When it comes to music, Christmas often seems to start early. Nov. 1 to be precise. Your local grocery store has likely been playing Michael Bublé‘s Christmas album on repeat, along with some of Bing Crosby‘s classic holiday hits, ever since.
Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re looking for a little more variety or something fresh, look no further.
Here are some unexpected artists who really got into the spirit of Christmas and released their own holiday music.
Star Wars, Christmas in the Stars (1980)
That’s right, following the release of The Empire Strikes Back in 1980, the Star Warsfranchise became successful enough for producer Meco Monardo to create an entire Christmas-themed album.
It’s a collection of originals with spoken word by C-3PO and a variety and bleeps and bloops from everyone’s favourite droid, R2-D2. Not only that, but it’s the first studio album to ever feature Jon Bon Jovi — three years before he formed his band, Bon Jovi.
RuPaul Andre Charles, Ho Ho Ho (1997)
The legendary drag queen has released not one, not two, but three Christmas albums. Oh yes, indeed.
Between Ho Ho Ho, Slay Belles (2015) and Christmas Party (2018), there’s no lack of variety in RuPaul‘s sassy trio of holiday hits.
Dave Grohl, Alice Cooper, Lemmy Kilmister and many more heavy metal legends
The late Motörhead frontman, Lemmy Kilmister, teamed up with Dave Grohl and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons for a rocking cover of Run Rudolph Run.
We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year was released in 2008 as a hammering Christmas compilation featuring 12 supergroup casts of hard rock and heavy metal icons including Tony Iommi, Scott Ian and the late legend, Ronnie James Dio.
Who said Christmas can’t have a bit of oomph?
Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Danny Boy and various other Death Row Records artists
The holiday season of 1996 brought us Christmas on Death Row, a collection of Christmas rewrites performed by the musicians signed to Suge Knight‘s Death Row Records label at the time.
In Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto, Snoop Dogg and friends discover Father Christmas’ true identity.
Cee Lo Green, Cee Lo’s Magic Moment (2015)
In possibly the greatest editing job of all time, the former Gnarls Barkley singer spreads the cheer with his own original holiday tune, This Christmas.
We need another Christmas album, Green!
Christopher Lee, A Heavy Metal Christmas (2012)
Remember Count Dracula from 1958? How about Saruman from The Lord of the Rings? That was acting legend Christopher Lee.
In his last few years, the late actor graced the world annually with a number of Christmas songs. He released two EPs, the second was A Heavy Metal Christmas Too (2013).
At age 92, Lee recorded Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing, his final original recording. It serves as a playful ode to the classic Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Tyler, the Creator, Music Inspired by Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)
After recording two songs for the 2018 film-adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch, Tyler, the Creator decided to record a full six-song Christmas EP.
He didn’t want to make it too “Christmas-y,” so he retained his iconic hip-hop sound while attempting to make it appropriate for the likes of young children celebrating the holidays with their parents.
Billy Idol, Happy Holidays (2006)
Who would have thought the world needed a Billy Idol Christmas album?
Surprisingly enough, White Christmas is not, in fact, a festive parody of his 1982 rock anthem, White Wedding Pt. 1.
Afroman, Jobe Bells (2004)
On the tenth day of Christmas, Afroman was gifted 10 motherf**kers and evaded law enforcement.
The song was re-recorded with a brand new set of lyrics in 2006 on his sequel Christmas album, A Colt 45 Christmas.
David Hasselhoff, The Night Before Christmas (2004)
This cover of The Christmas Song is a Hoff classic accompanied by a heartwarming music video in which he dresses up as Han Solo.
Twisted Sister, A Twisted Christmas (2006)
This was actually the final album released by Twisted Sister. The American rock outfit launched into a number of Christmas-themed tours which spawned two live DVD performances.
If you listen closely, their cover of Oh Come All Ye Faithful identically resembles their classic 1984 anthem, We’re Not Gonna Take It.
Scott Weiland, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (2011)
Scott Weiland was often described as a musical chameleon as frontman to legendary grunge outfit Stone Temple Pilots and hard rock giants Velvet Revolver. But he wasn’t afraid to try different things, and The Most Wonderful Time of the Year proves that statement.
It was Weiland’s final solo album before hiring his backup band, The Wildabouts.
Rosie O’Donnell, A Rosie Christmas (1999)
Rosie O’Donnell invited a plethora of guests to carry her Christmas albums, including Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Jessica Simpson. O’Donnell can sometimes be heard on a couple of tracks undertaking backup-vocal duties.
The first collection was such a success that the comedian released another the following year, Another Rosie Christmas (2000).
Bad Religion, Christmas Songs (2013)
Bad Religion’s rocking covers of favoured Christmas classics have been a joy to the ears of rockers across the globe for five years now.
To further show their love for the holidays, the band recorded their own pounding rendition of The Kinks’ Father Christmas — which lyrically, might make it seem like Bad Religion have something against Santa Claus.
“Father Christmas, give us some money / We got no time for your silly toys / We’ll beat you up if you don’t hand it over.”
Snoop Dogg, Christmas in tha Dogg House (2008)
Yes, Snoop Dogg technically made it to our list twice. We’re not sure about the naughty list.
In 2008, the rapper hired an ensemble of hip-hop artists to help create what is known as the iconic Christmas in the Dogghouse album. It’s a raunchy and vulgar collection of Christmas covers, sure to make your grandmother keel over in shock.
Happy Holiday listening to our lovely readers!