MARIAH CAREY, PRINCE ROYCE, DARIUS RUCKER & THE ROCKETTES ADDED TO NBC'S "CHRISTMAS IN ROCKEFELLER CENTER" SPECIAL AIRING WEDNESDAY, DEC. 3
Carey, Royce, Rucker and the Rockettes Join Previously Announced Performers Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper featuring Billy Porter, Seth MacFarlane featuring Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes and Trisha Yearwood
NEW YORK - Dec. 1, 2014 - Mariah Carey, Prince Royce, Darius Rucker and the Rockettes will join the star-studded holiday special, "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," airing live from Rockefeller Center(R) in New York City on Wednesday, Dec. 3 (8-9 p.m. ET). Carey will open the holiday program with a very special performance of her #1 smash hit "All I Want For Christmas is You."
The show will be hosted by "Today" anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales, and will also feature previously announced performances from Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett, Cyndi Lauper featuring Billy Porter, Seth MacFarlane featuring Sara Bareilles, Idina Menzel, Pentatonix, LeAnn Rimes, and Trisha Yearwood.
The 82nd annual holiday extravaganza will feature an 85-foot tall Norway Spruce from Hemlock Township, Penn. It is approximately 90 years old and weighs approximately 13 tons.
Prior to this year's primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special (7-8 p.m. ET) will be broadcast by select NBC stations. Check local listings.
Once again, Green is Universal - NBCUniversal's sustainability initiative - and the Arbor Day Foundation will kick off their tree planting campaign "Share a Tree" during the "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" broadcast. Viewers will be asked to participate by tweeting #shareatree, or visiting greenisuniversal.com. For every tweet, like, share or comment the Arbor Day Foundation will plant one tree, up to 1 million.
This year when visitors go to http://www.greenisuniversal.com/ they'll come across a digital forest with hand-drawn trees from NBCU talent, including Al Roker, Natalie Morales, Alison Sweeney, Andy Cohen, Jim Cramer and many more. NBCU fans are invited to decorate and share their own digital trees, plus share our talents' customized trees. Each tree decorated, plus every like, share, retweet and comment, will plant a tree. All the social actions will also trigger donations from NBCU to Arbor Day, up to $25,000.
ABOUT THE HOSTS:
Matt Lauer -- Matt Lauer has been co-anchor of NBC News' "Today" since January 6, 1997. He joined "Today" in January 1994 as the show's news anchor. From September 1992 to September 1996, Lauer was at WNBC in New York City where he served as a co-anchor of the early morning newscast "Today in New York" and as a co-anchor of the early evening newscast "News Channel 4/Live at Five." He began substituting on "Today" as a news anchor in early 1993 before becoming the permanent news anchor in 1994. Prior to joining WNBC, Lauer hosted a daily, live, three-hour interview program, "9 Broadcast Plaza," in New York from 1989 to 1991. Before that, his experience included hosting a number of weekly information and talk programs in Boston, Philadelphia, Providence and Richmond. Lauer began his career in 1979 as a producer of the noon news on WOWK in Huntington, West Virginia. In 1980, he was a reporter on the station's 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. Lauer is a graduate of Ohio University. He lives in New York with his wife, Annette Roque Lauer, their sons, Jack and Thijs, and daughter, Romy.
Savannah Guthrie -- Savannah Guthrie is the co-anchor of NBC News' "Today" and also serves as NBC News Chief Legal Correspondent. Prior to joining "Today," Guthrie served as NBC News White House Correspondent from December 2008 to June 2011 where she contributed to all NBC News properties, including "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," "Today" and MSNBC. Guthrie also served as co-host of MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" from January 2010 to June 2011. In 2002, Guthrie received her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated magna cum laude. She was a member of Order of the Coif and received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers' Student Advocacy Award for her work with victims of domestic violence. She graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism in 1993. She received the top score on the Arizona Bar Exam in 2002. Guthrie lives in New York with her husband, Mike Feldman, and their daughter, Vale.
Al Roker -- Al Roker has been the weather and feature anchor on NBC News' "Today" since January 1996. He's also co-host of "Wake Up with Al" on the Weather Channel. Until January of 2000, Roker also served as the weekday weather forecaster for News Channel 4's early evening newscast Live at 5 on WNBC-TV, NBC's flagship owned and operated station in New York City. New York magazine has twice named Roker Best Weatherman. 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. In 1994, Roker founded Al Roker Entertainment, Inc. (ARE), a thriving multimedia company involved in the development and production of network, cable, home video, and public television projects. Roker is a bestselling author, with his most recent book, "Never Goin' Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle For Good," available now. Raised in Queens, N.Y., Roker received his B.A. in communications from the State University at Oswego in 1976, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the school in 1998. He resides in Manhattan with his wife, ABC News 20/20 Correspondent Deborah Roberts, and has two daughters and one son.
Natalie Morales -- Natalie Morales is the news anchor of NBC News' "Today" and the co-host of the third hour. Prior to her role as news anchor, Morales served as "Today" national correspondent from February 2006 to June 2011. Morales also served as a national correspondent for all NBC News platforms including "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams," Dateline NBC," and MSNBC, and still continues to report across the NBC News Group. Morales, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese, was born in Taiwan and spent much of the first 18 years of her life living overseas in Panama, Brazil and Spain as an Air Force "brat." She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, New Jersey, with dual majors in journalism and Latin American studies. Morales was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated Suma Cum Laude. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
ABOUT THE PERFORMERS:
Tony Bennett -- No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. With millions of records sold world-wide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received seventeen Grammy Awards including the Grammy Lifetime Award. His initial successes came via a string of Columbia singles in the early 1950's, including such chart-toppers as "Because of You," "Rags to Riches," and a remake of Hank Williams "Cold, Cold Heart." Tony Bennett is one of a handful of artists to have new albums charting in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 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 pop music. He has toured the world to sold-out audiences with rave reviews whenever he performs. In the new millennium, Bennett's artistry and popularity was higher than ever. In 2006, the year of his 80th birthday, his "Duets: An American Classic" was released. The album won three Grammy Awards and went on to be one of the best-selling CDs of the year and Bennett's career. Bennett's first "Duets" album also inspired the Rob Marshall-directed television special "Tony Bennett: An American Classic," which won seven Emmys. In celebration of his 85th birthday in 2011 the release of Bennett's highly anticipated, "Duets II," featured Bennett performing with a new roster of celebrated artists and earned him two Grammys. The album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard Album charts, making Bennett the only artist at the age of 85 to achieve this in the history of recorded music. Bennett's latest endeavor is a collaborative jazz album with Lady Gaga, released this September, titled, "Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek To Cheek." "Cheek To Cheek" debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts making Bennett, at the age of 88, the oldest artists to have a #1 album - a record he originally established when his "Duets II" debuted at #1. Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006, a Citizen of the World award from the United Nations and a Billboard Magazine Century Award in honor of his outstanding contributions to music. With his wife Susan, he established Exploring the Arts, which supports and funds arts education in NYC public high schools and with the Department of Education, founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in his hometown of Astoria, Queens.
Mariah Carey -- Mariah Carey is the best-selling female artist of all time with more than 200 million albums sold to date and 18 Billboard Hot 100 #1 singles (17 self-penned), more than any solo artist in history. Carey is a singer/songwriter/producer recognized with multiple Grammy Awards, 21 American Music Awards, Billboard's "Artist of the Decade" Award, the World Music Award for "World's Best Selling Female Artist of the Millennium," and BMI's "Icon Award" for her outstanding achievements in songwriting, to name a few - with her distinct five-octave vocal range, prolific songwriting, and producing talent, Carey is truly the template of the modern pop performance. Mariah Carey's ongoing impact transcends the music industry to leave an indelible imprint upon the world at large. She made her entrée into the world of independent film with her breakthrough performance for her role in WiseGirls staring alongside academy award winner Mira Sorvino and Melora Walters. In 2009, she was recognized with the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Palm Spring International Film Festival for her critically acclaimed role in Lee Daniel's "Precious" and most recently appeared in his latest stellar ensemble in "The Butler" (2013). A Congressional Award recipient, Carey has generously donated her time and energy to a range of philanthropic causes near to her heart including Save the Music, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, World Hunger Relief, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, among many others. A tremendous supporter of children's charities, both domestic and international, Carey founded Camp Mariah in partnership with the Fresh Air Fund, a retreat for inner city children to explore career development. In May 2014, she released her critically-acclaimed new album, "Me. I Am Mariah.the Elusive Chanteuse" (Def Jam Recordings) and recently completed a hugely successful world tour, THE ELUSIVE CHANTEUSE SHOW. This holiday season, Carey will bring her all-time favorite, chart-topping Christmas hits to the Beacon Theatre for five unprecedented and sold out performances of the FIRST ANNUAL ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU A NIGHT OF JOY AND FESTIVITY SHOW.
Lady Gaga -- Lady Gaga came to prominence following the release of her debut studio album "The Fame" (2008), which sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Her contributions to the music industry have garnered her numerous achievements including five Grammy Awards amongst fifteen nominations, thirteen MTV Video Music Awards amongst twenty-six nominations, and the estimated sale of 27 million albums and 130 million singles worldwide. She has travelled the world on numerous tours including 2008's The Fame Ball, 2009-2011's The Monster Ball and 2012-2013's Born This Way Ball. An HBO television special titled "Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden" earned an Emmy Award amongst its five nominations. Her third studio album, "Born This Way," broke the iTunes record for the fastest rise to the # 1 on release day. In 2013, Time Magazine named her the second most influential person of the decade. With over 2.7 billion combined views of all her videos online, Lady Gaga is one of the biggest living forces in social media with over 67 million likes on Facebook and over 42 million followers on Twitter. She is also a global activist and philanthropist, having been an outspoken supporter of many important issues including LGBT rights, HIV/AIDS awareness, body image issues, and youth empowerment. In 2011, she launched her own Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to empowering youth and creating a kinder and braver world. In 2011 she also built & launched a social network just for her fans, LittleMonsters.com. Lady Gaga is the only artist in the digital era to top the 5 million sales mark with her first two hits. Lady Gaga's fourth studio album, "ARTPOP," was released on Nov. 11, 2013 and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with 258,000 copies sold in its first week, earning Lady Gaga her second consecutive number-one album; to this date it has sold 2.3 million copies worldwide. For Lady Gaga, ARTPOP is a self-described reverse Warholian expedition. As of May, Lady Gaga has once again set off to travel the world embarking on her fourth world tour entitled: artRave: The ARTPOP Ball.
Cyndi Lauper -- Cyndi Lauper is a Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winning (for her "Kinky Boots" score) artist, who after 30 sterling years and global record sales in excess of 50 million albums, has proven that she has the heart and soul to keep her legion of fans compelled by her every creative move. With her first album, "She's So Unusual," Lauper won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist and became the first female in history to have four top-five singles from a debut album. Since then, Lauper has released ten additional studio albums with her most recent, the Grammy nominated "Memphis Blues," ruling the Billboard Blues Chart for 14 consecutive weeks to become the best-selling blues album of 2010. Overall, during her storied music career, Lauper has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, seven American Video Awards and 18 MTV Awards. With her Tony Award win for Best Original Score for the hit Broadway musical "Kinky Boots," Cyndi became the first solo woman to ever win that category. Lauper recently captured her journey through music and life in her New York Times best-selling autobiography, "Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir." As an actress, Lauper made her Broadway debut in "The Threepenny Opera" in 2006. She has appeared in numerous television shows, including "Mad About You" (Emmy Award) and "Bones" and films including "The Opportunist", "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle," "Life With Mikey," "Off and Running" and "Vibes." Lauper also continues her philanthropic work through her foundation, the True Colors Fund.
Seth MacFarlane -- Academy Award-nominated and Grammy-nominated writer, singer, actor, producer and director Seth MacFarlane recently released his latest musical venture on Sept. 30, a Christmas album entitled "Holiday for Swing." Following his critically acclaimed 2011 debut, "Music Is Better Than Words," and a 2013 Oscar Nomination for co-writing "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from "Ted," MacFarlane once again teamed up with composer, arranger, and producer Joel McNeely to record both timeless holiday songs and lesser-known gems. Continuing a longtime friendship and creative partnership, Norah Jones joins him for "Little Jack Frost Get Lost", while Sara Bareilles lends her powerful pipes to "Baby It's Cold Outside". A true renaissance man, Seth MacFarlane has created some of the most popular content on television and film today while also expanding his career in the worlds of music, literature and philanthropy. He is the creator of "Family Guy" and "American Dad!", voicing many characters on both shows, and executive produced the 13 time Emmy Award nominated series "Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey". MacFarlane made his feature film directorial debut in 2012 with the highest-grossing original R-rated film of all time, "Ted" and is currently in production on the sequel, "Ted 2," which is set for release on June 26, 2015. MacFarlane co-wrote, produced, directed and starred in the recently released feature film, "A Million Ways to Die in the West." MacFarlane's debut album, "Music Is Better Than Words," debuted at #1 on the iTunes jazz charts in 2011 and received two Grammy nominations, including 'Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album.' In 2013, MacFarlane hosted the 85th Academy Awards and was also an Academy Award nominee the same year. In 2009, he created The Seth MacFarlane Foundation to focus his charitable efforts.
Idina Menzel -- Tony Award-winning icon Idina Menzel has a diverse career that traverses stage, film, television and music. Menzel's voice can be heard as Elsa in Disney's global box office smash "Frozen," in which she sings the film's Oscar-winning song "Let It Go." After Menzel's performance of the multi-platinum song at the 86th annual Academy Awards, she made history as the first person with both a Billboard Top 10 hit and a Tony Award for acting. Menzel earned her first Tony nomination as Maureen in the Pulitzer Prize winner Rent, and won the award for her performance as Elphaba in "Wicked." Other notable roles include Rachel Berry's mother, Shelby Corcoran, on the hit television show "Glee" as well starring opposite Susan Sarandon and Amy Adams in Disney's Enchanted. Menzel starred in her own PBS special, "Barefoot at the Symphony," with an accompanying live album of the same name, and her highly successful international concert tour recently included a sold-out performance at Radio City Music Hall. In addition to cast albums, Menzel's prolific recording career includes the solo albums "I Stand, Here" and "Still I Can't Be Still." Her first-ever Christmas album "Holiday Wishes," released October 2014 on Warner Bros. Records, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Holiday Albums chart and is already receiving rave reviews. Menzel can currently be seen on Broadway as Elizabeth in the original production "If/Then," for which she earned critical acclaim and her third Tony nomination, and performed "Always Starting Over" from the musical at this year's Tony Awards. For more information, please visit www.idinamenzel.com.
Pentatonix -- Pentatonix consists of lead vocalists Scott Hoying, Kirstie Maldonado, and Mitch Grassi, vocal bass Avi Kaplan and beatboxer Kevin "K.O." Olusola. Their new holiday album, "That's Christmas To Me" debuted at No. 9 on The Billboard Top 200 Album Chart making this the second album (first one being "PTX Vol. III") in a month and fourth album in less than a year to debut Top 10 on the chart. PTX has released two videos in support of the album so far, "White Winter Hynmal" and "Winter Wonderland / Don't Worry Be Happy" ft. Tori Kelly. Additionally the group released four music videos in support of the "PTX Vol. III" - "Problem", "La La Latch", "Papaoutai" ft. Lindsey Stirling and "Rather Be" - which have been viewed over 27 million times. Having recently eclipsed 6.6 million subscribers and over 630 million cumulative views, the PTXOfficial YouTube page is currently the 13th most subscribed-to music channel. Their music video for "Daft Punk" has recently surpassed 100 million views.
LeAnn Rimes -- With album sales of more than 42 million, two Grammy Awards, three Academy of Country Music Awards and 12 Billboard Music Awards, LeAnn Rimes has made her mark in the world of music. She was the youngest person to ever win a Grammy Award and was the first country artist to win the Grammy Best New Artist trophy. Widely regarded as one of the finest vocalists in music in the last three decades, she is known for her powerful and flawless voice and a sound that is simultaneously fresh and timeless. She has gone on to have 42 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart, 13 of which have made the Top 10. Rimes just released her most recent Christmas album, "One Christmas - Chapter 1," available now in retailers nationwide and on digital platforms. The album, one of a three volume series (with one album released each Christmas) has Rimes singing some of her favorite holiday songs. She also is embarking on a holiday tour by the same name, to coincide. Rimes has also ventured into acting with roles in the Lifetime movie "Northern Nights" and the ABC telefilm "Holiday In Your Heart," as well as written several books including the novel "Holiday in Your Heart" (on which the ABC project was based), the inspirational book "What I Cannot Change," and the children's books "Jag" and "Jag's New Friend."
The Rockettes -- Known for their rich history, unrivaled talent, strength, dynamism, precision and athleticism, the Rockettes have become one of the nation's most beloved icons. From appearances ranging from America's Got Talent, Project Runway, Dancing with the Stars, The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball drop with Mayor Bloomberg to Presidential inaugurations and numerous Super Bowl appearances, the Rockettes epitomize teamwork and embody the belief that "together we're better." As the stars of the annual Radio City Christmas Spectacular production, the Rockettes entertain more than one million people each year and have played in 77 different cities across the country with their Christmas Spectacular national touring production.
Prince Royce -- According to Billboard, Prince Royce is "the most successful new Latin act in recent years". His self-titled debut album has been certified 3x Platinum in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. His latest album "Soy El Mismo" debuted at #1 on Billboard's Latin Albums Chart in U.S. and has been certified Platinum according to the RIAA. Its first single "Darte Un Beso", was the #1 song in the country for 14 weeks according to Billboard's "Hot Latin Songs" chart, joining a long list of #1 hits including "Stand By Me", "Coraz�n Sin Cara", "Las Cosas Peque�as" and "Te Me Vas". Second single "Te Robaré" reached #1 on Billboard's "Latin Airplay" chart recently, marking Royce's eighth #1 and his seventh consecutive #1 single on the chart. The twenty-five year old has recorded hit songs with superstars Man�, Daddy Yankee, Selena Gomez, Thalia and Michel Tel�, toured the U.S. with Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull, headlined four 30-city U.S. tours, and was the winning coach in the first two seasons of the top-rated U.S. Latin TV show "La Voz Kids. Royce has won 20 Latin Billboard Awards, 16 Premio Lo Nuestro and 18 Premios Juventud is and a seven-time Latin Grammy Nominee. At the age of twenty-two, Royce garnered the Composer of the Year Award at the 2012 Latin Billboard Awards, becoming the youngest person in the history of the awards to receive the honor; and at 23 he won the 2013 BMI Latin Songwriter of the Year Award. In 2013, the artist signed a major recording contract with Sony Music Entertainment for the release of Spanish-language albums through Sony Music Latin as well as English-language albums via RCA Records. Royce is currently recording his first English-language album slated for release in 2015. Its first single "Stuck on a Feeling" featuring Snoop Dogg has just been released on RCA Records.
Darius Rucker -- Capitol Nashville recording artist Darius Rucker released his third country album, "True Believers" on May 21, 2013. The album is the third consecutive album to top the Billboard Country albums chart and features the Platinum-certified, ACM and CMA nominated, Grammy award-winning two week No. 1 single "Wagon Wheel." Rucker's first two country albums, "Learn To Live" and "Charleston, SC 1966" produced five No. 1 singles including "Come Back Song," "This," "Alright," "It Won't Be Like This For Long" and "Don't Think I Don't Think About It." In 2009 Rucker was named New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards. He achieved a personal goal and childhood dream when he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on October 16, 2012. Rucker recently finished headlining his True Believers Tour. "Home for the Holidays," Rucker's first Christmas album, "Home for the Holidays" hit stores Oct. 27 and features classics such as "Winter Wonderland," "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "Baby It's Cold Outside" featuring Sheryl Crow, as well as new songs written by the country singer. His upcoming fourth studio country album expected for release in early 2015 will feature his current Top 20 single "Homegrown Honey," co-written by Rucker, label mate Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and Nathan Chapman.
Trisha Yearwood -- Trisha Yearwood possesses one of the most powerful voices in music and has built an empire by graciously standing her ground and fighting triumphantly. Like Trisha herself, her twelfth album "PrizeFighter: Hit After Hit," is the complete package, featuring ten of her career-defining hits and six new songs sung so deftly, they call to mind floating butterflies and stinging bees. In fact, the bob-and-weave between classics and new songs mirrors her footwork each night on stage alongside Garth Brooks, as part of their history-making tour. This platinum-selling, multiple Grammy, CMA and ACM Award-winning recording artist is the epitome of Southern charm... and a C.E.O. to boot. Since the release of her last Grammy-nominated album, Trisha has written two New York Times Bestselling cookbooks ("Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen" and "Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood") with a third scheduled for release in spring 2015 entitled "Trisha's Table." She's hosted five seasons of her Emmy Award-winning Food Network series, "Trisha's Southern Kitchen," and has her own cookware and cutlery lines on the way, with additional lifestyle brands planned.
"Christmas in Rockefeller Center" is produced by Brad Lachman Productions with Lachman serving as executive producer. Bill Bracken produces.
For more information on the "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," visit http://www.nbc.com/christmas-in-rockefeller-center and the NBC Universal Media Village website at www.nbcumv.com.
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