Multiple stars of “The Voice” have signed on to be part of NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special, when the lighting of the giant evergreen in the heart of New York City takes place for the 90th time. The two-hour show will air on November 30 at 8 pm Eastern and Pacific, featuring a slew of celebrity performances, including a duet by Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton.
Here’s what you need to know:
Here’s Who’s Performing on ‘Christmas in Rockefeller Center’
NBC News’ “TODAY” co-anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, and Craig Melvin will host the holiday special alongside “ACCESS Hollywood” host Mario Lopez. On all NBC-owned stations, an extra hour of live programming will air before the primetime special, hosted by Lopez and WNBC news anchors Natalie Pasquarella and David Ushery.
NBC says the show will feature “festive performances” by a wide range of musicians, including multiple stars of “The Voice.” Married coaches Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton will perform their holiday single, “You Make It Feel Like Christmas,” which they released in 2017. Former coach Alicia Keys is also expected to perform, as is recent Team Blake advisor Jimmie Allen.
“This is one of those things you grew up hearing about,” Stefani told the “TODAY Show” after rehearsing for the show. “I was from Los Angeles, so I never went to New York when I was a little girl. So it’s even a bigger deal for me to be here and be part of this.”
“Being in New York, it just feels so holiday,” she continued. “It feels like every movie you watch growing up, and now I get to be part of that fabric.”
Other celebrities scheduled to appear include country music’s Dan + Shay, Mickey Guyton, and Brett Eldredge; opera star Andrea Bocelli with his kids Matteo and Virginia Bocelli; comedians Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph; the Muppets of “Sesame Street” and the Radio City Rockettes.
Throughout the broadcast, viewers will also learn about Red Nose Day, with opportunities to donate to national non-profit organizations dedicated to keeping kids “safe, healthy, educated, and empowered.”
This Year’s Tree Owner Says His Family Considers Donation ‘Our Gift to Everybody’
According to NBC, the tradition of having a giant Christmas tree in the middle of New York City began in 1931 during the Great Depression. Two years later, in 1933, the tree was lit in an official ceremony for the first time in front of the new RCA Building, which is now the Comcast Building.
Then, in 1936, the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice skating rink was built — a perfect place for the tree. NBC first televised the tree lighting in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show,” and then as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” show from 1953-55.
The 2022 tree is a Norway Spruce from Queensbury, New York. It’s 82 feet tall, 50 feet wide, and weighs approximately 14 tons. According to Spectrum Local News, the tree was on a patch of land owned by Neil Lebowitz and his family. When he was approached in June about potentially donating the tree, he said they were shocked — but also happy to oblige.
“It’s something we can share with everybody else,” Lebowitz said. “It’s our gift to everybody. On the other hand, another thing that ran through my mind is this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Do it! It’ll be a gas, and it has been!”
The tree traveled 200 miles to the Big Apple, arriving at the plaza on November 12. It will be decorated with over 50,000 multi-colored LED lights and the 3D star on top is covered in three-million Swarovski crystals. After the tree leaves Rockefeller Center, it will be donated to Habitat for Humanity. The nonprofit will mill the giant tree into lumber to be used for building homes for those in need.