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Hear John Legend, Joan Jett, Tony Bennett’s New Christmas Songs

Why Don’t We, Jon Batiste, Aloe Blacc, Jim James join Miley Cyrus, DMX and Demi Lovato on Spotify’s expanding holiday playlist

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For the second year, Spotify brings early presents for every kind of music fan under its proverbial Christmas tree with 15 new tracks added to its hit playlist, Spotify Singles: Christmas Collection. The new batch is a mixed bag of artists, with boy band Why Don’t We’s rollicking “Feliz Navidad” to alt-guitar virtuoso Jim James laying down a threadbare rendition of “Oh My Christmas Tree” to Meghan Trainor picking up the sweet and timeless “White Christmas” (which she recorded in Spotify’s Nashville studio last spring.) 

John Legend gives the Jackson 5’s “Give Love on Christmas Day” his signature piano-soul treatment, Nina Nesbitt sings a stunning “O Holy Night” and Juilliard buds Jon Batiste and Danielle Brooks (Taystee from Orange Is The New Black!) team on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” that’s perfect for a crackling fire on a cold night. 

There’s also a jazzy rendition of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” by Tony Bennett and Diana Krall (the yin to the Springsteen classic’s yang). Indie rockers Pale Waves gave George Michael’s “Last Christmas” a spritely yelp. And – my personal favorite – Joan Jett and the Blackhearts blew through Spotify’s New York headquarters in September with a Keith Moon-inspired “Little Drummer Boy.”

Hopefully we captured the rock and roll flavor of Keith’s amazing style, while still maintaining the poignant nature of the great lyric and the song,” Jett said.

“It’s definitely the most rocking track we have across our Christmas singles,” Spotify Singles executive producer Bryan Grone tells Rolling Stone. “The moment you hear it you’re like ‘hell yeah, that’s Joan Jett.'” 

Speaking of classic rockers, Levon Helm’s daughter Amy Helm recorded a faithful cover of The Band’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight,” backed by bluegrass band The Wood Brothers. I loved getting to sing this beautiful song my dad performed in The Band with my dear friends,” Helm says.

Pop singer Meghan Trainor also had family on her mind during her session. She chose “White Christmas” because it reminded her of growing up in Cape Cod, where she performed it with her high school jazz band. “It was nerve-wracking to perform for my peers … But I will also always remember seeing this little green light in the audience … It was my mom recording the whole thing. She’s the best.”

The Spotify Singles: Christmas Collection playlist is one of the streaming service’s most popular playlists. Its strong debut in 2017 went heavy on pop stars like Kelly Clarkson, Fifth Harmony, Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus who went full-Brenda Lee with “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree.” Of course nothing outshined DMX’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” This year’s group balances out the now 34-track playlist with more blues and rock. 

If history is any indication, 2019 is looking good for rappers and DJs to start getting into the holiday spirit.

 

 

Spotify Singles: Christmas Collection Track List  

  1. “Feliz Navidad,” Why Don’t We
  2. “Oh Holy Night,” Nina Nesbitt
  3. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town,” Tony Bennett and Diana Krall
  4. “White Christmas,” Meghan Trainor
  5. “Christmas Time Is Here,” Devin Dawson
  6. “Give Love On Christmas Day,” John Legend
  7. “Linus and Lucy (A Charlie Brown Christmas),” Anderson.Paak
  8. “Christmas Must Be Tonight,” Amy Helm & The Wood Brothers
  9. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Jon Batiste & Danielle Brooks
  10. “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Fenne Lily
  11. “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” Paloma Faith
  12. “Little Drummer Boy,” Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  13. “El Burrito Sabanero,” Aloe Blacc
  14. “Oh My Christmas Tree,” Jim James
  15. “Last Christmas,” Pale Waves
  16. “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” Demi Lovato
  17. “Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer,” DMX
  18. “Can You See,” Fifth Harmony
  19. “White Christmas,” George Ezra
  20. “In The Morning,” Jack Johnson
  21. “Silent Night,” Janelle Kroll
  22. “Happy Xmas (War Is Over),” Josh Groban
  23. “Christmas Eve,” Kelly Clarkson
  24. “This Christmas,” Lalah Hathaway
  25. “Sleigh Ride,” Miley Cyrus
  26. “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” Miley Cyrus
  27. “It’s Not Christmas ‘Til You Come Home,” Norah Jones
  28. “Fairytale of New York,” Rostam
  29. “River,” Sam Smith
  30. “Santa Baby,” Wolf Alice
  31. “The Christmas Song,” Wyclef Jean
  32. “Jingle Bells,” Wynton Marsalis
  33. “Wonderful Christmastime,” Xavier Omär and Sango
  34. “Last Christmas,” Yoke Lore
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