Happy Holidays! As we celebrate our holidays this season, we wanted to take you on a nostalgic trip by presenting you the top five favorite holiday classics performed by Black artists. These artists put a unique spin on these tunes that always brings us peace and joy!
- Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Ray Charles and Betty Carter
Ray Charles and Betty Carter’s duet on Baby, It’s Cold Outside, is one of everybody’s favorite holiday classics. You will notice that throughout the song, Ray replaces “Baby” with “Betty,” which is very entertaining to listen to. Ray’s matchless jazz piano and Betty’s distinguishing vocals complete a perfect harmony.
- Merry Christmas Darling – Boyz II Men
This acapella trio puts a unique spin on one of the holiday classics, Merry Christmas Darling. Originally sung by The Carpenters, who are renowned for their soft musical style, Boyz II Men keeps the softness, but adds an R&B flavor. They once again not only create a beautiful harmony that captures our ears, but also makes us sing along.
- My Favorite Things – The Supremes
In this 1966 video, The Supremes capture the audience with an elegant entrance in their beautiful pink chiffon dresses. Their groovy yet graceful choreography, and of course Diana Ross’s charming voice, leads us to a winter wonderland!
- O Holy Night – Patti LaBelle
In her solo performance, Patti LaBelle beautifully sings O Holy Night and receives endless applause. Patti’s mesmerizing voice and charismatic stage presence truly captivates us and moves our heart. Pay close attention to the finale of the song, as Patti ends with a strong yet calming high tone voice that resonates.
- This Christmas – Donny Hathaway
Recorded and released in 1970, Donny Hathaway’s This Christmas, has become one of the most popular recreated holiday classics. Many modern pop artists have revived this joyful song year after year but there is nothing like the original sung by Donny himself.
By Soo Hyun Noh
M.S. Candidate, The New School, Nonprofit Management