Every year, every Christmas R&B and Urban radio stations play Christmas songs. If you pay close attention there are certain R&B Christmas songs that are placed in heavy rotation. Here is a list of the top 10 Christmas songs that receive frequent play on R&B radio stations each year.
Ten: Santa Clause is Coming to Town – Jackson 5
The Jackson 5 really made Christmas rock for the younger sect in 1970. Today this song has the same effect for those who grew up listening to their parent’s 45’s. Enjoy listening to the late, great Michael Jackson belt out “Santa Clause is coming to town! Oh yeah!” This is a great way to let your children know that MJ’s career began before Thriller hit MTV.
Nine: It’s Christmas Time (All Over the World) – New Edition
The 80s boy band, New Edition made R&B Christmas music cool again for teenagers with the release of their 1985 Christmas album Christmas All Over the Word. Number nine of the top 10 Christmas songs appearing on R&B radio came from this album. Every child of the 80s began singing this Christmas song each holiday season and quite a few still do.
Eight: Give Love on Christmas Day – Jackson 5
This song is another R&B Christmas music classic from the Jackson 5 from the 1970 Jackson 5 Christmas LP. This is a mellow Christmas song from the Jackson 5 with Michael Jackson taking lead urging the world to give the gift of love for the holiday season. It is hard not to belt out this R&B Christmas song along with MJ (but while in public try not to).
Seven: Christmas Aint Christmas (Without the One You Love) – The O’Jays
R&B greats, the O’Jays made a wonderful Christmas album titled Home for Christmas. One of the songs from this album became a radio standard during the holidays, thus making it on the list of top 10 Christmas songs. This song is one of the few times Eddie Levert shows the softer side of his voice, coupled with the catchy melody and you have R&B Christmas music gold.
Six: Let it Snow – Boyz II Men feat. Brian McKnight
From the album Christmas Interpretations comes one of Boyz II Men’s most recognizable songs. Let it Snow features the harmonizing talents of this group along with that of Brian McKnight in this now R&B Christmas music classic. This song is a sure bet to play on R&B radio and R&B video programs each holiday season.
Five: Joy to the World – Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey literally ruled the 90s with a number one hit each year during that decade. One of her hits was her Merry Christmas LP which featured this R&B Christmas music delight. When Mariah sang her rendition of Joy to the World live, she took R&B fans to “church” and it soon became the preferred version of the holiday classic.
Four: This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
“Hang all the mistletoe, I’m gonna get to know you better. This Christmas!” This song has become a Christmas standard even though it was only released in 1970. Donny Hathaway’s This Christmas is an R&B Christmas favorite that gained a new following when Chris Brown sang it in the 2007 movie of the same name.
Three: At Christmas Time – Luther Vandross
R&B velvet crooner, the late Luther Vandross was known for taking a classic to the next level. This number three entry of the top 10 Christmas songs is a beautiful holiday song that makes you lay back, close your eyes and melt into the velvet softness of Luther’s vocals. Many R&B Christmas music lovers have fond memories associated with this song. This Christmas song is the perfect backdrop for a mellow or romantic evening.
Two: The Christmas Song – Nat King Cole
As this list of the top 10 Christmas songs winds down we reach the number two R&B Christmas music classic provided by none other than Nat King Cole. While this Christmas song is a holiday favorite, many do not realize that this song is not called Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. The Christmas Song owes its popularity to Mr. Cole’s smooth, rich vocals and his innate charm that melts into each verse sung.
One: Silent Night – The Temptations
Each year the number two song and this holiday classic take turns resting at the number one spot on R&B radio top 10 Christmas songs lists. This time honored Christmas classic took a soulful turn when R&B oldies group, The Temptations recorded their rendition of this song. It is featured on their 2001 compilation CD titled Best of Temptations Christmas. This top 10 Christmas song will make you pause when you hear it play on the radio as the soul stirring, timeless vocals of The Temptations bring to memory why Christmas received its name.
These are the top 10 Christmas songs in R&B Christmas music. If you haven’t noticed yet, each link on the song title takes you to the song lyrics or history of each song. For those discovering these R&B Christmas songs for the first time and for those who already love them you can listen to them on the Love, Peace and a Soulful Christmas playlist. Happy Holidays!