New Year’s Eve might be different this year, but one thing remains the same: Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest will still broadcast live from New York’s Times Square as always — albeit without the typical shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.
On Wednesday (Dec. 30), Billboard caught up with Seacrest and his Rockin’ Eve co-host Lucy Hale to talk all about this year’s modified celebration — where Jennifer Lopez will headline from Times Square, alongside Miley Cyrus, Megan Thee Stallion, Doja Cat, Machine Gun Kelly and more artists performing across parties in NYC, Hollywood and New Orleans.
“In thinking about the balance of what we wanted to do, we obviously want to acknowledge what a challenging year this has been for so many people who haven’t been able to work or have had to work from home or haven’t had the chance to see friends and family,” Seacrest tells Billboard News’ Tetris Kelly. “But at the same time, we want to create some normalcy, we want to create some fun, we want to create the New Year’s Eve that we love with the ball dropping and look forward to the new year. So there will be that respect for what we’ve been through and we’ll celebrate those people who are working on the front lines, but we’re also going to have a show you can turn up the volume to and enjoy and have a cocktail or glass of champagne to as well.”
The co-hosts — who will be joined by Billy Porter in NYC, Ciara in LA and Big Freedia in New Orleans — also reminisced about past New Year’s Eve smooches, with Seacrest saying with a laugh, “I’ve kissed fans, I’ve kissed Jonas Brothers, I’ve kissed different artists that have been up on that stage over the years — because it’s midnight, and you turn to your left or right on the stage, and those who are couples are kissing, and those who are just left standing, we end up kissing each other on the cheek.” Hale, meanwhile, tried to score a kiss from Seoul’s finest: “BTS was there last year, and I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ like trying to sneak up on one of them. Didn’t happen.”
Watch the full interview above — in which Hale discusses whether she would make a cameo in the upcoming HBO Max reboot of Pretty Little Liars — and tune in to Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2021 is produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC Entertainment, the parent company of Billboard.
–Reporting by Tetris Kelly