Billboard Bits: Hill/McGraw, 'Santa, Baby!,' & More
News on Hill/McGraw, 'Santa, Baby!,' & MoreCountry singers Faith Hill and Tim McGraw are parents again. Hill, 34, gave birth last Thursday to Audrey Caroline McGraw, according to her spokesperson. The couple have two other daughters, 4-year-old Gracie and 3-year-old Maggie.
"To be blessed with a beautiful healthy baby girl -- what a way to kick off the holiday season for us," Hill said in a statement. McGraw, 34, said he "couldn't be happier. I'm still king of the house and my girls will always keep me in line," he said.
McGraw won five honors -- including country artist of the year and country album of the year for his "Greatest Hits" set (Curb) -- at the 2001 Billboard Music Awards, held last Tuesday in Las Vegas. His most recent studio album, "Set This Circus Down," is No. 7 on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart this week.
The voices of Patti LaBelle, Gregory Hines, Vanessa Williams, Eartha Kitt, and radio personality Tom Joyner will be heard in Fox's animated holiday special "Santa, Baby!," airing Dec. 17 at 8 p.m. ET. The special was fashioned around the song "Santa, Baby" that Kitt made popular in 1953. Also on that date, Soul Train, MCA Records, and Coca-Cola are staging the annual Soul Train Christmas Toyfest for Los Angeles-area children Dec. 17 at L.A.'s Sunset Room. The O'Jays are slated to perform
In other holiday-related news, Tyrese, Kenny Lattimore, and James Ingram (performing "The Three Kings") will perform at the fourth annual Sears Soul Train Christmas StarFest. The special is running in syndication through Dec. 17.
-- Gail Mitchell, L.A.
Wynonna and country newcomers Kree Harrison and the Mullins have joined the lineup for the 10th annual Country Steps In For First Steps, hosted by Joe Diffie and set for Feb. 10 at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. They join previously announced acts Tracy Lawrence, Ricky Skaggs, and Cletus T. Judd. The event raises funds for First Steps Inc., a Nashville-based organization that assists children with special needs, including Diffie's son Tyler, who has Downs Syndrome.
In other country news, Loretta Lynn has been chosen as one of the official torchbearers for the 2002 Winter Olympics, to be held in Salt Lake City. Lynn will receive the torch on Dec. 16 in Louisville and will carry it for about a half mile. "I'm so excited!" Lynn said in a statement. "This is one of the greatest things I've ever been asked to do!"
Lynn has completed work on her second autobiography, "Still Woman Enough," which is due for release in the spring. The artist will perform Dec. 29 at Ryman Auditorium, and already has a full slate of 2002 tour dates confirmed, beginning Feb. 16 in Lula, Miss.
-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
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