Mariah Carey has hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time since 2008 ... but the song in the top spot was released in 1994. Yes, on Monday, Carey's holiday classic, "All I Want for Christmas Is You," hit No. 1 on the chart for the first time ever a quarter-century after it first came out, the New York Times reports. In doing so, it set a record for the track that took the longest to make it to the top spot; it's also the first Christmas song to be in that spot since "The Chipmunk Song" in 1958. The song has gotten bigger and bigger for Carey (who now calls herself the "Queen of Christmas," per CNN) over the years; there are tie-ins in the form of a children's book and an animated film, plus online content, a mini-documentary, a deluxe edition of Carey's Merry Christmas album that includes four different versions of the song, and of course, a bunch of Christmas shows Carey has been performing since 2014.
Carey's song is widely seen as the last modern-era Christmas classic. "There are the classics—the standards that everybody grew up with—and then there are the reinterpretations or new originals. Mariah lives in that sweet spot of both," explains a senior analyst for Nielsen Music. Why was this the year for No. 1? The Times pegs recent listening shifts including the popularity of streaming, ubiquitous holiday playlists, new versions of the video recently added to YouTube, and lots of marketing—Carey has been pushing the song each year at the start of the season, including with a cute video as soon as Halloween ended this year. "It’s something my die-hard fans think about, and people that are really close to me are talking to me about it literally all year. But I don’t need something else to validate the existence of this song," she tells the Times of hitting No. 1. "I just truly love the holidays. I know it’s corny, and I don’t care." The Times' full piece, which also reveals how the song came to be, is worth a read. (Read more Mariah Carey stories.)