Kelly Clarkson: The Rising Star of Christmas Melodies

Embracing the holiday spirit, Kelly Clarkson shines anew.

by Nouman Rasool
Kelly Clarkson: The Rising Star of Christmas Melodies
© Manny Carabel/GettyImages

Kelly Clarkson, often hailed as the lady-in-waiting to Mariah Carey's Queen of Christmas, is capturing hearts with her enchanting holiday tunes. With two of her ten studio albums dedicated to Christmas – the platinum-hit "Wrapped Up in Red" (2013) and the more recent "When Christmas Comes Around..." (2021) – Clarkson has undeniably left an indelible mark on holiday music.

Clarkson's love for the holiday season is no secret. In an October 2023 episode of "The Kelly Clarkson Show," she expressed, "I love Christmas. It's so magical." This year, her enthusiasm takes a grander stage as she hosts the "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" tree lighting ceremony on NBC, airing on November 29 at 8 p.m.

ET/PT. This follows her successful stint in 2021, where she led a celebrity-packed holiday special. As Clarkson, a 41-year-old mother of two, gears up for her first Christmas celebration in New York City, fans worldwide are invited to immerse themselves in the festive spirit with five of her most beloved holiday tracks.

"Underneath the Tree,"

a standout track from "Wrapped Up in Red," is a yearly favorite, consistently climbing the Billboard Top 100 each holiday season. Peaking at No. 12 in 2021, it's a testament to Clarkson's enduring appeal, with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers naming it the top new Christmas song of the 2000s, as reported by Variety.

"Santa Can't You Hear Me,"

Clarkson's vibrant duet with Ariana Grande, is another crowd-pleaser. Their performance on Clarkson's 2021 NBC holiday special, inspired by her album "When Christmas Comes Around...", showcased their undeniable chemistry and vocal prowess.

"Underneath the Mistletoe,"

Clarkson's collaboration with Brett Eldredge, "Underneath the Mistletoe," offers a pop-country fusion that's both heartwarming and catchy, complete with an animated music video that adds a touch of whimsy to the holiday season.

"When Christmas Comes Around..."

In a more personal vein, "Christmas Isn't Canceled (Just You)" from "When Christmas Comes Around..." resonates with Clarkson's own journey through heartache. She revealed in 2021, "I didn't really feel like writing Christmas music.

I was sad, and everything kind of felt like it was going wrong." This song emerged as a beacon of resilience, affirming that despite life's challenges, the spirit of Christmas endures.

"I'll Be Home for Christmas,"

Completing the quintet of hits is Clarkson's soul-stirring rendition of "I'll Be Home for Christmas," initially released in her 2011 iTunes Session and later added to "Wrapped Up in Red." This classic cover exemplifies her ability to blend traditional sentiments with a modern flair.

As Kelly Clarkson's festive anthems ring out, they not only celebrate the season but also herald the arrival of a new Christmas icon, delighting fans and enriching holiday playlists around the globe.

Kelly Clarkson