Mariah Carey Kicks Off the Holiday Season with “All I Want For Christmas” at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

Mariah Carey ushered in the official start of the holiday season with her performance of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night (November 19). If you try and abstain from listening to Christmas music this early in November: Too bad. Carey is ready to kick off the festivities and what the Queen of Christmas says goes.

Videos by American Songwriter

Carey’s long-awaited appearance at the BBMAs was flanked by ice skaters and background dancers donning their best holiday sweaters. Carey herself descended to the stage in a ski lift before she jumped into the opening line: I don’t want a lot for Christmas / There is just one thing I need / I don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree / I just want you for my own / More than you could ever know.

[RELATED: When is it Too Early to Start Listening to Christmas Music? American Songwriter Weighs In]

Carey wowed with her vocals as per usual, adding in meandering runs and whistle tones. It’s hard to not want to sing along with Carey while she dishes out this Christmas classic–though most people would struggle to go toe to toe with the pop icon in the vocal department.

The end of the performance was punctuated by a well-timed snowfall. It was the perfect heartwarming start to the holiday season. Check out the full performance, below.

In addition to her performance, Carey accepted the chart achievement award for the Christmas staple. “This award is particularly special to me because the song itself changed my entire life,” Carey said in her acceptance speech.

“When I first sat down to write ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ I never could have imagined that three months later…I would be accepting this award,” Carey joked about the song’s continued success decades after its release.

Carey released “All I Want For Christmas Is You” back in 1994. The song reigned on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks. Carey has embarked on the latest installment of her annual holiday tour. The Merry Christmas One and All! kicked off on November 15 in Highland, California. Stops along the trek include Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Boston, and more. Find her full dates, HERE.

The BBMAs aired on Sunday night (November 19). Carey was one of a few performers. Other performers included Tate McRae, Peso Pluma, NewJeans, Bebe Rexha, Karol G, and Morgan Wallen.

Photo Credit: Youtube BBMAs

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