Ne-Yo, Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Jackson, Andrea Bocelli, Colbie Caillat, Heather Headley and Katharine McPhee to Headline TNT's Annual Music Spectacular CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, Hosted for the Fourth Year by Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw
Gala Premieres Exclusively on TNT Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT)
Chart-topping phenomenon Ne-Yo, High School Musical's Vanessa Hudgens, country superstar Alan Jackson, legendary vocalist Andrea Bocelli, rising recording artists Colbie Caillat, Heather Headley and Katharine McPhee are slated to headline TNT's annual presentation of CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON, hosted for the fourth year by Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw. Annually attended by the President and First Lady and other Washington VIPs, this concert is a holiday music celebration 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. 12, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT).
�Each year, TNT celebrates the holidays in style with this wonderful family event that benefits the great work carried out by the National Children's Medical Center,� said Michael Wright, senior vice president in charge of the content creation group for TNT, TBS and TCM. �This year's line-up represents a variety of musical styles guaranteed to please just about any ear. We are extremely proud to have had such a long and fruitful relationship with CHRISTMAS IN WASHINGTON. And we're especially thrilled to be working once again with our hosts, Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw.�
Ne-Yo has penned some of the biggest records in the history of Billboard's R&B chart, including Mario's �Let Me Love You� and Beyonce's �Irreplaceable.� Born Shaffer C. Smith into a family of musicians from Arkansas, Ne-Yo was raised in a single parent home by his mother in Las Vegas, where he discovered his passion for songwriting. A master in the art of storytelling, he began writing at an early age, eventually providing songs for such multi-platinum artists as Mary J. Blige, B2K, Faith Evans and Musiq. He took to the microphone himself with his debut album In My Own Words on Def Jam Recordings, which includes the songs �Stay,� �So Sick� and �When You're Mad.� He followed that album up this past year with Because of You, with its hit title song. Infusing pop melodies with rich, soulful production, Ne-Yo creates both a unique sound and sentiment for his records.
Vanessa Hudgens began her career in the world of musical theatre at the tender age of 8. Immediately realizing the incredible future that lay before her, she has tirelessly pursued her dream with much success. Early roles in such productions as Evita, Carousel, The Wizard of Oz, The King & I, The Music Man, Cinderella and Damn Yankees gave her the opportunity to showcase her impressive singing and acting skills. The recognition she received quickly brought her to the screen, where she made her feature film debut in Catherine Hardwicke's Thirteen. Soon thereafter, she co-starred in the action-adventure film Thunderbirds. Her television credits include The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Quintuplets, Brothers Garcia, Still Standing and Robbery Homicide Division. It was Hudgens' role in Disney Channel's breakaway sensation High School Musical that has garnered her much praise and attention. She can currently be seen in the film's highly successful follow up, High School Musical 2. Last fall Hudgens released her debut solo album V, a captivating variety of rock, electronic and R&B styles. She will release a second album in spring 2008.
Alan Jackson is often referred to as a standard-bearer of traditional country. Since 1989, he has sold more than 45 million records and has recorded 31 #1 songs, 21 of which he composed. He has won upwards of 95 Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, Grammy, ASCAP, American Music, Billboard and other industry awards and holds the record for most Country Music Association nominations. The three-time CMA Entertainer of the Year topped the album charts not once, but twice, in 2006, with the success of Precious Memories and Like Red on a Rose. His loving marriage to Denise Jackson recently became the centerpiece of her memoir It's All About Him: Finding the Love of My Life.
Andrea Bocelli grew up in Italy with a lifelong dream of becoming an opera star. But adult reality led him to earn a law degree instead. In 1992, his fortunes changed when Italian rock star Zucchero enlisted him to record a demo track of �Miserere,� a duet with Luciano Pavarotti. This began a career that soon attracted attention outside of Italy. His international breakthrough was a duet with Sarah Brightman, �Time to Say Goodbye.� His solo version also became an international hit. In 1996 and 1997, he exploded on the album charts with Romanza. Two years later, he earned a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist, marking the first time in 38 years a classical artist had been nominated in that category. That same year, his duet with Celine Dion on The Quest for Camelot song �The Prayer� won a Golden Globe�. His new album, The Best Of Andrea Bocelli � Vivere, on Sugar Music/Decca marks a decade of chart-topping albums that has made him a household name and beloved cultural figure the world over.
Colbie Caillat first began singing at the age of 11 after hearing Lauryn Hill's recording of �Killing Me Softly.� Ready to pursue a music career, her father advised her that the performers who command the most respect are also songwriters. It took some time, but eventually Caillat tackled the acoustic guitar, and suddenly the song-writing floodgates were opened. Once she had a bundle of songs under her arm, she tested them out on MySpace, garnering an amazing 10 million plays in four months. It wasn't long before record labels were knocking, and Caillat signed with Universal Republic. Her first album, Coco, is on the rise with such singles as �Bubbly,� �Oxygen,� �The Little Things� and �Tied Down.�
Heather Headley recently released her second studio album, In My Mind, the torrid follow-up to her Grammy-nominated debut, This Is Who I Am. Born in Barataria, Trinidad, Headley was blessed with two creative, supportive parents, both ministers, who lovingly encouraged her passions. She attended college at Northwestern University, where she majored in musical theater and communications. In 1997, Disney recruited her for the role of Nala in the Tony-winning musical The Lion King, following that up with the marquee role in the Elton John/Tim Rice show Aida. A 2000 Tony Award for her star-making performance in the latter show affirmed her power-vocalist pedigree, and soon RCA came knocking. This Is Who I Am was released in 2002, achieving gold status and earning Headley two Soul Train Awards. She also received dual nods from the BET Awards and NAACP Awards, as well as Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best R&B Vocalist.
In 2006, Katharine McPhee, a singer and actress from Southern California auditioned for American Idol, and the rest is history. America voted her into the Top 12 and then kept voting for her week after week until she made it all the way to the show's finale, where she finished as runner-up. Shortly after the fifth season of American Idol, McPhee was signed to RCA/19 Recordings, Untitled Entertainment and CAA. Her anticipated self-titled debut on RCA/19 Recordings exploded on the Billboard 200 and landed at number two, placing only behind Norah Jones. It is also the best chart debut for a solo female artist since July 2006. Her first single, �Somewhere Over the Rainbow / My Destiny,� debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Hot Singles Sales chart. On the Hot 100, McPhee became the first Idol singer to begin her chart career with two debuts in the same week. She recently finished filming her first feature with Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company, entitled I Know What Boys Like, which will be released by Sony Pictures in spring 2008.
Dr. Phil McGraw's nationally syndicated daily one-hour series, Dr. Phil, currently in its sixth 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 him one of the Most Intriguing People of 2002, while Barbara Walters included him in her 2002 10 Most Fascinating People special.
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 2003http://www.drphilfoundation.org/" \t "_blank, 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 more than 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, and debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as many others.
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 Mark Shimmel returning for his fourth year as music talent consultant.
Artists performing in past years have included Taylor Hicks, Gretchen Wilson, Il Divo, Chris Brown, Corinne Bailey Rae, Bianca Ryan, 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.
Turner Network Television (TNT), television's destination for drama and one of cable's top-rated networks, offers original movies and series, including the acclaimed and highly popular detective drama The Closer, starring Golden Globe� winner and Emmy� and Screen Actors Guild Awards� nominee Kyra Sedgwick, and Saving Grace, a provocative new drama starring Oscar� winner Holly Hunter. TNT is also home to powerful one-hour dramas, such as Law & Order, Without a Trace, Cold Case, ER, Charmed and Judging Amy; broadcast premiere movies; compelling prime-time specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards�; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR and the NBA. TNT is available in high-definition.
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