Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Sugarland, Rob Thomas and Usher To Ring in the Holidays with TNT's Annual Music Concert CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, Hosted by George Lopez
Concert Premieres Exclusively on TNT Sunday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT)
TNT is going to ring in the holidays in musical style with its annual presentation of CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, premiering Sunday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT). Mary J. Blige, Neil Diamond, Sugarland, Rob Thomas and Usher are scheduled to join host George Lopez in TNT's spectacular holiday celebration.
"We take pride in presenting CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON each year as we bring together musical artists from a variety of genres for a fantastic holiday concert," said Michael Wright, executive vice president/head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM. "This year, we're especially thrilled to welcome a lineup of top-name performers and an equally amazing host, George Lopez. Together, they will make this a holiday celebration to remember."
Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON is a holiday musical celebration benefiting the National Children's Medical Center. The show will be taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Sunday, Dec. 13. TNT's Dec. 20 premiere telecast will be the network's 11th presentation of CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, which is in its 28th year overall. The event will be followed at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) by the network television premiere of the film The Nativity Story (2006), starring Keisha Castle-Hughes and directed by Catherine Hardwicke.
George Lopez is host of TBS's new late-night series Lopez Tonight and one of the top five highest grossing comedians in the world. His groundbreaking sitcom, George Lopez, remains a hit in syndication and helped catapult Nick at Nite to one of the top 10 cable networks. His 2009 comedy special, George Lopez: Tall, Dark and Chicano, was the highest rated stand-up special on HBO in five years. This year, Lopez received the Teen Choice Award for Favorite Comedian. Lopez's feature film career continues to thrive as well. Next year, Lopez has three films set for release: The Spy Next Door, Valentine's Day and Marmaduke.
Mary J Blige is a nine-time Grammy-winning singer and songwriter with eight multi-platinum records and more than 40 million units sold since her 1992 debut of the modern classic What's the 411. She has helped to redefine R&B and more importantly has been an artist that uses her gift of song to lift spirits and touch lives while bringing her heart, soul and truth to those who are willing to listen. She is loved for her passionate, chart-topping hits like "Be Without You," "No More Drama" and "Family Affair," all of which have made her a force in music. Blige's new album, Stronger, is due for release on Dec. 22. As a multi-faceted mogul, Blige owns Matriarch Records, which produced the soundtrack for the heavily buzzed about film Precious � Based on the Novel Push By Sapphire, and co-owns Carol's Daughter along with Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Jay-Z. Blige has worked her celebrity in the world of philanthropy, from starting with the M-A-C AIDS Fund as a spokesperson to starting her own foundation, The Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now (FFAWN), which she co-found with Steve Stoute in 2008. FFAWN focuses on inspiring women of all walks of life to reach their full potential and is based in her hometown of Yonkers, N.Y. She recently partnered with Gucci on a charity watch, with the limited-edition black PVD twirl watch that features a face framed in black diamonds sold to benefit FFAWN. Blige has brokered a multitude of endorsement deals with companies that have sought her out to bring value to their products. Campaigns include working with such high-powered brands as AT&T, Apple, M-A-C and Chevrolet. She will soon begin to promote her own product lines that include a selection of sunglasses, starting with the Melody line and a Fragrance called My Life. One who's star never fails to shine, Blige has become more involved with her TV and film career. She most recently was a part of the cast for Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad By Myself and has appeared on such hit TV shows as 30 Rock and Entourage. Her own Matriarch Entertainment, home to Matriarch Records, has also formed a TV and film component that has begun developing projects.
Neil Diamond, whose most recent releases include A Cherry Cherry Christmas, Hot August Night NYC and the critically acclaimed #1 album Home Before Dark, has been a fixture in the music world for over four decades. This summer, CBS aired a primetime special featuring performances from his hugely popular Hot August Night NYC Live from Madison Square Garden DVD, which won the night in ratings. He has sold more than 125 million albums worldwide, with a remarkable track record of 16 Top 10 albums and 37 Top 10 singles. A Grammy-winning artist, Diamond has been inducted into the Songwriter's Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award. Among his many other honors, he has received a Golden Globe� and 12 Grammy nominations, and he was named the 2009 MusiCares Person of the Year. His many chart-topping songs include "Sweet Caroline," "I Am...I Said," "Song Sung Blue," "Love on the Rocks" and "America."
Sugarland, the country duo comprised of Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush, has sold more than 8 million records since exploding onto the music scene in 2004 with Twice the Speed of Life ("Baby Girl"/"Something More"). Enjoy the Ride ("Want To"/"Settlin'"/"Stay") quickly followed in 2006, and their third studio album, Love On The Inside ("It Happens"/"Love"/"All I Want To Do"/"Already Gone") in July 2008, which skyrocketed them to superstardom and drew fans from all genres and critics abroad. Sugarland is credited with co-writing all tracks from all three albums and co-producing the last two. In August 2009, the duo offered thanks to their loyal fans with Live On The Inside, a CD/DVD set of live tracks, covers and footage from their tour. They have performed in six European countries and toured and headlined shows tirelessly. They've received trophies from the Grammys, American Music Awards, Academy of Country Music, CMT Music Awards and the Country Music Association. Nettles has performed for the Obama Presidential celebration, and the duo performed on Oprah. Their latest album is Gold And Green, a 10-track holiday collection consisting of half standards and half originals, all of which Nettles and Bush co-wrote and co-produced.
Rob Thomas is a Grammy-winning superstar who has sold more than 80 million albums and penned a remarkable string of #1 smashes, including "Her Diamonds" off his acclaimed new solo album, cradlesong, as well as "Lonely No More," "This Is How a Heart Breaks," "Ever the Same," "Streetcorner Symphony" and the Matchbox Twenty hits "Push," "3AM," "If You're Gone," "Bent," "Disease" and "Unwell," to name a few. In 1999, Thomas' smash collaboration with Santana, the Thomas-penned "Smooth," earned him three Grammys and today ranks #1 on Billboard's Top Hot 100 Rock Songs chart and #2 on the magazine's Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs. He has also worked with the likes of Willie Nelson, Mick Jagger, Marc Anthony and Bernie Taupin. In 2004, the Songwriters Hall of Fame presented Thomas with its first ever Starlight Award. He has won numerous BMI and ASCAP Awards and has earned the Songwriter of the Year crown from both Billboard and BMI for two consecutive years. With the 2005 release of his first solo album, the #1 multi-platinum ...Something to Be, Thomas embarked on a major, sold-out world tour. In 2007, he reunited with Matchbox Twenty for Exile on Mainstream, their first album in five years. Debuting at #3 on the Billboard 200, the RIAA gold album scored the biggest first week ever for a greatest hits collection. In December 2008, he performed at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington D.C., where he paid tribute to Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey with an emotionally charged rendition of The Who's "Baba O'Riley," featuring a choir of 150 New York City policemen and firefighters.
Usher, whose latest CD, Raymond v. Raymond, is due in stores Dec. 21, has achieved global superstardom as a singer, composer, producer, film and television actor, businessman and philanthropist. Since hitting the music scene in 1994, he has sold more than 40 millions albums worldwide and won countless awards and accolades, including five Grammys. His fifth album, Confessions in 2004, sold more than a million copies during its first week of release, the highest debut-week numbers ever for a male R&B artist. It went on to become the biggest selling album of the year and earned Usher three Grammys and numerous other accolades. "Yeah!," "Burn" and "Confessions Part II" all topped the charts as Usher became the first solo artist in history to have three singles within Billboard's Top 10 simultaneously. He followed up with the highly rated Showtime special One Night, One Star: Live from Puerto Rico, a 2006 run as Billy Flynn in the hit Broadway musical Chicago and the 2008 platinum CD Here I Stand, featuring such hits as "Love in this Club" and "Moving Mountains." Outside the recording studio, Usher is the visionary leader behind Usher's New Look, Inc., an organization established to empower youth from underserved communities by giving them the skill necessary to enter careers in the sports and entertainment industry. New Look hosts a free, two-week residential Sports and Entertainment Camp in Atlanta. More than 1,300 disadvantaged youth from around the country have been given the extraordinary opportunity to improve their athletic, academic and artistic talents. Through the New Look Foundation, he has also continued his long-term commitment to help rebuild the Gulf Coast. In 2007, Usher launched the top-selling men's and women's fragrance line, Usher HE and Usher SHE, through a partnership with Elizabeth Arden, with a second line UR For Men and UR For Women in 2008. His most recent collaboration with Elizabeth Arden is a new line of men's fragrances called VIP. Usher recently became owner of several wine bar & bistros titled The Grape.
CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, a two-time Emmy�-winning program for Musical Direction and 12-time nominee overall, is executive-produced by 12-time Emmy-winner George Stevens, Jr. and directed and produced by Michael Stevens for The Stevens Company. Most recently they produced the We Are One concert at the Lincoln Memorial on the eve of the Inauguration of President Barack Obama and were awarded an Emmy for the The Kennedy Center Honors as Outstanding Special in September. For TNT, Ricki Rosenfeld and David Bryant serve as executives in charge of production, with Mark Shimmel returning for his fifth year as music talent consultant.
TNT, one of cable's top-rated networks, is television's destination for drama and home to such original series as the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Kyra Sedgwick; Saving Grace, starring Holly Hunter; HawthoRNe, with Jada Pinkett Smith; Leverage, starring Timothy Hutton; Raising the Bar, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Gloria Reuben and Jane Kaczmarek; and Dark Blue, starring Dylan McDermott, as well as the newly acquired Southland, from ER creator John Wells. TNT also presents such powerful dramas as Bones, CSI: NY and Numb3rs; broadcast premiere movies; compelling primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards�; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.