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Trisha Yearwood Cast as Jesus’ Mother in ‘The Passion’ TV Musical

Trisha Yearwood The passion musical
Michael Loccisano, Getty Images

An upcoming Easter TV special will have a bit of country flair: Trisha Yearwood has been cast as Mary, the mother of Jesus, in a two-hour live musical event, The Passion.

The Fox TV network, on which the musical will be airing, announced Yearwood’s role on Friday (Jan. 15). The live event will bring to life the last hours of Jesus Christ’s life, which include him serving the Last Supper, his betrayal by Judas, his trial by Pontius Pilate and his crucifixion, burial and resurrection.

“As Mary follows her son into Jerusalem, she already has witnessed Jesus’ struggle with opposition from other religious leaders,” a press release describes, “but bolsters him with the boundless depth of a mother’s love.”

The Passion will air from various iconic locations around New Orleans, La.; hundreds of people will proceed from outside the Superdome to the live stage at Woldenburg Park, carrying a 20-foot illuminated cross. Filmmaker Tyler Perry, who is well known for his Madea films, will be the host and narrator of the musical special.

“My hope and prayer is that it leaves people with a sense of hope-faith-forgiveness,” Perry tells Fox.

In addition to Yearwood, The Passion‘s cast includes singer-songwriter Prince Royce as the apostle Peter. The songs are being written by High School Musical scribe Peter Barsocchini and arranged by Glee‘s Adam Anders.

“It’s not a traditional musical; it’s a musical event,” Anders says. “There’s no category you can put it in.”

Yearwood has never played the role of Mary before, but she has been in the public eye for decades. She’s known as an award-winning singer, cook, television star and author.

“If you’re [pursuing a career in music] because you feel like you have a burning desire to do it, then you’ll find a way to do it, no matter what,” Yearwood says. “If you’re doing this because you’re thinking, ‘Hey, this will be really cool. I’ll be famous. I’ll be on YouTube,’ then you’ll probably quit, because it’s not easy to do for the long haul.”

Yearwood is currently on the road with her husband, Garth Brooks, on his World Tour. Fans can view a list of upcoming dates on her website.

The Passion is scheduled to air on Fox on Palm Sunday (March 20).

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