Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Kelly Clarkson covers "All I Want For Christmas Is You"—but not the one you're thinking of, and that's rude

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson
Photo: Atlantic Records

Whether you like it our not, it’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” season. Mariah Carey spends the end of October preparing us for this moment. So if you happened to see Kelly Clarkson announce her new Christmas track “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” it would have been totally within reason to think, “Oh man, I bet she actually does that Mariah Carey song justice.” And while Clarkson likely could go toe-to-toe with Carey in performing her 1994 classic, this is not that. This is not that at all.

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Clarkson has actually covered the song of the same name from novelty act Vince Vance & the Valiants. Originally released in 1989 with lead vocals from Lisa Burgess Stewart (also known as Lisa Layne), the song first charted on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks list after it got a music video in 1993. The song only got more popular over time, charting even higher on that same list at the turn of the century. (Admittedly, it likely benefited from sharing the name with Carey’s song, which was released a year after the Vince Vance video and continues to chart every year.)

“I have been singing Vince Vance & the Valiants’ song ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ since I was a little kid,” Clarkson says in the press notes sent along with the single release Friday. “I always loved that it’s a ballad but the woman always sounded so rock n’ roll with her raspy tone on the big notes. It has an old school vibe and is a little pop, country, and rock n’ roll.”

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Clarkson sings the shit out of the Vince Vance song, but it still left us craving her version of Mariah Carey’s hit. Luckily, there’s this thing called YouTube and we found a few different versions of the Emmy-winning talk show host performing the 1994 song as part of her Miracle On Broadway show in 2014 and 2016. (Warning: there’s lots of crying in the 2014 version.)

A.V. Club Editor in Chief...but really just a She-Ra, Schitt’s Creek, Grey’s Anatomy, Survivor, Big Brother, Top Chef, The Good Place superfan.

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