Her new Apple TV+ holiday special is reportedly a hit around the globe after debuting on Friday.
And now Mariah Carey has opened up about the special and the recording of her new collaborative Christmas single Oh Santa! with Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson in a new conversation with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe.
The 50-year-old pop legend said the song, which originally appeared on her Merry Christmas II You album in 2010m, was the best fit for the three diva because of its care-free nature.
Holiday spirit: Mariah Carey, 50, sat down with Zane Lowe in a new interview for Apple Music to speak about her new Christmas single with Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson
‘When the opportunity presented itself to work with Arianna and with Jennifer Hudson,’ Mariah said she was focused on which song would allow her to layer vocals effectively, eventually choosing Oh Santa!.
‘It was the one song that was like, “We can have fun with it,” because it was never super serious or whatever. It’s fun. It’s festive. To me, those are the best type of Christmas songs, when you don’t have to think so much about it, even though I have songs like that, it’s when you can be free,’ she explained.
‘I feel like the featured moments here were really fun because you hear J Hud, you know it’s her. You hear Ariana, you’re like, “Oh wow, that sounds so great,” a new interpretation of that moment.
‘Then I’m there as the one that wrote the song and put the whole thing together. It’s fun. There’s the chant. There’s a whole thing. I think kids are going to like it, who maybe never got a chance to hear it before. I’m excited,’ she gushed.
Best choice: ‘When the opportunity presented itself to work with Arianna and with Jennifer Hudson,’ Mariah said she was focused on which song would allow her to layer vocals
Triple power: She chose her 2010 song Oh Santa! because it was ‘fun’ and ‘festive’ and could support a new arrangement with three strong singers
Magical mix: ‘The featured moments here were really fun because you hear J Hud, you know it’s her. You hear Ariana, you’re like, “Oh wow, that sounds so great,”‘ she said
The song was featured in both Mariah’s Magical Christmas Special and as a single released first on Apple Music before becoming available on other digital platforms.
Apple TV+ doesn’t release viewership numbers, but The Hollywood Reporter confirmed from sources close to the streamer that the special reached the number one spot in more than 100 countries.
The special also features appearances from comedian Billy Eichner, along with Snoop Dogg, Jermaine Dupri and Tiffany Haddish, who narrates the story of Mariah going to the North Pole.
Mariah and Zane also chatted about the creation of her Christmas classic All I Want For Christmas Is You, which has been inching toward the top of the charts.
It previously topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time in 2019, 25 years after its 1994 release.
It’s a hit! Apple TV+ doesn’t release viewer numbers, but The Hollywood Reporter confirmed from sources close to the streamer that the special hit number one spot in more than 100 countries
Perennial favorite: Mariah and Zane also chatted about the creation of her Christmas classic All I Want For Christmas Is You, which has been inching toward the top of the charts
The songstress explained that she began writing the tune on ‘a junky, little keyboard’ and that it was her first Christmas song ever.
‘I was just like, “What do I really, really want to hear at Christmas? What do I want to talk about? But how do I make it all-encompassing in terms of the love aspect of it?”‘
The perennial holiday favorite seems to have been just what plenty of other people also wanted in a Christmas song.
‘I’m not saying it’s the world’s greatest thing, but it makes me happy. And it’s made a lot of other people happy,’ she said.
Mariah added that she likes to put on Christmas performances every years, but her special was a reaction to not being able to have a concert amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Christmas classic: The songstress explained that she began writing the tune on ‘a junky, little keyboard’ and that it was her first Christmas song ever
New approach: Mariah added that she likes to put on Christmas performances every years, but she made the special because she couldn’t perform due to the pandemic; seen in December 2019
Mariah also spoke about her late friend Whitney Houston, whom she said inspired herself and many other singers.
She said she was a fan of some of Houston’s ‘deeper cuts’ that aren’t as well known.
The two singers collaborated on the song When You Believe, from the 1998 animated film The Prince Of Egypt, which Mariah wished she had been allowed to write herself, though the song still won an Oscar.
‘I think the best thing about it, when we got through all of the other stuff, was the fun, the sense of humor. And when we weren’t in front of the camera, that was the best. And we have some great times with the “try it on me,” with the VMAs and ripping off the brown dresses, the Vera Wang dresses, and those little moments,’ she recalled.
‘But it was the moments behind the scenes and in the trailer and when we were not around other people, where we would say stuff. And for me, it was all good.
‘She was real. And people, I think the average person, they had their perceptions, but she was the truth.’
Departed friend: She opened up about her late friend Whitney Houston, whom she called ‘real’ and said she was different than many people’s perceptions of her; seen in 1999 at the Oscars