Francesca Battistelli Ushers In The Christmas Season Early With New Album “Christmas”

2011 Dove Awards’ “Artist of the Year,” Francesca Battistelli, is back with the release of her Christmas album, Christmas, out today on Fervent Records. Produced by Dove Award winner Ian Eskelin, this 11 track album beautifully blends Christmas classics along with newly-penned tunes. In addition, Battistelli is the only artist featured on both versions of A Very Special Christmas, Word Record’s A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace on Earth and A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary benefiting the Special Olympics, also in stores today.

If early reviews of Christmas are on the mark, Battistelli has a surefire hit on her hands. New Release Tuesday’s Sarah Freak gives the album five out of five stars and raves, “I knew if she were to ever attempt a project of the [Christmas] sort, she’d knock it out of the park, and she’s done exactly that with Christmas. Fun, beautiful, and at times deeply moving, this is without a doubt one of the must-own Christmas projects of 2012.”

Kim Jones from About.com observes, “For her first Christmas outing, Francesca Battistelli covered some of the classics and co- wrote songs that could easily become classics.”

BREATHEcast reviewer Neshell Hogan adds, “Christmas is the perfect mixture of traditional Christmas music that has a fresh, modern perspective, originality and amazing vocals …This album caters to listeners young and old and in between which is what takes a good holiday album to becoming a great one.”

Along with the standard edition, there are four different versions of Christmas available for purchase including Family Christian, Lifeway, Wal-Mart and iTunes editions. The standard edition features the 11 tracks listed below. The Family Christian edition includes a bonus song (“Be Born In Me” from “The Story”) and FanZine (a 60-page magazine with photos, recipes, editorial and more). It can be purchased at Family Christian stores and online at www.familychristian.com. The Lifeway edition includes a bonus song, “Middle of a Miracle,” and can be purchased at Lifeway stores and online at www.lifeway.com. The Wal-Mart edition can be purchased in stores and online at www.walmart.com. It includes the standard edition of the CD with a bonus hits disc comprised of Battistelli’s “Free To Be Me,” “Beautiful, Beautiful,” “This Is The Stuff” and “Angel By Your Side.” The iTunes edition includes the standard edition of Christmas in addition to two bonus songs, “December 25” and “Heaven Everywhere” (acoustic version).

On A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary, Battistelli’s new track, “December 25,” is featured along with Christmas songs from superstars such as Christina Aguilera, Michael Bublé, Dave Matthews, Jason Mraz, One Republic and Train. On Word Record’s release, A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace on Earth, her version of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is featured along with songs from Christian artists: Meredith Andrews, Chris August, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Group 1 Crew, for KING & COUNTRY, Dara Maclean, Point of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets. The A Very Special Christmas album series is the single most successful benefit recording series in musical history generating more than $100 million in royalties to aid Special Olympics.

Since her debut in 2008, Francesca Battistelli has earned a Grammy nomination (Best Gospel Performance), six Dove Awards including 2011 “Artist of the Year” and 18 Dove Award nominations. Both her debut album, My Paper Heart (which was certified gold this past summer), and her 2011 sophomore release, Hundred More Years, took the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Christian Album chart. With over 700,000 in album sales to date, she is the best-selling new artist in the genre in the past eight years. Her music has also been featured on TLC’s Jon & Kate Plus 8, ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, and several other television and movie outlets.

For more information on Francesca Battistelli, please visit www.francescamusic.com.

You can purchase Christmas in iTunes: http://smarturl.it/francescachristmas

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