June 18, 2021

NBC’s ‘Christmas in Rockefeller Center’ adds Jon Bon Jovi to star-studded special

Jon Bon Jovi will join NBC’s annual “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” with a performance of his new song “Unbroken.” The song, which is featured in the Netflix documentary “To Be of Service,” is an anthem that shines a spotlight on the thousands of veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“This song is meant to honor America’s veterans and their service, but I also wanted to take an unflinching look at the reality of their daily lives and struggles,” Bon Jovi said. The special will air Wednesday, Dec. 4 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT). Prior to the primetime telecast, an additional live hour of the special will be broadcast on all NBC Owned Television Stations as well as many of the NBC affiliates (7-8 p.m. ET. Check local listings). The tradition of the Rockefeller Christmas tree dates back 1931 during the Great Depression.

Christmas in Rockefeller Center

The first official tree-lighting ceremony occurred two years later, in 1933, in front of the then 8-month-old RCA Building (the current Comcast Building). The Christmas tree gathering was enhanced in 1936 with the opening of the Rockefeller Plaza outdoor ice-skating pond. NBC-TV televised the tree lighting for the first time in 1951 on “The Kate Smith Show” and as part of the nationwide “Howdy Doody” television show from 1953-55.

The 87th annual holiday special will celebrate the lighting of a 77-foot tall, 46-foot wide Norway Spruce from Village of Florida in Orange County. The tree weighs approximately 12 tons and is approximately 70-75 years old. It will be adorned with more than 50,000 multicolored LEDs and will be topped with a Swarovski star. After the tree leaves Rockefeller Center, it will be milled into lumber for donation to Habitat for Humanity and used to build homes in the region.