Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande are among the performers scheduled for NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” special on Dec. 4.
Even after all of her concerts and nine Grammy Awards, Blige says she still gets stage fright, particularly before an event like this.
This performance will be live, she says. And singing popular Christmas songs, which everyone knows, just increases the anxiety.
“Because especially with Christmas songs and national anthems, everyone in the world knows these songs,” Blige says. “And you just want to get them right; not mess up the words to the national anthem. And you don’t want to overdo or over sing a Christmas song that everyone knows.”
Blige’s 11th album, “A Mary Christmas,” dropped last month. As of mid-November, she was planning to sing “The Christmas Song” and “Winter Wonderland” at the tree lighting.
Her favorite Christmas song is is Nat King Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song.”
“And of course when I was doing ‘The Christmas Song,’ I wish I could sing like he sings it — just so smooth, as he did it,” Blige says.
The tree lighting goes back to when Rockefeller Center opened, during the Depression. The first tree had 700 lights, and this one will feature some 45,000 LED lights.
The 12-ton Norway spruce, which is roughly eight stories high in Manhattan landscape terms, will be topped with a Swarovski crystal adding another 9 1/2 feet to the tree.
“Today” anchors Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Natalie Morales host the special, which airs at 8 p.m. ET Dec. 4.