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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah pop star David Archuleta will be the guest star at the Mormon Tabernacle Christmas Concert this year.
The choir made the announcement Thursday morning on KSL NewsRadio's "Doug Wright Show." The concert series begins with a preview Dec. 16, followed by evening concerts Dec. 17 and 18 and a Sunday morning "mini-concert" Dec. 19.
Archuleta joined the radio show by phone, saying he has been to the choir's Christmas concerts before and felt lucky to be invited and be able to make the concert work with his recording schedule.
"Just to be able to get to do that while I'm still a teenager is just miraculous to me," Archuleta told Doug Wright.
"It's great for several reasons," choir music director Mack Wilberg said. "Number one, not only is he well known throughout the country, but [he] is from here. So that makes it, I think, extra special."
Archuleta's music career has run at full speed since his runner-up "American Idol" finish in 2008. He also recently released a book, "Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song and the Power of Perseverance."
Archuleta currently lives in Los Angeles but was born in Miami and spent most of his childhood in Utah. He says his singing career was inspired by a videotaped performance of "Les Miserables," and he began singing at age 6.
Choir President Mac Christensen also held a press conference Thursday morning to make the announcement.
"We just announced that David Archuleta is going to be our star. He has so much natural talent and it's been developed, and he is just absolutely great," Christensen said.
Christensen said the annual Christmas concert is unparalleled in Utah, hosting an audience of more than 21,000 each night in the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"I just wish everyone could be there," he said. "People are now coming from all over the world. We'll have over a million requests (for tickets)."
Archuleta, 19, is by far the youngest star to headline the Tabernacle Choir's Christmas concert.
The choir's invited guests over the past 10 years include:
- 2009: Jazz singer Natalie Cole and author and historian David McCullough
- 2008: Broadway singer Brian Stokes Mitchell and narrator Edward Herrmann
- 2007: London-based King's Singers
- 2006: Norwegian vocalist Sissel
- 2005: Soprano Renee Fleming and actress Claire Bloom
- 2004: Actress and singer Audra McDonald and actor Peter Graves
- 2003: Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel
- 2002: Former CBS Evening News anchor Walter Cronkite
- 2001: Actress Angela Lansbury
For more information on this year's concert, and to reserve your tickets, CLICK HERE.