DARE Records has partnered with 95.7 Hallelujah FM (iHeart Media) to present its first-ever virtual special holiday event, the “Hallelujah Countdown to Christmas” series, which will be broadcast on the station’s streaming platforms, including WHAL-FM (Memphis, TN); WHLW-FM (Montgomery, AL); WMXC-FM (Mobile, AL); WERC-FM (Birmingham, AL); WSOK-FM (Savannah, GA); WTLM-FM (Auburn, AL); and WHLH-FM (Jackson, MS). The holiday special will air on December 11, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. CT, and will feature performances by DARE Records artists Keke Wyatt and Juan and Lisa Winans; and newcomers Shontelle Norman-Beatty and Travis Malloy. These one-of-a-kind, inspirational performances are also captured on the new EP recording DARE Records Presents Countdown To Christmas, executive produced by Michael-Anthony Taylor, for fans to enjoy again and again. The EP will be available on Friday, December 11, 2020, on digital and streaming platforms including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, Pandora, and Tidal, among others.
“We are delighted to partner with 95.7 Hallelujah FM family as we present ‘DARE Records Presents Countdown To Christmas,’” says Michael-Anthony Taylor, Chairman and CEO of DARE Records. “This project for many will be an introduction to a portion of our new fire-hot roster. Please brace yourself for four powerhouse artists coming to you soon.”
“This has been a challenging year for everyone, and we hope that we bring some holiday cheer to uplift the spirits of all who have faced many trials throughout this season,” says Tara Griggs-Magee, President of DARE Records. “We pray for peace and comfort as families gather during this holiday season, while they enjoy this beautiful rendering from the DARE Records family of artists, as we celebrate our Savior’s birth.”
DARE Records artists gathered in Atlanta at the Hard Rock Café to perform for an intimate, socially distanced audience. Husband-and-wife artists Juan and Lisa Winans, accompanied by piano, recreated their hit Gospel hit “It Belongs To Me” as well as the clever new holiday tune “Piece of My Soul.” Singer, songwriter, and producer Travis Malloy showcased his charm as well as his artistry on a unique arrangement of the beloved Donnie Hathaway classic “This Christmas,” backed by a band with beautiful choir harmonies. Shontelle Norman-Beatty, a former background singer and gospel group member, brought her skill as a soloist into the spotlight with her powerful performances: First, the holiday favorite, “The Christmas Song,” and then her rendition of the gospel standard “Jesus Will Fix It (Trouble In My Way).” She was followed by Keke Wyatt, who delivered a stunning performance of the holiday hymn “O Come All Ye Faithful,” which included heartfelt testimony, as well as an up-tempo take on the glorious “Silent Night.”
“As we close out 2020, our iHeart Hallelujah family of stations wanted to reach into the homes and hearts of thousands once again to bring joy and cheer with our virtual ‘Hallelujah Countdown To Christmas,’” says Tracy Bethea, iHeart Custom Music Director and Program Director and On-Air Personality of WHAL-FM. “To have DARE Records, led by the creative mind of Michael-Anthony Taylor, graciously bring their DARE family to join us is so exciting. They have such an amazing, diverse, and strong roster of gifted artists who will bless our listeners. I’m honored to have them join us.”
A native of Indianapolis who now lives in Atlanta, Keke Wyatt is widely known for her fiery yet fluid vocal style and her many acting and reality TV appearances. A songwriter as well as a singer, Wyatt gained attention for her remake duet of “My First Love” with Avant, which landed on the R&B top ten for several weeks in 2000. That success as a teen-led to a solo recording contract. She has released four official studio albums, including Soul Sista (2001), Who Knew? (2010), Unbelievable (2011), Rated Love (2016), and Keke Covers (2017), as well as an EP, titled KeKe (2014). She recorded other duets with Avant, including 2013’s hit version of “You and I.” Wyatt has also toured in the stage production Love Overboard and has been prominently featured on the reality series R&B Divas: Atlanta from 2012 to 2014, and on the sixth season of Marriage Bootcamp: Reality Stars. She later guest-starred on Bounce TV’s Saints & Sinners.
Juan Winans, a third-generation member of the award-winning Winans family, began his career as a member of Winans Phase 2, whose first recording, We Got Next, debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Gospel Album charts. Juan’s father, Carvin Winans, is a member of the five-time Grammy Award-winning group, The Winans. Juan also starred in the theatrical production of Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story written by his uncle and also starred his sister, Deborah Joy Winans of the hit drama series, Greenleaf. Lisa Winans, formerly Lisa Kimmey, is best known as a member and lead songwriter of the chart-topping Contemporary Christian music trio Out of Eden with her sisters. The group released seven career albums from 1994-2006 including the critically-acclaimed No Turning Back, This Is Your Life, and Hymns. During Lisa’s tenure, she made a special guest appearance on the ‘90s hit sitcom “Moesha;” hosted original programming for the Gospel Music Channel; and hosted the Verizon Wireless “How Sweet the Sound” choir competition along with Donald Lawrence. Married since 2007, Juan and Lisa have each written dozens of songs for other artists. Together they also made an appearance on the NBC reality competition show, “Songland.”
Shontelle Norman-Beatty has been making a joyful noise since she was a teenager. She sang with her siblings as The Normans, along with her brother, the late gospel singer Shea Norman, as well as with The Edwin Hawkins Singers; she also performs backup for multiple Grammy and Tony Award winner and NEA Jazz Master DeeDee Bridgewater. A native of Memphis, TN, Norman-Beatty now lives in Houston, TX, with her husband, Bishop Andre T. Beatty, and their blended family of five children, Shontelle Norman-Beatty is the First Lady of Kingdom Culture Center, where her husband is the pastor. A recent survivor of COVID-19, this consummate artist is ready to blaze a musical trail all her own.
Travis Malloy is an ASCAP Award-winning, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, and producer, who has shared the stage and collaborated with a wide range of musical legends, including Zaytoven, Coko (SWV), Jermaine Dupri, Case, Yolanda Adams, Kirk Franklin, Kool & The Gang, Fred Hammond and Faith Evans. Over the last decade, the proud Pittsburgh native has released three mixtapes of popular covers and three solo albums of original content that expanded his fan base. Malloy will make his DARE Records debut with a new single scheduled in 2021.
ABOUT DARE RECORDS
DARE Records in an independent, multi-genre label distributed by Warner Music Group. Founded in 2007 by Grammy Award-winning producer Michael-Anthony Taylor, DARE Records’ mission is to create and produce relevant, inspiring, and entertaining music for a global 21st-century audience that also expands to the recording, television, film, and broadcast industries. DARE Records is based in West Palm Beach, FL; with offices in Memphis, TN; New York, NY; and Los Angeles, CA.
ABOUT HARD ROCK® INTERNATIONAL
Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies with venues in 248 locations spanning 70 countries that include owned, licensed or managed Hotels, Casinos, Rock Shops®, Cafes and Hard Rock Live concert halls. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns and showcases the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia at more than 83,000 pieces. In 2020, Hard Rock International was honored as one of Forbes Magazine’s Best Employers for Diversity and Top Employers for Women. Hard Rock was recognized as one of the top performing hotel brands in J.D. Power’s 2020 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study for the second consecutive year. HRI destinations are located in the world’s greatest international gateway cities, including its two most successful flagship properties in Florida and home to the world’s first Guitar Hotel® in South Florida, where its headquarters are located. The brand is owned by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com or shop.hardrock.com.