Gavin DeGraw and Rachel Platten to Headline Times Square New Year's Eve Webcast
Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment, co-organizers of New Year's Eve in Times Square, today announced that music superstars Gavin DeGraw and Rachel Platten will perform in Times Square on New Year's Eve as the headliners of the live, commercial-free webcast and TV pool feed. Joining DeGraw and Platten with performances earlier in the evening will be platinum-selling producer, rapper and songwriter, Silentó and the inaugural New Year, New Voices selection Jojo Abot.
In addition to the musical performances, Allison Hagendorf, Global Head of Rock at Spotify, network television host, and Live Announcer of the MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS and MTV Movie Awards, will return for her fifth year as the Times Square New Year's Eve Event Host. Jonathan Bennett, star of Mean Girls and host of Cake Wars, will be the Webcast Host for the first time.
The eighth annual webcast, enabled by Livestream, will cover the action and festivities in Times Square, beginning with the Ball Raising at 6 p.m. EST, plus live musical performances, hourly countdowns, behind-the-scenes stories, and star-studded interviews as anticipation builds towards the midnight countdown and the famous Ball Drop.
Gavin DeGraw is a Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter. He first broke through with the 2003 release of his debut album, Chariot, which yielded the hit singles: "I Don't Want To Be," "Follow Through," and the title-track, "Chariot." Since then, he's continued to tour to sold out crowds and has released hits including "In Love With A Girl," "Sweeter," "Not Over You," "Best I Ever Had," and his Grammy-nominated song "We Both Know," which was featured in the movie Safe Haven. Gavin's fifth studio album, Something Worth Saving, was released in September of 2016 and features his latest hit single "She Sets The City On Fire."
Award-winning international pop star Rachel Platten will perform several of her top hits throughout the night and will continue the New Year's Eve tradition of singing John Lennon's "Imagine" moments before midnight. Rachel rose to fame with the release of her multi-platinum selling hit single "Fight Song," an uplifting anthem that embodies Rachel's own vulnerability and power, with a "don't give up" message that resonates across all audiences.
Silentó is expected to thrill the audience with his hit single "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)." Silentó is an 18-year old rapper from Atlanta. His hit song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" has been viewed more than one billion times on YouTube.
Jojo Abot, who has been selected to perform as part of the inaugural New Year, New Voices platform, will perform "To Li." Jojo is a Ghanaian singer-songwriter who divides her time between Accra, Copenhagen and New York City. Her music features a worldwide sound with an experimental blend of electronica, afrobeat, jazz, neo-soul, house and reggae.
New Year, New Voices was inspired by the idea that Times Square New Year's Eve can become a platform to further promote and launch the career of a local New York City emerging musical artist. Typically a stage for some of the world's most sought after musicians, New Year, New Voices asked industry experts to recommend emerging artists, unsigned to a major record label, for an opportunity to perform live in Times Square on New Year's Eve. After considering more than 20 extremely talented acts, Jojo was selected for her unique energy, creativity and voice.
Univision will present three star musical performances to be announced later this month
Additionally, The USO Show Troupe will perform their popular A Military Salute to honor our Armed Forces. Now in its 75th year, the USO Show Troupe performs for approximately 600,000 service members and their families worldwide in over 350 live annual performances. Members of the troupe include Broadway, Off Broadway and top of the line entertainers, with musical arrangements produced in collaboration with Grammy, Emmy and Tony Award winning writers and arrangers.
Last year's webcast was watched by more than 3.6 million unique viewers representing more than 200 countries.
The live webcast video experience is available to embed for digital media outlets, bloggers, social media editors, webmasters, and Facebook users as a source of fun and entertaining content on their own sites customized for their respective communities and networks.
Hosts Allison Hagendorf and Jonathan Bennett along with street correspondents -Andrea Boehlke and Jeremy Hassell - will kick-off the six-hour celebration at 6 p.m. EST when the star of the show, the Times Square Ball, is introduced.
At the top of each hour, Hagendorf will be joined by a special guest who will talk about his or her New Year's Eve experience and Confetti Wish for the New Year and then lead The Revelers in an hourly countdown. Throughout the night, Hagendorf will keep The Revelers informed about the musical performances and other exciting entertainment in Times Square. Bennett will provide exclusive interviews and backstage access while Boehlke and Hassell will get the fun personal stories from The Revelers arriving from around the world to celebrate New Year's Eve in Times Square.
The Times Square 2017 Webcast will begin at 6 p.m. ET on December 31, 2016 and end at 12:15 a.m. on January 1, 2017 ET. The show will be streamed live on multiple websites, including TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nyc, Livestream.com/2017 and TimesSquareBall.net.
The Times Square 2017 Webcast is also available for live viewing on Android and Apple devices with the Times Square Ball App and is viewable on mobile browsers at TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.nyc, and TimesSquareBall.net.
The Times Square New Year's Eve show is presented through four thematic storylines that develop throughout the night as explained below:
ONE WORLD REVEALED - THE STORY BEHIND the million revelers who make the pilgrimage to Times Square to be part of the global celebration at the Crossroads of the World. Webcast correspondents seek out revelers from across the globe to discover their personal stories and share their energy and excitement about ringing in the New Year in Times Square.
THE STORY BEHIND THE SHOW - This narrative highlights the production efforts behind New York City's largest annual celebration through time-lapse videos, voice-over narrations, animations and interviews with event producers and directors of key departments. The worldwide audience will discover not only the tremendous amount of work and state-of the-art technology, but also the extraordinary personalities involved in the Times Square New Year's Eve celebration. Revelers will be encouraged to ask questions about everything from cabling to confetti, staging to pyrotechnics, video production to the Ball Drop.
TIMES SQUARE - THE STORY BEHIND Times Square and its world famous New Year's Eve celebration. The party started here in 1904 with over 200,000 revelers celebrating the New Year. Today, Times Square is famous not only for New Year's Eve but also for the bright lights of Broadway, the streetscape of spectacular signs, innovative pedestrian plazas, and huge public gatherings throughout its history.
CELEBRATION, REFLECTION AND RENEWAL - The story of the international online audience embracing the underlying themes of New Year's Eve: celebration - celebrating people we love and the good things in life; reflection - looking back over the past year and taking stock of all that we have accomplished and all that we have endured; and renewal - embracing the chance to start fresh, try harder and do better.
For more information about Times Square New Year's Eve, visit TimesSquareNYC.org.
The Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment are the organizers of Times Square New Year's Eve. The Times Square Alliance works to improve and promote Times Square so that it retains the energy, edge and distinctiveness that have made it an icon of entertainment, culture and urban life. Countdown Entertainment represents the owners of One Times Square and the New Year's Eve Ball.
For more information about Times Square New Year's Eve, visit www.TimesSquareNYC.org.
To join the Times Square New Year's Eve conversation on Twitter, follow #BallDrop.
Livestream's mission is to connect people and live events. Livestream offers event owners a complete set of hardware and software tools to share their events with a growing community online. More than 40 million viewers each month watch thousands of live events from customers including The New York Times, Facebook, ESPN, SpaceX and Warner Bros. Records. Founded in 2007, Livestream is headquartered in New York with offices in Los Angeles, London, Ukraine and India.