Mariah Carey Reached Number One Thanks to TikTok, Soulja Boy, and The Rock

A YouTuber is the U.K. Christmas number one and Carey climbed the charts in the U.S. due to TikTok, YouTube and Spotify streams

Chris Stokel-Walker
FFWD
Published in
5 min readDec 23, 2019

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Image: Mariah Carey/VEVO via YouTube

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we think we can take a guess at the kind of music you’ll be listening to, whether it’s on Spotify, YouTube or TikTok.

Yep, it’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’, obviously. The song is a Christmas classic, and we tend to agree with Tasha Sterrette, who commented under the video yesterday “Not Christmas until you play this song ❤️‼️”. It’s such a moneyspinner that Carey released a new version of it — the Make My Wish Come True Edition — last week.

But that’s not the only way the Christmas classic has been given a twist, especially if you cast your eyes off YouTube and onto TikTok. In fact, Mariah Carey’s version of the song — warbling vocals and all — isn’t even the most popular iteration of the track on TikTok this Christmas.

A version that suddenly switches from Carey’s sleigh bell-laden song into Soulja Boy’s 2007 song ‘Crank That’ has outstripped Carey by a factor of 6.5 on the platform in the past week.

The Soulja Boy-inflected version, which has been given the artist name “Plot Twist” on the app (because obviously) has been used in 13.3 million videos in total — compared to 3.6 million videos in which Carey’s original version features.

The most-viewed video to utilize the unique mashup features Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, dressed up as a particularly hench elf, being tripped up by Kevin Hart in a Santa suit as the pair walk out of Columbia Pictures’ Hollywood headquarters.

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Chris Stokel-Walker
FFWD
Editor for

UK-based freelancer for The Guardian, The Economist, BuzzFeed News, the BBC and more. Tell me your story, or get me to write for you: stokel@gmail.com