Photos by 9.14 Pictures
Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata team up off the field to bring a special holiday album to the Philly community.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been enjoying a pretty spectacular season so far, and they’ll be carrying that magic over into the holidays. Eagles players Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata took their talents from the field into the recording studio to produce a special holiday album entitled A Philly Special Christmas.
The idea for the album originated in the locker room, where Kelce, Johnson and Mailata can often be found singing together before and after games. Deciding to combine their loves of Philadelphia and music, they joined forces with Eagles’ director of player development Connor Barwin and Charlie Hall, drummer of the Grammy-winning rock band The War on Drugs, and went to work in the studio.
“Earlier this year, Kelce got it in his mind to make something special for Philly and has assembled a group of teammates (who can REALLY sing, like REALLY) to make a Christmas record,” says Hall, who produced the album. “This is going to be something very special that will bring lots of joy to many people, in Philly and beyond.”
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Proceeds from the album, which will be available for preorder on October 29, will be donated to the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center in Philadelphia. When the album releases on December 23, the Eagles players hope it spreads a true sense of brotherly love throughout the Philly area.
“What started out as a fun idea with the intention of raising money for families around the holidays turned into something much more,” Kelce says. “This project ended up becoming one of the most enjoyable and delightful experiences I’ve ever been a part of. But more than that, and I know it’s cheesy, this album really came to embody friendship, joy and giving.”
Eagles teammates Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, Brandon Graham, Hasson Reddick and Jordan Davis, along with announcer Merrill Reese, all make appearances on the album, which has been described by Hall as “absolutely full of joy.” The tracks also feature the sounds of Philly-based artists, including The Hooters, Marshall Allen of the Sun Ra Arkestra, Lady Alma and members of Dr. Dog.
“From our first meeting, you could feel the happiness and energy from everyone,” Kelce describes. “The amount of people who were willing to give their skill, time and spirit has been inspiring.”
“Discovering that Lane and Kelce have great voices behind their beards was my favorite part,” Mailata quips. “I hope we bring people together with this album the same way that it brought us closer together talking about our backgrounds, music and family holidays.”
Barwin adds, “It is a true snapshot of what makes the Philadelphia community – sports, music and beyond.”