Best-selling Christmas/holiday albums in the United States

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Picture of Santa as a DJ.

This page shows the best-selling Christmas albums in the United States. It includes artists from all over the world, but it only includes sales in the United States of America.

Prior to March 1, 1991, the only means of tracking sales figures for record albums and singles in the United States was via the certification system of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), based specifically on shipments (less potential returns) on a long-term basis. According to the most recent record album certifications, the holiday album title that has shipped the most copies in the United States is Elvis Presley's 1957 LP Elvis' Christmas Album, which is certified by the RIAA for shipment of 13 million copies in the U.S. (three million copies of the original 1957 release on RCA Victor Records, plus ten million copies of a "budget" edition first released by RCA Camden in 1970 and then by Pickwick Records in 1975).[1]

From March 1, 1991, through the present day, the Nielsen SoundScan tracking system has been more widely used to accurately track sales of record albums and singles at the point of sale (POS) based on inventory bar code scans.

Best-selling Christmas/holiday albums since Nielsen SoundScan tracking began[edit]

This is a list of the thirty best-selling Christmas albums of the SoundScan era in the United States according to the Nielsen Company. Nielsen SoundScan began tracking sales data for Billboard on March 1, 1991. This list includes accumulated SoundScan sales through December 17, 2012.

1991–2012[edit]

  1. Miracles: The Holiday Album / Kenny G ~ 7,277,000[2]
  2. Noël / Josh Groban ~ 5,550,000[2]
  3. Merry Christmas / Mariah Carey ~ 5,261,000[2]
  4. These Are Special Times / Celine Dion ~ 5,257,000[2]
  5. Christmas in the Aire / Mannheim Steamroller ~ 3,735,000[2]
  6. A Fresh Aire Christmas / Mannheim Steamroller ~ 3,645,000[2]
  7. Mannheim Steamroller Christmas / Mannheim Steamroller ~ 3,493,000[2]
  8. Now That's What I Call Christmas! / various artists ~ 3,443,000[2]
  9. Christmas Eve and Other Stories / Trans-Siberian Orchestra ~ 3,347,000[2]
  10. A Charlie Brown Christmas / Vince Guaraldi Trio ~ 3,226,000
  11. When My Heart Finds Christmas / Harry Connick, Jr. ~ 3,119,000[2]
  12. Christmas Extraordinaire / Mannheim Steamroller ~ 2,953,000[2]
  13. My Christmas / Andrea Bocelli ~ 2,901,000[2]
  14. Faith: A Holiday Album / Kenny G ~ 2,752,000[2]
  15. Christmas / Michael Bublé ~ 2,749,000[2]
  16. Home for Christmas / *NSYNC ~ 2,713,000[2]
  17. Beyond the Season / Garth Brooks ~ 2,649,000[2]
  18. Home for Christmas / Amy Grant ~ 2,542,000[2]
  19. The Christmas Song / Nat King Cole ~ 2,507,000
  20. A Very Special Christmas / various artists ~ 2,496,000[2]
  21. The Lost Christmas Eve / Trans-Siberian Orchestra ~ 2,261,000[2]
  22. A Very Special Christmas 2 / various artists ~ 2,191,000[2]
  23. The Gift / Susan Boyle ~ 2,123,000[2]
  24. The Christmas Album / Neil Diamond ~ 1,911,000
  25. Christmas Portrait / The Carpenters ~ 1,895,000[2]
  26. White Christmas / Bing Crosby ~ 1,887,000[2]
  27. December / George Winston ~ 1,845,000
  28. The Christmas Attic / Trans-Siberian Orchestra ~ 1,803,000[2]
  29. Let There Be Peace on Earth / Vince Gill ~ 1,787,000[2]
  30. Christmas Interpretations / Boyz II Men ~ 1,767,000[2]

Best-selling Christmas/holiday albums by RIAA certification[edit]

This is an incomplete list of the best-selling Christmas/holiday albums in the United States based on shipment certification by the RIAA. This list provides a more complete representation of the best-selling Christmas/holiday albums in history, as it includes those released well before the Nielsen/SoundScan era of music sales.

Year of ReleaseArtist(s)TitleLabel(s)Certification Award[3]
1970Presley, ElvisElvis PresleyElvis' Christmas Album
(budget reissue of 1957 LP with altered track listing)
RCA Camden/PickwickDiamond
1994G, KennyKenny GMiracles: The Holiday AlbumArista8× Platinum
2001VariousNow That's What I Call Christmas!UTV6× Platinum
1988Mannheim SteamrollerA Fresh Aire ChristmasAmerican Gramaphone6× Platinum
1984Mannheim SteamrollerMannheim Steamroller ChristmasAmerican Gramaphone6× Platinum
1963Cole, Nat KingNat King ColeThe Christmas Song
(originally released in 1960 under the title The Magic of Christmas)
Capitol6× Platinum
2007Groban, JoshJosh GrobanNoëlWEA/Reprise5× Platinum
1998Dion, CelineCeline DionThese Are Special TimesEpic5× Platinum
1994Carey, MariahMariah CareyMerry ChristmasColumbia5× Platinum
1967Streisand, BarbraBarbra StreisandA Christmas AlbumColumbia5× Platinum
1958Mathis, JohnnyJohnny MathisMerry ChristmasColumbia5× Platinum
1995Crosby, BingBing CrosbyWhite Christmas
(originally released in 1945 under the title Merry Christmas)
Decca4× Platinum
1995Mannheim SteamrollerChristmas in the AireAmerican Gramaphone4× Platinum
1987VariousA Very Special ChristmasA&M4× Platinum
1984VariousChristmas Through the YearsReader's Digest Music4× Platinum
2010Boyle, SusanSusan BoyleThe GiftSyco/Columbia3× Platinum
2001Mannheim SteamrollerChristmas ExtraordinaireAmerican Gramaphone3× Platinum
1999G, KennyKenny GFaith: A Holiday AlbumArista Records3× Platinum
1996Trans-Siberian OrchestraChristmas Eve and Other StoriesLava3× Platinum
1993Connick, Jr., HarryHarry Connick, Jr.When My Heart Finds ChristmasSony/Columbia3× Platinum
1992Brooks, GarthGarth BrooksBeyond the SeasonLiberty3× Platinum
1992Grant, AmyAmy GrantHome for ChristmasA&M3× Platinum
1985Presley, ElvisElvis PresleyIt's Christmas Time
(retitled reissue of 1970 budget edition of Elvis' Christmas Album)
BMG3× Platinum
1982Winston, GeorgeGeorge WinstonDecemberWindham Hill3× Platinum
1971Presley, ElvisElvis PresleyElvis Sings the Wonderful World of ChristmasRCA3× Platinum
1965Guaraldi Trio, VinceVince Guaraldi TrioA Charlie Brown ChristmasFantasy3× Platinum
1957Presley, ElvisElvis PresleyElvis' Christmas Album
(original release)
RCA Victor3× Platinum
2009Bocelli, AndreaAndrea BocelliMy ChristmasDecca2× Platinum
2004Trans-Siberian OrchestraThe Lost Christmas EveLava2× Platinum
2003VariousNow That's What I Call Christmas!: The Signature CollectionCapitol2× Platinum
1998*NSYNCHome for ChristmasRCA2× Platinum
1993Boyz II MenChristmas InterpretationsMotown2× Platinum
1993Gill, VinceVince GillLet There Be Peace on EarthMCA Nashville2× Platinum
1992Diamond, NeilNeil DiamondThe Christmas AlbumColumbia2× Platinum
1992VariousA Very Special Christmas 2A&M2× Platinum
1989New Kids on the BlockMerry, Merry ChristmasColumbia2× Platinum
1987McEntire, RebaReba McEntireMerry Christmas to YouMCA Nashville2× Platinum
1986Strait, GeorgeGeorge StraitMerry Christmas Strait to You!MCA Nashville2× Platinum
1985AlabamaAlabama ChristmasRCA2× Platinum
1984Rogers, KennyKenny Rogers & Parton, DollyDolly PartonOnce Upon a ChristmasRCA2× Platinum
1981Murray, AnneAnne MurrayChristmas WishesCapitol2× Platinum
1981Rogers, KennyKenny RogersChristmasLiberty2× Platinum
1979VariousDisney's Christmas FavoritesDisneyland2× Platinum
1975Denver, JohnJohn DenverRocky Mountain ChristmasRCA2× Platinum

Best-selling Christmas/holiday albums by year[edit]

In 1963, Billboard magazine began publishing a special weekly sales charts for Christmas album sales named "Christmas Albums" for three to four weeks during each holiday season. Titles that appeared on these charts were excluded from the regular Billboard 200 album sales charts. These special, year-end "Christmas Albums" charts were published from 1963 to 1973. The chart was discontinued from 1974 to 1982, when holiday titles were once again included in the regular Billboard 200 chart. "Christmas Albums" started up again in 1983 and appeared each year until 1985 (during these three years, holiday titles were eligible for inclusion on the weekly Billboard 200 chart). It was discontinued in 1986, but resumed in 1987 and continued each year under the "Christmas Albums" name until 1993. In 1994, the chart was renamed to "Holiday Albums" and has been published by Billboard each year since. Billboard's special Christmas/holiday albums sales charts have varied in size over the years, from a low of 5 chart positions to a high of 117 chart positions.[4]

1940s[edit]

1950s[edit]

1960s[edit]

1970s[edit]

1980s[edit]

1990s[edit]

2000s[edit]

2010s[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z Grein, Paul (December 17, 2012). "Chart Watch Extra: Christmas Albums, From Bing To Buble". Yahoo! Music. Yahoo!. Retrieved December 18, 2012. 
  3. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Whitburn, Joel (2004). Christmas in the Charts (1920–2004). Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 106. ISBN 0-89820-161-6. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Chart Watch Extra: Bring On Christmas!". Billboard. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  6. ^ She, by Harry Conick, Jr., harryconnickjr.com
  7. ^ The Best Selling Christmas Albums of 1997, neosoul.com
  8. ^ The Best Selling Christmas Albums of 1999, neosoul.com
  9. ^ The Major Minor, The New York Times, April 1, 2001
  10. ^ IDT Entertainment's DPS Film Roman and Harry Connick Jr. Team For 3D Animated Christmas Special, Business Wire, findarticles.com September 29, 2004
  11. ^ Clay Aiken Releases New RCA Records Album 'A Thousand Different Ways', emol.org, August 3, 2006
  12. ^ 2009 U.S. Music Purchases up 2.1% over 2008; Music Sales Exceed 1.5 Billion for Second Consecutive Year, Businesswire.com, Jan 7, 2010 article.
  13. ^ Kaulfield, Keith (2011-01-05). "Eminem's 'Recovery' Is 2010's Best-Selling Album; Katy Perry's 'California Gurls' Top Digital Song". Billboard. Billboard.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  14. ^ Grein, Paul (2011-12-28). "Week Ending Dec. 25, 2011. Albums: A Very Jeezy Christmas". Yahoo! Music. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2011-12-28. 
  15. ^ Grein, Paul (2013-01-03). "Chart Watch Extra: Top Albums of 2012". Yahoo! Music. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  16. ^ Grein, Paul (2014-01-03). "The Top 10 Albums and Songs of 2013". Yahoo! Music. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2014-01-03.