This Christmas, Mariah Carey’s monopoly on the holiday music scene may finally be challenged; coming on Dec. 23 is the release of A Philly Special Christmas, an album cultivated by Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, which features teammates Jordan Mailata, Lane Johnson and more. Leading up to the official release, a new single will be released each Friday, with the first track, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), dropping on Nov. 25.
For Kelce, the album’s creation was a demonstration of his Christmas spirit, as he bluntly stated, “I love Christmas, and I had an idea that doing a Christmas album would be great.” To bring his project to life, Kelce recruited fellow offensive linemen Mailata and Johnson in the football offseason. The three began the recording process this past summer, with quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver A.J. Brown making special appearances alongside countless other Eagles players. The group decided to name the album A Philly Special Christmas, of course playing on A Really Special Christmas, while also referencing the famous Philly Special play run by the Eagles for a touchdown at the 52nd Super Bowl.
While the players manned the microphones, former Eagles linebacker Conor Barwin and War on Drugs drummer Charlie Hall worked to produce the album among a team of producers. Vera Y Records will release the album, while the athletes recorded it in studios around Philadelphia.
The album, however, promotes a larger cause; the team will donate proceeds to Philadelphia’s Children’s Crisis Treatment Center so that they can put on their holiday toy drive. Beyond the fundraising, for the players, the album was a way to connect with the city they call home. Kelce declared, “I just think it’s gonna be fun, it’ll be awesome for the city, for sure going to go to families that can’t afford gifts around the holidays… Hopefully make their holidays better.” Even if the album doesn’t do well, Kelce pronounces that he will at least still have a “Christmas album that I can play for friends and family that come over and be like, ‘Hey I did this one time. Pretty cool.’”
Behind a plethora of social media posts, and a mini-documentary released in November, the anticipation behind the album continues to build as its disks sell briskly on the official website. If you are interested in supporting the album and its cause, all information can be found at phillyspecialchristmas.com, and otherwise, keep your eyes out for the release of new singles and the official release on all platforms on Dec. 23.
(Sources: Sporting News, People, Metro Philadelphia)
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