Special Report

Song of the Winter the Year You Were Born

The official start to winter may be Dec. 21, but people have already gotten used to shorter days and bitter cold nights.

Winter is a time for cozying up in a blanket and being warmed by a roaring fire and perhaps a hot toddy. It can be a challenging time, and music plays a big role in thwarting the seasonal blues.

To determine the song of the winter the year you were born, 24/7 Tempo reviewed songs released during December, January, and February of every year between 1958 and 2021. The song with the highest Billboard Hot 100 weekly ranking was chosen as the song of winter, with the total number of weeks on the Billboard chart used to break ties.

You might be surprised to see no holiday songs on the list. And most songs of the winter on this list don’t even reference the season. Even one of pop music’s most famous songs dreading the colder weather, “California Dreamin’,” was not the most popular song in 1965’s winter season, the year of its release. (These are the most covered songs in music history.)

Mariah Carey, whose “All I Want for Christmas” single first came out in 1994 and has charted on Billboard several times since, has three songs on the list — “Emotions” (1992), “Dreamlover” (1994), and “We Belong Together” (2006). 

Other artists who scored multiple winter song hits, either as solo artists or accompanied by other performers, are Boyz II Men, Fergie, Nelly, and Diana Ross. (Find out which of these musicians are also among the artists with the most No. 1 hits.)

Many of these songs had staying power beyond the winter season – 17 of them were on the Billboard chart for 40 weeks or longer.

Click here to see the song of the winter the year you were born

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