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Josh Turner on faith, holiday traditions and his Christmas special ‘King Size Manger’

Country music artist Josh Turner is getting into the holiday spirit.

Turner, 44, spoke with Fox News Digital about how his faith in Christianity has been prevalent throughout his music career and will be seen in his Christmas special, “King Size Manger,” debuting on Friday. The “King Size Manger” special, which will feature Turner performing iconic holiday classics and originals, is also the name of his latest album. 

Turner – who is a married father-of-four – shared that he has was raised in faith and practiced Christianity his whole life. He noted that he always wanted to do a gospel record, and finally got the chance in 2018.

Country music is where my heart is, has always been, [but] I’ve always wanted to do a gospel record,” he shared. “My fans have always kind of been begging me for one, for many years and never really had the opportunity up until, you know, 2018 came around.” 

JOSH TURNER ON FAITH-BASED ALBUM: IT’S A ‘GOD-ORDAINED BLESSING’

Turner released his faith-based album, “I Serve a Savior,” in 2018. Since then, the country music artist has ventured into the country-Christmas sector.

“It’s been a little different, but it’s also been the same,” Turner began. “I had no idea [what] the Christmas record was going to sound like for me.”

Turner shared that when getting inspiration for a holiday album, he turned to Randy Travis’ “An Old Time Christmas.”

“I just kind of always used that as a template for what a Christmas album, a country Christmas album should be,” he explained.

Turner had to channel his own flavor on a country Christmas album. To do so, he combined some holiday classics with a few of his own original songs.

“In order for me to do that, I wanted to basically put together a collection of songs that, you know, it’s a good mixture of the standards, the classics that we all know and love, some original songs and even some outside original songs,” Turner said.

Turner noted that he did not want his country album to come off as a Christmas jazz record. “I just wanted to really make sure that this was in line with, you know, what my fans have come to expect from me musically. But at the same time, doing things that are new and fresh,” he explained.

Country musician Pat McLaughlin and Rhonda Vincent will join Turner during the “King Size Manager” special, as well as his four children and his wife. Turner married Jennifer Ford in 2003, and they share Hampton, 16, Colby, 13, Marion, 11 and Samuel, who is turning 2 next month.

Turner shared that his oldest son, Hampton, plays five different instruments during the Christmas special. Turner has been known to include his family in his performances, but this time around, everyone was much more involved.

“I felt like it would be appropriate to have them on those songs,” Turner said of his family. “So I featured them on my favorite Christmas song, which is ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.’”

Turner continued, “It just kind of made it fun for the audiences and make the fun for them and for me.”

Aside from “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Turner is most proud of his title track, “King Size Manger.”

“I don’t really know where I came up with it or how it came to me. It just struck me one day and I put it in my phone and just, I knew it was a special title,” he shared. Turner noted he was intimidated when it came to writing the song because he was so fond of the title, he wanted to produce an equally-great track.

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As for holiday traditions in the Turner family, both Josh and Jennifer were adamant about their family-of-six spending Christmas Day at home. 

“We spend a lot of time traveling back and forth,” Turner explained. “We realized the importance of them having those Christmas memories at home.”

Turner’s family reads the Christmas Story in the Bible, as well as opens gifts and if weather permits, they go outside to play in the snow.

“We’re reminding ourselves why we’re celebrating and why we’re doing all this stuff,” he shared. “There’s music involved, there’s food involved and there’s football involved.” 

Turner’s Christmas special, “King Size Manger,” is available for streaming on Friday on UPtv or on Turner’s website for purchase.

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