Harry Connick Jr., Auli’i Cravalho, from the new NBC series “Rise,” Seal and Train will celebrate the holidays with incredible performances on “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” live on Wednesday, November 29 (8PM ET/PT). They join Brett Eldredge, Jennifer Nettles, Leslie Odom Jr., Pentatonix, Gwen Stefani and The Tenors in the festive celebration. NBC News’ “Today” anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker are set to host. Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on select NBC stations (7PM ET). Check local listings.
The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back to the Great Depression. First erected in 1933, the inaugural tree was decked with 700 lights and placed in front of the then eight-month-old RCA 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 85th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 75-foot tall, 50-foot wide Norway Spruce from State College, Penn. The tree weighs approximately 13 tons and is approximately 80 years old. It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multi-colored LEDs and will be topped with a stunning Swarovski star made up of 25,000 crystals and one million facets.
NBCUniversal is partnering with the Arbor Day Foundation for the ninth annual “Green Is Universal” holiday campaign by supporting tree-planting efforts to promote recovery in disaster-stricken areas brought on by the 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” viewers can go to www.greenisuniversal.com to select a tree image to post online using #ShareATree from November 27-December. 25 to help in planting 25,000 trees. Each share will contribute to the Arbor Day Foundation’s tree-planting efforts, funded by a $25,000 donation from NBCUniversal.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS
Harry Connick Jr. is a rarity in the realm of entertainment. Showered with awards and recognition, Connick has exemplified excellence in every aspect of the entertainment world.
In the fall of 2016 Connick launched “HARRY,” a nationally syndicated daytime television show. Back for a second season, “HARRY,” hosted by Connick and featuring his touring band, is an hour of uplifting television.
The foundation of Connick’s art is the music of his native New Orleans, where he began performing as a pianist and vocalist at the age of five. His career took off when he signed with Columbia Records at 18 years old and revealed his stunning piano technique and vivid musical imagination on his self-titled debut album.
Over the past three decades, he has established himself as a musician, singer and composer par excellence, a legendary live performer and a best-selling artist with millions of CDs sold around the world.
Connick has also made his mark as an actor in film, television and Broadway.
After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Harry and his friend Branford Marsalis, conceived of “Musicians’ Village,” a community in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Connick’s honors, have not led Harry Connick Jr. to slow his creative pace; they only confirm his determination to apply his talents in ways that prove inspirational to other artists and publicly spirited citizens.
Auli’i Cravalho stars on NBC’s upcoming drama series, “Rise,” premiering March 13, 2018. An actress and singer, Cravalho was only 14 years old when she was discovered and cast as the lead in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ worldwide hit film, the Academy Award-nominated “Moana.”
Now 17, Cravalho has traveled the world in promotion of “Moana” and, in what would be a career highlight for the most seasoned of performers, flawlessly sang the Oscar-nominated song “How Far I’ll Go” live on the Academy Awards for an audience of hundreds of millions.
Born in Kohala, Hawaii, Cravalho resides on the island of Oahu.
Much like the legends who originally popularized them, Seal sounds right at home singing the classics that comprise his album “Standards,” which debuted Nov. 10. Led by the single “Luck Be a Lady,” the four-time Grammy Award-winning icon imbues all 14 tracks with his singular sense of soul. Undeniably, the performances stand out as show-stopping, stunning and signature Seal. “Standards” continues a tradition of storied performances that began way back in 1991 when his voice drove Adamski’s 1991 club smash “Killer” followed by his own Top 10 hit “Crazy.”
Beyond the stage and studio, his influence permeates multiple facets of pop culture. Following three popular stints on “The Voice Australia,” he returned as a coach for the 2017 season to much fan enthusiasm. Everything stems from the music, and “Standards” solidifies Seal’s stature among history’s biggest, boldest and best voices. He leaves his mark on the songs that have defined one generation after another
Train is a multi-Grammy and Billboard Award-winning band from San Francisco that has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide and 30 million tracks, with multiple platinum/gold citations. The band has won three Grammys, two Billboard Music Awards and dozens of other honors, as well as 14 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 list since the release of their debut album.
“Meet Virginia” gave them their first unlikely radio hit and 2001’s “Drops of Jupiter” broke them to multi platinum status thanks to the double-Grammy-winning title song, and snaring the Grammy for Best Rock Song. The group won another Grammy in 2011 for their global hit “Hey Soul Sister,” the #1 bestselling smash and most downloaded single of 2010 from their multi-platinum album “Save Me, San Francisco.” In addition, their 2012 hit “Drive By” reached the Top 10 in 13 countries. In 2014 “Bulletproof Picasso,” the band’s seventh studio album, debuted at #5 on the Billboard Top 200 and earned rave reviews. Most recently, Train has re-released their well-received holiday album, “Christmas in Tahoe,” which brings their signature sound to holiday classics as well as several original songs.
Last January the band released their eighth studio album, “a girl a bottle a boat,” via Columbia Records, that spawned the lead single, “Play That Song,” hitting Top Five on the iTunes chart, Top 10 at Hot AC radio, and charting at Adult Top 40.
“Christmas in Rockefeller Center” is produced by the Emmy Award-winning Brad Lachman Productions. Brad Lachman serves as executive producer, Bill Bracken will co-executive produce and Debbie Palacio directs.
For more information on “Christmas in Rockefeller Center,” visit www.nbc.com/christmas-in-rockefeller-center