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Celebrate the Holidays With 2020’s Country Christmas Releases

Whose Christmas music are you most excited to hear?!

Written by Jeremy Chua
Celebrate the Holidays With 2020’s Country Christmas Releases
Carrie Underwood; Photo credit: Joseph Llanes; Maddie & Tae; Cover art courtesy of UMG Nashville; Dolly Parton; Photo Credit: Stacie Huckeba, Cover art courtesy of Butterfly Records, LLC

2020 has been a roller-coaster ride for many, with some having particularly low moments than the rest. But, one thing that Sounds Like Nashville is grateful for is country artists’ unceasing commitment to recording and releasing new music, and in particular— Christmas music! 

Check out this rolling list of country Christmas albums and EPs to be released this year. From Dolly Parton, to Carrie Underwood, to Maddie & Tae and more. Let the countdown to carolling, merry eating, the smell of fresh Christmas trees and unwrapping presents with family… begin!

Carrie Underwood
Carrie Underwood; Photo credit: Joseph Llanes

Carrie Underwood: My Gift
Release Date: September 26, 2020

Longtime fans  of Carrie Underwood have been wishing year after year for the powerhouse vocalist to release her own Christmas album. Well, this year is the year their wish comes true! In fact, on an Instagram Live Q&A on the project’s release day, Underwood admitted to having the idea of making a Christmas record for years. The 11-track project includes new originals like her John Legend duet “Hallelujah,” as well as  holiday classics such as “O Holy Night,” “Silent Night” and the very, very adorable “Little Drummer Boy” featuring Underwood’s five-year-old son, Isaiah Fisher. 

Terri Clark
Terri Clark; Cover art courtesy of Mercury Nashville

Terri Clark: It’s Christmas…Cheers!
Release Date: September 26, 2020

The 90’s country icon is back with a holly jolly good time on her new Christmas album, It’s Christmas…Cheers! On the project, Clark brings on some of country music’s beloved singers, such as Patty Loveless, Dierks Bentley, The Oak Ridge Boys and more. “I resisted making and releasing a Christmas album for many years even though I’m a big Christmas person and love the music of the season,” Clark said on Instagram. “It’s been done by the best in so many amazing ways and I wanted to wait until I felt I could make it special, be excited about it, and do it justice in my own way.”

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton; Photo Credit: Stacie Huckeba, Cover art courtesy of Butterfly Records, LLC

Dolly Parton: A Holly Dolly Christmas
Release Date: October 2, 2020

While 2020 has been a relatively brutal year for most, Parton comes in like a lady-knight in shining armor to save us from a miserable holiday season with a star-studded Christmas album. Superstar features on the record include her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Michael Bublé, Willie Nelson and more. “One of my favorite songs ever is a traditional song now that Willie Nelson wrote called ‘Pretty Paper.’ I did it the old-timey way and asked him to come be part of it,” Parton told Billboard. Dolly Parton and Christmas? What more could one ask for! 

Runaway June; Photo & Design Credit: Ford Fairchild

Runaway June: When I Think About Christmas (EP)
Release Date: October 16, 2020

Country’s rising superstar trio Runaway June are beloved by fans for their signature velvety harmonies and sass delivered with a twang. Well, Naomi Cooke, Jennifer Wayne and Natalie Stovall are putting their festive cowboy hats to giddy up this holiday season. When I Think About Christmas is produced by legendary producer Ron Fair (Christina Aguilera, Black Eyed Peas, Gwen Stefani, Pussycat Dolls) and will feature three holiday classics and two originals. Wayne has promised the project will boast “beautiful mountain Appalachian sounds” with fiddle and more. Time to saddle up!

Maddie & Tae; Cover art courtesy of UMG Nashville

Maddie & Tae: We Need Christmas (EP)
Release Date: October 23, 2020

The “Die From A Broken Heart” duo released their first Christmas song last year and fans were smitten by their tender, emotionally-rich harmonies. And this year, they’re back with their festive covers of holiday staples like “Holly Jolly Christmas” and two originals, including an aptly titled “Merry Married Christmas,” which the pair penned with Tae’s husband, Josh Kerr. “Making We Need Christmas was such a bright spot for us this year and we hope this project brings a little joy and peace to our fans during this difficult year,” the duo said. 

Larry Stewart; Cover art courtesy of Absolute Publicity, Inc.

Larry Stewart (of Restless Heart): Everyday Is Christmas
Release Date: October 23, 2020

Restless Heart frontman Larry Stewart is joining the slew of country acts in spreading some holiday cheer this October with a new album. The ten-track record includes the  holiday favorites “What Child Is This,” “This Christmas,” Celine Dion’s “Don’t Save It All For Christmas,” Michael Buble’s “Cold December Night,” as well as Mariah Carey’s signature “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” featuring country icon Pam Tillis. “The magic of these holiday love songs, the spirit of the music production along with performing a duet with the incredible voice of Pam Tillis, I can’t imagine capturing a more perfect holiday album from my heart, for the fans, and for these times than we did on my new Christmas album, Everyday Is Christmas,” shares Stewart.

Mitchell Tenpenny; Cover art courtesy of Sony Music Nashville

Mitchell Tenpenny: Neon Christmas (EP)
Release Date: October 23, 2020

“Drunk Me” singer Mitchell Tenpenny is celebrating the holidays earlier this year with his first ever collection of Christmas songs called Neon Christmas. The seven-track EP features brand-new songs “Snow Angels” and the title track, as well as holidays mainstays such as “Joy to the World,” “O Holy Night” and Tenpenny’s personal favorite, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” “That’s always been one of my favorite songs,” the singer says of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” “It just makes me feel like sitting in front of a fire or watching an old Christmas movie at my family’s house.”

for KING & COUNTRY; Cover art courtesy of Curb/Word Entertainment

for KING & COUNTRY: A Drummer Boy Christmas
Release Date: October 30, 2020

Last year, the Aussie-born Christian-pop duo wowed viewers with their epic heart-racing performance of “Little Drummer Boy” on CMA Country Christmas. This year, brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone are ringing in the festive season with their album, aptly titled A Drummer Boy Christmas. The project will include classics like “Silent Night” and “O Come All Ye Faithful” featuring NEEDTOBREATHE, as well as two originals: “The Carol Of Joseph (I Believe In You)” and “Heavenly Hosts.” Rising country star Gabby Barrett is also featured on the resounding “Go Tell It On The Mountain.” On releasing a Christmas album this year, Joel said, “We felt it was the imperfectly perfect time for us to do our small part in telling the story of the redemption that Christmas offers to all of us.”

Home Free; Photo credit: Ford Fairchild

Home Free: Warmest Winter
Release Date: November 6, 2020

Country vocal group Home Free are set to release their 12-track Christmas album titled Warmest Winter this November. The quintet’s latest holiday effort will include old and new festive favorites as well as a collaboration with Alabama on their signature song, “Christmas in Dixie.” “Alabama is my all-time favorite country group,” tenor Austin Brown shared in a press statement. “I learned to sing harmony by listening to ‘Mountain Music’ and ‘I’m in a Hurry.’ So, needless to say, this is definitely a major highlight, if not the pinnacle of my career so far.”

Christmas Singles:

September 18
Laine Hardy – Please Come Home For Christmas

October 9
Ana Cristina CashMele Kalikimaka

October 16
Ronnie MilsapMerry, Merry Christmas Baby
Joey HendricksHappy Xmas (War Is Over)

October 23
Gabby BarrettThe First Noel
Hootie & the Blowfish (feat. Abigail Hodges) – “Won’t Be Home For Christmas”

October 26
Ingrid AndressChristmas Always Finds Me

October 28
Kelly Clarkson, Brett Eldredge – Under The Mistletoe

This list will be updated as more country Christmas releases are announced. Stay tuned!