A Very Special Christmas Anniversary

Celebrating the 25th anniversary with a touch of country.

"It's 90 degrees, it's the dead of summer, everybody's baking and I'm here to say, 'Merry Christmas,'" said Timothy Shriver, chairman and CEO of Special Olympics, in welcoming members of the media, industry VIPs and Special Olympics athletes to Martina and John McBride's Blackbird Studio in Nashville to announce the release of two projects—A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary and A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace on Earth.

A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary will feature country artists Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry and Vince Gill along with Amy Grant, Train, Christina Aguilera, Michael Bublé, Cheap Trick, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, One Republic and Wonder Girls. Grammy award-winning producer Tony Brown popped in from the studio where he was recording Train's performance for the project and spilled the beans that they would be recording "Joy to the World" for the project. This marks the first time the Christmas classic has been recorded for the album series.

A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace on Earth includes contemporary Christian artists Meredith Andrews, Chris August, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Group 2 Crew, For King & Country, Dara Maclean, Jamie Grace, Sidewalk Prophets, Natalie Grant and Francesca Battistelli, who appears on both albums.

The A Very Special Christmas album series started in 1987. The original project included performances from Madonna, Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen, The Pointer Sisters, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Sting, U2, Bon Jovi and John Cougar Mellencamp.

Looks like Christmas is starting early this year!

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