Even bigger than the balloons floating high above New York City during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are the music superstars the 89th annual event lined up this year.
There was a long list of performers — Mariah Carey, Shawn Mendes, almost every cast of a current Broadway show — but below were the music moments you needed to see from the three-hour telecast:
They saved the best for last! It’s not officially Christmas until Mariah Carey belts out “All I Want for Christmas Is You” for the first time. She was dressed in her Mrs. Claus best, standing atop a float made out of piles of presents. OK, you can finally start your holiday season. You have Mimi’s permission.
This wins for most adorable moment of the parade. Shawn is cute enough on his own — performing his hit song “Stitches” with guitar in hand, even though we know no sound is coming from that instrument — but then add dozens of children dressed like pirates around him and it’s cute overload.
— Meg (@wealllovemendes) November 26, 2015
@Macys thank you so much! That was wonderful! Happy thanksgiving !!
— Shawn Mendes (@ShawnMendes) November 26, 2015
Questlove Visits Sesame Street
Need we say more? The Roots drummer’s appearance as the DJ on the Sesame Street float got the most love on Twitter by far.
— NBC (@nbc) November 26, 2015
— Cookie Monster (@MeCookieMonster) November 26, 2015
Panic! at the Disco
What ’90s kid wouldn’t die to share a stage with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The emo-rock favorites did just that, performing new song “Victorious” as the heroes in a half shell danced around them. Well, they only performed 30 seconds of the song, which had Panic! fans on Twitter calling for a do-over. (With Plain White T’s as the next performer, Twitter also had jokes about this being the 2007 parade instead of 2015.)
The Wiz Live!
The energetic cast, led by newcomer Shanice Williams, performed “Brand New Day,” complete with a TechniColor dance routine. Our cynical side wondered if Ne-Yo was actually under that Tin Man costume — wouldn’t he rather be getting his Turkey Day started instead of covered in silver paint in chilly NYC? — but he’s an entertainer first and foremost, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he made the effort. The Wiz Live! debuts Dec. 3 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
— Broadway Girl NYC (@BroadwayGirlNYC) November 26, 2015
This one is worth watching just based on the juxtaposition of Sparks’ sexy song, “Right Here, Right Now,” with her companion performers: a group of helmeted kids on a workshop float. (We’re guessing they don’t understand the song’s first lyric: “Mile high club baby, don’t jump out the plane yet.”)
We will update with video as it becomes available.