It’s a yearly rite of passage. Once you hear it in a grocery store, department store, or mall, you’ve crossed the threshold – there’s no going back. When you hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” it’s officially the holiday season.

The song took Carey and songwriter Walter Afanasieff about 15 minutes to pen in 1994, and it’s been everywhere ever since. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is one of the few original Christmas songs since the 80s to become a modern classic. It’s a regular high-streamer, gets heavy radio air-play, and makes the Billboard Top 100 each December – so how much money does Mariah make off of the song every year?

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The Huntington, New York native cashes in on the holidays. Even though her recent and controversial bid to trademark “Queen of Christmas” for all sorts of branded merchandise failed, she still has a Green Christmas. “All I Want” is one of the few RIAA Diamond Certified Christmas songs, selling more than 10 million copies in its almost 30-year run. Mariah's Christmas catalogue even spawned seasonal tours and an Apple TV+ Christmas special in 2020.

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Using streaming, radio, and sales numbers and applying them to respective royalty rates, The Economist estimated that “All I Want For Christmas Is You” has bagged Mariah $60 million from its release until 2016. Divide 60mil by 22 years, and that’s a little under $2.75 million per year. This backs up a similar estimate done by the New York Post in 2013 that figured $2.6 million per year.

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If we play it safe and average out the two figures, that means Mariah will likely rake in another $2,675,000 off “All I Want For Christmas Is You” in 2022. Not bad for 15 minutes worth of writing played over six weeks.

In case you were curious, TMZ reports that Mariah typically makes about $6.3 million total per year between tours, merch deals, music sales and streams, and endorsements. This means that one Christmas song makes up 40% of her income.

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