The New York actor, who was a standout in the Broadway musicals “Jersey Boys” and “Hairspray,” puts a 1960s spin on yuletide hits by Britney Spears, Ariana Grande and Kelly Clarkson on the album, due out Friday. Still, no modern holiday album would be complete without Mariah Carey, which is why Longoria couldn’t resist lending a distinctly retro vibe to “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” the five-time Grammy winner’s holiday smash.
Listen to Longoria’s version of “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” exclusively on HuffPost, below.
“Mariah Carey is the ultimate diva,” Longoria told HuffPost. “Listening to her when I was growing up in the 1990s ... I felt like I was on a spiritual journey with her somehow.”
“When this song first came out, I realized Christmas was less about toys and more about love ― more about the connection you could have with both your family and someone in a romantic way,” he continued. “I’ve always connected to Mariah, so I hope she doesn’t hate it.”
Last seen on the New York stage in the off-Broadway musical “The View UpStairs,” Longoria began planning the follow-up to his 2016 album, “Broadway Brick by Brick,” over the summer. Taking America’s political climate into account, he said, he ultimately decided that recording a holiday album felt the most appropriate.
“I think [the idea] came to me at a time when I personally needed Christmas,” he said. “So I hope that this album does that for other people ― that it lightens their load.”
As it turns out, the holiday season has deep resonance for Longoria, who met his husband, Taylor, at a Christmas party in 2008. The California native references the early days of his relationship on “Merry Me This Christmas,” a new song he co-wrote with musical director Rona Siddiqui for the album.
Ultimately, he hopes listeners are encouraged to “give their own hearts away” over the holiday season after listening to the track.
“You can’t stop what the heart wants. The heart, the universe or whatever you want to call it brought us together at that Christmas party,” he said. “It’s all written in that song.”
Interestingly, Longoria ― who will celebrate his one-year wedding anniversary Dec. 10 ― admits he still takes pause when people reference Taylor publicly as his husband.
“It’s still weird, odd and amazingly beautiful to say it and hear it,” he said. “To know that my experience is [connected] to the experience of the entire gay community and everyone who is standing up and fighting for equal rights ... it’s pretty awesome to have somebody to stand up with you for that.”
Michael Longoria’s “Merry Christmas Darling” hits retailers and streaming platforms Nov. 9. He’ll celebrate the release of the album with a Dec. 10 concert at New York’s Birdland Theater.