Billboard names top 125 artists, with Mariah Carey as top female

Charles Trepany, USA TODAY

The queen of Christmastime is now the greatest female artist of all time, according to Billboard.

In honor of their 125th anniversary, the magazine published its official ranking Thursday of the 125 greatest musical artists of all time, based on titles from the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart as well as the Billboard 200 albums chart. 

The Beatles stand at number one, followed by The Rolling Stones and then Elton JohnMariah Carey lands at number four, making her the most-highly-ranked female artist on the list, followed by Madonna at number five. 

The rest of the top 10 include Barbara Streisand at number six, followed by Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, Stevie Wonder and Chicago. 

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Pop icon Carey opened up to USA TODAY before the ranking came out, about the inspiration behind her hit "All I Want for Christmas is You," a song that has become one of the best-selling singles of any genre and no doubt a big reason for Carey's high placement on Billboard's new chart.

"I really started with thinking, 'What are all the things I think about at Christmas?' Lights, presents, stockings, fireplaces," Carey said. "I've always loved Christmas so much my entire life, but I grew up not having a lot of money and not being able to experience it like the other kids did. I wanted Christmas to be perfect, but for a lot of different reasons, it didn't always end up working out well, coming from such a dysfunctional family. So I think when I wrote it, I just put every ounce of longing for that perfect moment in it."

Taken off the five-time Grammy winner's "Merry Christmas" album, the ubiquitous holiday anthem has sold 16 million copies worldwide since 1994,

On the singles charts, "All I Want" only continues to grow: Early this year, it reached a new peak of No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first holiday song in nearly 60 years to crack the Top 5, according to Billboard. 

Here are the top 20 artists on Billboard's list:

1. The Beatles

2. The Rolling Stones

3. Elton John

4. Mariah Carey

5. Madonna

6. Barbra Streisand

7. Michael Jackson

8. Taylor Swift

9. Stevie Wonder

10. Chicago

11. Whitney Houston

12. Paul McCartney

13. Elvis Presley

14. Janet Jackson

15. Rod Stewart

16. Drake

17. Prince

18. Rihanna

19. Billy Joel

20. Garth Brooks

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Contributing: Patrick Ryan

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Elton John, Mariah: Billboard ranks greatest artists of all time