Reba McEntire's new "Love Revival" will be sold exclusively at Hallmark Gold Crown stores in January and February, making her the latest in a string of top artists to release holiday-related albums through the retailer, Billboard has learned. Josh Groban, Michael Bublé and Martina McBride have put out Valentine's Day sets, while George Strait, Michael McDonald and James Taylor have done Christmas releases. Barry Manilow's "In the Swing of Christmas" is currently available at the independently owned stores.

Ann Herrick, VP of strategic music alliances for Kansas City, Mo.-based Hallmark, says that artists targeted for the projects are carefully chosen. "We do pretty extensive research to determine who our artists are," she says, noting that the company surveys its core consumers and those who it would like to attract into its stores. McEntire, Herrick says, "actually came out on the top of our list."

And while McEntire agreed to participate, there was a hitch...

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