Belmont University alumnus and multi-platinum recording artist Josh Turner released his first Christmas record, King Size Manger, today as his alma mater announces he will host and be the featured guest artist for the 2021 “Christmas at Belmont” performance, which will be filmed for national broadcast. Produced by Nashville Public Television (NPT), “Christmas at Belmont” will be taped live for the first time in the newly opened Fisher Center for the Performing Arts on the University’s campus. The invitation-only concert performance features nearly 650 student musicians and School of Music faculty and will be broadcast nationally for the 19th consecutive year on PBS. “Christmas at Belmont” is underwritten in part by presenting sponsor Tyson Foods.
“Christmas at Belmont” premieres Monday, Dec. 20, at 8 p.m. on NPT and PBS stations across the country, with encore broadcasts on NPT Christmas night (Saturday, Dec. 25) at 9:30 p.m. Check local listings for additional broadcast times. This year’s performance of “Christmas at Belmont” promises an array of traditional carols, classical masterworks and seasonal favorites in addition to selections from Turner’s new Christmas album.
Belmont President Dr. Greg Jones said, “We are delighted to welcome Josh Turner and his wife Jennifer, both Belmont alumni, back to our campus for this extraordinary concert event. The hope of Christmas is perfectly reflected in so many songs of the season, and I look forward with great anticipation to showcasing the talents of Josh and our students in front of a national television audience. We are honored to continue our nearly two decade partnership with Nashville Public Television to produce this timeless holiday broadcast.”
Turner, who previously hosted “Christmas at Belmont” more than 15 years ago in 2005, added, “We have a couple of Belmont grads in our household. I met my wife and wrote ‘Long Black Train’ while attending Belmont. We are looking forward to being back on campus and performing for the first time in the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. This is my second time hosting ‘Christmas at Belmont,’ and I was honored when they asked me back. I’m excited to share a few songs from my new Christmas album and see all the talented students playing this year.”
With his deep bass voice, Turner has sold more than six million records, reached 3.2 billion global streams, and has become a favorite and unforgettable hitmaker on country radio. With timeless songs like “Long Black Train” and “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” Turner’s five No. 1 singles include “Your Man,” of which the official music video recently surpassed 100 million views. This comes on the heels of the release of Your Man (Deluxe Edition), celebrating 15 years of Turner’s iconic double Platinum-selling album, as well as the release of the mini documentary “Josh Turner Your Man 15th Anniversary” (Mini Doc). The Double-Platinum-selling “Would You Go With Me,” featured on Your Man Deluxe Edition, recently experienced a viral surge across TikTok leading to a jump in streaming which landed the classic country tune on Spotify’s US Viral 50 along with Spotify Viral charts in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Posting more than 3.7M weekly streams, “Would You Go With Me” moved inside the Top 35 on the Country streaming chart and ranked HOT on Amazon Music’s Voice Index. A native of South Carolina, Turner has received six Inspirational Country Music Awards, and has been nominated for two GRAMMY Awards, five CMA Awards, two ACM Awards, one CMT Award, and seven ACA Awards. To support music and arts education, he created The Josh Turner Scholarship Fund to help students pursue their studies in these fields. Turner and his wife Jennifer, whom he met as a student at Nashville’s Belmont University, have four sons. For more information, please visit www.joshturner.com.
King Size Manger, his debut Christmas record, releases today through MCA Nashville. In support of the album, Turner will embark on his first-ever Christmas tour, “Holiday & The Hits,” an 18-city run that will wrap in Knoxville, Tennessee on December 21. The record, produced by Kenny Greenberg, includes Christmas classics as well as four originals, three of which were written by Turner, who also arranged five of the 11 tracks on the project.
NPT President/CEO Becky Magura said, “NPT is thrilled to once again be collaborating with Belmont University to bring ‘Christmas at Belmont’ to a national audience on PBS. The show is one of Nashville’s most treasured holiday traditions, and we’re so pleased that viewers across the entire nation will be able to see this wonderful performance. We’re especially excited this year since the show will take place in Belmont’s magnificent new Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, which is a truly spectacular new addition to the campus and our city, that rivals any performance venue anywhere.”
“Christmas at Belmont” will be performed and filmed for the first time in Belmont University’s new Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, marking the first large-scale concert in the facility, which was dedicated in September. Fashioned after traditional performance venues with classical design, the Fisher Center is a state-of-the-art facility adding another diamond to Music City’s ring of world-class venues. The advanced technology, production and acoustic capabilities within the complex supports diverse audiences with major concerts, plays, operas, dance, musical theatre and other performances while also supplying Belmont’s nationally renowned arts students with a unique learning and performing environment.
“Producing this year’s edition of ‘Christmas at Belmont’ in the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts launches the opening season of this new venue with great anticipation and excitement. The Fisher Center provides a beautiful and unique creative performance space to augment this long-standing Christmas tradition,” said Dr. Stephen Eaves, dean of Belmont’s College of Music & Performing Arts. “Our excellent School of Music faculty and students along with alumnus and artist, Josh Turner, will inspire audiences to pause and celebrate the true meaning of this Christmas season.”