Rob Thomas Recruits Brad Paisley and Bebe Winans for New Christmas Album

Insisting he has always wanted to release a holiday effort, the Matchbox Twenty frontman recalls how Hallmark Channel contributed in helping him get into the spirit when recording in summer.

AceShowbiz - "Smooth" singer Rob Thomas has recruited Brad Paisley and gospel great Bebe Winans for a new Christmas album.

The Matchbox 20 frontman has recorded an album of festive originals and covers of songs by Ray Charles and Bryan Adams with his celebrity pals, insisting he has always wanted to release a holiday hit.

"It's something I've always kind of wanted to do," he tells Rolling Stone. "But I didn't think anybody needs to hear me sing 'Jingle Bells'. You know, nobody needs to hear anybody honestly sing 'Jingle Bells' again. But I think I managed to pick some really cool covers, so I think it's got its own original sound."

The untitled album was recorded this summer at Thomas' home studio in New York City - during a heatwave - and Rob reveals he got in the Christmas spirit by watching TV movies.

"The Hallmark Channel has this thing called Christmas in July, so in the studio I have this big-screen TV with no sound on and Christmas lights everywhere," he laughs. "My whole bubble of people would know what I was doing. Whenever I was talking to someone on the phone, before they got off they'd say, 'Merry Christmas, Rob.' "

Speaking about his collaboration with Paisley, Thomas recalled their initial conversation. "He's giant country star, and I said to him, 'Is this going to be okay with the label?' Because I just called him personally to do it," he spilled. "And he was like, 'Yeah, f** it - it'll be great.' So both labels were like, yeah, sounds like a win-win situation."

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