1 of 5 | Alicia Keys arrives for the 14th annual Billboard Women in Music event in Los Angeles in 2019. She released her first Christmas album, "December Back 2 June," in November. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Christmastime invariably means new music, as it's one of the most lucrative, as well as wonderful, times of the year. Although Mariah Carey remains the Guinness Book of World Records-confirmed leader of the Christmas music parade, other artists have released their holiday tunes to add to the celebratory seasonal mix.
Here are new, potential classics and fresh remakes of old classics to add to your holiday and Christmas playlists.
'Santa Baby'-- Alicia Keys
In November, the musician and beauty entrepreneur released her Christmas album December Back 2 June. One of its tracks is a remake of the Eartha Kitt classic "Santa Baby." Though some people found it raunchy, it became a global Christmas classic after its original release in 1953. Keys, dressed in a shimmering, sheer body-hugging dress, records a jazzier, piano-heavy version of the oft-covered song.
'I'll Be Home for Christmas' -- Camila Cabello
Former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello achieved success with "Havana," an ode to the Cuban-born singer's hometown on her self-titled debut album. Now the 25-year-old superstar is focused on the holiday with her new song, "I'll Be Home For Christmas." Cabello became a meme after its release when she pronounced Christmas as 'quismoss' instead during a live performance. Cabello herself got in on the joke, posting a skit to her social media platforms making fun of her own gaffe.
'Christmas Without You' -- Ava Max
Flamboyant singer Ava Max has entered the Christmas music chat with her new song, "Christmas Without You." The "Million Dollar Baby" singer whose asymmetrical Max Cut became part of her onstage persona, changed her hair earlier this year for a more conservative look. It's one she's showcasing in the video for "Christmas Without You," where she's wearing her hair long, blonde, and one length. She's also wearing a traditional Christmas-themed red velvet dress against a wintry background of snow and trees. Max recently announced that her latest album, Diamond & Dancefloors would be released in 2023.
'The First Noel' -- Giveon
R&B star Giveon gave his fans some Yuletide cheer with his version of "The First Noel." Although the "Peaches" singer references Frank Sinatra in his caption, Sinatra is just one of the many singers who's covered the song, including Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. "The First Noel" is actually a traditional English Christmas carol that's been around since the 1800s. Giveon's version is exclusively available through Amazon Music as part of its Amazon Holiday Originals playlist, which includes contemporary covers of seasonal classics.
'Someday at Christmas' -- Lizzo
Lizzo is also in the Christmas spirit because she recently purchased and moved into a $15 million Los Angeles mansion. Her first holiday there should be extra special, which may have influenced her song choice for the Amazon Holiday Originals playlist. Lizzo covered Stevie Wonder's "Someday at Christmas" -- an apt selection given its yearning for peace and harmony during the holiday. Come February, the world can celebrate with Lizzo as she embarks on the overseas leg of the Special 2our.
'A Winter Wonderland' -- Backstreet Boys
Although the Backstreet Boys have been around for over two decades, this year marks their very first holiday album. A Very Backstreet Christmas was released in October, featuring the boy band's take on several Christmas classics. One that stands out is their rendition of "Winter Wonderland," a song first recorded in 1934. Since it took them 28 years to make a Christmas album, the band also released a behind-the-scenes look at the making of it.
'I Wish Everyday Was Christmas' -- Debbie Gibson
Another surprising newbie to the Christmas musical tradition is pop star Debbie Gibson, whose album, Winterlicious, was released in October. The album came with a tour that kicked off in November. Winterlicious includes a Hanukkah song, "Illuminate." Although Gibson is not Jewish, she says that after growing up in a Jewish community, she came to respect their faith and wanted to honor it with a "strong musical presence." Gibson and her family do celebrate Christmas, and like many families, enjoy the good times the holiday brings, which she sings about on "I Wish Everyday was Christmas."
'Amazing Grace' -- DVSN
Crooner DVSN is best known for his sensual ballads, but for the Amazon Holiday Originals, he chose "Amazing Grace," a classic of the gospel genre. And that's not his only new holiday song for 2022. He released "Let It Snow" for the Love Renaissance holiday album, Home for the Holidays Vol. 2. DVSN recently announced his first tour since 2018, which starts in Copenhagen in January. On Feb.17, the tour makes its first stateside stop in Boston.
'Naughty' -- AJ Smith
Up-and-coming star AJ Smith used songwriting as his path to becoming an artist. The Denver-born, Nashville-based musician made his national TV debut on The Kelly Clarkson Show earlier this year. His Christmas song debut tackles the never-ending Christmas question, "Naughty or nice?" Smith choose "Naughty," which could become a new holiday staple.
'Little Drummer Boy' -- Alanis Morrisette
Alanis Morrisette won two Grammys for the 1995 song "You Oughta Know," which also made Rolling Stone's list of the Top 500 songs of all time. While that song has become an anthem of bad breakups, she chose a much softer approach to her 2022 take on a holiday classic. "Little Drummer Boy" has been remade by everyone from the Jackson 5 to Lauryn Hill, but Morrisette is one of the latest musicians to take it on. In 2022, Morrisette launched the 25th-anniversary tour for her album Jagged Little Pill and was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.