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Mariah Carey to Headline YouTube Red Christmas Special With DJ Khaled, Rudy Mancuso and More

Variety logo Variety 12/5/2016 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Singing superstar Mariah Carey will topline “The Keys of Christmas,” a holiday special coming exclusively to the YouTube Red subscription service that will feature popular YouTube comedian and musician Rudy Mancuso, along with other music and digital personalities.

“The Keys of Christmas,” slated to debut on YouTube Red on Dec. 19, will include original musical performances by Carey, as well as DJ Khaled, Ciara, Fifth Harmony and Boyce Avenue.

In the special, Carey and the rest of the ensemble cast will lead Mancuso — who has 1 million YouTube subscribers — on a “magical adventure of the true meaning of Christmas” to uncover what happens when you accidentally go off the grid on Christmas Eve. “The Keys of Christmas” is produced for YouTube Red by Endemol Shine North America’s digital studio Endemol Shine Beyond USA and Just Entertainment Studios.

The special is the latest example of the Google-owned video giant’s spending on original programming to lure subscribers to the $9.99-monthly YouTube Red service. Other projects YouTube has greenlit include series from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia’s Seven Bucks Productions, Dan Harmon and Doug Liman, and one based on the “Step Up” dance movie franchise from Lionsgate.

“The Keys of Christmas” is directed by Dave Meyers, the Grammy-winning music-video director whose credits include Katy Perry’s “Firework,” Pink’s “Just Like Fire” and Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been.” The special also will feature original musical performances by Alex Aiono, Nicky Jam, Bebe Rexha and the Gregory Brothers, while former boxing champ Mike Tyson will make a special appearance.

“Music is wildly popular on YouTube, and we’re excited to bring together some of the biggest names in music alongside some of the biggest stars on YouTube,” said Ben Relles, YouTube’s head of unscripted originals.

YouTube Red, in addition to exclusive access to original series and movies from the platform’s top creators, also features no ads, offline viewing and unlimited access to Google Play Music. The subscription service is currently available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, with plans for additional expansion next year.

Pictured above (l. to r.): Rudy Mancuso, Mariah Carey, DJ Khaled

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