Just in time for Christmas, Kelly Clarkson has something special under her tree. It’s not jewelry, it’s not shoes, it’s not a platinum record (she already has plenty of those). It’s a fax.
Last week the singer was brainstorming Christmas songs and collaborations she might do with the artists performing in her inaugural Miracle on Broadway concert (happening this Saturday, Dec. 20, at the Bridgestone Arena on Broadway in Nashville). “I told [husband Brandon Blackstock] one of my favorite Christmas songs of all time was ‘Hard Candy Christmas’ and he said, ‘Well, why don’t you call Dolly and see if she’ll come sing it with you?’ I was like ‘Oh sure, I’ll just randomly call the Queen of Country Music and see if she’ll come sing with me!'” Clarkson recalled with a grin at a Thursday press conference in Nashville.
In fact, she did email her manager and heard back from Parton herself. “Dolly doesn’t email. She faxes! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a fax before,” Clarkson laughed. “She couldn’t do it on such short notice, but I have a fax from Dolly Parton! I’m having it framed and it’s going on the wall. She said she’d love to come next year.”
This year Kix Brooks, Garth Brooks, Ronnie Dunn, Charles Esten, songwriter Shane McAnally, Martina McBride, Kacey Musgraves, Reba McEntire, Meghan Trainor, Hayley Williams of Paramore and Trisha Yearwood will sing solo and with Clarkson for the nearly sold-out concert that will make miracles happen for four Nashville non-profits. The Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, Second Harvest Food Bank, Monroe Harding Children’s Home and Thistle Farms will all receive proceeds from ticket sales, online donations and texted donations through Clarkson’s newly formed Fruition Fund.
Miracle on Broadway – named after the singer’s favorite holiday movie Miracle on 34th Street – was born on the interstate between Music Row and Clarkson’s home north of Nashville.
“We were working on the new album and I was driving home from the studio and stuck in that awful traffic,” Clarkson recalled. “I was thinking about how last Christmas I was pregnant and didn’t get to do a Christmas show, so I thought about doing a little show, then I thought no, a big show, and by the time I got home I was thinking a really big show at Bridgestone!”
She and Blackstock were having dinner that night with her manager/father-in-law Narvel Blackstock and she brought up the idea of making it a fundraiser. “He said, ‘Oh that’s a great idea for next year.’ And I said, ‘No, no, this year. This Christmas.’ That was 84 days ago.”
Her first ask was her mother-in-law, Reba McEntire. “I thought if she said yes, other people would say yes,” she admitted. “And I figured she would say yes because otherwise it would be very awkward at Christmas dinner.”
McEntire did say yes, and so did the 11 others Clarkson asked. There will be one other very special guest at Miracle on Broadway – her daughter, 6-month-old River Rose. “This will be her first fundraiser!” Clarkson said, getting emotional as she admitted that since becoming a mother, “I’m hormonal to the extreme. I cry at everything.”
Though River will be too young to remember this one, Clarkson said she and Blackstock want to raise their children to give back to their community. Sitting with the leaders of all four non-profits at her management office on Music Row, she said, “I have visited each of these organizations, and come to know the people who run them and volunteer and the people they serve. I am so grateful and proud to call Nashville home.”
Video clips and photos of Clarkson visiting the organizations can be found on her Facebook page and her Instagram feed. Fans can make instant $10 donations to the Fruition Fund by texting MIRACLE to 41010.