Nashville often kicks off its Christmas celebrations in the summer. Just last month, Opryland began hanging Christmas lights for its popular annual events.
And many popular singers are in Music City now to record their holiday albums to come out later in the year. One of those albums will help create a better life for thousands of people right here in Tennessee.
Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver visited Nashville on Monday to announce the continuation of A Very Special Christmas, a series of Christmas-themed compilation albums produced to benefit Special Olympics.
The series began in 1987 as recording labels stopped their competitive battles to put their biggest names on the project to benefit the Special Olympics. Artists taking part in the first installment included John Mellencamp, Whitney Houston and the Eurythmics.
Now, that project lives on, with contemporary artists lending their talents, including Rascal Flatts, the Band Perry, Michael Buble, Jason Mraz and others.
"To reach as many human beings as possible to bring them the joy of sport and tell them that there are no mistakes in the world, everybody's welcome, everybody can play and everyone can be a champion," Shriver said.
The recording series has generated more than $100 million in its 25 years, and it has helped the Special Olympics change countless lives.
Grammy winner Tony Brown is producing this year's edition, and Scott Borchetta, of Big Machine Label Group, said he wants it on everyone's Christmas list.
"Charity work is not easy, and it's not easy in 2012. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of effort and it takes a lot of asking. My team has asked a lot of people for a lot of things," Borchetta said.
Among its many roles, the Special Olympics helps children with intellectual disabilities get involved with sports and engages them in so many other worthwhile elements of life all over the world.
A Very Special Christmas will be another way to bring the music of Nashville to the world.
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