Slade earn £500,000 every Christmas in royalties

Noddy Holder, The Pogues and Mariah Carey get bumper annual Christmas bonuses from retro Christmas songs

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Slade still reap earnings from their 1985 Christmas hit Photo: Alamy

Rarely does a new Christmas pop song reach the heights of such classics Merry Xmas Everybody and Fairytale of New York, and the resulting royalties which earn six-figure bonuses for the musicians who created them bear this out.

Analysts from have used data from the Performing Right Society (PRS), which collects fees when songs are played in public, to estimate the money earned by the likes of Slade and Mariah Carey when their festive songs are broadcast on the radio, internet and TV.

Retro rock band Slade top the list for this year, with an estimated £512,000 coming their way from royalties by the end of 2013 thanks to their 1973 hit, Merry Xmas Everybody. They are followed by The Pogues, whose morose Christmas ballad Fairytale of New York (1987) will bring in £386,270. Mariah Carey is in third place for 1994’s All I Want For Christmas Is You, earning £327,615 in 2013.

Also in the top 10 is Band Aid, Wham!, Shakin’ Stevens and Pretenders, whose 2000 Miles is the only non-festive entry. East 17, who beat Carey to the top of the charts in 1994 with their distinctly un-merry Stay Another Day, are in ninth place earning an estimated £30, 219.

Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe & Wine is expected to earn the 73-year-old £98,408 this year. However, it is unsure as to whether the analysts considered coffee giant Costa’s banning of the track from their cafes this Christmas in this estimation.

The statistics give weight to the fictional life of Nick Hornby’s character Will Freeman (the main protagonist of About A Boy) who was able to live in luxury thanks to royalties generated by his father’s composition of a successful Christmas song.

Top Christmas earners for 2013

1. Slade, Merry Christmas Everybody, £512,000

2. The Pogues, Fairytale of New York, £386,270

3. Mariah Carey, All I Want For Christmas Is You, £347,615

4. Wham! Last Christmas, £301,622

5. Cliff Richard, Mistletoe & Wine, £98,408

6. Band Aid, Do They Know It’s Christmas? £78,030

7. Shakin’ Stevens, Merry Christmas Everyone, £53,834

8. The Pretenders, 2000 Miles, £45,344

9. East 17, Stay Another Day, £30,219

10. Jona Lewie, Stop The Cavalry, £13,258

By Alice Vincent The Telegraph

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  1. Then there’s struggling artists like me with Xmas songs on iTunes etc and we don’t get heard. I’ve only had two plays on radio Leeds and some local stations. Gee us a break.

  2. ‘2000 Miles’ isn’t a festive song?
    That’ll be why Chrissie Hynd sings:
    I can hear people singing

    It must be Christmas time
I hear people singing

    It must be Christmas time

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