News / Arts & Entertainment

Variety of New Music Collections Released for Holidays

Mary J. Blige, "A Mary Christmas"
Mary J. Blige, "A Mary Christmas"
Katherine Cole
Every holiday season brings the release of new music collections and 2013 is not different. 
    
“A Mary Christmas,” is Mary J. Blige’s first holiday release and home to a dozen pop standards, including a jazzy version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” But Blige doesn’t just scat and swing her way through this collection of holiday classics. There is also some smooth singing on a duet with Barbra Streisand on “When You Wish Upon A Star,” featuring trumpeter Chris Botti.

Jewel’s first holiday album, “Joy,” came out in 1999 and has sold over a million copies. She says her new one, “Let It Snow,” has the same spirit as the first. There are two original songs on the new collection, with the covers including “Silver Bells,” and “Sleigh Ride.” There’s a lilting waltz or two, and Vince Gill adds his electric guitar to a country-rock take on “White Christmas.” The title track finds Jewel rocking a bit more than you might expect.

Variety of New Music Collections Released for the Holidays
Variety of New Music Collections Released for the Holidaysi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

x
Johnny Mathis is back with his first holiday collection in years -- it’s called “Sending You A Little Christmas.”  The 78-year old crooner sings with a number of special guests on this one, including Susan Boyle, Billy Joel, and Gloria Estefan. His song with pianist Jim Brickman, “Sending You A Little Christmas” is a record breaker of sorts -- it’s Mathis’s 50th song to make it on to the Billboard AC chart. Only five other artists have hit that mark -- Elton John, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Elvis, and Barry Manilow.

Kelly Clarkson’s “Wrapped in Red” has a couple of originals mixed in with holiday favorites like “Blue Christmas,” “Run Run Rudolph” and “Please Come Home for Christmas.” There’s also a duet with country star Ronnie Dunn on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” But the highlight is the closing track, “Silent Night.” Joining Clarkson is her mother-in-law Reba McEntire along with Trisha Yearwood, and the trio ends the tune singing the last verse “a capella.”

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

New Orleans-based Water Seed joins Shawna Renee inside the "Soul Lounge" where they introduce listeners to their latest album, a wonderful fusion of jazz, soul and rhythm & blues. The group also explains how the heart of New Orleans influences each of them as musicians and songwriters.