A Very Special Christmas

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A Very Special Christmas is the title of an ongoing series of Christmas music compilation albums that benefit Special Olympics. It features songs performed by artists from a variety of genres, such as U2, Stevie Nicks, Bon Jovi, Madonna, The Smashing Pumpkins, No Doubt, Whitney Houston, Run–D.M.C., Jason Mraz, Willie Nelson, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

A Very Special Christmas was the brainchild of music producer Jimmy Iovine, who wanted to produce a Christmas album as a memorial to his father. The idea of the record benefiting Special Olympics was suggested by Iovine's wife Vicki, as she was a volunteer for the organization. Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, the founders of A&M Records, along with Bobby Shriver, helped the Iovines realize the project. Since the release of the first album in 1987, the series has raised over $100 million for Special Olympics, more than any other benefit series. The album cover art is designed by artist Keith Haring.

A Very Special Christmas series[edit]

Jazz to the World and World Christmas[edit]

In 1995, the jazz-oriented Jazz to the World was released by Blue Note Records. The following year, World Christmas, which focused on diverse artists from around the globe, was released by Blue Note subsidiary Metro Blue Records. Although they are not part of the main A Very Special Christmas series, the proceeds from these albums also benefit Special Olympics.

Jazz to the World

  1. "Winter Wonderland" – Herb Alpert/Jeff Lorber
  2. "Baby, It's Cold Outside" – Lou Rawls/Dianne Reeves
  3. "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" – Fourplay
  4. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" – Diana Krall
  5. "O Tannenbaum" – Stanley Clarke/George Duke/Everette Harp
  6. "Let It Snow" – Michael Franks/Carla Bley/Steve Swallow
  7. "The Christmas Waltz" – The Brecker Brothers/Steve Kahn
  8. "The Little Drummer Boy" – Cassandra Wilson
  9. "I'll Be Home for Christmas" – Herbie Hancock/Eliane Elias
  10. "O come, O come, Emmanuel" – John McLaughlin
  11. "Christmas Blues" – Holly Cole
  12. "Angels We Have Heard on High" – Steps Ahead
  13. "The Christmas Song" – Anita Baker
  14. "What Child Is This?" – Chick Corea
  15. "Winter Wonderland" – Dave Koz
  16. "Il Est Ne, Le Divin Enfant" – Dr. John

World Christmas

  1. "Angels We Have Heard on High/Les Anges Dans Nos Compagnes" – Papa Wemba/Mino Cinelu
  2. "We Three Kings" – Bob Berg/Jim Beard/Zakir Hussain/Mark Ledford
  3. "Go Tell It on the Mountain" – John Scofield/The Wild Magnolias
  4. "O Holy Night" (Zan Vevede) – Angélique Kidjo
  5. "Michaux Veillait/Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" – The Caribbean Jazz Project
  6. "Natal" – Cesária Évora
  7. "Ave Maria" – Deep Forest/Louka Kanza
  8. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas/Rumba Navidene" – Vocal Sampling
  9. "Boas Festas" – Gilberto Gil/Caetano Veloso/Eliane Elias
  10. "Cascabel/Jingle Bells" – Yomo Toro and the Boricua All Stars
  11. "The Twelve Days of Christmas" – Mino Cinelu/Dianne Reeves
  12. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" – Joshua Redman/Marcus Miller/Lalah Hathaway
  13. "Navidad" – Gipsy Kings

External links[edit]