Top-Earning Songs of All Time

On October 17th, 1893, it is reported that a copyright was filed for “Happy Birthday To You.” Patty and Mildred J. Hill are said to have composed what would go on to become one of the most iconic pieces of music ever created, though there are those who dispute these claims. Today, in honor of this event, we take a look back at 10 of the top-earning songs of all time.

10. The Christmas Song – Mel Torme

Original Release: 1944

During the holiday season, this is one of the most-played tracks in retail centers and radio stations around the nation, and for a good reason. Few pieces of music can evoke the quintessential feeling of Christmas that this one can, with descriptive verses such as “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” painting a picture of a cozy winter’s night, enjoyed with good company.


American jazz singer and actor Mel Torme (1925 – 1999), circa 1975. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)

In a fascinating display of irony, Torme was Jewish, and reportedly wrote the song’s lyrics in about 45 minutes on a hot, sunny day in California. It is estimated that the composition has earned approximately $19 million since.

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