Family gatherings, reconnecting with old friends, celebrating beloved traditions — the holiday season is always a time of nostalgia. This sentimentality extends to our playlists. Holiday music has a long and varied history, and Christmas albums in particular have been made in just about every genre imaginable. Recently, Debbie Gibson — who burst onto the musical scene as a precocious teen singer-songwriter back in 1987, and is now 52 — released her first holiday album, which got us thinking about how much joy our favorite singers from the ’80s and ’90s have brought us. To honor their gifts, we made a list of seasonal sounds from six of our favorite 80’s and 90’s pop divas (who are all still going strong!).
The “Only in My Dreams” singer’s new holiday album features a mix of original songs and covers of classics like “Let It Snow” and “Sleigh Ride.” There’s a song for Hanukkah titled “Illuminate,” and a duet titled “Heartbreak Holiday” that’s co-written with fellow ’80s star, Joey McIntyre (of New Kids on the Block). In the spirit of the season, Gibson pays tribute to her family by singing a lovely rendition of “White Christmas” with her father, who she affectionately refers to as “Daddy Joe” on the album’s song list. If you remember Gibson’s time as a teen pop star, you’ll be happy to hear she hasn’t lost any of her cheerful spirit.