Mariah Carey hit All I Want For Christmas Is You has beaten old chestnuts by Wham! and Slade to become the most played festive song of the past decade.
US singer Mariah’s 1994 recording was found to have dominated play in shops and on radio in a study by music industry body PPL.
Wham!’s Last Christmas came second while The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s single Fairytale Of New York was third.
None of the top three tracks have ever topped the singles chart, with each song stalling at number two.
The rest of the top 10 is made up of Merry Xmas Everybody by Slade in fourth place, followed by I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (Wizzard), Do They Know It’s Christmas? (Band Aid), Driving Home For Christmas (Chris Rea), Stop The Cavalry (Jona Lewie), White Christmas (Bing Crosby) and Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! (Dean Martin).
The Wham! track was famously held from the top of the charts by Do They Know It’s Christmas?, which is one of the biggest-selling singles of all time.
The word “Christmas” – shortened to Xmas in the case of the Slade song – features in seven of the top ten tracks.
Half of the top 10 date from the 1980s, according to the study. The oldest recording is at number nine, White Christmas by Bing Crosby from 1942.
PPL spokesman Jonathan Morrish said: “Music really helps define this time of year – be it songs that radio broadcasts because that’s what people want to hear or the songs retail use in store because of their mood-enhancing power.
“Christmas without Christmas music would be unimaginable.”