10 Great R&B Christmas Songs

These renditions will light up your holidays

The Christmas season and R&B music are a natural pairing because both focus on love, joy, and happiness. Singers such as Mariah Carey and the late Whitney Houston have had huge hits with Christmas albums and covers of holiday classics, while other R&B legends including Bootsy Collins have put unique spins on holiday tradition. Here's a list of 10 great R&B holiday songs:

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'Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town,' The Jackson 5

'60s R&B Quintet 'Jackson 5'
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There are good R&B Christmas songs and then there are great ones, like this Jackson 5 classic. Written in 1934, the song quickly became a pop hit. Over the years, artists from Perry Como to Bruce Springsteen have covered it, but for many, the Jacksons' 1970 version, which can be found on the "Jackson 5 Christmas Album," is the best.

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'Silent Night,' Mariah Carey

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Few people know how to make a hit like Mariah Carey. For her 1994 album "Merry Christmas," Carey let her famous five-octave vocal range shine. This song with its modern gospel flair was the album's lead track. The album was a huge success, peaking at No. 3 on the charts and selling more than 5.5 million copies in the U.S.

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'Every Year, Every Christmas,' Luther Vandross

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Luther Vandross was in the prime of his career when he co-wrote and recorded this song as part of his 1995 Christmas album "This Is Christmas." It hit No. 38 on the R&B charts. Patti Labelle recorded a cover version in 2007 as a tribute to Vandross, who had died two years earlier.

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'The Christmas Song,' Brian McKnight

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Brian McKnight's smooth, soulful, updated version of the holiday classic is on his 2008 holiday album, "I'll Be Home for Christmas." In addition to "The Christmas Song," he covered classics such as "Silent Night" and recorded three original compositions for the album.

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'One Wish (for Christmas),' Whitney Houston

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Pop star Whitney Houston released "One Wish: The Holiday Album" in 2003 and this song hit No. 20 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The album also contained "Joy to the World" and "Who Would Imagine a King," both of which were originally released on the soundtrack for Houston's 1996 film "The Preacher's Wife."

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'Boot-off,' Bootsy Collins

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"Boot-Off," a funky remake of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," appears on Collins' 2006 Christmas album "Christmas Is 4 Ever." The song features backing vocals by fellow funk legends George Clinton and Bernie Worrell plus rap icon Snoop Dogg.

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'Be There for Christmas,' Ledisi

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"Be There for Christmas" is a swinging, mature tune about spending the holidays with that special someone by jazz and R&B singer Ledisi. The song is on her holiday album "It's Christmas," which came out in 2008 and peaked at No. 28 on the R&B charts.

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'O Come All Ye Faithful,' Faith Evans

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Faith Evans recorded this song for her 2005 album "A Faithful Christmas," which also contains her renditions of classics such as "Santa Baby" plus two original numbers she wrote with her daughter. The record wasn't a huge commercial success but peaked at No. 70 on the R&B charts.

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'White Christmas,' Babyface

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Producer and singer Babyface gave his fans a gift with his 1998 album "Christmas With Babyface." This holiday classic has been popular since it was first recorded by Bing Crosby in 1942 and is the best-selling modern Christmas song of all time.

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'Let It Snow,' Boyz II Men featuring Brian McKnight

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Originally on the 1993 Boyz II Men album "Christmas Interpretations," this song can also be found on the holiday compilation "The Soulful Sounds of Christmas." The Boyz II Men album was a huge hit, peaking at No. 19 on the Billboard charts and selling more than 1.7 million copies.