How much does Mariah Carey make every Christmas?

She's known as the Queen of Christmas, but how much is that title making her?

Mariah Caray on stage in a red dress with a Christmas tree behind her
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's that time of year again when festive tunes are playing in all the shops - and many of us are wondering how much does Mariah Carey make every Christmas?

If you're a fan of classic Christmas music (opens in new tab), then no doubt you know all the words to Mariah Carey's iconic 'All I Want for Christmas is You'. It's played in public places as well as our own homes every festive season, and is also one of the tracks in the cult-classic Christmas film, Love Actually.

And though the famed singer doesn't just come out at Christmas - she recently appeared on Meghan Markle's podcast (opens in new tab) - the mum of twins (opens in new tab) really comes into her own at this time of year. After posting a spectacular Halloween-to-Christmas transformation video on her Instagram on November 1st, everyone wants to know how much does Mariah Carey make every Christmas?

 How much does Mariah Carey make every Christmas? 

According to a study from The Economist (opens in new tab), Mariah Carey made $60million from her hit song 'All I Want for Christmas is You' between 1996 and 2016. Broken down by year, this suggests she has made an average of around $2.6million per year (that's roughly £2.2million).

While it's not known exactly how much Mariah Carey makes each festive period, it's bound to be a hefty sum, considering the money she will also receive from streaming services such as Spotify (opens in new tab). And as the Christmas celebrations seem to arrive earlier and earlier each year, it doesn't look like she will need to worry about her finances any time soon.

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How much money has Mariah Carey made from 'All I Want for Christmas is You'?

While the The Economist reported that the song had made $60million by 2016, it's likely that it will have brought in another $12.5million since then, taking Mariah Carey's total earnings from 'All I Want for Christmas is You' to $72million (roughly £60million).

The song has reached number one in multiple countries around the world - it topped the US charts in 2019 and the UK charts in 2020 - and re-enters Billboard’s Holiday 100 Chart every year. Gary Trust (opens in new tab), Billboard’s associate director of charts/radio, told the New York Post (opens in new tab): "It’s Carey’s best-selling download of all of her songs - 2.8 million sold since Nielsen Music began tracking sales in the early 2000s."

And this huge $72million figure doesn't include UK royalties and streaming plays - so it's likely that Mariah has actually earned even more from the popular festive tune. Celebrity Net Worth (opens in new tab) reports that 'All I Want for Christmas is You' generates an estimated $600,000 per year in royalties.

What is Mariah Carey's yearly income?

Though Mariah Carey's exact yearly income isn't known, it's likely she earns at least $3million during the holiday season alone when her live performances are added on to the income from 'All I Want for Christmas is You'.

Aside from the money Mariah makes from the hugely popular song and the rest of her Merry Christmas album, she's firmly solidified herself as the Queen of Christmas with other endeavours such as Mariah Carey's Magical Christmas Special, which premiered on Apple TV+ in December 2020. 

This year, Mariah has co-written a festive-themed children's book, called The Christmas Princess (opens in new tab), and she will be also be performing four live shows in December - two in Toronto and two in New York - in a celebration of the singer’s repertoire of classic holiday songs. CBS will be airing her sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden on TV on December 20, and it will be available to stream on Paramount +.

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Who wrote All I Want for Christmas is You?

All I Want for Christmas is You was co-written by Mariah Carey and her then songwriting partner Walter Afanasieff. Despite the songs enduring success, it was actually written in just 15 minutes.

"It's definitely not 'Swan Lake'," Afanasieff has said previously. "But that's why it's so popular — because it's so simple and palatable!" adding that the track was inspired by producer Phil Spector's 'Wall of Sound' technique from the 1960s.

According to Radio X (opens in new tab), the song was last year named the most popular Christmas song of all time based on a survey of social media users and Spotify plays.

Most streamed Christmas songs - top 10

  1. All I Want for Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
  2. Last Christmas - WHAM!
  3. Fairytale of New York - Pogues ft. Kirsty Kirsty MacColl
  4. Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin' Stevens 
  5. Do They Know it's Christmas - Band Aid 
  6. It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas - Michael Buble 
  7. Step into Christmas - Elton John
  8. Santa Tell Me - Ariana Grande 
  9. I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
  10. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee

According to Official Charts (opens in new tab), as of December 2021 'All I Want for Christmas is You' had 248 million streams to date, followed by Wham’s Last Christmas, on 220m, and Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl with 170m plays.

Mariah Carey net worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Mariah Carey is worth $340 million - roughly £295 million.

They add that she is one of the 15 best-selling musical artists in history having sold over 200 million albums worldwide and is third best-selling female artists of all time, behind Madonna at number one and Taylor Swift at number two.

Throughout her career, Mariah Carey has won numerous awards and honours, including eight AMAs, 19 Billboard Music Awards, and five Grammys.

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Ellie Hutchings
Junior Features Writer

Ellie joined Goodto as a Junior Features Writer in 2022 after finishing her Master’s in Magazine Journalism at Nottingham Trent University. Previously, she completed successful work experience placements with BBC Good Food, The Big Issue and the Nottingham Post, and freelanced as an arts and entertainment writer alongside her studies. In 2021, Ellie graduated from Cardiff University with a first-class degree in Journalism.