert Hague (1966)
  25. Santa Tell Me
    Ariana Grande and Savan Kotecha (2013)

* Based on an analysis of ASCAP streaming and terrestrial radio data


The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a professional membership organization of songwriters, composers and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP's mission is to license and promote the music of its members and foreign affiliates, obtain fair compensation for the public performance of their works and to distribute the royalties that it collects based upon those performances. ASCAP members write the world's best-loved music and ASCAP has pioneered the efficient licensing of that music to hundreds of thousands of enterprises who use it to add value to their business – from bars, restaurants and retail, to radio, TV and cable, to Internet, mobile services and more. The ASCAP license offers an efficient solution for businesses to legally perform ASCAP music while respecting the right of songwriters and composers to be paid fairly. With more than 950,000 members representing more than 18 million copyrighted works, ASCAP is the worldwide leader in performance royalties, service and advocacy for songwriters and composers, and the only American performing rights organization (PRO) owned and governed by its writer and publisher members. Learn more and stay in touch at, on Twitter and Instagram @ASCAP and on Facebook.

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