Since 1987, the albums have become the most successful benefit recording series in music history, raising more than $100 million dollars to benefit Special Olympics, a program founded by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of President John F. Kennedy, to help disabled athletes.
“This album series has been a remarkable gift to our Special Olympics athletes,” said Timothy Shriver, son of Eunice and C.E.O. of Special Olympics, 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.”
For the first time in the history of the series, they’re releasing two albums at the same time—A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary and A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace On Earth—featuring Christina Aguilera, One Republic, Amy Grant, Dave Matthews and Train, who recorded their own version of “Joy To the World” specifically for the collection.
A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary is due out October 16, with Bringing Peace on Earth to be released later on.
Go here for more information on the albums and the foundation itself.
-Shannon Carlin, CBS Local