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John and Yoko, Elvis, Aretha on 'A Very Special Christmas: Icon' CD

EntertainmentMusicSpecial OlympicsJon Bon JoviLucinda WilliamsNicole Scherzinger

The 2013 edition of “A Very Special Christmas” albums benefiting the Special Olympics puts the focus on superstar names, with a roundup of holiday songs from John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Sting and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers among the collection's 11 tracks.

The album, “A Very Special Christmas: Icon,”  is to be released on Oct. 15, and also includes recordings from Jon Bon Jovi, Josh Groban, Rod Stewart, Sheryl Cro, Wham! and Carrie Underwood.

In donating their rock perennial “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” to assist the Special Olympics fundraiser, Yoko Ono said in a statement, “‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ was our holiday wish for a more peaceful world, so I am happy it's part of A Very Special Christmas. Special Olympics shows us how a more peaceful world could work, a world in which every person is valued and given the opportunity to live as full a life as possible, with the help and encouragement of a loving community.”

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The international edition of the album includes an additional track, a new recording by singer and “X Factor” judge Nicole Scherzinger of “O Holy Night,” produced by multiple Grammy winner David Foster.

Since the album series began in 1987, it has generated more than $116 million in direct support for Special Olympics programs, according to series officials.

“This album series has been a remarkable gift to our Special Olympics athletes,” Special Olympics Chairman and CEO Timothy P. Shriver said in a statement. “Thanks to the generosity of countless incredible people across the music industry, the legacy from the ‘A Very Special Christmas’ album series continues to support and sustain our work to bring the joy of sport to people with intellectual disabilities, which in turn fosters a global community of acceptance and inclusion.”

More information about the series is available at the official website for "A Very Special Christmas."

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EntertainmentMusicSpecial OlympicsJon Bon JoviLucinda WilliamsNicole Scherzinger
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