An All-Star Christmas: A Multigenerational Mix Of Genres

Rob Thomas, Rachel Platten, Nick Fradiani part of All-Star Christmas At Oakdale

Matchbox Twenty singer Rob Thomas, best known for co-writing and performing on the 1999 Santana mega-hit, "Smooth," headlines this year's 96.5 All-Star Christmas at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford on Saturday, Dec. 12.

Other performers include country trio the Band Perry (siblings Kimberly, Neil and Reid); Fun frontman Nate Ruess, who scored a hit with the anthemic "Nothing Without Love"; singer Charlie Puth, whose collaborations with Wiz Khalifa ("See You Again") and Meghan Trainor ("Marvin Gaye") could hardly be avoided in 2015; "Fight Song" singer-songwriter Rachel Platten; and "American Idol" winner and Connecticut resident Nick Fradiani.

The annual 96.5 WTIC event pairs stars from different musical genres (also, perhaps, different generations) on the same bill; last year's concert saw the grouping of Train, Daughtry, Ingrid Michaelson, Matt Nathanson, Echosmith and the cast of the Tony-winning musical "Jersey Boys."

In 2000, Thomas's "Smooth" won Grammys for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals; Billboard recently ranked it as the second most successful song of all time, after Chubby Checker's 1960 hit "The Twist." (Matchbox Twenty twice took home awards for Best Rock Album, for 2001's "Mad Season" and 2004's "More Than You Think You Are.")

The Band Perry's last appearance at the Oakdale came in May 2014, on the We Are Pioneers World Tour. In February, the group took home a Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for its take on Glen Campbell's "Gentle on My Mind." A new album, "Heart + Beat," is due out in early 2016; lead single "Live Forever" came out over the summer.

Puth’s duo with Khalifa was nominated for three Grammy Awards — for Song of the Year, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media.

Platten, who is originally from the Boston area, has a new album, "Wildfire," coming out Jan. 1. "Stand By You," her latest single, recently cracked the Billboard Hot 100; meanwhile, "Fight Song" has been streamed nearly 100 million times on Spotify.

For Fradiani, his performance at the Oakdale will be a homecoming of sorts; the 29-year-old, who won the 14th (and penultimate) season of "American Idol," hails from Guilford. He's currently working on a full-length album.

Tickets ($38 to $75) are on sale through and

96.5 TIC ALL-STAR CHRISTMAS featuring Rob Thomas, the Band Perry, Nate Ruess, Charlie Puth, Rachel Platten and Nick Fradiani takes place at the Toyota Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $38 to $75. Information:

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