Every once in awhile, you have the opportunity to witness magic. This was the case Saturday night for the thousands of people in attendance at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena for Kelly Clarkson‘s sold-out Miracle on Broadway benefit concert. In addition to Clarkson, a lineup of music’s biggest names took the stage, ranging from newcomers like Kacey Musgraves, songwriters like Shane McAnally, TV stars like Nashville‘s Charles Esten and icons like Reba, Martina, Trisha and Garth (no last names needed).
The show, which raised over $400,000 for Nashville charities, was almost magically put together in 86 days at the urging of Clarkson. While many of these type of mega-artist-concerts usually focus on the individual artists, the Clarkson-led night was all about the charities and spreading Christmas spirit. As Buddy the Elf says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” And sing loud they did.
During the 2+ hour show, Clarkson shined as emcee, comedian, vocalist extraordinaire and the humble recipient of the graces of a night much bigger than herself. While clearly one of the best vocalists of our generation, she defined versatile, tapping into jazz, pop, gospel, country, standards and a whole lot of soul as she roared through the songs from her much-acclaimed Christmas album, Wrapped In Red, as well as other holidays classics. Highlights were her take on Dolly Parton‘s “Hard Candy Christmas,” the spine-tingling acapella take on “Oh Holy Night,” and an unplugged Bluebird-esque take on her Christmas single “Wrapped in Red” with the song’s writers. Also impressive was a Gospel-infused “Silver Bells” that blew the roof off of Bridgestone, allowing Clarkson to trade riffs with three equally impressive backup singers.
The night was also full of collaborations, each one more spectacular that the next, capped off by Reba, Trisha and Kelly performing an ethereal rendition of “Silent Night.” Other high points included Charles Esten on “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” Martina McBride on “The Christmas Song,” and Garth Brooks simply walking on stage and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas before launching into an endlessly understated and tasteful acoustic version of “Little Drummer Boy.”
Also in attendance? Clarkson’s 6 month old baby girl, River Rose, who joined mom on stage briefly to show off her adorable red dress. Clarkson also invited fans on stage for a sing off of “Jingle Bell Rock,” proving that somewhere in LA, there’s a chair on The Voice just waiting for her.
While everyone knew Kelly Clarkson could sing her butt off, her heart was on full display last night, tearing up as she talked about the importance of giving back. Clarkson tearily announced that over $200,000 had been raised for charity, but the tears only intensified as Trisha Yearwood snuck back on stage to tell Clarkson that she and Brooks would be matching the donation, bringing the total to over $400,000. The charities benefited by Miracle on Broadway were Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Monroe Harding Children’s Home, Second Harvest Food Bank and Thistle Farms. Clarkson and co. hope to make the event an annual one (Reba already agreed to return on-stage), and after the magic that occurred last night, I suspect they’ll have no trouble doing so. Somehow a little pop singer from a TV show managed to pull together one of the biggest and best country music events that Nashville has ever seen, putting money into the hands of deserving charities and smiles on many faces. Miracle on Broadway, indeed.
This is how River and I feel about our first annual Miracle On Broadway show! It was beyond incredible thanks to all of you! More pics to come! A photo posted by Kelly Clarkson (@kellyclarkson) on