For the First Time, Starbucks Baristas Pick the Holiday Music Playlist

“The song ‘I’ll be Home For Christmas’ usually makes me cry because I haven’t seen my parents during the holidays for the past three years,” said Tanya, a Starbucks barista. “This year I’m crying the good kind of tears because I’m going home to Toronto.”

“It doesn’t matter where I’m standing, my foot taps when I hear Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You,’” said Kyle, shift supervisor at a Starbucks® store.

Along with sounds of steaming milk and cheery chatter, Starbucks® stores are filled with holiday music this year requested and suggested by the Starbucks partners (employees).

“I have always felt the more input, sources, recommendations and musical tastes that go into the mix, the better the end result is going to be,” said David Legry.

Legry, who’s been with Starbucks for 17 years, compiles the music people hear in Starbucks® stores around the world. That often involves listening to 20 albums a day.

“Anything that hits my desk, I will put an ear on and listen to every song,” he said. “Even when it’s not a fit for the overhead, I want to give everyone the best chance.”

If you think listening to music all day seems like a dream job, Legry would agree. He’s been passionate about music all his life. At an early age when he made mix tapes for family and friends. Now he shares his love of music with the 70 million Starbucks customers who visit the company’s stores around the world each week.

“I feel lucky to be in the role I have. I get to make playlists on a grand scale and share the Starbucks curatorial voice with the world,” said Legry.

This holiday season, for the first time, Starbucks baristas were asked to help pick the store music.

Legry logged their requests and tracked social media posts to be sure he included everything store partners wanted to hear, from “Christmas In Hollis” by Run-D.M.C. to traditional carols spanning several genres and decades.

Among the most requested songs from Starbucks baristas:

“Christmas Time is Here” by Vince Guaraldi Trio

“All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey

“Last Christmas” by Wham!

“Mele Kalikimaka” by The Puppini Sisters

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by She & Him.

Legry added his favorite Christmas song is “Silent Night.” What’s yours? Share what holiday song means the most to you by sending us a message here.

Photo Credit: Instagram @kwatts8394, @bistrobrit, and @kirstendejesus.

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