Mariah Carey’s shining bright at Christmas time
Mariah Carey is the queen of Christmas and it only took one tune.
That tune, of course, is “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and since debuting 23 years ago, it gets more and more beloved each season. The song’s role in the romantic comedy “Love Actually” only helped to further cement it as a holiday standard topping Billboard’s list as the most downloaded Christmas song of all time last year.
Most notably, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” captures Carey’s love of all things Yule related. She celebrates from October to January with her 6-year-old twins, Monroe and Moroccan, and extended family and friends. And in some ways, the perennially popular ditty has become her crowning achievement.
“That song is the real me,” Carey, 47, said during a recent in-person interview not far from her Beverly Hills, California, home. Carey co-wrote “All I Want for Christmas Is You” with Walter Afanasieff and it reportedly has grossed more than $50 million in royalties.
In addition to the 2015 children’s book of the same name, the chanteuse released “Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas Is You,” an animated straight-to-DVD release that hit store shelves last week.
The movie follows a little girl named Mariah, who desperately wants a dog for Christmas after seeing a plucky pup named Princess at a pet store. Carey narrates and does the voice work for the adult version while Breanna Yde (“School of Rock”) voices Mariah the child.
“I love Christmas,” Carey said. “We’re talking live reindeer and an open sleigh and Santa Claus comes. I like to have snow for Christmas and then we go somewhere like Hawaii.
“My friends and I have been doing these big Christmases for so long, even before I had the twins, but now I get to share it with them.”
Carey also is also promoting “The Star,” an animated film about the Nativity, which features her performance of the title track. She penned the song with Emmy-, Tony- and Grammy-winning composer Marc Shaiman. “The Star” opened in theaters Friday and follows the birth of Jesus through barn animals’ eyes. Carey has a small voice role as a hen named Rebecca.
The star-studded cast also includes Detroit native Keegan-Michael Key, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, Troy High School grad Steven Yeun (“The Walking Dead”), Gina Rodriguez, Tracy Morgan, Kristin Chenoweth, Anthony Anderson, Zachary Levi and Aidy Bryant.
As for the song “The Star,” it will likely never reach the heights “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has. But it resonates as a heartwarming Christian-themed option for the holidays.
The song, also a family affair, features background vocals from Monroe and Moroccan.
“The twins have seen ‘The Star’ and they love it,” Carey said. “And their voices are so sweet. I was just talking to (producer) Devon Franklin about how this movie and this song have a message.”
“That means a lot to me. It’s an awesome movie.”
Mekeisha Madden Toby is a Los Angeles-based entertainment reporter.
Now in theaters
Rated PG for some mature thematic elements
Running time: 86 minutes