When it comes to celebrating New Year's Eve, Michael Bolton isn't just a casual reveler; he's usually the life of the party. "I've spent 15 to 20 New Year's Eves onstage," says Bolton, age 54. As an expert on the biggest party of the holiday season, Bolton—who just released his Christmas album Swingin' Christmas—explains how to make the night pop.
1. PICK THE RIGHT SOUNDTRACK
"You should have up-tempo soul to get everybody in a great mood," he suggests. "Marvin Gaye would be at the top of my playlist, plus Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder."
2. KEEP IT CASUAL
" I lean toward not-over-the-top dressing," says Bolton. "New Year's Eve should be one of the easiest celebrations. Let go of all sense of obligation."
3. GO SOMEWHERE EXOTIC
Bolton and fiancée Nicollette Sheridan spent New Year's Eve 2005 in Hawaii. "We wandered into a party at a hotel—there was a band playing, and we somehow wound up onstage with me singing 'My Girl' to Nicollette," recalls Bolton. " The next thing you know we're on YouTube."
4. SERVE COMFORT FOODS
"I'd have a lot of Italian food," says Bolton. "Lots of marinara sauce, pasta, eggplant parmigiana." Or better yet, "make reservations," he says. "Take everybody to a place where they can have whatever they like to eat."
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