October 14, 2008

Aretha Franklin’s First Ever Christmas Album — ‘This Christmas Aretha’ On Sale Today

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The one and only "Queen of Soul" has at last brought her distinctive and soulful sound to a Christmas album titled "This Christmas Aretha," which goes on sale today exclusively at Borders, Waldenbooks and Borders.com.

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Aretha Franklin's multitude of loyal listeners will be thrilled that the wait for such a momentous project is over and has been truly worthwhile. Released through DMI Music, "This Christmas Aretha," shimmers and sparkles as the acclaimed artist puts her definitive stamp on a mix of 11 traditional and contemporary classics associated with the holiday season. Aretha Franklin herself produced three tracks and arranged and added her inimitable touch as a pianist to two tracks ("Silent Night" and "14 Angels"). Award-winning producer Tena Clark (whose production credits include Natalie Cole, Patti LaBelle, Dionne Warwick, Chaka Khan and a multitude of other major artists) masterminded seven cuts.

The superb musical cast on the album includes 'A' list Los Angeles session players such as drummer Ricky Lawson, bassist Nathan East, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr., percussionist Luis Conte; rhythm arrangers Tim Heintz and James 'Big Jim' Wright (of Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis fame) and string arranger Bill Meyers; The Fire Choir (directed by Carmen Twillie) as well as Fonzi Thornton, Lisa Fischer, Brenda White and Tawatha Agee (all past background vocalists with Luther Vandross); in addition to Ms. Franklin's musical director H.B. Barnum.

"This Christmas Aretha" is not only an outstanding record, but is also a momentous event because it represents a Franklin family affair: Ms. Franklin's sons -- singer Eddie and guitarist Teddy -- contribute on the Donny Hathaway chestnut, "This Christmas" and the rousing gospel classic, "The Lord Will Make A Way," which features top-flight Detroit musicians and about which Aretha Franklin herself simply says, "It's one of those old time, good time recordings. It's so smashing, right there on the front burner. Check out that groove!"

Tracks include: "Angels We Have Heard on High,""This Christmas,""My Grown-Up Christmas List,""The Lord Will Make A Way,""Silent Night,""Ave Maria,""Christmas Ain't Christmas (Without The One You Love),""14 Angels,""One Night With The King,""Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," and "'Twas The Night Before Christmas."

A number of the songs on "This Christmas Aretha" will be as familiar to music buyers as they are to the artist herself. "I heard many of them growing up and I am delighted to be recording them," she said. No doubt, this year will be particularly special for Ms. Franklin, her family, friends and her many fans worldwide with the DMI release of "This Christmas Aretha," the latest accomplishment for an artist whose impact and influence on generations is immeasurable.

About Aretha Franklin

Known around the world by her first name, Aretha Franklin has achieved global recognition on an unprecedented scale. She is one of the most influential and important voices in the history of pop music. Her ever- distinctive, soulful, to-the-bone vocal style has graced music charts for over four decades and her live performances have touched the hearts of tens of millions since she began her musical journey in Detroit as a singing child prodigy. Aretha Franklin has earned countless international and national awards as well as accolades and global recognition on an unprecedented scale including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Kennedy Center Honor, the American National Medal of the Arts Award, 18 GRAMMY(R) Awards including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for eight consecutive years, a GRAMMY Legend Award, a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award, and five American Music Awards. In 1987, she was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 1979, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Earlier this year, she was named 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year by the Recording Academy and she was presented with the prestigious NAACP Vanguard Award.

About DMI Records

Aretha Franklin joins a growing list of major artists who are collaborating with DMI for upcoming projects. Founded by Tena Clark, one of the first female record producers in the music industry, DMI is home to a talented roster of music and marketing executives. Clark and Franklin are producing "This Christmas Aretha" together. DMI Records is a division of the leading music and branding agency DMI Music & Media Solutions.

About Borders Group, Inc.

Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., Borders Group, Inc. , is a leading retailer of books, music and movies with more than 28,000 employees. Through its subsidiaries, the company operates more than 1,100 stores worldwide primarily under the Borders(R) and Waldenbooks(R) brand names and recently launched Borders.com for online shopping. For more information, visit http://www.borders.com/aboutus .

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CONTACT: Anne Roman of Borders, +1-734-477-1392; or Gwendolyn Quinn, onbehalf of Ms. Franklin, +1-212-765-7910; or Maureen O'Connor, for DMI Records,+1-310-854-8116

Web site: http://www.borders.com/http://www.borders.com/aboutus

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