Mariah Carey’s holiday winning streak is rolling on.
On Friday, Apple TV+ debuted Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special, the latest festive offering from the undisputed Queen of Christmas. It features Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Eichner, Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri and narrator Tiffany Haddish in a story that unfolds as Carey is recruited to the North Pole to help Santa Claus solve a holiday cheer crisis.
While Apple TV+ does not release viewership data, sources close to the steaming platform confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter today that Carey’s special hit No. 1 in more than 100 countries. It arrived with a companion soundtrack that was released exclusively on Apple Music on Dec. 4 before hitting other platforms on Friday. It featured new interpretations of some of Carey’s holiday classics, and the album is a bonafide hit, too, scoring scored the largest number of holiday album first-day streams on Apple Music.
The much-buzzed-about song “Oh Santa!” — featuring the first pairing of Carey with Grande and Hudson — briefly topped the Apple Music charts at No. 1 across the globe. (It has since been displaced by Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You.”) The “Oh Santa!” music video currently has been viewed north of 14.7 million times.
Meanwhile, Carey’s perennial holiday hit, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” is skyrocketing on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, moving to No. 2 this week from last week’s position at No. 14. The song was first released in 1994 and made its way to No. 1 last year, earning Carey her 19th No. 1 single.
It could get there again, as Carey has been on a media blitz as of late, promoting the special while spreading annual holiday cheer in a year when some, like Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos, said, “We do need this more than ever.” Carey also enjoyed a push from famous friends like Oprah Winfrey, who posted a live viewing of the special from her home. “Mimi is bringing on the holidays,” said the mogul and Apple collaborator, who recently interviewed Carey about her best-selling memoir The Meaning of Mariah Carey on her series The Oprah Conversation.
Carey executive produced the special with Ian Stewart, Raj Kapoor and Ashley Edens for Done + Dusted. BAFTA winner Hamish Hamilton and Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner Roman Coppola teamed to direct from a script by Caroline Fox.
In an interview with THR, Carey said that the most important thing for her in terms of a vision for the special was that the spirit of Christmas came through during a challenging 2020 dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I know that for me, there’s a certain spirit that happens during that time of year. I was even thinking about it the other day, sitting around wondering, why is it different for me when I look at Christmas decorations or decorate? But it is. There’s just a different feeling that I get. It’s like an actual, tangible feeling that comes over me that I just want everybody to feel this happy,” she explained. “I know everybody can’t, but I wish that everybody could have the mindset of let’s really make it through. Let’s be unstoppable and power through this.”