We hope everyone out there is having a joyful Christmas Eve for those that celebrate, and no worries if you don’t — having the day off is a gift in itself!
One thing we’re sure everyone can agree with though is the power that holiday music can bring, from uniting families together to soothing the soul of even the biggest Grinch out there. Make it a Christmas album by one of many fan-favorite Black musicians and you’ll really be rocking around the Christmas tree!
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Christmas Eve is usually filled with many traditional practices, and for most Black families it’s all about setting the mood with a playlist of proper tunes. Luckily, many artists over years have blessed us with their own editions of classic holiday songs with an added soulful twist.
Although the artist may change, and sometimes even the melody gets arranged a little differently, some holiday hits just never go out of style and always sound a little better with the addition of some funk, smooth jazz tones and maybe even a quintet of talented brothas who can harmonize “Silent Night.”
Thankfully you’ve got a variety of holiday albums by Black musicians to choose from this year, whether it’s the everlasting appeal of Mariah Carey, an unforgettable group effort of “interpretations” by Boyz II Men or a selection of recently released duets featuring late soul icon Nat King Cole alongside contemporaries like Johnny Mathis and even successors like John Legend.
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Take a look below at our selection of 15 great Christmas albums by Black musicians, and make sure to give at least one of these classic holiday LPs a spin today regardless of however you decide to celebrate Christmas Eve:
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Merry & Melanated: 15 Holiday Albums By Black Musicians To Play On Christmas Eve was originally published on blackamericaweb.com
1. Mariah Carey – ‘Merry Christmas’ (1994)
“All I Want for Christmas Is You”
2. Boyz II Men – ‘Christmas Interpretations’ (1993)
“Let It Snow” (feat. Brian McKnight)
3. Destiny’s Child – ‘8 Days Of Christmas’ (2001)
“8 Days of Christmas”
4. James Brown – ‘James Brown’s Funky Christmas’ (1995)
“Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto”
5. Various Artists – ‘A LaFace Family Christmas’ (1993)
“Sleigh Ride” – TLC
6. Luther Vandross – ‘This Is Christmas’ (1995)
“Every Year, Every Christmas”
7. Jackson 5 – ‘Jackson 5 Christmas Album’ (1970)
“Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”
8. Toni Braxton – ‘Snowflakes’ (2001)
“Snowflakes Of Love”
9. Mary J. Blige – ‘A Mary Christmas’ (2013)
“The First Noel” (feat. The Clark Sisters)
10. Stevie Wonder – ‘Someday at Christmas’ (1967)
“What Christmas Means To Me”
11. John Legend – ‘A Legendary Christmas’ (2018)
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (feat. Esperanza Spalding)
12. Patti LaBelle – ‘Miss Patti’s Christmas’ (2007)
“It’s Going to Be a Merry Christmas”
13. Various Artists – ‘A Motown Christmas’ (1973)
“Jingle Bells” – Smokey Robinson
14. The Temptations – ‘The Temptations Christmas Card’ (1970)
15. Nat King Cole – ‘A Sentimental Christmas with Nat King Cole and Friends: Cole Classics Reimagined’ (2021)
“The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)” (duet with John Legend)