Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 10 Best Musical Moments

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Paul Stanley of KISS during the 88th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2014 in New York City. 

When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade hits Manhattan each year, it means one thing -- it's a miracle if you can find a New York resident anywhere near 34th Street.

Locals might be scarce in Midtown Manhattan, but celebrities, Broadway dancers and musicians are available in abundance. From Taylor Swift to Tony Danza to a preview of NBC's Peter Pan Live!, here's the best musical moments from the annual Turkey Day Parade.


Facing chilly sales for The Last Ship -- a Broadway musical based on his childhood featuring his own music and lyrics -- Sting is set to join the musical's cast come Dec. 9. Fans and curious onlookers got a sneak peek at the Police man's transition to sailor at the parade. Honestly, Sting killed it. Moving around while gripping a beer mug like it was life itself in front of the Macy's store, Sting played a pretty convincing dancing-drunken sailor.

Tony Danza

The first hour of NBC's broadcast of the parade is stuffed with performances from Broadway musicals, and none got Twitter talking more than Tony Danza dancing and singing his way through a number from the new Broadway musical Honeymoon in Vegas. The reaction was mostly, "Wait, what?" followed by the realization that you never need an excuse for more Danza in your life.

Nick Jonas

With intermittent snow and rain falling upon the parade, a surefire way to heat things up is to bring in Nick Jonas. No, his abs did not make an appearance, but he still looked dapper as hell singing "Jealous" -- even on a parade float decorated to look like a cruise ship.

The Vamps

Much like cranberry sauce, lip-syncing is a no-no at any table except on Thanksgiving. So props to British pop band the Vamps for (it seems) actually performing "Somebody to You" live on their parade float. Unlike 90 percent of the big red mics at the parade, theirs were actually connected to a cord. But even if they were lip-syncing, they were still playing their instruments live, so good on them.

Taylor Swift

New York's new cultural ambassador didn't take to the inclement Manhattan streets to perform amidst the rain and snow. No, Swift performed "Shake It Off" and "Welcome to New York" from the comfort of the Ed Sullivan Theater. That meant she was actually performing live, but sadly, it also meant her performance wasn't on the iconic NBC broadcast of the Macy's parade.


We got a sneak live preview of the upcoming Annie remake at the parade when Quvenzhane Wallis and her orphan pals performed a Jay Z-inflected version of the Annie classic "It's the Hard Knock Life." It was a much smaller-scale preview than the massive Peter Pan Live! dance, but it got us hungry for more.


Kiss performed their signature hit "Rock and Roll All Nite" at the Thanksgiving parade, because Kiss have never met a promotional opportunity they didn't like. Still, we were thankful to have a some genuine rock music included in the Thanksgiving parade after all the Broadway numbers and marching bands.

Watch the First Full 'Annie' Trailer

Peter Pan Live!

Although Allison Williams stopped by the speak with the NBC anchors, we sadly didn't get to see her OR Christopher Walken performing a preview of Peter Pan Live! at the parade. Regardless, the choreography for "I Won't Grow Up" was flawlessly executed, which bodes well for next Thursday's live TV debut of the musical.

Meghan Trainor

Performing her new single "Lips Are Moving," Meghan Trainor hit the Turkey Day parade via the Goldieblox float. You might remember Goldieblox as the toy company who got into a legal spat with the Beastie Boys for its unauthorized use of their 1986 track "Girls" in a viral ad that subverted the (already tongue-in-cheek) lyrics of the group. Legalities aside, the engineering-focused float was one of the best at the parade.

Idina Menzel

One of Broadway's finest voices performing Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was the perfect way to close out the NBC broadcast of this year's parade. You can never really have enough Idina Menzel -- especially considering she was one of the select few performers who actually sang live during the parade.


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