Mary J. Blige makes a classic with ‘A Mary Christmas’ album release, featuring Barbra Streisand, The Clark Sisters, Jessy J and Marc Anthony

Nine-time Grammy Award winner/two-time Golden Globe nominee Mary J. Blige offers a holiday gift with "A Mary Christmas" featuring duets with Barbra Streisand, The Clark Sisters, Jessy J and Marc Anthony.

Nine-time Grammy Award winner/two-time Golden Globe nominee Mary J. Blige offers a holiday gift with “A Mary Christmas” featuring duets with Barbra Streisand, The Clark Sisters, Jessy J and Marc Anthony.

*“I love Christmas. People are happier,” said nine-time Grammy Award winning Mary J. Blige about the holidays.

The two-time Golden Globe Award nominee (Bobby, The Help) recently released a Christmas album, “A Mary Christmas,” off of her own label Matriarch/Verve/Interscope Records.

The album features duets with Barbara Streisand, Jessy J, The Clark Sisters and Marc Anthony. “The album is beautiful and you are going to feel…the Spirit of love and giving – what Christmas means to me.”

Christmas must mean the same to me too for her song selections certainly say so. The varied styles will certainly make, “A Mary Christmas,” a classic with her versions of some of the world’s favorite Christmas and Inspirational songs. The album is executive produced by her husband Kendu Isaac with production and arrangement by David Foster.

“People have a whole lot of love and respect for each other, mankind (during the holidays). That’s what I put into this. It’s how I felt about Christmas as a little girl and even now. How much I believe it brings to the universe.”

What a gift Christmas is to the world and what a gift Mary J. Blige is to music.  Mary has sold over 50 million albums and 13 million singles as of 2013. Billboard magazine names her the most successful female R&B singer in the past 25 years. In 2011 VH1 ranked her 80th of the greatest artists of all time and in 2012 VH1 ranked her #9 in their “100 greatest women in music.”

Those accolades are well deserved and when you listen to “A Mary Christmas” you will see why.  I went to list my favorite songs on the album and just about listed them all. My favorites include “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” for its touch of Jazz; The Sound of Music classic “My Favorite Things” brought back so many childhood memories it made me cry tears of joy, but it was my love for the drums that brought the song to a classical ending that made it one of my favorites; “This Christmas,” “Rudolph, The Red-Nose Reindeer,” for its pure Jazz Big Band sound; the Disney classic “When You Wish Upon A Star” with Barbra Streisand, for its horn support and the vocal combination was superb; “Mary, Did You Know” has beautiful violins and orchestra support that again made me cry; “Do You Hear What I Hear” with Jessy J; “The First Noel,” with The Clark Sisters, is a powerful Praise & Worship selection, and “Noche De Paz (Silent Night)” with March Anthony.

Mary J. Blige is also an actress that has starred in Rock of Ages with Tom Cruise and Betty & Coretta with Angela Bassett and Malik Yoba as Dr. Betty widow of Malcolm X. She will play Nina Simon in an upcoming biopic Nina.

Drew Lachey stars in UP’s ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Christmas’ to air December 8, 2013

Drew Lachey, winner of the second season of "Dancing With The Stars" and a member of 98 Degree, stars in the UP Network original holiday film "Guess Who Is Coming To Christmas" airing Sunday, December 8, 2013.

Drew Lachey, winner of the second season of “Dancing With The Stars” and a member of 98 Degree, stars in the UP Network original holiday film “Guess Who Is Coming To Christmas” airing Sunday, December 8, 2013.

*Winner of season two of the hit dance competition “Dancing With The Stars,” 98 Degrees member, Drew Lachey stars in the UP Network original film “Guess Who’s Coming To Christmas” with MacKenzie Porter (“Christmas Rescue”). The holiday drama airs Sunday, December 8, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. EDT with encores at 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“It’s a great redemption story,” Drew said about the role he has in the UP original film for television.

Drew plays Dax, an image tarnished Rock star with a high-maintenance girlfriend Chelsea (played by Olivia Cheng) that through circumstances find himself and true love when he spends Christmas with a family unlike anything he has experienced. He spends the holiday in the home of Rev. Harding (Peter Lacroix), his wife Lynne (Ellie Harvie), their teenage son Tim (Evan Bird), and daughter Kelly (Porter) a sassy unemployed writer. MacKenzie Porter and Drew Lachey have an original duet in the movie titled “You.”

“He’s in need of a second chance and deserves a second chance,” said Lachey about his character. “He finds himself. It’s a feel good story…you can watch with the family.”

Produced by Entertainment One (eOne) and directed by Kristoffer Tabori (“Judging Amy”), “Guess Who Is Coming To Christmas” is written by Neal and Tippi Dobrofsky.

“The role came to me through my agent,” Drew pointed out when asked. “It fit who I am and the direction I want to go creatively. This is a role I thought I had a lot to offer.”

(Syndicated Columnist: Eunice Moseley, has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment – she is also a Public Relations/Business Management consultant a Freelance Associates (PRSA). Her Next Event: Baltimore “Uplifting Minds II” one day national entertainment conference (seminar panel & talent competition) at Security Square Mall Sat. April 19, 2014. www.FreelanceAssociatesInc.com, www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com, www.UpliftingMinds2.com).