Could Mariah Carey get back her Billboard charts record one ‘Christmas’ at a time?

Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want for Christmas is You” has become such a durable holiday standard that the single finally reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2019, which was 25 years after the single’s release. It spent three weeks on top during the 2019-2020 Christmas period, and she’s already racing back up the charts as the 2020-2021 holiday season approaches. Could the song top the charts often enough for her to eventually reclaim her record for the longest-running number-one hit in history?

Carey previously held that record for decades: “One Sweet Day,” her duet with Boyz II Men, spent an unprecedented 16 weeks atop the Hot 100 from December 1995 to March 1996. No artist matched that record until Justin Bieber teamed up with Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee for “Despacito (Remix),” which spent 16 weeks in the top spot from May to September 2017. Alas, Carey was finally dethroned when Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus‘s collab “Old Town Road” spent 19 weeks in the winner’s circle from April to August 2019.

Most songs that reach number-one don’t get a second life on the charts. “All I Want for Christmas is You,” however, could keep making comebacks every time the holiday season comes back around. So let’s say she spends another three weeks at number-one this year. That would bring her to six weeks total. And if, hypothetically, she spends three weeks at number-one every holiday season going forward, she would reach the record-breaking 20-week mark in December 2025.

Of course, that’s assuming a lot. For starters, we don’t know that “All I Want for Christmas” will be equally popular every year moving forward: some years it could spend more weeks at number-one, or not return to the top at all. And there’s also the possibility that another song by another artist will have already broken Nas and Cyrus’s record by then. Still, we should never underestimate the queen of the Billboard Hot 100.

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