Mariah Carey Has History With Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande, Her Rumored ‘Magical Christmas Special’ Co-Stars

Singer Mariah Carey is often associated with the holiday season. Her hit song, “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” is considered a seasonal classic, and, 25 years after it was released, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 2019.

Mariah Carey lights the Empire State Building in celebration of the 25th anniversary of 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' at the Empire State Building on December 17, 2019 in New York City.
Mariah Carey lights the Empire State Building in celebration of the 25th anniversary of ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ on December 17, 2019 in New York City. | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

In 2020, Carey has been celebrating her career’s 30th anniversary, which involves many surprises for her fans. Among them is her upcoming Christmas special. Now, a new photo teases two possible guest appearances. Learn about Carey’s history with Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande.

‘Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special’

Carey’s latest offerings to her Lambs include remixes of her many hit songs, as well as her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey. But some are especially eager for her to look to the future, with her upcoming Apple TV+ special Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special.

On October 9, 2020, Carey shared a photo on her social media accounts. Without saying a word, the artist planted a seed. The image is of three chairs on a set, each with different initials: “AG,” “MC,” and “JH.” “If that AG is for Ariana Grande and JH is for Jennifer Hudson, truly no one is prepared,” wrote one Twitter user.

Carey and Jennifer Hudson go way back

(l-r) Mariah Carey and Jennifer Hudson on 'The Voice'
(l-r) Mariah Carey and Jennifer Hudson on ‘The Voice’ | Trae Patton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Hudson is a fair guess for “JH.” The singer garnered attention as an American Idol finalist many years ago but rose to prominence after starring in the biographical film Dreamgirls, for which she won an Academy Award. Hudson has since released three albums and starred in films such as Cats.

In addition, Hudson has acted as a coach on The Voice, serving three seasons in the U.K. version and two in the U.S. During The Voice Season 15 in 2018, Carey appeared a key adviser, which Hudson called her “favorite Voice moment ever.” In 2019, Hudson presented Carey with the Billboard Icon Award at the Billboard Music Awards.

Ariana Grande looks up to Carey

Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

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“AG” brings to mind just one popular artist. After her teenage Broadway debut, Grande made a splash in Hollywood as one of the multiple singing stars on the Nickelodeon sitcom Victorious. From there, she launched her music career, releasing five hit albums, four of which debuted at the top of the Billboard 200.

Early in her career, Grande earned comparisons to Carey, who heard the artist’s cover of her song “Emotions” and was pleased. However, there were rumors of a feud, born out of Carey’s dislike of Grande being called “the next Mariah Carey,” her ex-husband Nick Cannon told VladTV. But in recent years, the two have interacted pleasantly on social media.

Grande and Hudson have worked together before

(l-r) Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande in 'Hairspray Live!'
(l-r) Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande in ‘Hairspray Live!’ | Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Not only does Carey have a history with Grande and Hudson, but they have a connection as well. In 2016, Grande and Hudson starred in the NBC musical special Hairspray Live! as Penny Pingleton and Motormouth Maybelle, respectively. So if Carey’s tease means what fans believe, this won’t be the first time they’ve sung together.