Kem's ESSENCE.com Christmas Playlist

As we celebrate love and family this Christmas season, ESSENCE.com wishes you and yours a happy holiday. We asked R&B singer Kem, whose album What Christmas Means is a must for any holiday playlist, to share 15 of his favorite holiday songs. Hit play and let the good times roll!

Kem Nov, 11, 2014
"This Christmas" by Donny Hathaway

As we celebrate love and family this Christmas season, ESSENCE.com wishes you and yours a happy holiday. We asked R&B singer Kem, whose album What Christmas Means is a must for any holiday playlist, to share 15 of his favorite holiday songs. Hit play and let the good times roll!

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This is one of my favorite holiday songs. It gives a solid blend of romance and spirituality, the two things that characterize the Christmas season perfectly.

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"It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams

This song filled our house when I was a kid. My parents used to play it right after Thanksgiving, and now I feel like it's the song that kicks off the holiday season.

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“Let It Snow" by Boyz II Men

Boyz II Men's version has a great melody and a catchy groove. This is one of my favorite Christmas songs that's been released in recent years.

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"White Christmas" by Bing Crosby

While I really enjoy several interpretations of this song, there's nothing like hearing the classic version of this song. Bing Crosby's voice always gets me right into the spirit of the season.

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"Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" by The Temptations

I love how these cats "Temptation-ed" this classic children's Christmas song with solos from each of the original Temptations: Paul Williams, Dennis Edwards, Otis Williams, Eddie Kendricks and Melvin Franklin.

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"Silent Night" by The Temptations

I'm not sure there's another Christmas song that is as soulful and distinctive as this is. It grabs you from the beginning and keeps you right with it until the last five words: "Merry Christmas from the Temptations." Classic.

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“My Favorite Things” by The Whispers

I've always thought Christmas is a very romantic time of year, and The Whispers do a great job of conveying that in this one.

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"Little Drummer Boy" by Lou Rawls

This is one of those songs that takes me right back to being a young child. And now, I have real musical appreciation for Lou Rawls' soulful/jazz tinged rendition of this song.

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"The Christmas Song" by Nat King Cole

Nat's rich vocal on top of the classic sound of the string orchestra sets this song aside from all others. It's perfection.

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"Joy to the World" by Whitney Houston

I love the acoustic intro with Whitney's flawless intimate vocal and how the song explodes into a true gospel classic with the Georgia Mass Choir. It's festive, and it's highly inspirational.

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"Every Year, Every Christmas" by Luther Vandross

One of the greatest Christmas ballads by the best balladeer of all time. Luther captures the passion and emotion of the song, and it brings back many memories of Christmases in the past. It's truly a timeless classic.

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“Christmas Time Is Here” from A Charlie Brown Christmas

This is my favorite Christmas song of all time. When I was a young child just starting to play the piano I would watch the cartoon and notice this great jazz music in the background. It's one of those song I wish I would've written.

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Oh Holy Night” by Nat King Cole

This song is a great depiction of the reason for the season, and Nat King Cole gives the song the depth that it deserves with his vocals.
 

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“What Do The Lonely Do At Christmas” by The Emotions

One of my favorites. The Emotions give a view of the holiday season from a completely different perspective than most other songs. It's a sad song, but I think it's one that many relate to.

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"Give Love On Christmas Day" by The Jackson 5

The Jackson 5 got it right with this one. This is a reminder that everyone needs to feel like they're loved, especially during the holiday season. Whenever I hear it, I call friends and family I haven't spoken to in a while.

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