MULTI-PLATINUM RECORDING ARTIST CLAY AIKEN RINGS IN THE HOLIDAYS DURING HIS FIRST TELEVISION SPECIAL ON NBC ON DECEMBER 8
BURBANK -- November 15, 2004 -- NBC will showcase multi-platinum recording artist star Clay Aiken as he sings classic Christmas carols on his first television special, "A Clay Aiken Christmas," on Wednesday, Dec. 8 (8-9 p.m. ET). The music special comes just weeks after the release of Aiken's first book and holiday album, as well as the start of his holiday concert tour.
The hour-long studio special will feature Aiken and Special Guest star Barry Manilow as well as gospel singer Yolanda Adams and NBC's "Will & Grace" star Megan Mullally.
The program will come on the heels of Aiken's first book, "Learning to Sing," and his debut holiday album "Merry Christmas with Love," scheduled to be released on November 16. Likewise, Aiken's "The Joyful Noise" concert tour begins on November 21.
Aiken's first single "This Is the Night," made history by becoming #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 Chart as it sold 392,000, beating Elton John's 1997 record for "Candle in the Wind."
Aiken issued his first full-length studio album, "The Measure of a Man," in October 2003.
Barry Manilow's unparalleled career is made up of virtually every facet of music, including performing, composing, arranging and producing. A 2002 inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Manilow has triumphed in every medium of entertainment. He has received Grammy, Emmy and Tony Awards and has been nominated for an Academy Award. He's just released his 43rd album -- "Scores ? Songs From Copacabana and Harmony" -- which features Manilow's personal renditions of the songs he has written for two of his major musical properties, "Copacabana and Harmony." Manilow also was named the "the showman of our generation" by Rolling Stone in 2002.
Two-time Grammy winner Yolanda Adams has long been one of gospel music's biggest stars. Adams soared to new heights with the 1999 release of her Elektra Entertainment debut "Mountain High...Valley Low." The album featured the smash hit "Open My Heart" and spent much of the year at #1 on Billboard Magazine's Gospel and Contemporary Christian Charts, eventually selling over one million copies. Her subsequent Elektra albums, "Christmas with Yolanda Adams," the live release "The Experience," and her latest, "Believe," have further strengthened her position as one of gospel's best loved and most successful artists. .
Mullally is an Emmy winner and three-time Screen Actors Guild recipient who made her Broadway debut in the 1994 revival of "Grease" with Rosie O'Donnell. She then received an Outer Critic's Circle Award nomination for her performance as "Rosemary" in the Broadway revival of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" opposite Matthew Broderick. Her Los Angeles stage credits include "The Berlin Circle" at the Evidence Room Theater and her performance earned her the 2000 Backstage West Garland Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play and the LA Weekly Award for Best Leading Female Performance. Mullally has also appeared in "Mayhem" at the Evidence Room, as well as a variety of other plays and musicals in both Chicago and Los Angeles.
Mullally's concert appearances include the 2003 Kennedy Center Gala with Patty Lupone and Michael Feinstein and Los Angeles' Disney Concert Hall. One of Mullally's fondest projects is her glamorous cover band, Supreme Music Program, with whom she has released two CDs, including her most recent in "Big As A Berry" on Fynsworth Alley. Supreme Music Program has essayed a successful performance art piece, "Sweetheart," and will perform this Fall with the Seattle Symphony and at the Oklahoma Civic Center before appearing next year at the Kennedy Center.
Four-time Emmy winner Louis J. Horvitz is the executive producer and director of "A Clay Aiken Christmas." Horvitz is one of Hollywood's most prolific live television event directors. Horvitz' expertise has been recognized by his peers with numerous Emmy and DGA nominations.
This past September, Horvitz earned his 10th nomination and won his fourth Emmy Award while directing the live Emmy telecast.
Additionally this year, Horvitz has helmed over 15 high-profile events including his
eighth year as the director of the Academy Awards, his 12th year as the producer/director of the Peoples Choice Awards, his 10th year as co-producer/director of the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award, director for MTV'S VMAS, VH1's "Divas and
Hip Hop Honors," "Bad Boys of Comedy" (a film series for Sean "P Diddy" Combs), and more.
Horvitz, now in his eight year as executive producer and director for "An Evening of Stars," is in the final editing stages for this four-hour tribute to Quincy Jones. In addition, he is putting the finishing touches on an ultra-stylistic film "Music 101".
Upon completion of "A Clay Aiken Christmas" Horvitz will fly to Washington, D.C.,
for his 12th tour of duty as the director of the Kennedy Center Honors.