NBC's "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" Welcomes the Holiday Season with a Special Star-studded Musical Telecast

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26 November 2016
Christmas in Rockefeller Center
Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal
“Christmas in Rockefeller Center”
Wednesday, November 30 (8-9 p.m. ET) on NBC

Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, Sarah McLachlan,
Dolly Parton, Jordan Smith, Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood
and the Radio City Rockettes Set to Perform

          NBC celebrates the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree with “Christmas in Rockefeller Center.” NBC’s “Today” anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Hoda Kotb will host the broadcast from New York City’s Rockefeller Center.

          The special will feature dazzling holiday performances from Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Josh Groban, Tori Kelly, Sarah McLachlan, Dolly Parton, Jordan Smith, Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood, the Radio City Rockettes and more.  

          The 84th annual tree lighting will feature a 94-foot tall, 56-foot wide Norway spruce from Oneonta, N.Y. It is approximately 90 years old, weighs approximately 14 tons, and will be decorated with more than 50,000 multi-colored LED lights.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center
Photo: Peter Kramer/NBC
No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received 19 Grammys and the Grammy Lifetime Award. His initial successes came via a string of Columbia singles in the early 1950s, including such chart-toppers as “Because of You," "Rags to Riches" and a remake of Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart.” He had 24 songs in the Top 40, including “I Wanna Be Around," “The Good Life," “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” and his signature song,” I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” which garnered him two Grammy Awards. In celebration of Bennett’s 90th birthday this year, NBC will air the two-hour special “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90: The Best Is Yet to Come” Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 9 p.m. A companion CD, “Tony Bennett Celebrates 90,” featuring the musical performances from the NBC special will be released Dec. 16 and Bennett’s latest book “Just Getting Started” will be released Nov. 15.

Throughout an illustrious and wide-ranging musical career, Neil Diamond has sold more than 125 million albums worldwide and has charted 37 Top 40 singles and 16 Top 10 albums both in the U.S. and internationally. A Grammy Award-winning artist, Diamond is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award, one of the highest honors bestowed upon songwriters.  Diamond’s many other achievements include a Golden Globe Award, 13 Grammy nominations and 2009’s NARAS’s MusiCares Person of the Year award. In October, Diamond released his holiday collection “Acoustic Christmas,” featuring new recordings of holiday favorites and original tracks by Diamond.  

Josh Groban is an internationally renowned singer, songwriter and actor whose baritone voice is instantly recognizable and unparalleled among his peers. He has entertained fans across the globe with his multiplatinum albums and DVDs (selling more than 30 million worldwide), electrifying live performances, and comedic film and television appearances. Groban is the only artist who has had two albums land on Billboard’s list of 20 bestsellers of the last 10 years. In 2015, Groban released his seventh studio album, “Stages” — a collection of some of the greatest musical theater songs of all time, which Groban describes as “gorgeously arranged songs that have stood the test of time.” Groban is currently starring as “Pierre” in the new Broadway musical “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.”

The 2016 Best New Artist Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter and producer has been hailed as an "Artist to Watch" by Rolling Stone, USA Today and Spin. The California native sold out her U.S. tour in support of her debut album, “Unbreakable Smile,” which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and includes the hits “Nobody Love” and “Should’ve Been Us.” “Unbreakable Smile” was reissued with two additional tracks: “Hollow,” which topped the Top 25 on pop radio and climbed on the Rhythmic charts, and a brand new song, “Something Beautiful.” This December, Kelly stars as Meena in the event film “Sing,” from Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures, alongside Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane and Scarlett Johansson.

Sarah McLachlan is one of the most celebrated singer songwriters with more than 40 million albums sold worldwide. She is an eight-time Juno Award winner and a three-time Grammy Award winner. McLachlan's landmark fifth album, the 10x-platinum “Surfacing,” contained two Grammy--winning tracks: "Building a Mystery" and "Last Dance." In October, McLachlan released her holiday collection, “Wonderland,” featuring collaborations with Emmylou Harris, Martha Wainwright, Canadian quartet Half Moon Run and the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra.

An internationally renowned superstar, the iconic Dolly Parton has contributed countless treasures to the world of music entertainment, penning classic songs such as “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” “Here You Come Again” and her mega-hit “I Will Always Love You.” Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time, achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards, 41 career top 10 country albums, seven Grammy Awards, 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards and three American Music Awards. In 1999, Parton was inducted as a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Following last year’s holiday special, 2016’s “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” will air Wednesday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m., and will unveil the next chapter in the life of young Dolly.

Jordan Smith showed the world his musical gift in 2015 when he became the bestselling artist in the history of “The Voice” and the winner of season nine. Smith’s honesty made history. Not only did he cement himself as “The Voice’s” biggest seller, moving 1.5 million singles in six months, but he launched eight songs to the Top 10 of iTunes— the first artist from any season to hit the iTunes Top 10 every single week of the Live Rounds. He also became one of two “The Voice” artists to notch three #1’s during the show’s season. This year Smith released his debut album, “Something Beautiful,” via Republic Records in March and his holiday album, “Tis the Season,” in October.

Garth Brooks is the first artist in history to receive seven Diamond Awards for the now seven albums certified by the RIAA at over 10 million album sales each and remains the #1-selling solo artist in U.S. history certified by the RIAA with more than 138 million album sales. Along with wife and platinum-selling, multiple Grammy-, CMA- and ACM-wining artist Trisha Yearwood, Brooks is currently on the three-year Garth Brooks World Tour with Yearwood, which began with 11 sold-out shows in the Allstate Arena in Chicago and, in year two, is approaching 5 million tickets sold, making it the biggest tour in the world. The duo will release their first-ever duets collaboration, “Christmas Together,” by Pearl Records later this month.  

Embraced by generations of families, the “Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes” is a one-of-a-kind tradition where the unmistakable spirit of Christmas in New York comes alive. The 2016 production of the “Christmas Spectacular,” which runs Nov. 11- Jan. 2, features stunning Rockettes dance numbers, spectacular costumes and state-of-the-art technology. The Radio City Rockettes are a legendary dance company and have been a part of the fabric of New York City for decades. Since their debut in the “Christmas Spectacular” in 1933, the Rockettes have danced into the hearts of millions and spread joy to people of all ages. Their precision technique continues to inspire fans of all ages and their talent and athleticism is unrivaled.



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