Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw Return to Host TNT�s CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON Concert, Featuring Taylor Hicks, Il Divo, Gretchen Wilson, Chris Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae, Bianca Ryan
Gala Premieres Exclusively on TNT Wednesday, Dec. 13
Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw will return for a third year as hosts of TNT�s annual presentation of CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, featuring popular recording artists Taylor Hicks, Il Divo, Gretchen Wilson, Chris Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae and Bianca Ryan. Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, this concert celebrates the holiday in musical style while benefiting the National Children�s Medical Center. CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON will be taped at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., premiering on TNT Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).
Dr. Phil McGraw has galvanized millions of people to �get real� about their own behavior and to create more positive lives. His nationally syndicated daily one-hour series, Dr. Phil, currently in its fifth season, has been making headlines and breaking records since its September 2002 launch, when it garnered the highest ratings of any new syndicated show since the launch of The Oprah Winfrey Show 16 years earlier. People magazine named Dr. Phil one of the Most Intriguing People of 2002, while Barbara Walters included him in her 2002 10 Most Fascinating People special. Dr. Phil�s show draws on his many years of experience in psychology and human functioning. Having begun his TV career as Oprah�s resident expert on human behavior, he continues to deal with real-life, in-the-real-world issues with his signature style.
Dr. Phil is the author of six #1 New York Times bestsellers: Life Strategies: Doing What Works, Doing What Matters; Relationship Rescue: A Seven-Step Strategy for Reconnecting with Your Partner; Self Matters: Creating Your Life From the Inside Out; The Ultimate Weight Solution: The Seven Keys to Weight Loss Freedom; Family First: Your Step-by-Step Plan for Creating a Phenomenal Family and Love Smart: Find the One You Want, Fix the One You Got. His books have been published in 37 languages with more than 22 million copies in print. Along with being one of the world�s most sought after public speakers, Dr. Phil also provides strategic guidance for millions of Americans through his monthly column in O, The Oprah Magazine. In concert with his books, television show and speaking events, Dr. Phil launched the Dr. Phil Foundation in 2003, a non-profit charitable organization that is committed to helping children and families at risk. As a professional psychologist, he has published numerous scholarly articles and has practiced in the many fields of clinical psychology and behavioral medicine. Dr. Phil has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from North Texas State University, with a dual area of emphasis in clinical and behavioral medicine.
Robin McGraw has made �family first� her mission. Married for 30 years to Dr. Phil, whom she fondly refers to as �Phillip,� Robin has made her marriage and raising their two sons, Jay and Jordan, her priority in life. Thanks to her numerous appearances on the Dr. Phil show, viewers worldwide have embraced Robin�s contributions � whether it be discussing her experiences as a mother and wife or dealing with issues women face in the many phases of their lives. Robin has been one of the most sought-after new authors within the publishing world. Her first book, Inside My Heart: Choosing to Live with Passion and Purpose, was released by Nelson Books, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, in September and debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list, as well as many others.
Taylor Hicks had been singing in bars and clubs for a decade before rising to prominence as the winner of the fifth season of American Idol. Upon winning the televised competition, he immediately signed to Arista Records. His debut single � �Do I Make You Proud?� � opened at the #1 spot on Billboard�s Hot 100 and was certified gold. His major-label debut is slated for release on Dec. 12, 2006, the day before CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON premieres on TNT. Hicks� energetic stage performances and throwback to classic soul music have earned him a following of devout fans, who have dubbed themselves the Soul Patrol. His memoir, Heart Full of Soul: An Inspirational Memoir about Finding Your Voice and Finding Your Way, is slated to be published in April 2007.
Born in rural Illinois and raised by a single mom, Gretchen Wilson left school after the eighth grade when she started tending bar at Big Os, a rough and tumble joint. By the time she was 15, she was managing the place with the help of a loaded 12-gauge to keep folks in line. But her voice provided the most firepower. Discovered while singing with a house band in Nashville, Wilson soon joined the ranks of the Muzik Mafia, a loose-knit group of singer/songwriters. Her sassy debut single, �Redneck Woman,� maintained the top position on Billboard's country airplay chart for five weeks in 2004, leading to a whirlwind, worldwide promotional tour. Her debut album, Here for the Party, was certified quadruple platinum and delivered such hit singles as �When I Think About Cheatin�� and �Homewrecker.� Its success established her as the top-selling debut artist of the year for any genre and won her the CMA Horizon Award in 2004. Wilson released All Jacked Up in 2005 and won the CMA Female Vocalist trophy that same year. This year, drawing on her signature knack for storytelling and connecting with an audience, Wilson released the New York Times bestselling autobiography Redneck Woman: Stories from My Life.
Looking for a new sound, American Idol judge, Simon Cowell, brought Il Divo together in 2003 after a two-year worldwide talent search. The pop-opera quartet (David Miller- USA - tenor, Sebastien Izambard- France - vox populi, Urs Buhler- Switzerland - tenor and Carlos Marin- Spain � baritone ), leaped onto the world stage breaking records in the process. Selling more than 13 million albums and conquering the hearts of fans and the charts of nations all around the world, the group has garnered some 104 gold and platinum awards in 33 countries. Their first two albums, Il Divo and Ancora, achieved 26 #1 chart positions internationally, including at #1 debut in the United States - the only classical crossover album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200. Il Divo�s next album, Siempre, set to be released on November 21, 2006, will feature ten brand new tracks. Having recently completed a six-month sold out world tour, Il Divo has joined Barbra Streisand on her sold-out North American tour.
With his easy-going demeanor, schoolboy charm, incredible voice and a recently certified platinum debut CD, Chris Brown has proven himself a talent far beyond his 17 years. He got his musical initiation early on, inspired by what he refers to as the �eclectic� taste of his parents and soaking in the sounds of his favorites: Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Donnie Hathaway, Anita Baker and Aretha Franklin. Performing regularly by the age of 11, he began working with top producers by the age of 13. His self-titled debut album has delivered such hot singles as the Scott Storch-produced �Run It,� the Dre and Vidal-produced �Yo (Excuse Me, Miss),� �Gimme That,� �Young Love,� �Ya Man Ain�t Me,� �Is This Love� and �Poppin.� His recognition includes winning Outstanding New Artist at the 2006 NAACP Awards, Best New Artist at the 2006 Soul Train Awards and two BET Awards this year for Best New Artist and Viewer�s Choice.
Neo-soul songstress Corinne Bailey Rae was born in Leeds, England, in 1979 to a British mother and West Indian father. Displaying an interest in music from an early age, she studied classical violin until she acquired an electric guitar in her early teens. Inspired by such �90s alt-rock icons as L7, Veruca Salt and others, Rae formed her first band, the all-female indie rock outfit Helen. Despite developing a strong local following, the band ultimately folded, and Rae enrolled at Leeds University to study English literature. While at school, a job at a jazz club inspired her more soul-oriented leanings, and she began writing songs. Eventually, she scored a record deal with EMI and released her self-titled, certified-gold (and quickly approaching platinum) debut solo album in 2006, featuring the hit singles �Like a Star� and �Put Your Records On.�
Twelve-year-old prodigy Bianca Ryan proved to America that she�s got talent when she wowed audiences this summer with her extraordinary vocal skills. Growing up in Philadelphia, the America�s Got Talent champion knew from an early age that she wanted to sing. By the age of 8, she was performing on Star Search and in amateur kids night on Showtime at the Apollo. But it was America�s Got Talent that launched Ryan�s career. Performing Jennifer Holiday�s �And I am Telling You I�m Not Going,� the judges and audiences declared her a star. Her self-titled debut album is set to be released this month. Songs on the album include classics such as �The Rose,� �I Believe I Can Fly� and �You Light Up My Life.�
CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, a two-time Emmy�-winning program for Musical Direction and six-time nominee overall, is executive-produced by 11-time Emmy�-winner George Stevens, Jr. and directed and produced by Michael Stevens for The Stevens Company. For TNT, Ricki Rosenfeld and David Bryant serve as executives in charge of production, with Nyree Tripptree as producer, and Mark Shimmel returns for his third year as music talent consultant.
Artists performing in past years have included Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Ciara, Vanessa Williams, Ruben Studdard, Kenny Chesney, Joss Stone, Hootie & the Blowfish, Ashanti, Tony Bennett, Reba McEntire, Usher, Marc Anthony, Christina Aguilera, B.B. King, Chris Isaak, 98 Degrees, Kenny Loggins, Alison Krauss, Luther Vandross, Faith Hill, Brooks & Dunn, Gloria Estefan, Brian Setzer, Aaron Neville, Patti LaBelle, Lee Ann Womack, CeCe Winans, Neil Diamond, Vince Gill, Jane Monheit and The Click Five.
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