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Mariah Carey Swallows Christmas Whole, Sets Holiday Concert Special for CBS

The concert special airs December 20, and captures a Madison Square Garden performance from the "All I Want for Christmas Is You" icon.

Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey

NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Not content with just dominating radio and the Billboard charts during the holidays, Mariah Carey has set her sights on conquering the airwaves. The five-time Grammy winner will star in a new holiday concert special coming to CBS and Paramount+ on December 20. The news was first announced November 10 on the “CBS Mornings” daytime show during an interview between co-host and Carey about her newly released children’s book “The Christmas Princess.”

Titled “Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas to All,” the two-hour concert will capture Carey’s December 13 performance at New York City’s Madison Square Garden arena, and feature Carey performing a repertoire of her Christmas songs — including, of course, the inescapable behemoth that is “All I Want for Christmas is You.” The concert is one of two stops on the singer’s mini-Christmas tour; Carey is also scheduled to perform at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto December 11.

“All I Want for Christmas is You” was released in 1994 as the lead single for Carey’s “Merry Christmas” holiday album and quickly became a modern Yuletide standard, receiving consistent airplay during November and December. The song remained popular for years, but received a new surge of attention in 2019, its 25th anniversary, when it broke records by hitting No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — the longest trip to No. 1 in the chart’s history. The song repeated its ascension to the top during the 2020 and 2021 Christmas seasons and looks set to maintain its death grip on the charts this year.

As the song has grown in popularity, Carey has increasingly embraced her image as “The Queen of Christmas,” releasing a new onslaught of holiday content every fall for the past three years. In 2019, she starred in a new music video for “All I Want for Christmas,” and a documentary about the history of the song, “Mariah Carey Is Christmas!,” premiered on Amazon in commemoration of its 25th anniversary. In 2020, “Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special” was released on Apple TV+, along with a tie-in soundtrack and a music video for a rerecorded version of Carey’s 2010 song “Oh Santa!,” with guest vocals from Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson. Yet another special, “Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues,” followed on Apple TV+ last year, along with a new song “Fall in Love at Christmas” featuring Khalid and Kirk Franklin. Carey’s children’s book “The Christmas Princess,” co-written with Michaela Angela Davis and focusing on a young Carey setting off on a journey to spread the magic of the holidays, was published on November 1.

The singer has also started leaning into memes about how the holiday season is really “Mariah Season.” On November 1, the singer posted a video depicting her as a witch on a Peleton bike, before transforming into her recognizable Santa garb as the first notes of “All I Want for Christmas is You” plays, in recognition of the common Twitter joke about her “defrosting” during Christmastime.

“Merry Christmas to All” will air on CBS December 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Paramount+ Premium subscribers can stream the special live via a live feed of their local CBS affiliate as well as on-demand. Other subscribers will be able to stream the special the next day. Following its initial premiere, MTV will air additional encore presentations of the special, to be scheduled in the coming weeks.

Carey executive produces “Merry Christmas to All” with Joseph Kahn, Charleen Manca, and Nicola Doring. The special is a co-production of Sony Music Entertainment and Supply & Demand, with Sony Music Entertainment distributing the special.

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