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New Holiday Albums From Kelly Clarkson, Johnny Mathis and Others

Kelly Clarkson
Kelly Clarkson
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Each year, around this time, holiday albums fill the shelves of record stores and cyber music markets. You can always find classic Christmas albums from artists like Loretta Lynn and Nat King Cole. But every year also brings new holiday albums from current industry stars. Today we play some of 2013’s offerings.

“A Mary Christmas” is the first holiday release from Mary J. Blige. She performs twelve popular songs, including the jazzy version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Mary J. Blige shares the holiday warmth with guest artists as well. Here she performs “When You Wish Upon A Star” with one of music’s biggest stars: Barbra Streisand.

The singer Jewel released the holiday album “Joy” in 1999. It was successful, selling over a million copies. She says her new one, “Let It Snow,” has the same spirit as the first. She wrote two new songs for the album. She also includes versions of old songs like “Silver Bells” and “Sleigh Ride.” And, country star Vince Gill plays electric guitar on “White Christmas.”

One surprising performance is of the title song. Jewel rock and rolls “Let It Snow” more than you might expect.

Johnny Mathis is back with his first holiday collection in years. It is called “Sending You A Little Christmas.” The 78-year-old artist sings with several special guests on the album including Susan Boyle, Billy Joel and Gloria Estefan.

But one song is a record breaker in Mathis’ career. He gets on Billboard Magazine’s Adult Contemporary chart for the 50th time with the album’s title track.

Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red” is the singer’s first holiday album. She wrote two new songs for the collection. She also includes holiday favorites like “Blue Christmas” and “Run Run Rudolph.” She and country star Ronnie Dunn perform together for “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

But, one of the strongest pieces on “Wrapped in Red” is the album’s closing song. Clarkson is joined by her husband’s mother, Reba McEntire and country artist Trisha Yearwood in the Christmas hymn, “Silent Night.”

I'm June Simms.

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