Review: ‘Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days,’ starring Sonia Monzano, Whoopi Goldberg, Angelina Jolie, Rosie Perez, Steve Youngwood, Kay Wilson Stallings and Sherrie Westin

May 20, 2021

by Carla Hay

Ryan Dillon (Elmo puppeteer), Bradley Freeman Jr. (Wes Walker puppeteer) and Chris Thomas Hayes (Elijah Walker puppeteer) in “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” (Photo courtesy of ABC)

“Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days”

Directed by Rebecca Gitlitz

Culture Representation: The documentary “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” features a racially diverse group of people (African American, white, Latino and Asian) discussing their connection to the groundbreaking children’s TV series “Sesame Street.”

Culture Clash: “Sesame Street,” which launched in 1969 on PBS, was the first nationally televised children’s program in the U.S. to be racially integrated, and “Sesame Street” has endured controversy over racial diversity, AIDS and representation of the LGBTQ community.

Culture Audience: “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in a comprehensive overview of “Sesame Street,” with an emphasis on how “Sesame Street” is responding to current global issues.

Stacey Gordon (Julia puppeteer) in “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” (Photo courtesy of ABC)

ABC’s documentary “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” offers some nostalgia for “Sesame Street” fans, but the movie is more concered about how this groundbreaking children’s culture has made an impact around the world and with contemporary social issues. Directed by Rebecca Gitlitz, it’s an occasionally repetitive film that admirably embraces diversity in a variety of viewpoints. The major downside to the film is that it won’t be considered a timeless “Sesame Street” documentary, because the movie very much looks like it was made in 2020/2021. Therefore, huge parts of the movie will look outdated in a few years.

“Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” premiered on ABC just three days after director Marilyn Agrelo’s documentary “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” was released in select U.S. cinemas. “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street,” which focused mainly on “Sesame Street’s” history from 1969 to the early 1990s, interviewed people who were “Sesame Street” employees from this time period, as well as some of the family members of principal “Sesame Street” employees who are now deceased. “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” takes a broader approach and includes the perspectives of not just past and present employees of “Sesame Street” but also several “Sesame Street” fans who are famous and not famous.

In addition, “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” (which was produced by Time Studios) makes a noteworthy effort to convey the global impact of “Sesame Street,” by including footage and interviews with people involved with the adapted versions of “Sesame Street” in the Middle East and in South Africa. “Sesame Street,” which is filmed in New York City, launched in 1969 on PBS. In the U.S., first-run episodes of “Sesame Street” began airing on HBO in 2016, and then on HBO Max in 2020. “Sesame Street” is now available in more than 150 countries.

“Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” quickly breezes through how “Sesame Street” was conceived and launched. There are brief mentions of “Sesame Street” co-creators Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, but this documentary does not interview them. “Street Gang” has interviews with Ganz Cooney and Morrisett, who go into details about how they were inspired to create “Sesame Street” to reach pre-school kids, particularly African American children in urban cities, who had television as an electronic babysitter.

“Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days,” just like “Street Gang” did, discusses that the concept behind “Sesame Street” was to have a children’s TV show with a racially integrated cast and puppets, which were called muppets. A lot of research went into creating the show before it was even launched. The intent of “Sesame Street” was for the show to be educational and entertaining.

But the creators also wanted “Sesame Street” to include real-life topics that weren’t normally discussed on children’s television at the time. For example, when actor Will Lee, who played “Sesame Street” character Mr. Hooper, died in 1982, “Sesame Street” had an episode that discussed Mr. Hooper dying. “Sesame Street” did not lie to the audience by making up a story that Mr. Hooper had moved away or was still alive somewhere.

Time For Kids editorial director Andrea Delbanco says, “Many people avoid the topics that they know are going to be lightning rods. ‘Sesame Street’ goes straight for it. And they handle each and every one of them with the amount of thoughtfulness and research and care that they require.”

David Kamp, author of “Sunny Days: The Children’s Television Revolution That Changed America,” mentions that one of the reasons for the longevity of “Sesame Street” is the show’s ability to adapt to changing times: “They’ll pivot. They’ll adjust. They’ll say, ‘We got it wrong. Now, we’re going to get it right.’ That’s one of [the show’s] great virtues.”

One of the noticeable differences seen in comparing these two “Sesame Street” documentaries is how racial diversity has improved for “Sesame Street” behind the scenes. “Street Gang,” which focused on the first few decades of “Sesame Street” shows that although the on-camera cast was racially diverse, behind the scenes it was another story: Only white people were the leaders and decision makers for “Sesame Street” in the show’s early years. Several current “Sesame Street” decision makers are interviewed in “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days,” and it’s definitely a more racially diverse group of people, compared to who was running the show in the first two decades of “Sesame Street.”

Sonia Monzano, an original “Sesame Street” cast member (her character is Maria), says that although the show has always had a racially diverse cast, the muppets are the “Sesame Street” characters that people remember the most. “I remember my first scene with [muppet character] Grover,” Monzano comments with a chuckle. “It took me a while to be comfortable, not try to upstage them. And that’s the same with kids. You give them the platform. Get out of their way.”

As memorable as the “Sesame Street” muppets are, the human characters on the show had a particular impact on children, who saw “Sesame Street” people who reminded them of their family members or neighbors. Several celebrities who are interviewed in the documentary grew up watching “Sesame Street”—including Lucy Liu, Rosie Perez, Olivia Munn and Questlove—and they talk about the importance of seeing their lives and experiences represented on the show.

Perez comments on the show’s racial diversity: “We needed to see that, because when you’re a little girl in Brooklyn watching ‘Sesame Street,’ it’s nice to know that when you opened your door and walked down your stoop, you had the same type of people on your television.” Perez says about “Sesame Street’s” Maria character: “She was my Mary Tyler Moore,” and that until Maria came along, “Desi Arnaz Jr. was our only [Hispanic TV] role model for years.”

Racism, social justice and AIDS are some of the topics that “Sesame Street” has openly discussed over the years, sometimes to considerable controversy. But one topic was apparently too much to handle in “Sesame Street’s” first year: divorce. In “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days,” it’s mentioned that the original pilot episode of “Sesame Street” had a segment about muppet character Mr. Snuffleupagus dealing with his parents’ divorce. The “Sesame Street” executives did a test screening of this episode with children.

“The kids freaked out” because the idea of divorce was too upsetting for them, says Time staff writer Cady Lang. And the episode was “tossed out.” The documentary has some of this unaired Mr. Snuffleupagus “divorce” footage. In the documentary, Martin P. Robinson, the puppeteer and original voice for Mr. Snuffleupagus, expresses disappointment that this decision was made to eliminate talk of divorce on the first “Sesame Street” episode, because he says it was a missed opportunity for “Sesame Street” to start off with an episode that would have been very cutting-edge at the time.

However, there would be plenty of other episodes that would rile up some people. It’s not mentioned in the “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” documentary, but it’s mentioned in the “Street Gang” documentary that TV stations in Mississippi briefly wouldn’t televise “Sesame Street” in 1970, because they said people in their communities thought the show’s content was inappropriate. They denied it had to do with the show having a racially integrated cast. But considering that Mississippi was one of the last U.S. states to keep laws enforcing racial segregation, it would be naïve to think that racism wasn’t behind the “Sesame Street” ban.

The topics of racism and race relations take up a lot of screen time in this “Sesame Street” documentary, but mostly as pertaining to a contemporary audience, not the “Sesame Street” audience of past decades. Black Lives Matter protests and the racist murders of George Floyd and other African Americans have been discussed on “Sesame Street.” And there has been a concerted effort to have all races represented on “Sesame Street,” for the human cast members as well as the muppets.

Roosevelt Franklin (the first African American muppet on “Sesame Street”) was on “Sesame Street” from 1970 to 1975, and was voiced and created by Matt Robinson. The “Sesame Street” documentary briefly mentions Roosevelt Franklin, but doesn’t go into the details that “Street Gang” did over why the character was removed from the show: A lot of African American parents and educators complained that Roosevelt Franklin played too much into negative “ghetto” stereotypes. In the “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” documentary, musician Questlove and TV host W. Kamau Bell mention that they have fond memories of watching Roosevelt Franklin on “Sesame Street” when they were kids.

Although most muppets aren’t really any race, some of have been created to be of a specific race or ethnicity. Some muppets look like humans, while others look like animals. For the human-looking muppets, there have been Asian, Hispanic and Native American muppets in addition to the muppets that are presented as white or black people. And the documentary also gives significant screen time to Mexican muppet Rosita, a character introduced in 1991, which is considered a role model to many, particularly to Spanish-speaking people. Carmen Osbahr, the puppeteer and voice of Rosita, is interviewed in the documentary.

The documentary features a Mexican immigrant family called the Garcias, including interviews with mother Claudia and her autistic daughter Makayla, who are the only U.S. citizens of the family members who live in the United States. The Garcias say they love watching “Sesame Street” for Rosita, because she represents so many American residents who are bilingual in Spanish and English. Claudia Garcia, who moved from Mexico to the United States when she was 12, comments in the documentary: “When I was 12, it was not cool to speak Spanish. Now, it [the ability to speak Spanish] is a super-cool thing that you have.”

Four other diverse muppet characters are the Walker Family, an African American clan that is intended to be a major presence in contemporary “Sesame Street” episodes. Elijah Walker (a meteorologist) and his underage son Wesley, also known as Wes, have already been introduced. The characters of Elijah’s wife Naomi (a social worker originally from the Caribbean) and Elijah’s mother Savannah were being developed at the time this documentary was filmed. The documentary includes concept art for Naomi and Savannah.

According to Social Impact U.S. vice president Rocío García, “The Walker Family is a new family we’re creating for the racial justice initiative [Coming Together].” Wes and Elijah are characters that are supposed to contradict the media’s constant, negative narrative that black males are problematic. “Sesame Street” producer Ashmou Young describes the Wes Walker character as “a happy, energetic, innocent child who loves reading and architecture.” Elijah is a positive, intelligent role model. And no, he does not have an arrest record.

Bradley Freeman Jr., the puppeteer for Wes Walker, says in the documentary how proud he is to be part of this character, which he knows can be a role model for all children. “I was bullied at school for being black. That’s something that can hurt you, and you don’t know how to talk about it.” In “Sesame Street,” Elijah and Wes candidly discuss race issues and what it means to be an African American.

Omar Norman and Alisa Norman, an African American married couple, are in the documentary with their two daughters and discuss how the Walker Family on “Sesame Street” means a lot to them. Elder daughter Macayla says it’s impactful when Elijah talks to Wes about racism and how being a black male means being more at risk of experiencing police brutality. Omar gets emotional and tries not to cry when he thinks about how it’s sadly necessary for these topics to be discussed on a children’s show.

All the muppet characters were designed to not only teach kids (and adults) about life but also show what the world is all about and how to cope with problems in a positive way. Chris Jackson (who’s known for his role in the original Broadway production of “Hamilton”) talks about writing the song “I Love My Hair,” which debuted on “Sesame Street” in 2010. The song was written for any girl muppet to sing, but it has special significance to black girls because of how black females are judged the harshest by what their hair looks like. Jackson says that after he wrote the song, he thought, “I think I just wrote a black girl’s superhero anthem,” which he knows means a lot to his daughter.

And if some people have a problem with “Sesame Street” supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, well, no one is forcing them to watch the show. Kay Wilson Stallings, executive vice president of creative and production for Sesame Workshop, comments: “Following the murder of George Floyd, the company decided to make it a company-wide goal of addressing racial injustice [on ‘Sesame Street’].” U.S. first lady Dr. Jill Biden adds, “‘Sesame Street’ is rising up to he movement and addressing what’s going on and what kids are seeing and feeling around them.”

Wilson Stallings says, “We showed diversity, we showed inclusion, we modeled it through our characters. But you can’t just show characters of different ethnicities and races getting along. That was fine before. Now what we need to do is be bold and explicit.”

Sesame Workshop CEO Steve Youngwood comments on increasing “Sesame Street’s” socially conscious content: “We realized that nothing was hitting the moment the way it needed to be. And we pivoted to address it. The curriculum we developed is going to be groundbreaking, moving forward.”

LGBTQ representation on “Sesame Street” is still a touchy subject for people who have different opinions on what’s the appropriate age for kids to have discussions about various sexual identities. In 2018, former “Sesame Street” writer Mark Saltzman, who is openly gay, gave an interview saying that he always wrote muppet characters Ernie and Bert (bickering best friends who live together) as a gay couple. The revelation got mixed reactions. Frank Oz—the creator, original voice and puppeteer for Bert—made a statement on Twitter that Ernie and Bert were never gay.

Sesame Workshop responded with a statement that read: “As we have always said, Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach pre-schoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identifiable as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most ‘Sesame Street’ muppets do), they remain puppets, and have no sexual orientation.”

In retrospect, Sesame Workshop president Sherrie Westin says: “That denial, if you will, I think was a mistake.” She also adds that people can think of Ernie and Bert having whatever sexuality (or no sexuality) that they think Ernie and Bert have. As for LGBTQ representation on “Sesame Street,” Jelani Memory (author of “A Kid’s Book About Racism”) is blunt when he says: “It’s not enough.”

And it’s not just social issues that are addressed on “Sesame Street.” The show has also discussed health issues, such as the AIDS crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. Although “Sesame Street” got pushback from some politically conservative people for talking about AIDS on the show, this criticism didn’t deter “Sesame Street,” which was supported by the majority of its audience for this decision. Dr. Anthony Fauci is in the documentary praising “Sesame Street” for helping educate people on health crises.

The documentary includes a segment on the first HIV-positive muppet Kami, a character in “Takalani Sesame,” the South African version of “Sesame Street.” Kami, who is supposed to be a 5-year-old girl, was created in 2002, in reaction to the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Her positive outlook on life and how she is accepted by her peers can be viewed as having an impact on people that’s hard to measure.

Marie-Louise Samuels, former director early childhood development at South Africa’s Department of Basic Education, has this to say about Kami: “It wasn’t about her getting some sympathy. It was really about how productive she is in society with the virus.” Even though Kami was well-received in South Africa, “the U.S. was not as receptive,” says Louis Henry Mitchell, creative director of character design at Sesame Workshop.

Also included is a segment on Julia, the first autistic muppet on “Sesame Street.” It’s a character that is near and dear to the heart of Julia puppeteer Stacey Gordon, who tears up and gets emotional when she describes her own real-life experiences as the mother of an autistic child. Julia is one of several muppet characters that represent people with special needs. As an autistic child of a Mexican immigrant family, Makayla Garcia says in her interview that Rosita and Julia are her favorite muppets because they represent who she is.

The documentary shows how “Sesame Street” is in Arabic culture with the TV series “Ahlan Simsim,” which translates to “Welcome Sesame” in English. The Rajubs, a real-life Syrian refugee family of eight living in Jordan, are featured in the documentary as examples of a family who find comfort in “Ahlan Simsim” even though they’re experiencing the turmoil of being refugees. David Milliband, CEO of International Rescue Committee, talks about how “Sesame Street” being a consistent presence in children’s lives can help them through the trauma.

Other people interviewed in the documentary include Shari Rosenfeld, senior VP of international at Social Impact; Elijah Walker puppeteer Chris Thomas Hayes; Dr. Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop; Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Peter Linz, voice of muppet character Elmo; “Sesame Street” actor Alan Muraoka; Nyanga Tshabalala, puppeteer for the mupppet character Zikwe on “Takalani Sesame”; and former “Ahlan Simsim” head writer Zaid Baqueen. Celebrity fans of “Sesame Street” who comment in the documentary include Usher, Gloria Estefan, John Legend, Chrissy Teigen and John Oliver, who says about the show: “It was my first introduction to comedy, because it was so relentlessly funny.”

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCR) special envoy Angelina Jolie comments that The Count (the muppet vampire who teaches counting skills) is her favorite “Sesame Street” character: “He had a wonderfully bold personality: The friendly vampire helping you learn how to count. It worked for me.” Whoopi Goldberg adds, “All the things that ‘Twilight’ did for vampires, The Count did more. [The Count] made vampires cool because they could count.”

Jolie also comments on “Sesame Street’s” social awareness: “What they’re bringing is more relevant to today than ever.” The documentary includes 2021 footage of “Sesame Street” executives cheering when finding out that Sesame Workshop and International Rescue Committee won the MacArthur Foundation’s inaugural 100 and Change Award, a grant that gives the recipients $100 million over a maximum of six years.

There’s also a notable segment on the music of “Sesame Street.” Stevie Wonder (who has performed “123 Sesame Street” and “Superstition” on “Sesame Street”) performs in the documentary with a new version of the “Sesame Street” classic theme “Sunny Days.” The documentary has the expected montage of many of the celebrity guests who’ve been on “Sesame Street” too.

“United Shades of America” host Bell says that being asked to be on “Sesame Street” is a “rite of passage” for “famous people at a certain point. Got to get that ‘Sesame Street’ gig! That’s when you know you really made it: When ‘Sesame Street’ calls you.”

Although there’s a lot of talk about certain “Sesame Street” muppets, the documentary doesn’t give enough recognition to the early “Sesame Street” muppet pioneers who created iconic characters. The documentary briefly mentions Jim Henson (the creator and original voice of Kermit the Frog and Ernie), but Frank Oz (the creator and original voice of Grover, Cookie Monster and Bert) isn’t even mentioned at all.

Big Bird is seen but not much is said about Caroll Spinney, who was the man in the Big Bird costume from 1969 to 2018, and who was the creator and original voice of the Oscar the Grouch muppet. Spinney died in 2019, at the age of 85. Henson died in 1990, at age 53. Oz did not participate in the documentary.

The movie doesn’t mention the 2012 scandal of Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash resigning from “Sesame Street” after three men accused him of sexually abusing them when the men were underage teenagers. The three lawsuits against Clash with these accusations were dismissed in 2014. Clash had been the puppeteer and voice of Elmo since 1984.

“Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” tries to bite off a little more than it should chew when it starts veering into discussions about United Nations initiatives and how they relate to “Sesame Street.” There’s no denying the global impact of “Sesame Street,” but “Sesame Street” is a children’s show, not a political science show about international relations. And some viewers might be turned off by all the talk about social justice content on “Sesame Street.”

The documentary could have used more insight into the actual process of creating these memorable muppets. Except for some brief footage in a puppet-creating workspace, that artistic aspect of “Sesame Street” is left out of the documentary. Despite some flaws and omissions, the documentary is worth watching for people who want a snapshot of what’s important to “Sesame Street” in the early 2020s. Whereas “Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” is very much about the show’s past, “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” tries to give viewers a glimpse into the show’s future.

ABC premiered “Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days” on April 26, 2021. Hulu premiered the documentary on April 27, 2021.

2021 Tribeca Film Festival: Tribeca Talks lineup announced

May 10, 2021

The following is a press release from the Tribeca Film Festival:

The Tribeca Festival, presented by AT&T, today announced its lineup of Talks and Reunion Screenings with the stars and directors from iconic films, and conversations with the driving forces behind film, television, music, business and politics. These once-in-a-lifetime conversations will be part of the 20th Anniversary Festival celebration taking place city-wide June 9-20, the first major film festival to host in person events.

Tribeca Talks: Storytellers celebrates groundbreaking creators working across multiple mediums. This year’s multi-talented group includes: Mike Jackson and John Legend of Get Lifted Film Company; Oscar-nominated actor and director Bradley Cooper in conversation with Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro; comedian and actress Amy Schumer in conversation with Emily Ratajkowski; screenwriter Scott Z. Burns in conversation with Emmy Award-winning actor Matthew RhysShira Haas, the breakout star of Unorthodox and Tribeca Festival Best Actress-winner for ASIA with actress and comedian Ali Wentworth; and Debbie HarryClem Burke and Chris Stein of the legendary punk band Blondie

Tribeca Talks: Directors Series features intimate conversations with renowned directors who will share memorable moments from their prestigious careers. This year’s participating directors include Doug LimanM. Night Shyamalan and Gina Prince-Bythewood.

Additional Tribeca Talks events include Scott Rechler, CEO and Chairman of RXR Realty, recording two new episodes of his podcast, Recalibrate Reality: The Future of NY, and conversations with Jason Hirschhorn, CEO of REDEF, about the business of entertainment and the future of podcasting.

The 2021 Tribeca Festival will also celebrate milestone anniversaries of some of Hollywood’s most iconic films. Director Joel Cohen will be joined in conversation with stars Frances McDormand and Steve Buscemi to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Academy Award-winning Fargo; the 30th anniversary of the critically acclaimed The Five Heartbeats will reunite stars Robert TownsendJohn TerrellTico WellsLeon RobinsonHarry LennixMichael Wright and Hawthorne James; the 20th anniversary of the classic The Royal Tenenbaums, features stars Alec BaldwinGwyneth PaltrowLuke WilsonOwen WilsonAnjelica HustonDanny Glover, and director Wes AndersonRobert De Niro teams up with director Martin Scorsese to discuss creating one of cinema’s eternal masterpieces, Raging Bull; and finally, Tribeca will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Charlie Chaplin’s first feature-length film, The Kid, with a special screening event. 

“Each year the Tribeca Festival gathers the most esteemed names in film and entertainment for conversations that shine a light on the creative process,” said Jane Rosenthal, Co-Founder and CEO of Tribeca Enterprises and the Tribeca Festival. “This year we are particularly proud that we can once again convene these talented names for in-person conversations as we discuss new ways our world and business is being reshaped and reimagined.”

“This year’s Tribeca Talks will have timely conversations about real world issues and how they affect film, television, politics and business,” said Paula Weinstein, Chief Content Officer of Tribeca Enterprises. “Tribeca Talks and Reunion screenings are always a big fan favorite, and we look forward to the illuminating conversations that will take place during this milestone 20th Festival.”

Beginning today at 11AM EST, tickets to in-person screenings and events are available for advance reservation at https://www.tribecafilm.com/festival/tickets.

TRIBECA TALKS: DIRECTORS SERIES
This conversation series showcases the careers of influential filmmakers. 

  • M. Night Shyamalan 
  • Doug Liman in conversation with Jason Hirschhorn
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood in conversation with Sanaa Lathan

TRIBECA TALKS: STORYTELLERS
Sponsored by Montefiore-Einstein

This series celebrates the illustrious careers of today’s most innovative creators, who have broken from traditional roles and pioneered their own forms of storytelling.

  • Bradley Cooper and Guillermo del Toro 
  • Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski 
  • Scott Z. Burns and Matthew Rhys
  • Shira Haas and Ali Wentworth
  • Get Lifted’s John Legend and Mike Jackson
  • Blondie’s Debbie Harry, Clem Burke and Chris Stein

TRIBECA TALKS

  • Scott Rechler – “Recalibrate Reality: The Future of NY”
  • Jason Hirschhorn – “The Business of Entertainment” and “The Future of Podcasting”

REUNIONS & RESTORATIONS

The Royal Tenenbaums – 20th Anniversary
Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) and his wife, Etheline (Anjelica Huston), had three children — Chas, Margot, and Richie — and then they separated. Chas (Ben Stiller) started buying real estate in his early teens and seemed to have an almost preternatural understanding of international finance. Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) was a playwright and received a Braverman Grant of $50,000 in the ninth grade. Richie (Luke Wilson) was a junior champion tennis player and won the U.S. Nationals three years in a row. Virtually all memory of the brilliance of the young Tenenbaums was subsequently erased by two decades of betrayal, failure, and disaster. The Royal Tenenbaums is a hilarious, touching, and brilliantly stylized study of melancholy and redemption.

  • After the Screening: A live-streamed conversation with  Wes Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Luke Wilson, Owen Wilson,  Gwyneth Paltrow, Anjelica Huston, and Danny Glover.

Fargo – 25th Anniversary
Things go terribly awry when small-time Minnesota car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife so he can collect ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. Once people start dying, the very chipper and very pregnant Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) takes the case.  Is she up for this challenge? You betcha.

  • After the Screening: An-in person conversation Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, and Steve Buscemi

The Five Heartbeats – 30th Anniversary
Five friends leave their neighborhood and head for a new type of music – Motown. Coming in on the tail end of a rhythm and blues singing group explosion, The Five Heartbeats (Robert Townsend, Michael Wright, Leon Robinson, Harry J. Lennix, Tico Wells), rise and fall within the space of seven years. Along the way, the group deals with all manner of fame and fortune distractions — jealousy, greed, too much womanizing and drugs all take a toll.

  • After the Screening: An in-person conversation with Robert Townsend, John Terrell, Tico Wells, Leon Robinson, James Hawthorne, Harry Lennix, Michael Wright moderated by Loren Hammonds.

The Kid – 100th Anniversary
Charlie Chaplin was already an international star when he decided to break out of the short-film format and make his first full-length feature. The Kid doesn’t merely show Chaplin at a turning point, when he proved that he was a serious film director—it remains an expressive masterwork of silent cinema. In it, he stars as his lovable Tramp character, this time raising an orphan (a remarkable young Jackie Coogan) he has rescued from the streets. Chaplin and Coogan make a miraculous pair in this nimble marriage of sentiment and slapstick, a film that is, as its opening title card states, “a picture with a smile—and perhaps, a tear.”

Raging Bull – Restoration
Robert De Niro teams up with director Martin Scorsese to create one of cinema’s eternal masterpieces. Nominated for eight Academy Awards®, including Best Picture and Best Director, this contemporary classic is “ambitious, violent, poetic and lyrical” (The New York Times). De Niro turns in a powerful, Best Actor Oscar®-winning performance as Jake La Motta, a boxer whose psychological and sexual complexities erupt into violence both in and out of the ring. Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty co-star.

  • Director Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro discuss the film’s lasting legacy in a pre-recorded conversation.

About the Tribeca Festival
The Tribeca Festival, presented by AT&T, brings artists and diverse audiences together to celebrate storytelling in all its forms, including film, TV, VR, games, music, and online work. With strong roots in independent film, Tribeca is a platform for creative expression and immersive entertainment. Tribeca champions emerging and established voices; discovers award-winning filmmakers and creators; curates innovative experiences; and introduces new technology and ideas through premieres, exhibitions, talks, and live performances.

The Festival was founded by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the attacks on the World Trade Center. Tribeca will celebrate its 20th year June 9 – 20, 2021 www.tribecafilm.com/festival

In 2019, James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems, a private investment company with locations in New York and Mumbai, bought a majority stake in Tribeca Enterprises, bringing together Rosenthal, De Niro, and Murdoch to grow the enterprise.

About the 2021 Tribeca Festival Partners:
The 2021 Tribeca Festival is presented by AT&T and with the support of our corporate partners: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Audible, Bloomberg Philanthropies, CHANEL, City National Bank, CNN Films, Diageo, DoorDash, FreshDirect, Hudson Yards, Indeed, Montefiore-Einstein, NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, P&G, PwC, Roku, Spring Studios New York.

2020 Billboard Music Awards: Post Malone is the top winner

October 14, 2020

Post Malone at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles (Photo by Todd Williamson/NBC)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Post Malone swept the “2020 Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs), winning a total of nine awards, including Top Artist and Top Male Artist – the most of the evening – bringing his total number of BBMA wins to 10. Echoing the theme of “Music Unites All’ throughout the night Malone said “music can bring everyone together, it’s absolutely incredible.” Airing tonight from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the BBMAs opened with an unforgettable performance by three-time host Kelly Clarkson, who brought down the house with Whitney Houston’s version of “Higher Love,” joined by two-time BBMA nominees Pentatonix and queen of percussion Sheila E. 

Khalid followed Post Malone for the most wins of the night with five, including Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Album, and Top R&B Song. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus tied for the third most wins, with both artists recognized for their hit “Old Town Road” in the Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song, and Top Rap Song categories. Billie Eilish took home three awards including Top New Artist and Top Female Artist. Winners in the fan-voted categories were: BTS (Top Social Artist), Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Señorita” (Top Collaboration) and Harry Styles (Billboard Chart Achievement Award).

Rapper and social activist Killer Mike was honored with the inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award from the historic APEX (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum in Atlanta, GA. The award, which honors an artist or group that speaks truth to power through music, celebrity, and community and is active in their community and charitable with time, money, or influence to improve the lives of others, was presented by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. NBC and MRC teamed up to deposit $1M to Killer Mike’s recently established digital bank, Greenwood.  

Cher made an appearance on the star-studded night to present Garth Brooks with the elite ICON Award, followed by his incredible performance of multiple chart-topping hits that was nothing short of iconic.

The night was full of spectacular performances: 

  • All the way from South Korea, K-Pop supergroup BTS gave an electrifying performance of “Dynamite,” their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
  • Demi Lovato gave a chills inducing world premiere performance of her timely and powerful new song “Commander in Chief” 
  • Post Malone delivered a soaring performance of his hits “Circles” and “Tommy Lee” featuring Tyla Yahweh, showing everyone why he took home nine awards
  • Alicia Keys made a long-awaited return to the BBMA stage for a dazzling perform of her latest single “Love Looks Better” 
  • Brandy made her BBMA performance debut and treated fans to her hit “Borderline” along with her new single “No Tomorrow” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, and “Almost Doesn’t Count” 
  • Bad Bunny was joined by surprise guests Nesi and Ivy Queen for “Yo Perreo Sola” for his dynamic and exciting BBMA performance debut
  • In her first BBMA performance, Doja Cat set the stage aflame with a dramatic medley of “Juicy,” “Say So,” and “Like That” 
  • EGOT-winner and multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend gave an emotional performance of “Never Break” 
  • Kane Brown, Khalid and Swae Lee tore up the stage with an energetic performance of their hit “Be Like That” 
  • In a rare appearance, Sia delivered a powerful moment with her song “Courage to Change” 
  • On the heels of one of his three wins, Luke Combs gave a moving performance of “Better Together” 
  • Breakout artist SAINt JHN, in his television debut, performed his global smash hit “Roses” 
  • And in this year’s Billboard throwback, iconic group En Vogue closed the evening with an empowering performance of their huge hit “Free Your Mind,” which first stormed the charts 30 years ago

In a tribute to legendary guitarist, musician, and songwriter Eddie Van Halen, the show featured a clip from the 2015 BBMAs when his son Wolfgang took the stage with him for a rare live tv performance. Presenters throughout the evening included Addison Rae, Cher, Garcelle Beauvais, Jane Lynch, Jay Ellis, Jharrel Jerome, Julia Michaels, Lilly Singh, Nicole Richie, Spencer X, Taraji P. Henson, TwinsthenewTrend (Fred & Tim Williams), and tWitch.

“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data/Nielsen Music. The awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019, through March 14, 2020. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” are sponsored by TikTok and Xfinity. The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” are produced by dick clark productions. Amy Thurlow, Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Linda Gierahn, Kelly Clarkson, and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube) and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.

About Dick Clark Productions:
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances, and legendary programming. DCP is part of MRC Live & Alternative, a division of diversified global entertainment company MRC. For additional information, visit www.mrcentertainment.com


Here is the complete list of nominations and winners:

*=winner

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist:
Billie Eilish
Jonas Brothers
Khalid
Post Malone*
Taylor Swift

Top New Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish*
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Roddy Ricch

Billboard Chart Achievement Award (Fan Voted):
Mariah Carey
Luke Combs
Lil Nas X
Harry Styles*
Taylor Swift

Top Male Artist:
DaBaby
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Ed Sheeran

Top Female Artist:
Billie Eilish*
Ariana Grande
Halsey
Lizzo
Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group:
BTS
Dan + Shay
Jonas Brothers*
Maroon 5
Panic! At The Disco

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Drake
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Post Malone*
Taylor Swift

Top Hot 100 Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*

Top Streaming Songs Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Travis Scott

Top Song Sales Artist:
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo*
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Jonas Brothers*
Khalid
Lizzo
Shawn Mendes
Post Malone

Top Social Artist (Fan Voted):
BTS*
Billie Eilish
EXO
GOT7
Ariana Grande

Top Touring Artist:
Elton John
Metallica
P!nk*
The Rolling Stones
Ed Sheeran

Top R&B Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid*
Lizzo
Summer Walker
The Weeknd

Top R&B Male Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid*
The Weeknd

Top R&B Female Artist:
Beyoncé
Lizzo
Summer Walker*

Top R&B Tour:
B2K
Janet Jackson
Khalid*

Top Rap Artist:
DaBaby
Juice WRLD
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Roddy Ricch

Top Rap Male Artist:
DaBaby
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*

Top Rap Female Artist:
Cardi B*
City Girls
Megan Thee Stallion

Top Rap Tour:
Drake
Post Malone*
Travis Scott

Top Country Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*
Dan + Shay
Maren Morris
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Male Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Female Artist:
Maren Morris*
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Top Country Duo/Group:
Dan + Shay*
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion

Top Country Tour:
Eric Church
Florida Georgia Line
George Strait*

Top Rock Artist:
Imagine Dragons
Panic! At The Disco*
Tame Impala
Tool
twenty one pilots

Top Rock Tour:
Elton John*
Metallica
The Rolling Stones

Top Latin Artist:
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny*
J Balvin
Ozuna
Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:
Avicii
The Chainsmokers*
DJ Snake
Illenium
Marshmello

Top Christian Artist:
Lauren Daigle*
Elevation Worship
for KING & COUNTRY
Hillsong UNITED
Kanye West

Top Gospel Artist:
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Sunday Service Choir
Kanye West*

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Billie Eilish “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”*
Ariana Grande “thank u, next”
Khalid “Free Spirit”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”
Taylor Swift “Lover”

Top Soundtrack:
“Aladdin”
“Descendants 3”
“Frozen II”*
“K-12” by Melanie Martinez 
“The Dirt” by Mötley Crüe

Top R&B Album:
Beyoncé “Homecoming: The Live Album”
Justin Bieber “Changes”
Chris Brown “Indigo”
Khalid “Free Spirit”*
Summer Walker “Over It”

Top Rap Album:
DaBaby “KIRK”
Juice WRLD “Death Race For Love”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”*
Roddy Ricch “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”
Young Thug “So Much Fun”

Top Country Album:
Kane Brown “Experiment”
Luke Combs “What You See Is What You Get”*
Maren Morris “GIRL”
Thomas Rhett “Center Point Road”
Morgan Wallen “If I Know Me”

Top Rock Album:
The Lumineers “III”
Slipknot “We Are Not Your Kind”
Tame Impala “The Slow Rush”
Tool “Fear Inoculum”*
Vampire Weekend “Father of the Bride”

Top Latin Album:
J Balvin & Bad Bunny “Oasis”*
Farruko “Gangalee”
Maluma “11:11”
Romeo Santos “Utopía”
Sech “Sueños”

Top Dance/Electronic Album:
Avicii “TIM”
The Chainsmokers “World War Joy”
Illenium “Ascend”
Marshmello “Marshmello: Fortnite Extended Set”*
Alan Walker “Different World”

Top Christian Album:
Bethel Music “Victory: Recorded Live”
Casting Crowns “Only Jesus”
Hillsong UNITED “People”
Skillet “Victorious”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”*

Top Gospel AlbumL
Kirk Franklin “Long Live Love”
Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers “Goshen”
William McDowell “The Cry: A Live Worship Experience”
Sunday Service Choir “Jesus Is Born”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”*

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”

Top Streaming Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

Top Selling Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”

Top Radio Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Jonas Brothers “Sucker”*
Khalid “Talk”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top Collaboration (Fan Voted):
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”*
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top R&B Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Doja Cat & Tyga “Juicy”
Khalid “Talk”*
Lizzo “Good As Hell”
The Weeknd “Heartless”

Top Rap Song:
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Post Malone “Wow.”

Top Country Song:
Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber “10,000 Hours”*
Maren Morris “The Bones”
Old Dominion “One Man Band”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”
Morgan Wallen “Whiskey Glasses”

Top Rock Song:
Imagine Dragons “Bad Liar”
Machine Gun Kelly x YUNGBLUD x Travis Barker “I Think I’m Okay”
Panic! At The Disco “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”*
twenty one pilots “Chlorine”
twenty one pilots “The Hype”

Top Latin Song:
Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna & J Balvin “China”
Bad Bunny & Tainy “Callaita”
Daddy Yankee ft. Snow “Con Calma”*
Jhay Cortez, J Balvin, & Bad Bunny “No Me Conoce”
Sech ft. Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Anuel AA “Otro Trago”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:
Black Eyed Peas x J Balvin “Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life)”
Ellie Goulding x Diplo ft. Swae Lee “Close To Me”*
Illenium & Jon Bellion “Good Things Fall Apart”
Kygo x Whitney Houston “Higher Love”
Marshmello ft. CHVRCHES “Here With Me”

Top Christian Song:
Bethel Music, Jonathan David Helser & Melissa Helser “Raise A Hallelujah”
Casting Crowns ft. Matthew West “Nobody”
Lauren Daigle “Rescue”
for KING & COUNTRY “God Only Knows”*
Kanye West “Follow God”

Top Gospel Song:
Kirk Franklin “Love Theory”
Kanye West “Closed on Sunday”
Kanye West “Follow God”*
Kanye West “On God”
Kanye West “Selah”

Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort to include participation from Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, Regina Hall, DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin and more

April 8, 2020

Updated April 17, 2020

The following is a press release from BET:

BET announces an array of high impact initiatives to support communities of color impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Americans are being disproportionately harmed by the health and financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. BET, in partnership with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, leaders in the African American creative, civil rights and business communities will provide critical financial, educational and community support directly to the African Americans hardest hit by this crisis.

These initiatives include the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special; the creation of a relief fund in partnership with United Way Worldwide to assist people of color most impacted by this health and financial crisis, and our support of the NAACP’s Town Hall Series.

For 40 years, BET has been rooted in a legacy of helping afflicted communities of color, raising $12 million for Katrina victims and millions more for Haiti earthquake victims.  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, BET will use their global platform to provide critical educational and financial resources directly related to the African American community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is savagely compounding the profound health and financial vulnerabilities many Black Americans face. Every day, there are new reports of how this pandemic is killing African Americans at much higher rates than other communities.” said Scott Mills, President of BET.  “BET is using all of our resources – our capital, our media platforms, our relationships with the creative community, sponsors, businesses and charitable organizations to support our community in this time of crisis.”

The “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special, will air on Wednesday, April 22nd at 8 pm EST. The special, co-hosted by Grammy Award-Winning singer and actress Kelly Rowland, TV personality Terrence J, and actress Regina Hall; will feature virtual appearances and musical performances from some of the biggest names in music and entertainment as they share tips on how to manage, cope and help during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Celebrity guest appearances and performances will include DJ Khaled, Charlie Wilson, Chance the Rapper, Kirk Franklin, Fantasia, Melvin Crispell III, and many more. The special will give up-to-date information and drive viewers to needed resources during this unprecedented time.  In partnership with United Way, proceeds are being donated to African American communities severely impacted by COVID-19.

“Our goal for this special is to come together in a collective spirit of strength, community and hope. As we unite in harmony and compassion, through the collective healing power of music, comedy and entertainment, we can bring restoration and inspire the world that our brighter days are ahead,” said Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET.

Connie Orlando, EVP Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy at BET  will serve as Executive Producer for the “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” broadcast special along with Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment.

To support these initiatives, BET has established a COVID-19 relief fund in partnership with United Way Worldwide to support African Americans that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  United Way, the largest private funder of human services in the U.S., has a presence in 95% of communities across the country, and has, for more than 130 years, mobilized the caring power of the community to advance the common good. United Way is unparalleled in its power to convene local partners, providers and resources to address the needs of vulnerable communities on the ground.

Financial donations from the joint fund will allow United Way to disburse resources to local organizations under United Ways in New York City, Atlanta, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Detroit and Chicago, regions that have been most impacted by this crisis.  There are long-term plans to expand these resources to other markets going forward.  In particular, United Way will be supporting families in crisis who are experiencing food insecurity and are in need of emergency assistance.

“United Way is deeply embedded in communities across our country, and our ‘local-ness’ means we know the needs on the ground and how to get the right kind of help to those who need it most,” said Stan Little, Chief Experience Officer of United Way. “We look forward to partnering with BET to bring much-needed relief and long-term recovery to already vulnerable communities that are being hit especially hard because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

BET is also providing resources and content on COVID-19 across multiple digital platforms including a four-part virtual town hall series in partnership with the NAACP.  On Wednesday, April 8, at 8 PM ET/ 5 PM PT, “Unmasked: A COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Series Powered by NAACP & BET” will stream on NAACP.org and focus on how the pandemic is affecting African Americans and what steps the community can take to build an action plan for positive change. The first town hall will focus on the health, emotional, economic toll, congressional response and how activists can apply pressure to ensure legislation is equitable. Additionally, BET.com is reporting daily on what the African American community needs to know about COVID-19, and how it is impacting our lives.

You can donate to the fund beginning Friday, April 10th.  More information on BET’s partnership with UWW and additional extensions of our relief efforts are forthcoming. For further details, please visit BET.com.

April 17, 2020 UPDATE

Anthony Anderson (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for VH1)

Today BET announces comedian and actor Anthony Anderson as the fourth host of the upcoming “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” special.  Anderson joins stars Kelly Rowland, Terrence J, and Regina Hall as host for the two-hour special broadcast. “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort” is set to air on Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 8 PM EST.

Performances include Alicia Keys with a special tribute to New York City, and a Gospel moment with Kirk Franklin featuring Fantasia, Jonathan McReynolds, Kelly Price, Tasha Cobbs, Le’Andria Johnson, and Melvin Crispell III.  Exclusive performances by John Legend, Usher, Jhene Aiko, Chloe X Halle, CeeLo Green, H.E.R., Ella Mai, Jermaine Dupri, Ludacris, Swae Lee, Tyrese Gibson, Buju Banton, DJ D-Nice, SiR, D Smoke, and Charlie Wilson.

Additional celebrity guest appearances will include Tiffany Haddish, Idris Elba, Ciara, Don Cheadle, Mike Epps, Deon Cole, Angela Rye, Dr. Rheeda Walker, Charlamagne Tha God, Symone D. Sanders, DJ Khaled and Chance The Rapper.

Expanding the reach of the telecast, BET will simulcast the special across BET and BET Her domestically, as well as their channels internationally bringing awareness to over 90 million homes.  Additionally, BET will join forces with Bounce to help expand the audience to include free, over-the-air broadcast viewers with Bounce simulcasting “Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort.”

About BET

BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks – BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About United Way

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit UnitedWay.org. Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

About NAACP
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas at naacp.org.

One World: Together at Home worldwide TV event honoring coronavirus health workers will include appearances by Elton John, Paul McCartney, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Chris Martin, Lizzo and more

April 6, 2020

Updated April 14, 2020

Lady Gaga (Photo by Erik Voake/Coachella)

The following is a press release from ABC:

Building on the success of the digital series “One World: Together at Home,” Global Citizen and the World Health Organization (WHO) are partnering for a special one-night event of the same name to air across NBC, ABC, CBS and other global networks and platforms on  Saturday, April 18, 2020 (8:00-10:00 p.m. PT/ET).

“One World: Together at Home” is not a telethon – but rather a global broad entertainment special to celebrate the heroic efforts of community health workers and support the World Health Organization and the global fight to end COVID-19. The event is curated by Lady Gaga and will feature exclusive appearances by Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Alanis Morissette, Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder. Friends of Sesame Street will also be on hand to help unify and inspire people around the world.

The two-hour program will be hosted by a trio of network late-night hosts: Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert and will include performances from the world’s biggest artists with multimillion-dollar pledges to the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund. Audrey Morrissey (“The Voice,” “Songland”) and Live Animals will produce the special in partnership with Global Citizen.

The show will lift viewer’s spirits with exclusive, special cameos from the worlds of music and arts, sports superstars, and comedic sketches, while always drawing back to its core purpose – to educate and inform on COVID-19 risks, prevention and response. The broadcast will feature interviews with experts from WHO as well as stories of frontline healthcare workers from around the world – their courage and sacrifice a reminder of the urgency of this moment.

The special will connect artists with audiences on a global scale, airing on the following networks and platforms:

· NBCUniversal: NBC, Bravo, E!, MSNBC, MSNBC.com, NBCSN, NBC News, NBCNews.com, NBC News on YouTube, Peacock, SYFY and USA.

· Walt Disney Television: ABC, ABC News, ABC News Live, Freeform and Nat Geo.

· ViacomCBS: CBS, Channel 5 in the UK, Network 10 in Australia, and Telefe in Argentina; BET and MTV globally across 180+ countries; and CMT, Comedy Central, Logo, MTV2, Paramount Network, Pop, TV Land and VH1 in the U.S.

· Bell Media platforms in Canada, MultiChoice, and RTE.

· BBC One will broadcast an edited version of the event for UK audiences on Sunday, April 19.

“One World: Together At Home” will also be a multi-hour digital broadcast streaming online on multiple global platforms, including Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Hulu, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube. This digital special will include additional artists and performances from all over the globe as well as unique stories from the world’s healthcare heroes. For information about how to tune in and take action, visit www.globalcitizen.org/togetherathome.

Commitments from supporters and corporate partners will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, powered by the UN Foundation, to support and equip healthcare workers around the world, and to local charities that provide food, shelter, and healthcare to those that need it most. These local groups have been vetted to ensure they are helping communities impacted by COVID-19.

April 14, 2020 UPDATE: International advocacy organization Global Citizen today announced an expanded list of artists that will appear in the “One World: Together at Home” global broadcast special, being held in support of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic being led by the World Health Organization.

The newly announced artists include Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Awkwafina, Camila Cabello, Celine Dion, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, LL COOL J, Lupita Nyong’o, Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, Usher and Victoria Beckham. Curated in collaboration with Lady Gaga, the artists announced today join a lineup of entertainers who were unveiled last week that includes Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Burna Boy, Chris Martin, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder, Elton John, FINNEAS, Idris and Sabrina Elba, J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Lang Lang, Lizzo, Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Stevie Wonder.

“One World: Together at Home” will be hosted by Jimmy Fallon of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” Jimmy Kimmel of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and Stephen Colbert of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” Friends from Sesame Street will also be on hand to help unify and inspire people around the world to take meaningful actions that increase support for the global COVID-19 response.

Leading up to the global broadcast special, there will be a six-hour streamed event, curated from around the world, to support brave healthcare workers doing life-saving work on the front lines. The “One World: Together at Home” streamed event will reach millions around the world digitally and will include performances and appearances from Adam Lambert, Andra Day, Angèle, Anitta, Annie Lennox, Becky G, Ben Platt, Billy Ray Cyrus, Black Coffee, Bridget Moynahan, Burna Boy, Cassper Nyovest, Charlie Puth, Christine and the Queens, Common, Connie Britton, Danai Gurira, Delta Goodrem, Don Cheadle, Eason Chan, Ellie Goulding, Erin Richards, FINNEAS, Heidi Klum, Hozier, Hussain Al Jasmi, Jack Black, Jacky Cheung, Jack Johnson, Jameela Jamil, James McAvoy, Jason Segel, Jennifer Hudson, Jess Glynne, Jessie J, Jessie Reyez, John Legend, Juanes, Kesha, Lady Antebellum, Lang Lang, Leslie Odom Jr., Lewis Hamilton, Liam Payne, Lili Reinhart, Lilly Singh, Lindsey Vonn, Lisa Mishra, Lola Lennox, Luis Fonsi, Maren Morris, Matt Bomer, Megan Rapinoe, Michael Bublé, Milky Chance, Naomi Osaka, Natti Natasha, Niall Horan, Nomzamo Mbatha, P.K. Subban, Picture This, Rita Ora, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sebastián Yatra, Sheryl Crow, Sho Madjozi, SOFI TUKKER, SuperM, The Killers, Tim Gunn, Vishal Mishra and Zucchero. The digital stream will be available on Alibaba, Amazon Prime Video, Apple, Facebook, Instagram, LiveXLive, Tencent, Tencent Music Entertainment Group, TIDAL, TuneIn, Twitch, Twitter, Yahoo and YouTube.

As part of the “One World: Together at Home” campaign, brands including Analog Devices, Cisco, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, State Farm(R), Target, Teneo, Verizon, Vodafone and WW International, Inc. have supported the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO and regional charities that are working to meet immediate COVID-19-related needs locally.

“We are grateful to the private sector who have listened to the public’s call for action and come together to support the global response to COVID19. This pandemic is too large for governments to tackle alone,” said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “We are also incredibly grateful for the continued support from the artist community to make ‘One World: Together at Home’ a moment of global unity. Our hope for the special is that everyone will come away believing that we, as a shared humanity, can emerge from this moment forever grateful for the work of doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers and all those who are the backbone of our communities.”

“One World: Together at Home” will air on Saturday, April 18, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. PDT/8:00 p.m. EDT, appearing on ABC, NBC, ViacomCBS Networks, The CW, iHeartMedia and Bell Media networks and platforms in Canada. Internationally, BBC One will run the program on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Additional international broadcasters include AXS TV, beIN Media Group, MultiChoice Group and RTE. The digital stream will begin at 11:00 a.m. PDT/2:00 p.m. EDT and will inspire unity among all people who are affected by COVID-19.

At this critical moment in history, Global Citizen is also calling on individuals, governments and philanthropists to join and support immediate COVID-19 response efforts. Changemakers, investors and foundation leaders are being urged to actualize their giving and invest quickly in related efforts, like stronger health systems and vaccine development.

Last month in response to the global pandemic, Global Citizen launched an urgent campaign in support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO. Calling on individuals to take action and asking world leaders and corporations to support the response with sufficient resources, Global Citizens from over 150 countries around the world have taken hundreds of thousands of actions in support of the response fund. For information about how to tune in and take action, visit globalcitizen.org/togetherathome.

For more information about Global Citizen and their campaign to support the WHO’s Solidarity Response Fund, please visit globalcitizen.org and follow @GlblCtzn Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using #GlobalCitizen.

To learn more about WHO’s response to the pandemic and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, please go to www.who.int/COVID-19 and follow @WHO on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok.

ACM Presents: Our Country special to air in former ACM Awards time slot will include at-home acoustic performance, Kenny Rogers tribute

March 26, 2020

Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood  (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

The following is a press release from the Academy of Country Music and Dick Clark Productions:

The Academy of Country Music® and Dick Clark Productions announced today the all-star lineup of performers for ACM® Presents: Our Country, a two-hour special featuring intimate conversations and at-home acoustic performances with Country Music’s biggest stars, along with clips from the Academy of Country Music Awards’™ 55-year history. Confirmed performers include Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Kane Brown & John Legend, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlile, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Sheryl Crow, Florida Georgia Line, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Brad Paisley & Darius Rucker, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani, Shania Twain, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. The special will be broadcast Sunday, April 5 (8:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT and 7:00 PM CT) on the CBS Television Network and on CBS All Access.

ACM® Presents: Our Country will also honor 10-time ACM Award® winner Kenny Rogers with performances by Luke Bryan, Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker. As previously announced, artists will appear from their homes to share heartfelt thoughts and perform acoustic versions of Country hits. Additionally, video clips from previous ACM Award broadcasts will highlight favorite ACM moments from the past. It will be a night filled with entertainment, hope and reflection, bringing the healing power of music to Americans at a time when they need it most.

The special will broadcast during the time slot previously scheduled for the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards, which will now be broadcast Wednesday, Sept. 16 (live 8:00-11:00 PM ET/delayed PT) on the CBS Television Network and streaming live and on demand on CBS All Access. The 55th ACM Awards, hosted for the first time by reigning ACM Entertainer of the Year and 15-time ACM Award winner Keith Urban, honors the biggest names and emerging talent in the Country Music industry.

For more information, visit ACMcountry.com. You can also like Academy of Country Music on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @ACMawards, follow on Instagram at @ACMawards and sign up for the FREE ACM A-List for more immediate updates.

About ACM® PRESENTS: OUR COUNTRY
ACM® Presents: Our Country invites fans to join their favorite superstars for a new kind of entertainment special featuring at-home acoustic performances with top Country artists along with clips of their favorite moments from the Academy of Country Music Awards’™ 55-year history.  is produced for television by Dick Clark Productions. R.A. Clark, Barry Adelman, Mark Bracco and Amy Thurlow are executive producers. Damon Whiteside is executive producer for the Academy of Country Music®.

2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards: Ariana Grande, John Legend, Alicia Keys, Garth Brooks among performers

February 27, 2019

 

The following is a press release from iHeartMedia and Fox:

iHeartMedia and Fox Entertainment (FOX) announced today that the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will feature performances by Alicia Keys, Ariana Grande, Halsey, Garth Brooks, John Legend and Kacey Musgraves, with more to be announced. The live, two-hour event airs Thursday, March 14 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The sixth annual 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will also air live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and iHeartRadio, the all-in-one digital music, podcast, on demand and live-streaming radio service.

iHeartMedia also announced that Taylor Swift will receive the iHeartRadio Tour of the Year Award for her Reputation Stadium Tour. With more than two million tickets sold in the U.S. and grossing $266 million, it is the highest-selling U.S. tour in history by any artist. The Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour broke Swift’s own record for highest-grossing tour by a woman. It was critically acclaimed for its cutting-edge, large-scale production value that gave tens of thousands of fans in attendance each night a rare and intimate glimpse at what makes Swift one of today’s greatest performers. The tour, which kicked off in May 2018 in Glendale, AZ, also traveled to Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and was made into a special concert film for Netflix. Swift will be in attendance to accept her award.

Nominees for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards were announced on January 9. Artists receiving multiple nominations include Cardi B, Drake, Ariana Grande, Shawn Mendes, Post Malone, Maroon 5 and Imagine Dragons. For a full list of categories, visit iHeartRadio.com/awards.

In addition to being a compelling celebration of music and artists, the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards will again celebrate the fans, giving iHeartRadio listeners the opportunity to decide winners in several new and established categories. Fan voting will determine this year’s Best Fan Army, presented by Taco Bell®; Best Lyrics; Best Cover Song; Best Music Video; the Social Star Award; Best Solo Breakout; Cutest Musician’s Pet; and the first-ever Song That Left Us Shook and Favorite Tour Photographer awards.

Social voting began on January 9 and will close on March 7. Fans can vote on Twitter using the appropriate category and nominee hashtags or by visiting iHeartRadio.com/awards.

This year’s awards will feature a broad array of categories, including Artist of the Year, Best Duo/Group of the Year and individual winners for Album of the Year in music’s biggest genres, including Pop, Country, Alternative Rock, Rock, Dance, Hip-Hop, R&B, Latin and Regional Mexican formats. For the third year, the 2019 Best New Artist awards will be grouped by music format and format winners will then become finalists for the top title of Best New Artist.

Proud partners of the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards include the feature film “Five Feet Apart” in theaters March 15, L’Oréal Paris, Taco Bell®, TikTok and Total Wireless, with more to be announced.

Executive producers for the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards are Joel Gallen for Tenth Planet and John Sykes, Tom Poleman and Lee Rolontz for iHeartMedia.

For breaking news and exclusive iHeartRadio Music Awards content visit iHeartRadio.com/awards or follow #iHeartAwards on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Tickets are currently on sale to the general public at axs.com.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (PINK: IHRTQ). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About Microsoft Theater

Microsoft Theater hosts over 120 music, family, dance and comedy acts, award shows, televised productions, conventions and product launches with over 500,000 guests passing through the doors annually. The 7,100-seat theater offers guests mid-sized intimacy, with no seat further from the stage than 220 feet. Microsoft Theater offers 12,000 square feet of VIP & hospitality areas, 10 dressing rooms and state of the art technology making it is a favorite indoor venue for performers and fans alike. Since opening in October 2007 with six sold out shows featuring the Eagles and Dixie Chicks, Microsoft Theater has hosted concerts starring the most popular artists including Alan Jackson, Katy Perry, Charlie Wilson, Juan Gabriel, Aretha Franklin, Ed Sheeran, John Fogerty, Gabriel Iglesias, Kanye West, Marc Anthony, Sesame Street Live, John Legend, The Avett Brothers, Neil Young, Steely Dan, Trey Songz, Kelly Clarkson, Rush, Yanni, Nicki Minaj, Juanes, Cat Stevens, The American Idol Finale shows, “Michael Jackson’s This is It,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” move premieres and many more. Microsoft Theater is home to the American Music Awards, ESPYs, Primetime Emmy Awards, BET Awards, People’s Choice Awards, Radio Disney Music Awards, 2010, 2011 & 2015 MTV Video Music Awards, 2014 & 2015 MTV Movie Awards and the 2013 Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.

Microsoft Theater is centrally located within L.A. LIVE is a 4 million square foot / $3 billion downtown Los Angeles sports and entertainment district adjacent to STAPLES Center and the Los Angeles Convention Center featuring Microsoft Theater, a 7,100-seat live theatre, a 2,300 capacity live music venue, a 54-story, 1001-room convention “headquarters” destination (featuring The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles and JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE  hotels and 224 luxury condominiums – The Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE – all in a single tower) , the GRAMMY Museum, the 14-screen Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14 theatre, broadcast facilities for ESPN along with entertainment, residential, restaurant and office space.

New Year’s Eve specials ringing in 2019 will feature Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Lopez, Sting and more

December 27, 2018

by Carla Hay

Watching a New Year’s Eve special on TV is a tradition for millions of people around the world. After taking a break from a New Year’s Eve Special in 2017, NBC is back with its star-studded party in New York City’s Times Square. Here’s what is planned for the four biggest New Year’s TV specials in the United States:

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2019 

Ryan Seacrest and Jenny McCarthy (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC)

Celebrating its 47th year, “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” (which is produced by Dick Clark Productions and airs in the U.S. on ABC) is still the most high-profile televised New Year’s Eve event. Mariah Carey headlined the show from New York City’s Times Square in 2018 and 2017. In 2018, another Grammy-winning diva—Christina Aguilera—is taking the headlining spot. Ryan Seacrest will once again host the show, which begins airing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, followed by 11:30 p.m. to 2:13 a.m. ET. Jenny McCarthy will provide on-site reporting. Other performers in Times Square include Bastille, Dan + Shay and New Kids on the Block. Airing just after midnight Eastern Time, Post Malone will perform from a stop on his current tour in Brooklyn, New York, marking the first television performance of the new year. Meanwhile, the special has partnered with YouTube Music for the first time this year for cross-promotional programming.

Ciara will once again host the Los Angeles segments of the show that will feature performances that were mostly previously recorded. Artists in the show’s Los Angeles segments will include Lauren Alaina, Kelsea Ballerini, Bazzi, Kane Brown, Camila Cabello, The Chainsmokers, Ciara, Foster the People, Halsey, Dua Lipa, Ella Mai, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth and Weezer, as well as collaborations from Brown featuring Alaina; Macklemore with Skylar Grey; and The Chainsmokers featuring Ballerini.

Meanwhile, actress Lucy Hale (former star of “Pretty Little Liars”) will host the show’s second annual Central Time Zone celebration from New Orleans. Florida Georgia Line and Maren Morris will perform from the Allstate Fan Fest, leading up to the midnight countdown and fleur-de-lis drop near Jackson Square.  “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2019” is produced by Dick Clark Productions with Seacrest, Barry Adelman and Mark Bracco serving as executive producers. Larry Klein is producer.

Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square

Steve Harvey (Photo by Brian Bowen Smith/Fox)

After televising its New Year’s Eve show (hosted by Pitbull) in Miami from 2014 to 2016, Fox changed locations and hosts in 2017, with the show now taking place at New York City’s Times Square with comedian/talk-show host Steve Harvey and former E! News personality Maria Menounous. This year, Harvey and Menounous return to co-host the show, which airs on Fox from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET and 11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET live; CT/MT/PT tape-delayed. Performers will include Sting, Snoop Dogg, Robin Thicke, Florence + the Machine, Jason Aldean, Juanes and Why Don’t We. Additionally, the special will include celebrity cameo appearances by comedians Ken Jeong and Kenan Thompson, as well as “Fox NFL Sunday” commentators Curt Menefee, Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Michael Strahan and Jimmy Johnson. “Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square” is produced by IMG Original Content and Done + Dusted. Guy Carrington, Katy Mullan, Mike Antinoro, Dave Chamberlin and Orly Anderson serve as executive producers; and Eddie Delbridge serves as co-executive producer. IMG also produces Harvey’s self-titled talk show, as well as the Miss Universe Pageant and “It’s Showtime at the Apollo,” which have been hosted by Harvey over the past several years.

[December 30, 2018 UPDATE: Dierks Bentley has been added to the lineup performing in Times Square.]

NBC’s New Year’s Eve

Carson Daly, Chrissy Teigen, Leslie Jones, Keith Urban
(Photo courtesy of NBCUniversal)

Stars from NBC’s “The Voice” are all over “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” special, which begins airing at 10 p.m. ET from New York City’s Times Square. Not only is “The Voice” host Carson Daly hosting the New Year’s Eve show (with Chrissy Teigen and assistance from Leslie Jones), but “The Voice” coaches Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton and John Legend are also performing on the special. Other performers include Jennifer Lopez, Bebe Rexha, Diana Ross and Andy Grammer.  Keith Urban and  Brett Young will perform at Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville. “NBC Nightly News” and “Dateline NBC” anchor Lester Holt will also appear on stage before the iconic ball drop. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” will be televised from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET, followed by the New Year’s countdown segment 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” is executive produced by Daly, Teigen and John Irwin through NBCUniversal Television Studio and Irwin Entertainment. It is co-executive produced by Casey Spira.

New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen and Anderson Cooper (Photo courtesy of CNN)

For the second year in a row, longtime friends Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which begins at 8 p.m. ET. CNN’s 11th annual New Year’s Eve Show, which is telecast live from New York City’s Times Square has a more star-studded lineup this year than in previous years. Gwen Stefani is scheduled to perform from her Las Vegas residency, while Keith Urban (who also appears on NBC’s New Year’s Eve Special), Dave Chappelle, Patti LaBelle and Jack Black also round out the show’s celebrity lineup.  New Year’s Eve Live With Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen will also spotlight Broadway musicals such as “The Band’s Visit,” “Wicked,” “Tootsie” and “Come From Away.” CNN’s New Year’s Eve Show begins at 8 p.m. ET, and will end at approximately 1:05 p.m. ET. CNN anchors Don Lemon and Brooke Baldwin will host a countdown from New Orleans at 12:30 a.m. ET. In 2017, Cohen replaced Kathy Griffin, who was notoriously fired from the show in May of that year for publicly posting a photo of herself holding up a fake bloody head of President Donald Trump. Griffin and Cooper had co-hosted CNN’s New Year’s Eve Show since 2007, but the Cooper/Cohen duo brought in the show’s highest ratings so far. Cooper and Cohen have an established rapport, since they have done numerous speaking engagements together.

NBC’s New Year’s Eve: Diana Ross, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Brett Young, Andy Grammer added to lineup to ring in 2019

December 7, 2018


The following is a press release from NBC:

NBC begins 2019 with music’s biggest names in an evening that can’t be missed. “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” will feature performances by the incredible Diana Ross, Kelly Clarkson, Andy Grammer, John Legend and Blake Shelton. Carson Daly and Chrissy Teigen will host live from the heart of Times Square along with Leslie Jones.

Meanwhile, Keith Urban will join the telecast live from the Jack Daniel’s Music City Midnight: New Year’s Eve in Nashville event with a show-stopping performance of his own as well as an amazing performance by Brett Young. The 10th annual Nashville New Year’s Eve event will take place near the Tennessee State Capitol at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. The music-filled evening caps off with a Music Note Drop and fireworks to ring in the new year.

The special will air Monday, Dec. 31 from 10-11 p.m. ET/PT, will break for local news and return for the final countdown from 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

Prior to “NBC’S New Year’s Eve,” Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb will ring in the new year with “A Toast to 2018,” a star-studded New Year’s Eve primetime special highlighting the year’s biggest pop culture moments, videos and trends. An all-star cast of celebrities – from Michael Bublé and Ellie Kemper to Kenan Thompson and Busy Philipps – will dish on the most talked-about stories that made for an unforgettable 2018. The two-hour special airs at from 8-10 p.m., and will also feature interviews with Chrissy Metz, Jaimie Alexander, Howie Mandel, Melissa Rivers, Ryan Eggold, Savannah Guthrie, Giuliana Rancic, Jason Kennedy, Wanda Sykes, Johnny Weir, Carson Kressley, Al Roker, Lester Holt, Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Craig Melvin, Keith Morrison, Andrea Canning, Josh Mankiewicz, Dennis Murphy, Dylan Dreyer, Brad Goreski, Chris D’Elia, Brent Morin, Loni Love, and many more.

ABOUT DIANA ROSS

Diana Ross is an American singer, actress and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which became Motown’s most successful act in the 1960s and one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her debut solo album, which contained the Top 20 pop hit “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and the #1 pop hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She later released the album “Touch Me in the Morning” in 1973; its title track reached #1, as her second solo #1 hit. That same year, her album “Lady Sings the Blues,” which was the original soundtrack of her film based on the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday, went to #1 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart, selling more than 300,000 copies within its first eight days of release. By 1976, the “Mahogany” soundtrack included her third #1 hit, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To).” Her 1976 album included her fourth #1 hit, “Love Hangover.” In 1979, Ross released the album “The Boss.” Her 1980 semi-eponymous album “Diana” reached #2 on the Billboard Albums chart and spawned the #1 hit “Upside Down,” and the Top 5 international hit “I’m Coming Out.” Ross’ final single with Motown Records during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final #1 pop hit, the duet “Endless Love.” She is the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film “Lady Sings the Blues.” She also starred in two other feature films, “Mahogany” and “The Wiz,” later acting in the television films “Out of Darkness,” for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and “Double Platinum.” Ross was named “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history. She will be performing songs off her new holiday collection, “Wonderful Christmas Time.”

ABOUT KELLY CLARKSON

After winning season 14, Kelly Clarkson returned as coach for season 15 of NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning music competition series “The Voice.” Clarkson, who recently released her critically acclaimed eighth studio album, “Meaning of Life,” is among the most popular artists of this era with total worldwide sales of more than 25 million albums and 36 million singles. The Texas-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter first came to fame in 2002 as the winner of the inaugural season of “American Idol.” Clarkson’s debut single, “A Moment Like This,” followed and quickly went to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, ultimately ranking as the year’s best-selling single in the U.S. Further, Clarkson is, without doubt, one of pop’s top singles artists, with 17 singles boasting multi-platinum, platinum and gold certifications around the world, including such global favorites as “Miss Independent” and “Because of You.” Clarkson has released eight studio albums (“Thankful,” “Breakaway,” “My December,” All I Ever Wanted,” “Stronger,” “Wrapped in Red,” “Piece By Piece,” “Meaning of Life”), one greatest hits album and two children’s books (New York Times Top 10 best seller “River Rose and the Magical Lullaby” as well as the recent follow up “River Rose and the Magical Christmas”). She is the recipient of an array of awards, including three Grammys, four American Music Awards, three MTV Video Music Awards, two Academy of Country Music Awards, two American Country Awards and a Country Music Association Award. She is also the first artist to top each of Billboard’s pop, adult contemporary, country and dance charts. In addition, this past year Clarkson hosted the “2018 Billboard Music Awards.”

ABOUT ANDY GRAMMER

Acclaimed multi-platinum pop singer and songwriter Andy Grammer is all about inspiring and empowering the world by communicating his truths through his music. Grammer has taken the music world by storm with a succession of anthemic pop hits, six of which are certified gold or better. His debut album featured the platinum singles “Keep Your Head Up” and “Fine By Me.” Grammer’s second album, “Magazines or Novels,” featured the triple platinum worldwide hit “Honey, I’m Good,” which was one of the best-selling songs of 2015, and the certified gold anthem “Good to Be Alive (Hallelujah).” Grammer’s third full-length album, “The Good Parts,” was released in December 2017 and includes his global smash hit “Fresh Eyes,” which has become a global streaming phenomenon with over 350 million total streams.

ABOUT JOHN LEGEND

EGOT-winning, critically acclaimed, multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend has garnered 10 Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Tony Award and an Emmy Award among others. Legend is the first African-American man to earn an EGOT and one of only 15 people in the prestigious EGOT club. In 2016, Legend released his fifth studio album, “Darkness and Light,” to rave reviews and toured to sold-out audiences across the globe. Beyond his music career, he is a principle partner in Get Lifted Film Co., a film and television production company based in Los Angeles. Get Lifted Film Co. served as executive producers on NBC’s production of “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!,” the HBO documentary “Southern Rites,” 2018 Tribeca Audience Award winner documentary “United Skates,” WGN America’s series “Underground,” and films such as “Southside With You” and “La La Land.” In 2015, Legend initiated the #FREEAMERICA campaign in an effort to change the national conversation surrounding our country’s misguided criminal justice policies and to end mass incarceration. In April 2018, Legend released a new track, “A Good Night” featuring Blood Pop, and was Emmy nominated as Jesus Christ in NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!” He also won an Emmy as producer of the telecast.

ABOUT BLAKE SHELTON

Blake Shelton returned to “The Voice” for the 15th season with the incredible accomplishment of being the coach for six champions over the course of the series, including season 13 winner Chloe Kohanski. Shelton’s other winners are Sundance Head, Craig Wayne Boyd, Danielle Bradbery, Cassadee Pope and Jermaine Paul. Shelton has a storied career laden with wins of his own. Shelton earned his latest honors with the 2018 CMT Video of the Year and Male Video of the Year awards for his recent chart-topping single “I’ll Name the Dogs.” He was named Top Country Artist of the Year at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and ended the year as Billboard’s Most Played Country Artist. He is a 20-time ACM nominee and has taken home five CMA Male Vocalist of the Year trophies. His most recent album, “Texoma Shore,” was his sixth record to debut at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and marked his 11th all-genre Top 10. “I’ll Name the Dogs,” the first single from the project, became Shelton’s 25th #1 song, a streak that began in 2001 with “Austin” from his debut album. His current single, “Turnin’ Me On,” is currently climbing the charts at country radio. Shelton was born, raised and lives in Oklahoma, where he has strong community ties. In response to the devastating tornadoes of 2013, Shelton and NBC teamed up on the telethon “Healing in the Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert.” With the help of Reba, Usher, Rascal Flatts, Vince Gill and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic among others, the telethon raised more than $6 million for United Way of Central Oklahoma. He recently donated $500,000 to the Jimmy Everest Center, an Oklahoma University hospital for children with blood cancer and blood disorders. In association with Ryman Hospitality, Shelton has opened a string of entertainment-themed restaurants and bars called Ole Red. The first venue opened in 2017 in his hometown of Tishomingo, Okla., with the Nashville location following in June and another in Gatlinburg, Tenn., due this fall.

ABOUT KEITH URBAN

Keith Urban, 2018 CMA Entertainer of the Year and Grammy Award winner, recently released his new album, “Graffiti U,” in conjunction with his “Graffiti U World Tour 2018.” The album, which upon its debut on April 27, hit #1 on charts in the United States, Canada and Australia, and is Urban’s ninth. He’s had an album atop the all-genre charts in the U.S., Canada and Australia twice and is the only male country artist to have achieved the mark even once. He now stands at #8 on Billboard’s All-Time Country Airplay Chart as the artist with the most consecutive top 10 songs on Billboard’s Country Airplay Chart (38) – a streak that started in 2000. Besides four Grammys, Urban has won 12 Country Music Assn. Awards, 11 Academy of Country Music Awards, four People’s Choice Awards and four American Music Awards. He is also a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He’s long supported numerous charities, including the CMA Foundation, for which he is the first Ambassador, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, for which he is an advisory board member, the Mr. Holland’s Opus Fund and the Grammy Foundation.

ABOUT BRETT YOUNG

Academy of Country Music’s New Male Vocalist of the Year Brett Young’s sophomore album, “Ticket to L.A.,” is due Dec. 7 on BMLG Records, and its lead single “Here Tonight” is quickly rising on radio. The highly anticipated release follows his self-titled debut album, which became an instant success in 2017. The release dominated the Top 20 on the Country Albums chart for 37 weeks and quickly reached RIAA platinum certification. Delivering four consecutive #1 platinum-certified hits, Young became one of country music’s new class of hitmakers as each single climbed to the top of the charts, distinguishing himself with “In Case You Didn’t Know” as the first debut country artist since 2014 to garner 3x-platinum certification. The smash hit’s official music video has surpassed 200 million views, while Young was the only artist of 2017 with two efforts listed on VEVO’s Top Country Videos list. Young continues to impress the genre and beyond with nominations from Billboard, Teen Choice, CMT and CMA. He was recently named ASCAP’s 2018 Country Songwriter-Artist of the Year and awarded BMI’s 2018 Song of the Year for “In Case You Didn’t Know.” Above the industry successes, his relationship with fans found Young selling out every single stop on his debut headlining tour in 2017 and earning new followers on the road with Thomas Rhett. Young is currently on his headlining “CMT on Tour: Here Tonight” through the end of the year.

“NBC’s New Year’s Eve” is executive produced by Daly, Teigen and John Irwin through NBCUniversal Television Studio and Irwin Entertainment. It is co-executive produced by Casey Spira and directed by Ryan Polito.

2018 Christmas in Rockefeller Center: performers announced

November 15, 2018

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

The following is a press release from NBC:

The most wonderful time of the year kicks off with the annual lighting of New York City’s famous tree on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center(R)” on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8-10 p.m. ET/PT. The evening will include festive performances by Diana Ross, Tony Bennett,  Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, Diana Krall, John Legend, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler, with a special appearance by Howie Mandel. Additional acts to be announced. NBC’s “Today” anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will co-host the highly anticipated holiday special.

Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on select NBC stations (7-8 p.m. ET) and be co-hosted by “Extra’s” Mario Lopez and WNBC’s Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella. Check local listings.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1931, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55

The 86th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 72-foot tall, 45-foot wide Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 75 years old.

It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs on approximately five miles of wire and topped with a new Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The new three-dimensional star is 9 feet 4 inches in diameter, weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

NBCUniversal is celebrating the 10th anniversary of our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, kicking off with “Christmas in Rockefeller Center(R).” As part of the company’s Green is Universal initiative, the campaign will support tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas. NBCUniversal’s $50,000 donation will restore tree canopies across the United States that have been destroyed by recent wildfires and hurricanes. The more than 100,000 trees planted since the partnership’s inception have helped to rebuild forests and communities, as well as provide beautification, cleaner air and water, and restoration of natural habitat.

ABOUT THE HOSTS:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE

Savannah Guthrie is the co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY and she also serves as NBC News’ chief legal correspondent. Since joining TODAY, she has conducted a wide range of exclusive interviews with newsmakers, including President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power and former U.S. Representative Gabby Giffords. Guthrie was a primary anchor for both the network’s primetime 2018 midterm election coverage and the 2016 presidential election coverage. Guthrie has anchored major breaking news events, including the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Las Vegas mass shooting, the Boston Marathon bombing, the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris and the 2013 Moore, Okla., tornado. As part of her work on TODAY, she received a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2012. Guthrie is also a New York Times bestselling author for her books “Princesses Wear Pants” and the sequel “Princesses Save the World.”

HODA KOTB

Hoda Kotb is the co-anchor of NBC News’ TODAY as well as the co-host of TODAY with Kathie Lee and Hoda. Kotb has also been a “Dateline” correspondent since 1998 and covered a variety of domestic and international stories, as well as human-interest pieces and features across all NBC News platforms. Kotb has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Gracie Award for Individual Achievement, the 2008 Alfred I. duPont -Columbia University Award, a Peabody in 2006 and as part of her work on TODAY, a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2012. She is a New York Times bestselling author for her books “Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee,” “Ten Years Later: Six People Who Faced Adversity and Transformed Their Lives” and “I’ve Loved You Since Forever.”

AL ROKER

With a career spanning 35 years, 13-time Emmy-award winner Al Roker is the weather, feature and co-anchor on NBC’s TODAY. Throughout the years, Roker has reported live for TODAY from some of history’s worst storms and natural disasters including Haiti in 2010 and from the Lower Ninth Ward and the French Quarter in New Orleans for a special edition on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. He is a recipient of the American Meteorological Society’s prestigious Seal of Approval and has been a pioneer in the use of computer graphics for weathercasting and as part of his work on TODAY, he received a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Show in 2010. Since 1985, he has served each holiday season as co-host for the annual Christmas at Rockefeller Center and also co-hosts The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Rose Bowl Parade. As CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, he produces programming for traditional TV networks as well as OTT and digital platforms. Roker is also bestselling author with 11 acclaimed books to his credit.

CRAIG MELVIN

Craig Melvin is a news anchor on NBC News’ TODAY and an anchor on MSNBC. His breaking news coverage and reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms. Melvin has covered a wide-range of news events, including several Republican and Democratic National Conventions. He has also covered tragic mass shootings across the country for the network, including Dallas and Orlando in 2016; Charleston, South Carolina in 2015; the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. in 2013; and Sandy Hook in 2012. In addition, Melvin reported extensively on police involved shootings and subsequent protests in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015 and Ferguson, Missouri in 2014. Melvin also contributed to NBC Sports coverage of the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:

DIANA ROSS

Diana Ross is an American singer, actress and record producer. Born and raised in Detroit, Mich., Ross rose to fame as the lead singer of the vocal group the Supremes, which became Motown’s most successful act in the 1960s and one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Following her departure from the Supremes in 1970, Ross released her debut solo album, which contained the Top 20 Pop hit “Reach Out and Touch (Somebody’s Hand)” and the No. 1 Pop hit “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” She later released the album “Touch Me in the Morning” in 1973; its title track reached No. 1, as her second solo No. 1 hit. That same year, her album “Lady Sings the Blues,” which was the original soundtrack of her film based on the life of jazz singer Billie Holiday, went to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, selling more than 300,000 copies within its first 8 days of release. By 1976, the “Mahogany” soundtrack included her third No. 1 hit, “Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You’re Going To).” Her 1976 album included her fourth No. 1 hit, “Love Hangover”. In 1979, Ross released the album “The Boss.” Her 1980 semi-eponymous album “Diana” reached No. 2 on the US Billboard albums chart and spawned the No. 1 hit “Upside Down,” and the Top 5 international hit “I’m Coming Out.” Ross’ final single with Motown Records during her initial run with the company achieved her sixth and final US No. 1 Pop hit, the duet “Endless Love.” She is the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Ross has also ventured into acting, with a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award-nominated performance for her performance in the film “Lady Sings the Blues.” She also starred in two other feature films, “Mahogany” and “The Wiz,” later acting in the television films “Out of Darkness,” for which she also was nominated for a Golden Globe Award, and “Double Platinum.” Ross was named the “Female Entertainer of the Century” by Billboard magazine. In 1993, the Guinness Book of World Records declared Ross the most successful female music artist in history. She will be performing songs off her new holiday collection, “Wonderful Christmas Time.”

TONY BENNETT

No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. In the last 10 years alone he has sold 10 million records. The essence of his longevity and high artistic achievement was imbued in him in his loving childhood home in the Astoria section of Queens where he was born on Aug. 3, 1926. As a teenager Bennett sang while waiting on tables and then enlisted in the Army during World War II and while in Europe he performed with military bands. Bennett’s big break came in 1949 when comedian Bob Hope noticed him working with Pearl Bailey in Greenwich Village in New York City. Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and now in the first two decades of the 21st century. He has introduced a multitude of songs into the Great American Songbook that have since become standards for popular music. With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received 19 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Bennett is also an Emmy Award winner, a Kennedy Center honoree NEA Jazz Master and the first interpretive singer to receive the Gershwin Prize from the Library of Congress. An accomplished painter, three of his works are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute and he has authored six books.

DIANA KRALL

Diana Krall is the only jazz singer to have nine albums debut at the top of the Billboard Jazz Albums chart. To date, her albums have garnered five Grammy Awards, 10 Juno Awards and have also earned nine gold, three platinum and seven multi-platinum albums. Krall’s unique artistry transcends any single musical style and has made her one of the most recognizable artists of our time. Born in Nanaimo, British Columbia, which is outside of Vancouver, Krall grew up in the western part of Canada and began studying the piano when she was 4 years old. Krall was still a teenager when she was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston. In 1994, she signed with GRP Records and recorded “Only Trust Your Heart,” which marked the beginning of her association with Tommy LiPuma, a collaboration that would continue until LiPuma’s untimely passing in 2017. Krall’s success continued with her subsequent releases “All for You” and “Love Scenes,” but her watershed moment came in 1999 with the release of “When I Look in Your Eyes,” her first release for the historic Verve record label. The recording spent an unprecedented 52 weeks in the #1 position on Billboard’s Jazz chart, won two Grammy Awards and went platinum in the U.S. and Canada. Krall’s next album, “The Look of Love,” continued her international success and became a top 10 seller on Billboard’s Top 200 Album charts. Since then she has released a string of recordings that have created an impressive body of work, including recordings featured in several film soundtracks. Krall has expanded upon her role as a performer to include songwriting, producing and arranging and has brought her talents to collaborate with many other artists, including Paul McCartney, Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett. She tours extensively around the globe to sold out audiences, appearing at premiere jazz festivals and concert halls throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

BRETT ELDREDGE

Platinum-selling singer/songwriter Brett Eldredge has established himself as one of country music’s smoothest-singing vocal powerhouses, biggest radio heavy hitters and most entertaining, arena-packing showmen. He recently released his latest single, “Love Someone,” from his self-titled record, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Country Albums chart and the all-genre Top Albums Sales chart. The record has yielded gold-certified hits “Somethin’ I’m Good At” and most recently, “The Long Way.” The latter tune lends its name to his critically acclaimed and first ever sold-out headlining tour. Eldredge’s live shows feature his six chart-topping, gold and platinum-certified singles spanning three albums. The Paris, Ill., native released his Christmas record “Glow” in 2016 and earned an additional #1 song on the Holiday Music and Adult Contemporary charts with “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” a duet alongside Grammy-winner Meghan Trainor. The deluxe edition, featuring five brand new evergreen tracks, was released in October 2018.

DARCI LYNNE FARMER

Winning NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” at just 12 years old by the most votes for a final performance in the history of the show, singer/ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer impresses audiences across the country with her sweetheart disposition and undeniable, show-stopping talent beyond her years. Accompanied by her musical friends including divaesque rabbit Petunia, shy and soulful mouse Oscar and sarcastic old woman Edna. Singing through her friends helped the young entertainer find a voice inside she didn’t know she had and helped her overcome a lifelong struggle with shyness. An Oklahoma native, Farmer began participating in talent-based pageants at a young age and picked up ventriloquism shortly after. Two weeks later, Farmer began tackling talent shows, eventually making it to the biggest talent show on television, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Following her big win, she has been featured on NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship,” “Ellen” and “Today.” “Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas Special” will air on NBC this December. Farmer and her friends are continually on the road bringing smiles to audiences across the country. In 2019 Farmer will hit the road for her “Fresh Out of the Box Tour.” For dates and the latest information, visit www.darcilynne.com.

JOHN LEGEND

A highly accomplished musician, songwriter, actor, film producer and philanthropist, Legend is one of the most versatile and talented artists in entertainment today. He recently completed the prestigious and highly exclusive EGOT – Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony – when he won as producer of NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.” In 2015, Legend, along with Common, won the Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for their song “Glory” from the film “Selma,” which chronicled the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala. The 10-time Grammy winner has released five studio albums and began his impressive Grammy run in 2006 when he won Best New Artist for his debut release, “Get Lifted,” which captured Best R&B Album. “Get Lifted,” along with each of his next three albums – “Once Again,” “Evolver” and “Love in the Future” – reached the Top 5 in album sales on the Billboard charts and achieved gold status. As a film producer, Legend worked on the 2016 film sensation “La La Land,” in which he also appeared. In addition, Legend has acted in several TV and film productions, including “Underground,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Soul Men.” On Broadway, Legend won a Tony last year as a producer of August Wilson’s “Jitney,” which won for Best Revival of a Play.

MARTINA MCBRIDE

Martina McBride is a multiple Grammy-nominated country singer, whose incomparable vocals have kept her at the top of the charts garnering six No. 1 hits and 20 top 10 singles. Selling more than 18 million albums to date, McBride has earned 14 Gold, nine Platinum, three Double Platinum and two Triple Platinum certifications. McBride has been honored with more than 15 major music awards, including four wins from the Country Music Association and three Academy of Country Music Awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. On October 30, McBride released her new cookbook, “Martina’s Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life.” Her first book, “Around the Table,” a collection of her favorite recipes, hosting tips, practical menu planning advice and themed décor inspiration, came out in 2014. She also released a new Christmas album in October called “It’s the Holiday Season” featuring her favorite Christmas standards, all with the backing of a symphony. When McBride isn’t in the studio, she focuses her time on charitable causes dear to her heart. Through her Team Music Is Love charity initiative, McBride partners with non-profit causes to help many of the towns she’s performing in. McBride also invites fans to join her team in making the world a better place through the power of music. Since 2011, Team Music Is Love has been responsible for many successful fundraising and volunteer projects helping causes such as hunger relief, cancer research, combating domestic violence and helping children in need. McBride was also recently awarded the Covenant House Beacon of Hope Award and Music Business Association’s prestigious 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic efforts on behalf of domestic violence.

PENTATONIX

Three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling artist Pentatonix has sold nearly 10 million albums in worldwide consumption and performed for hundreds of thousands of fans at their sold out shows across the globe. Their YouTube channel boasts more than 15.5 million subscribers, yielding over 3.4 billion video views. Their 2015 self-titled album is certified gold after debuting #1 on Billboard’s 200. Additionally, nine of their albums reached the top 10 on Billboard’s 200 chart (two albums reaching No. 1) and received multiple RIAA certifications for multi-platinum, platinum and gold selling albums and singles. Their tracks, “Mary, Did You Know?” and “Hallelujah” were certified platinum, while the Pentatonix original, “Can’t Sleep Love,” was certified gold. The group has had two holiday specials on NBC, released their tour documentary “On My Way Home” in 2015 and appeared in the feature film, “Pitch Perfect 2.” In October 2017, Pentatonix released a deluxe version of their certified platinum 2016 holiday album, “A Pentatonix Deluxe,” and completed their sold-out “A Pentatonix Christmas Tour” in December. The following year, in April 2018, Pentatonix released the first collection in the group’s PTX Presents series, “PTX Presents: Top Pop Vol. 1,” which features 11 PTX-curated modern pop performances, and just wrapped their 39-city North American tour in September. Their fourth holiday album, “Christmas Is Here!” is out now and is accompanied by a new single, “Making Christmas.” They have also announced their “Christmas Is Here! Tour” that starts in November and finishes with four nights at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

KELLIE PICKLER

Kellie Pickler was born and raised in North Carolina and now calls Nashville home. She first won hearts and gained national attention as a top finalist on “American Idol” at the age of 19. Pickler has released four albums – gold-certified “Small Town Girl,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and was the bestselling debut by a solo country female that year; “Kellie Pickler,” which also debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart and featured her first top 10 hit and the platinum-certified single, “Best Days of Your Life”; “100 Proof,” named the #1 Country Album of the Year by Rolling Stone; and “The Woman I Am.” Her CMT docu-comedy series, “I Love Kellie Pickler,” debuted in 2015, propelling the network to its highest premiere since 2012. After three successful seasons, the series was retired so that Pickler could focus on “Pickler & Ben.” This holiday season Pickler stars in a Hallmark Channel Original Movie “Christmas at Graceland” where she plays a finance executive who rediscovers her passion and talent for singing. The film aired Nov. 17 and Pickler will perform beloved Christmas songs, including “Silent Night,” “Silver Bells,” “First Noel,” “I’ll Be Home for Christ-mas,” “Joy to the World” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Pickler is a “Dancing With the Stars” champion and an avid supporter of our servicemen and women. She has completed 11 USO Tours, performing for those serving abroad.

HOWIE MANDEL

Howie Mandel has remained a constant force in show business for more than 30 years. Mandel will return as host of the game show “Deal or No Deal” when it premieres Dec. 5 on CNBC. For nine seasons he has served as a judge on NBC’s hit summer talent competition series, “America’s Got Talent,” which recently wrapped its milestone 13th season. He will also be seen as a judge on the global winter edition of the series, “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,” which will premiere Jan. 7. His additional work as a host, actor, and/or executive producer include “Take It All” and “Howie Do It” for NBC, “Deal With It” for TBS and “Mobbed” for Fox. Previously, Mandel received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for “Deal or No Deal” and a Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Game Show Host for the syndicated version of the show. Mandel’s versatile career has encompassed virtually all aspects of the entertainment spectrum, including television, film and stage. From his work on the Emmy Award-winning “St. Elsewhere,” to the international animated children’s series “Bobby’s World,” Mandel has become a mainstay of the American comedy scene. In 2009, Mandel added author to his resume when he released his frank, funny and no-holds-barred memoir, “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me.” The memoir revealed his ongoing struggle with OCD and ADHD, and how it has shaped his life and career. It made The New York Times bestseller list on its first week and remained on the list for several consecutive weeks. Mandel has done countless comedy specials both on cable and network television. He has also hosted his own syndicated talk show, “The Howie Mandel Show,” and continues to be a mainstay on the talk show circuit. He also continues to perform as many as 200 standup comedy shows each year throughout the U.S. and Canada.

ABOUT THE REGIONAL SHOW (7-8 P.M. ET) HOSTS:

MARIO LOPEZ

Mario Lopez is the consummate entertainer. He is the host of the Emmy Award winning show “Extra,” and the national iHeart radio programs “On with Mario Lopez” and “iHeartRadio Countdown with Mario Lopez.” Lopez is a constant presence on the pop culture scene with a legion of fans across the board. Actor, NYT Best Selling author, producer and host, Lopez’s prolific career has made him one of the most sought-after personalities in entertainment today. Some of Lopez’s acting credits include This Is Us, Jane the Virgin, Nip/Tuck and Saved by the Bell, among many others. In 2008, Mario Lopez made his Broadway debut as Zach in the revival of A Chorus Line where he met his wife Courtney. Mario and Courtney have two adorable kids, Gia and Dominic and two dogs, Julio and Juanita.

STEFAN HOLT

Stefan Holt co-anchors NBC 4 New York’s 4 p.m and 11 p.m. daily newscasts. He also contributes to NBC 4 New York I-Team investigations throughout the Tri-State area. Holt was one of the first U.S. journalists to report live from Havana following the death of former Cuban President Fidel Castro. He also co-anchored NBC 4 New York’s news coverage from the 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University and NBC 4 New York’s 2016 Election Night coverage from 30 Rock. He later travelled to Washington, D.C. to co-anchor the station’s coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. In recognition of his commitment to journalistic excellence, Holt was recognized with a regional Edward R. Murrow award as part of NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2017 Tribeca terrorist attack. Holt has also been recognized with three New York Emmys(R) for NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2016 Hoboken rail crash, 2017 Presidential Inauguration and the 2017 Bronx Lebanon Hospital shooting.

NATALIE PASQUARELLA

Natalie Pasquarella co-anchors NBC 4 New York’s 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. daily newscasts. She also contributes to NBC 4 New York I-Team investigations throughout the Tri-State area. Throughout her time at NBC 4 New York, Pasquarella has covered many of the Tri-State’s most memorable stories. This included the 2015 visit of Pope Francis to New York City and the 2016 Presidential Debate at Hofstra University. Pasquarella also co-anchored NBC 4 New York’s 2016 Election Night coverage from 30 Rock and later travelled to Washington, D.C. to co-anchor the station’s coverage of the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. In 2018, Pasquarella travelled to London to cover the 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle. In recognition of her commitment to journalistic excellence, Pasquarella has been awarded four New York Emmys(R) as part of NBC 4 New York’s team coverage of the 2016 Dallas Police attacks, the 2016 Hoboken rail crash and the 2017 Bronx Lebanon Hospital shooting.

November 27, 2018 UPDATE:

Ella Mai, the New York City Ballet’s production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” Rob Thomas and the Radio City Rockettes have been added to the list of spectacular performances slated for this year’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center®” telecast on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 8-10 p.m. ET/PT.

The new additions join previously announced performers Diana Ross, Tony Bennett & Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, John Legend, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler in the annual celebration. NBC’s “Today” anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker and Craig Melvin are set to host.

Tony Award winner Billy Porter as well as the PAL Cops & Kids Chorus in New York City, with a special introduction by Tony Danza, will also lend their voices to the additional live hour of the special to be broadcast on select NBC stations (7-8 p.m. ET). The regional hour will be co-hosted by “Extra’s” Mario Lopez and WNBC’s Stefan Holt and Natalie Pasquarella, and also feature additional songs from Diana Krall, Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynn Farmer, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler. Station list included below. Check local listings.

The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1931, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55

The 86th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 72-foot tall, 45-foot wide Norway Spruce from Wallkill, N.Y. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 75 years old.

It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs on approximately five miles of wire and topped with a new Swarovski star designed by architect Daniel Libeskind. The new three-dimensional star is 9 feet, 4 inches in diameter, weighs approximately 900 pounds and features 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

NBCUniversal is celebrating the 10th anniversary of our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation, kicking off with “Christmas in Rockefeller Center®.” As part of the company’s Green Is Universal initiative, the campaign will support tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas. NBCUniversal’s $50,000 donation will restore tree canopies across the United States that have been destroyed by recent wildfires and hurricanes. The more than 100,000 trees planted since the partnership’s inception have helped to rebuild forests and communities, as well as provide beautification, cleaner air and water, and restoration of natural habitat.

ABOUT THE ADDITIONAL NATIONAL PERFORMERS:

ELLA MAI

Ella Mai is a British singer-songwriter. She released her first EP, “Time,” in 2016, followed by her second EP, “Change,” later that year. Her third EP, “Ready,” featured “Boo’d Up,” which later became her breakthrough hit. Ella Mai has served as the opening act for both Kehlani and Bruno Mars on tour, where she continued to gain the public’s attention. In August, she released the single “Trip,” which peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. She released her self-titled debut in October of this year, which charted #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums and #1 on Billboard’s Top R&B Albums upon release last month. Her album includes the smash multi-platinum hit singles “Boo’d Up” and “Trip.”

NEW YORK CITY BALLET

New York City Ballet’s acclaimed production of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” premiered in 1954 and has been performed in New York City every year since. Set to Peter Ilyitch Tschaikovsky’s glorious score, “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” features choreography by Balanchine, scenery by Rouben Ter-Arutunian, costumes by Karinska and lighting by Mark Stanley, after the original design by Ronald Bates. More than 100,000 people see the production each year. The New York City Ballet (NYCB) will perform “Candy Canes” from Act 2 of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.” The segment will feature NYCB Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht as well as students from the School of American Ballet, NYCB’s official school. The New York City Ballet opened its annual season of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” on Nov. 23 at 8 p.m. at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and will run until Dec. 30.

ROB THOMAS

Rob Thomas is one of modern music’s most compelling and commercially successful artists. For 20 years, he has been the frontman and primary composer for Matchbox Twenty, leading the quintet to multiplatinum success over the course of four albums and a string of #1 hits. Thomas’ two solo albums, 2005’s platinum-certified No. 1 album “…Something to Be” and 2009’s “cradlesong” generated the hit singles “Her Diamonds” and “Someday.” Thomas made history with “…Something to Be” as having the first album by a male artist from a rock or pop group to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 since the chart had debuted. With “cradlesong” he made history once again as the only male artist with multiple #1 hits at Adult Top 40. His last release, 2015’s “The Great Unknown,” was praised by the likes of Rolling Stone. Thomas has also collaborated with Mick Jagger on the #1 single “Disease,” Willie Nelson and Santana, the latter resulting in 1999’s “Smooth” — the Latin-tinged blockbuster that earned Thomas three Grammy Awards and spent 12 weeks atop Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. In 2004, he was the first-ever honoree of the Songwriters Hall of Fame’s prestigious Hal David Starlight Award, created to recognize a composer in the early years of his or her career that has already made a lasting impact. He has won numerous BMI and ASCAP Awards, and has earned the Songwriter of the Year crown from both Billboard and BMI. Thomas is also known as an electrifying live performer, drawing fans of all ages to Matchbox Twenty’s concerts as well as to his solo shows around the globe. Thomas is currently finishing up his next studio album which will be out in spring 2019.

THE RADIO CITY ROCKETTES

“The Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes,” presented by Chase, is a beloved holiday tradition and seen by more than one million people each year at Radio City Music Hall. This year the show features a brand-new finale scene, “Christmas Lights,” a stunning example of how innovation is blended with tradition. The finale begins at the conclusion of the “Living Nativity” scene with the original light of Christmas – the North Star. Fragments of light suddenly appear as aerialists fly across the Great Stage. One hundred Intel Shooting Star mini drones, representing Christmas lights, create various images and animations that are synchronized to music and lighting effects. The Radio City Rockettes are then revealed, performing new choreography in glamorous new costumes designed by Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated costume designer Emilio Sosa. The production is running now through Jan. 1, 2019 and tickets are on sale at www.rockettes.com/christmas and at the Radio City box office.

ABOUT THE ADDED REGIONAL PERFORMERS:

BILLY PORTER

Billy Porter stars on Ryan Murphy’s “Pose” on FX and has made several appearances this season on “American Horror Story.” Porter is a Tony and Grammy Award-winning actor, singer, director, composer and playwright from Pittsburgh. He is best known for his star turn as Lola in the smash hit Broadway musical “Kinky Boots,” for which he won the 2013 Drama Desk and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical. Other Broadway acting credits include the Tony-nominated Broadway musical, “Shuffle Along,” “Miss Saigon,” “Five Guys Named Moe” and “Grease.” His one-man show, “Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am,” was nominated for a 2005 GLAAD Media Award. Porter’s film and television credits include Baz Luhrman’s “The Get Down,” “The Humbling” directed by Barry Levinson, “Another World,” “Twisted” and “Law & Order.” As a recording artist, Porter’s solo albums include his first CD, “Untitled,” and his sophomore album, “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul – LIVE.” “Billy’s Back on Broadway,” was released in 2014. Porter’s newest album, “The Soul of Richard Rodgers,” is released on Sony Masterworks. As a director, Porter directed the revivals of George C. Wolf’s plays, “The Colored Museum” and “Top Dog/Underdog” as well as the critically acclaimed recreation of “The Wiz.” Porter is currently filming the Paramount feature film “Limited Partners,” starring Tiffany Haddish, which will be out next summer.

THE PAL COPS & KIDS CHORUS IN NEW YORK CITY

The PAL Cops & Kids Chorus in New York City evolved from a songwriting project that engaged NYPD officers and PAL (Police Athletic League) teens in a process of creativity and discovery. The experience was so impactful that the officers and teens have continued to practice and perform original work and standards from the American songbook throughout the year. The PAL Cops & Kids Chorus provides a unique opportunity for New York City youth to form genuine relationships with NYPD officers, build self-esteem and perform in a variety of exciting venues throughout New York City. The Chorus is an initiative within the PAL Acting Program, under the leadership of PAL Board member Tony Danza. New York City’s Police Athletic League is the first and finest civilian-run PAL in the country. Founded in 1914, PAL has served the city’s young people for over 100 years. PAL provides recreational, educational, cultural and social activities to 30,000 boys and girls annually. It is also the city’s largest, independent, nonprofit youth organization. For more information, please visit www.palnyc.org.

TONY DANZA

Most recently starring in the Netflix series “The Good Cop,” Tony Danza has been one of the world’s most beloved and iconic entertainers for over 40 years. Perhaps best known for his starring roles on two of television’s most cherished and long-running series, “Taxi” and “Who’s The Boss,” Danza has also starred in hit films such as “Angels In Outfield,” “She’s Out of Control,” “Hollywood Knights,” and “Don Jon.” Well established as a song-and-dance man, Danza often tours with his hit live show, “Standards & Stories,” with the New York Times raving, “Tony’s a live wire who tap dances, plays the ukulele, tells stories and radiates irresistible charm. … He exudes the kind of charisma that can’t be taught.” Danza has starred on Broadway in “The Producers,” “A View from the Bridge,” and most recently received rave reviews for his performance in the Broadway musical comedy “Honeymoon In Vegas,” with the New York Times calling his performance “sly genius” and a “career high.”

STATIONS AIRING REGIONAL SHOW (7-8 P.M. ET):

WBGH (Binghamton, N.Y.), WYNC (Boston, Mass. – satellite of WBTS), WBTS (Boston, Mass.), WCBD (Charleston, S.C.), WVIR (Charlottesville, Va.), WETM (Elmira, N.Y.), WNBW (Gainesville, Fla.), WVIT (Hartford, Conn.), WTLV (Jacksonville, Fla.), WGAL (Lancaster, Pa.), WTVJ (Miami, Fla.), WNBC (New York, N.Y.), WKTD (Norfolk, Va.), WAVY (Norfolk, Va.), WPTV (Palm Beach, Fla.), WCAU (Philadelphia, Pa.), WRAL (Raleigh-Durham, N.C.), WRC (Washington, D.C. – jip at 7:30pm), WRDE (Salisbury, Md.), WTWC (Tallahassee, Fla.), WKTV (Utica, N.Y.), WVNC (Watertown, N.Y.), WTOV (Wheeling, W.V.)