NBC’s 84th Annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” TV special aired last night and buckets of pouring down rain couldn’t dampen the collective Christmas spirit of thousands of people who gathered in New York City’s Rockefeller Center for the annual tree lighting ceremony which rings in the holiday season in the Big Apple. Some of the biggest names in music endured the elements to deliver a splendid hour of Christmas songs to the rain-soaked crowd and millions of viewers around the globe.
The star-studded lineup included Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, The Roots with Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltones, Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Pentatonix, Tori Kelly, Jordan Smith, and the world-renowned Radio City Rockettes. The festive holiday setlist pre-empted the lighting of this year’s 94-foot Norway spruce which was adorned with 50,000 lights. Check out our picks below for the three best moments from “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” 2016.
Jordan Smith and the Harlem Gospel Choir – “Here Comes Santa Claus”
Season nine winner of “The Voice” Jordan Smith, kicked off the show with a fun rendition of a Christmas classic which is loved by children of all ages, “Here Comes Santa Claus.” Smith merrily reminded us we’d “better watch out” and we’d “better not cry.” His silky-smooth voice sounded fantastic backed by the glorious Harlem Gospel Choir. Smith’s power and range is amazing and his playful Gospel-infused ended was a great way to cap off a brilliant performance.
Tori Kelly – “O Holy Night”
It’s easy to see why Tori Kelly is one of music’s hottest rising stars. Her voice is simply stunning. “O Holy Night” is arguably one of the most beautiful songs to commemorate Christ’s birth and the very first Christmas. It rises and falls in so many places and Kelly effortlessly guided us through every note. She was immersed in the song and people huddled under umbrellas in front of the stage seemed oblivious to the rain. In all, it was a magical, musical reminder of the true meaning of the season.
Josh Groban – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
Grammy-nominated artist Josh Groban released his version of this beloved Christmas classic (which was first made popular by Frank Sinatra) as a holiday single last month to rave reviews. The song embodies everything the holiday season is about from gathering with friends to hanging a “shining star upon the highest bough.” Groban arguably has one of the most beautiful voices in the world and his ability to cut straight through to the emotional core of a song and take us there with him is incredible and incomparable. We’re still basking in the warm, sparkly glow of his heartfelt holiday wish even now.
Find out more about this season's upcoming holiday music specials by clicking here and keep it on AXS.com for everything you need to know about the 2016 holidays.