EMAILED ON December 20, 2019 BY Mark Dent

Mariah Carey is the Queen of Christmas — and 21st century marketing. Bend the knee.

This week, “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” released in 1994, reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. 

The accomplishment cements Carey as not only the most successful individual artist of all time — she has 19 No. 1 singles, placing her 1 spot ahead of Elvis — but as a pioneer in building a genuine and digitally savvy relationship with fans. 

She’s the savviest of the season 

“All I Want for Christmas Is You” is expected to net Carey ~$600k this year and some $60m since its release (as of 2016). 

Her push to get the track to the top began after a Nov. 1 tweet. Carey posted a video that begins with her falling asleep on a sofa in her glam rocker costume. She receives a phone call from Santa as the opening notes of “All I Want for Christmas Is You“ play in the background.

Celebratory Carey stories appeared in USA Today and TIME that same day, and soon an Amazon trailer dropped for a mini-doc about the song.

And it was just 2 years ago when Carey was roasted for her New Year’s Eve performance in Times Square.  

But the Lambs never gave up

Know how Beyonce has the Beyhive and Lady Gaga has the Little Monsters? Before every female pop icon — and even the lesser stars — named their fan bases, Carey had the Lambs. They sprung up around the time Carey was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001, and when her (underrated!) album “Glitter” flopped. 

As music has shifted from albums to online, the Lambs carried her into the new era. They’ve made Mariah a social media mainstay, from “Skinny Legend” to #JusticeForGlitter, and this year helped the #ObsessedChallenge go viral on TikTok. 

It was the Lambs who pushed “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to No. 1. The campaign actually began last year, when the song reached No. 3. 

When it got to No. 1 this week, Carey tweeted, “We did it.”