The stars just can't seem to get enough of the Christmas spirit. Now a posse of today's hottest Top 40 acts are gathering for a TV special called And So This Is Christmas. Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, Harry Connick Jr., Babyface and the young soprano Charlotte Church will all participate in the program. It's due to air on December 6 on CBS.
Each artist has selected their favorite Christmas song to perform. They will also share their memories of Christmases past and explain what the holiday means to them.
Don't expect Ricky Martin to sing "Rudolph's Vida Loca," though. The Latin singing sensation has decided to perform an original song called "Ay, Ay, Ay, It's Christmas." It's sure to be a scarf-waving classic.
Martin explained what Christmas in San Juan is like. "Growing up in Puerto Rico, it's all about music when it comes to Christmas," Martin said in a statement. "It doesn't matter if it's with a great instrument or if it's just a can and a spoon making a noise. It's very romantic, very familiar."
Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds will be taking the more traditional route. He will sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Babyface also issued a statement in which he said, "It's a beautiful song and it sounds and feels like Christmas. It reminds you of those warm Christmas days when you're growing up. That's what's great about traditional Christmas music. It's the one thing that gets you back to that feeling, and you can share that with your kids. They can feel something of what you felt."
Garth Brooks will be singing some of his favorite Christmas songs on his new album Magic of Christmas. After having confounded the music industry with his creation Chris Gaines, however, the former San Diego Padre is throwing his fans yet another curve ball. The Christmas album is in the big band style most associated with crooners like Harry Connick Jr.
Why, Garth, why? It seems that the Magic of Christmas album was originally to be a soundtrack for a TV movie. While the album is ready to go, the TV movie, which is set in New York during Christmas, isn't. Brooks had promised retailers he would deliver an album for Christmas, so here it is.
Although singing before a big band put Brooks in an unusual situation, he was glad for the opportunity. He believes making the album was a positive experience following the death of his mother in August. Brooks said, "it's been a good thing for me because you need to smile."
Following the commercial disappointment of his In the Life of Chris Gaines album, however, Brooks has fewer reasons to grin. One of his holiday TV projects has been called off. With the legendary producer Dick Clark, Brooks hoped to put together a TV special for the end of the century that paired contemporary country stars with country legends.
What Brooks hadn't bargained on was that many of the artists he approached were just too busy during the holiday season to participate, according to Dick Clark's son RAC Clark. Although the network time slot was all set, it became increasingly likely that the program was going to feature an empty stage. According to Clark, the plan might be revived next year.
Brandy's Christmas has also hit a few snags. Following her hospitalization for dehydration earlier this month, she will not be hosting the Christmas in Rockefeller Center special on December 1. A spokesman for NBC said, "Brandy will not do the show, due to her illness." Another host for the program -- which broadcasts the Christmas tree lighting from Rockefeller Center -- will be found.