Shy Carter Adds Funky Spin to Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas”

Hit songwriter Shy Carter is adding his voice to a classic song this holiday season with a cover of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.” Carter combines his vocals with those of the late soul singer on a reimagined version of “This Christmas.”

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The moment you press play, an exuberant melody of violins, drums, and bells, greets the listeners’ ears. Carter’s sweet voice takes on the first verse before he’s joined by Hathaway in the second verse. They trade harmonies in the chorus as they vibrantly sing the familiar lyrics: This Christmas, the fireside is blazing bright / We’re caroling through the night / And this Christmas / Will be a very special Christmas / For me. A beautiful orchestra meets the sound of funk music to make for an eclectic rendition of the beloved tune.

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“I chose ‘This Christmas’ because it’s my favorite holiday song and it’s one of the most classic, legendary, and soulful jams!” Carter shares in a press release, adding that he wanted to incorporate a “whole lotta energy and a super funky vibe.” Carter also says he got to meet Aundre, a friend of Hathaway’s, who shared stories of their friendship. Hathaway passed away in 1979 at the age of 33.

“Donny Hathaway means so much to me because his voice and talent are absolutely one of a kind, and his songs have helped me through life as they reach right down and ignite something deep in my spirit,” Carter continues. “I’m beyond grateful that I am able to release this song singing alongside one of the greatest voices of all time. I’m thankful to everyone who made it possible, and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.”

“This Christmas” was co-written by Hathaway and Nadine Theresa McKinnon and released by Hathaway in 1970. The song has become a holiday standard, with ASCAP citing it in 2014 as the 30th most-performed Christmas song of the past 100 years. The Temptations, Gladys Knight & the Pips, and Christina Aguilera are among the many artists who’ve covered it over the years.

Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Stagecoach

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