Top 10 New Pop Christmas Albums 2013

2013's new Christmas albums are led by a female artist who has spent the past ten years as one of the top pop artists.  The list also includes R&B, alternative, and traditional holiday pop collections.

For more holiday fun, don't miss the list of the top 10 new Christmas songs for 2013.

This is Kelly Clarkson's first holiday collection.  The album was produced by Greg Kurstin who produced Kelly Clarkson's #1 smash hit single "Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)."  Five original songs are included along with recordings of nine traditional Christmas songs. Country musicians Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, and Ronnie Dunn appear as guest performers. The album debuted at #3 on the overall US album chart and topped the holiday chart. It spent nine consecutive weeks in the top 10 and earned a platinum certification for sales. Wrapped In Red was the bestselling holiday album of 2013. The single "Underneath the Tree" hit #8 on the holiday songs chart and hit #1 on the adult contemporary chart.

R&B singer Mary J. Blige has been a star for over 20 years.  She has released 10 consecutive top 10 hit studio albums.  This was her first holiday collection.  She worked with producer David Foster who has put together bestselling Christmas albums by Michael Buble, Josh Groban, and Rod Stewart. Among the guest performers are Barbra Streisand, Marc Anthony, and Jessie J. A Mary Christmas hit the top 10 becoming Mary J. Blige's 11th consecutive top 10 studio album. It became the third bestselling holiday album of 2013 and earned a gold certification. 

This is Susan Boyle's second holiday themed album.  Her first The Gift was a #1 charting release in both the US and UK. It has been certified three times platinum for sales in the US.  Home For Christmas includes a digitally created duet with Elvis Presley as well as a new duet with the legendary Johnny Mathis on "When a Child Is Born." Home for Christmas did not reach the commercial success of Susan Boyle's previous holiday album. It peaked at #17 on the overall album chart and #3 on the holiday album chart.

Jewel's first holiday album Joy was released in 1999.  Although it only reached #32 on the album chart, through the years it has become a perennial favorite and has been certified platinum for sales.  Jewel said the new collection continued the mood and spirit of her first combining country, folk, and pop with a classical twist.  There are two original songs on the album. Let It Snow was well received by music critics but failed to gain strong commercial traction. It peaked at #43 on the overall album chart and #20 on the holiday album chart. 

Tamar Braxton made a major musical comeback in 2013.  In September she released Love and War, her first album in 13 years and it topped the R&B albums chart. This is her first holiday collection. Winter Loversland broke into the top 10 of the holiday album chart and peaked at #43 on the overall album chart. Tamar Braxton supported the release with TV performances.

Bad Religion are true survivors from the first punk revolution.  They came together as a band in Los Angeles in 1979.  Earlier in 2013 they broke into the top 20 of the album chart with True North, their latest studio album.  Bad Religion have frequently played Christmas songs in their live concerts, but this is their very first holiday album. 20% of proceeds from the project were directed to the charitable organization SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests). The cover image for the album is from a photo titled "New Shoes" by Austria's Gerald Waller in 1946. It depicts an orphan boy receiving a gift of new shoes from the American Red Cross. Christmas Songs reached #7 on the holiday albums chart.

R&B and pop singer Johnny Mathis is a living legend. He first hit the pop charts in 1957.  His first Christmas album Merry Christmas was released in 1958 and went to #3 on the album chart.  Sending You a Little Christmas was his sixth holiday collection and his first in more than 10 years.  Many of the recordings are duets with such artists as Billy Joel, Natalie Cole, and Gloria Estefan. Peaking at #53 on the overall album chart, this was Johnny Mathis' first collection to reach the chart since his 2002 holiday collection. It was his highest charting album since 1978's duet album with Deniece Williams That's What Friends Are For. Sending You a Little Christmas earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.

Pop legend Andy Williams died in the fall of 2012.  He was occasionally referred to as "Mr. Christmas" for his long string of successful TV Christmas specials and eight holiday albums.  1963's The Andy Williams Christmas Album is one of the most successful Christmas albums of all time.  This is the first complete collection of Andy Williams' holiday recordings. It edged into the overall album chart at #181. That made it Andy Williams' highest charting album since 1995 nearly twenty years ago.

Country star Trace Adkins stakes out unique territory with a collection of Celtic Christmas carols.  Among the guest performers are The Chieftains and British folk-pop singer Emma Stevens.  This new music provided the foundation for Trace Adkins' The Christmas Show concert tour. It was a commercial success peaking at #9 on the holiday album chart and #12 on the country chart. 

Grammy Award winning violinist Joshua Bell follows the style of his critically acclaimed 2009 album At Home With Friends in this holiday collection.  The guest list here includes Alison Krauss, Kristin Chenoweth, and opera star Placido Domingo among others. The songs are a mix of pop Christmas classics and more traditional carols.