Big Freedia, PJ Morton join ABC's 'New Year's Rockin' Eve'

By Wade Sheridan   |   Dec. 28, 2020 at 10:25 AM

Dec. 28 (UPI) -- ABC announced on Monday that Big Freedia and PJ Morton have joined the celebrity lineup for New Year's Rockin' Eve, which airs Thursday at 8 p.m. EST.

Big Freedia will host the show's Central Time Zone celebration from New Orleans.

Freedia will provide viewers with a look at the art, culture and locals that define New Orleans.

Morton, a multi-time Grammy winner who is the keyboardist for Maroon 5, will perform "Auld Lang Syne."

"We are beyond excited that Big Freedia and PJ Morton, two of New Orleans' brightest musical lights, will be shining for our city and before the entire world as we ring in the New Year. Even though we won't be watching this performance in person, we will be watching from the safety of our homes as Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2021 rings in the new year with that special New Orleans flavor," New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said in a statement.

"We're also excited that this event will employ nearly 70 local crew members, many of whom have been shut out of production jobs due to the pandemic, and that the world will remember that New Orleans will be the safest place to visit and enjoy our music and culture in 2021," she continued.

Seacrest is hosting the event with Billy Porter and Lucy Hale. The trio will be in Times Square in New York City, with Ciara hosting the Los Angeles celebration.

Jennifer Lopez, Doja Cat, Maluma, Machine Gun Kelly, Ella Mai, Nelly, Miley Cyrus and Megan Thee Stallion are set to perform. Lopez will be joined by Porter, Cyndi Lauper and Jimmie Allen.

Porter and Lauper, who previously worked together in Broadway show Kinky Boots, will reunite for a duet performance during the show.

Porter appeared on Good Morning America Monday and discussed what it will feel like to co-host ABC's New Year's Rockin' Eve without any live crowd.

"I've been doing this a long time. We as artists understand how to show up whether there's an audience there or not," Porter said.

"It's going to be very interesting you know because the audience really does give us energy, but the energy is inside me this year, for hope and for what's to come," he continued.

Porter also described how not having crowds for this year's special due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is a necessary step to take in order to help crowds come back next year.