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Christmas Music Playlists with Vanessa Williams Songs
Her Star Has Always Been Bright But At Christmas It Is Lumunious
Factfile - Vanessa Williams
- Vanessa Williams has recorded 2 Christmas albums: Star Bright (1996) and Silver & Gold (2004).
- Her album Star Bright has been certified gold and was the 5th best selling Christmas album of 1996 in the US, peaking at #36 on the Billboard 200, and later nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.
- Vanessa played Lynette in the classic 1990 movie The Kid Who Loved Christmas. Later in 2000 she starred as 'Ebony Scrooge' (a bad tempered pop star) in an update on Dickens' A Christmas Carol: A Diva's Christmas Carol.
- In 2001 she performed with Tony Bennett, Plácido Domingo & Charlotte Church at a Chirstmas concert in Vienna, released as Our Favorite Things.
In terms of star power Vanessa Williams really has it all having graduated from winning Miss America to 1983 to turning into an artist of fine repute and an actress with some plum roles to her name. Luckily for us all her talent has focused its attention on the season on more than one occasion and she has also starred in 2 Christmas movies, ‘The Kid That Loved Christmas’ (1990) and ‘A Diva's Christmas Carol’ (2000). On the recording front Williams has produced a couple of wonderful Christmas albums and she must be praised for coming up with titles which don’t include Christmas. A sure sign that Williams wasn’t in it for the fast buck and 1996’s ‘Star Bright’ showed how her soulful style was well suited to updated covers of classic Christmas carols ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’, ‘Angels We Have Heard On High’ and ‘Go Tell It On The Mountain/Mary Had A Baby’ which she had original sang on David Foster’s ‘The Christmas Album’ in 1995. Williams first Christmas LP also contained some original songs including the Rob Mathes penned title track which like much of the album is an exercise in thoughtful Christmas reflection. Williams also turns her hand to ‘I wonder As I Wander’ with predictably spine tingling results. ‘Star Bright’ ends as majestically as it started with a lonesome sounding ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ ending on the classiest note courtesy of a Kenny G like sax solo.
In 2000 Vanessa travelled to Vienna to record a live Christmas album with Tony Bennett, Charlotte Church and Placido Domingo called ‘Our Favourite Things’. Domingo has been inviting guest vocalists to his annual Christmas show in the Austrian capital each year since the early 1990’s and Williams contributed several solo songs on the 2001 release including ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’, ‘Through The Eyes of A Child’ and ‘I Saw Three Ships’. Her next solo festive record would arrive in 2004 and ‘Silver & Gold’ and again she did everything in her power to retain the spirit of Christmas. The most ear catching moment came on her duet with Christian star Brian McKnight on ‘Joy To The World’ which turned the age old carol on its head with a distinctive R&B twist. Elsewhere a sprinkling of Rob Mathes originals ‘December Lullaby’ and ‘Prelude: I Dream A World’ (with Ossie Davis adding some appropriately world weary spoken words) threw interesting new conversations into the yuletide mix. There were even more surprises when Williams gave the Carpenter ‘Merry Christmas, Darling’ a contemporary makeover which did the song no harm at all. The star pupil on ‘Silver & Gold’ was Ted Shapiro’s ‘Winter Weather’ which was as jazzy as Vanessa Williams gets. Listen out for it at all the sussed Christmas spots this December. Her 'Little Drummer Boy' also dances to a very different beat giving it an effortless sense of cool.
If you a looking for a nice synopsis of the Vanessa Williams Christmas story so far the 2012 compilation ‘The Best of Vanessa Williams Volume 2: The Christmas Collection’ should prove too enticing to turn down.
First star I see tonight
Vanessa Williams, Star Bright
Could you oh, would you please shine your light?
Shine it so I can see
My savior smilin' at me
Vanessa Williams Christmas Album & Single Covers