Jonathan Orenstein/NBC(NEW YORK) — The stars were out Wednesday night for the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, kicking off Christmas season in New York City on NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center.
The all-star live musical event, hosted by Today show crew Matt Lauer, Natalie Morales, Hoda Kotb and Al Rooker, featured special guest appearances from Alec Baldwin, Kate McKinnon and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who helped throw the switch to light the tree.
Performers included Tony Bennett, Neil Diamond, Sarah McLachlan, Pentatonix, Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Tori Kelly, Josh Groban, Jordan Smith and Anthony Hamilton with The Roots.
When asked what the celebration meant to him, Neil Diamond kept it simple: “This is all about having a good time, and opening the holiday season and everybody just getting with the program.”
This year’s tree is a 94-foot Norway spruce decorated with tons of lights and topped with a Swarovski star made of 25,000 crystals.
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