DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Capitalizing on his appearance in Whitney Houston’s final film “Sparkle,” two-time Grammy-nominated KEM has completed his first holiday album, “What Christmas Means.”

It’s set for an Oct. 16 release on the Motown Records label. The album is highlighted by a duet with Verve recording artist, Ledisi, on “Be Mine For Christmas,” co-written by KEM and new collaborator Melanie Rutherford. The album also includes orchestra arrangements by Motown legend, Paul Reiser.

“What Christmas Means” is the fourth Motown release by lifelong Detroiter, KEM, who produced his album at state-of-the-art Studio A Recording in Dearborn Heights. The 10-song album weaves new original Christmas compositions co-written by KEM and Melanie Rutherford, with traditional holiday classics.

“Writing and recording a Christmas album is something that I’ve wanted to do for some time,” KEM said in a press release. “Half of the album consists of covers of my favorite holiday songs, and half are original compositions. I’d classify it as a classic Christmas album with a romantic spin, that’s thoughtful, warm and sensuous. My hope is that people will be playing it for years to come.”

It’s tradition, with a sequence of songs that includes “Glorify The King,” “What Christmas Means,” “A Christmas Song For You,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” “Christmas Time Is Here,” “The Christmas Song,” “Be Mine For Christmas (featuring Ledisi),” “Merry Christmas Baby,” “We Three Kings,” and “Doo Wop Christmas (That’s What Christmas Is All About).”

KEM played his most recent sold-out headlining “Intimacy Tour of the U. S.” with special guests Musiq Soulchild and Ledisi. Earlier this year, he made his second trip to South Africa, his biggest international territory outside the U.S., for a pair of sold-out concerts at Standard Bank Arena in Johannesburg.

While visiting, he was presented with gold record plaques by Universal Music South Africa for his first two Motown albums, “KEMISTRY” (released 2002) and “ALBUM II” (2005).


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