As part of SiriusXM’s 12 Days of Country Christmas, country music star Jennifer Nettles stopped by the SiriusXM studios and gave us a special performance of tracks from her new Christmas album and an interview about her love for the holidays. Tune in to Country Christmas (Ch. 58) on Friday, Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. ET to hear the full interview with host Joey Black.
Nettles released her Christmas album To Celebrate Christmas on Oct. 28, her first Christmas-themed album as a solo artist. Her performance included renditions of Celebrate Me Home, Circle Of Love, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, This Angel and O Holy Night. Nettles said she couldn’t single out a favorite holiday song because she liked so many of them, but O Holy Night was particularly meaningful to her.
“I don’t remember favorite Christmas songs growing up, I like them all,” she said. “I think for me, my favorite Christmas song in terms of traditional [and] more spiritual, is O Holy Night.”
Nettles has been the longtime host of CMA’s Country Christmas on ABC with this year marking her seventh straight appearance leading the event. Those experiences are what inspired her to do a Christmas album.
“After hosting CMA Country Christmas for seven years, I’ve had the opportunity on that show to really audition so many songs and sing so many songs,” she said. “When I say audition them, I mean audition them for myself in terms of what do I like the most and what do I like singing the most. So most or all of these songs that are on that record, I have performed them on that show in one way or another.”
Nettles played Dolly Parton’s mother Avie Lee Parton in the made-for-TV film Coat of Many Colors in 2015. After a great public reception, Nettles reprises her role in this year’s sequel and it led to her recording Circle Of Love.
“In the movie, my character has to sing part of this song that Dolly Parton wrote called Circle Of Love, and when I had to learn it for the movie I just fell in love with it,” she said. “I knew at the time I was gonna be doing a Christmas record, and I asked her, ‘Hey, would you mind if I recorded this and put it on my Christmas record.’ She hadn’t recorded it before, and it would be such an honor. She was so gracious and said yes.”
Nettles also recalled a funny run-in she had with Parton while both of them were at CMA Fest.
“She was performing, and we were playing after her, so I was side-stage just watching her play. She gets done and she’s walking off stage, she’s got her microphone, and she’s looking at me, and I’m looking at her,” Nettles recalled. “She’s walking toward me, and I’m like, ‘This is about to happen, this is about to happen! Dolly Parton knows me, she’s about to say something!’ She just looks at me, and I said, ‘Hey,’ and she said, ‘Hey there, can you do something with this,’ and handed me the microphone. I don’t know if she thought I was a stagehand or what, but I’d like to think that in that moment Dolly Parton passed me the mic. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
Nettles’ performance and interview will replay on 12/9 at 9 p.m. ET, 12/10 at 1 p.m. ET, 12/11 at 8 a.m. ET, 12/20 at 3 p.m. ET and 12/25 at 8 p.m. ET.
Take a look at the full Country Christmas performance schedule below, and tune in each day at 6 pm ET (and again at 9 pm ET) on Ch. 58 with streaming on Ch. 784!
Monday, Dec. 5: Collin Raye
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Exile
Wednesday, Dec. 7: Mark Wills
Thursday, Dec. 8: Johnny Lee
Friday, Dec. 9: Jennifer Nettles
Saturday, Dec. 10: John Michael Montgomery
Sunday, Dec. 11: T Graham Brown
Monday, Dec. 12: Kacey Musgraves
Tuesday, Dec. 13: Bellamy Brothers
Wednesday, Dec. 14: TG Sheppard
Thursday, Dec. 15: Tanya Tucker
Friday, Dec. 16: Loretta Lynn
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