ATLANTA - Channel 2, WSB-TV kicks off the holiday season with an Atlanta tradition. For more than six decades, generations in Atlanta have welcomed the holiday season with music, fireworks and the lighting of Macy’s Great Tree.
“This long-standing tradition is a great way to bring families and the community together to kick off their holiday celebrations,” said Tim McVay, vice president and general manager of Channel 2 WSB-TV. “WSB-TV is proud to continue our partnership with Macy’s on such a great event,” McVay added.
Channel 2’s Jovita Moore and Craig Lucie host the live broadcast from Lenox Square on a new night, Sunday November 22nd at 7 p.m.
The superstar lineup includes award winning singer and actress Jordin Sparks, Grammy nominated band Mercy Me and Dove Award soloist Danny Gokey.
All the fun will culminate in the lighting of the 56-foot-tall, ecologically-friendly reusable tree. It’s a sight that can’t be missed with 45,000 LED twinkling lights, more than 8 miles of light strings, and a giant star perched on top of Macy’s at Lenox Square.
The festive finale with favorite holiday tunes builds the anticipation to the magical moment, the lighting of Macy’s Great Tree and fireworks! People can join Channel 2 WSB-TV for this event, spark their holiday spirit and join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #GreatTreeLighting.
Join Channel 2 WSB-TV for this memorable way to kick off the holiday season! Then, stay with us for the star-studded “American Music Awards,” on Channel 2 at 8 p.m.
WHAT: Macy’s Great Tree Lighting
WHO: Hosted by Jovita Moore and Craig Lucie
WHEN: November 22, 2015 at 7p.m. on Channel 2
About the performers:
Jordin Sparks may have been 17 when she came into your consciousness via your TV screen, but she was a professional triple threat long before she took the American Idol crown. “I was 7 years old when I knew I loved to sing,” the Grammy® nominated film and Broadway star reflects. “But when I saw Kelly Clarkson win, I was 11. I told my mom I wanted to do that”. At that point, she was already singing in church, acting in community theater in her native Phoenix, Arizona. The little girl with the really big voice appeared on America’s Most Talented Kids at 14, and was touring with contemporary Christian megastar Michael W. Smith as his background singer a year later.
In the tradition of the vocal powerhouses she admires like Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey, Jordin has reinvented her sound for her third studio release. The pop success that brought her to the fore has given way to a bold, soulful aesthetic that pulses with sensuality and a newfound confidence, all of which Jordin has embraced in her personal life.
After her life-changing star turn in Sparkle, where she acted and recorded with Houston, who, as executive producer on the film, hand selected Jordin for the role, after conquering Broadway as the star of In The Heights, she embarked on a personal makeover. Jordin left the comfort of her hometown for Los Angeles. She transformed her body through a rigorous regimen of diet and training that landed her the cover of People Magazine’s Most Amazing Bodies Issue in 2011.
Five years later, Jordin is at her zenith and ready for her next takeover.
Music feeds the soul and few people understand its power better than Danny Gokey. His young life has been a rollercoaster ride and music has been his constant companion. It sustained him following the death of his first wife, Sophia, and it propelled him up the charts after the world discovered his talent on American Idol. Music has shaped his life, providing a sense of purpose and direction, even in the most trying times.
Music City definitely felt like a comfortable home for the talented Wisconsin native who grew up listening to a variety of music from Keith Green to Tim McGraw to the Tempations. “My dad was my biggest influence for music,” says Gokey, who was born the fifth of six children. “We listened to Dallas Holm, Ray Boltz, dcTalk and Sandy Patti, but we also listened to country music like Brooks & Dunn and Lee Ann Womack as well as funk and soul music like the Temptations, the Four Tops, The Chi-Lites and the Average White Band. My dad had really diverse taste in music and it was a great music education.”
Gokey has always loved music, but in the early days, it wasn’t the job that paid the bills. “I drove an eighteen wheeler semi-truck, a big rig,” he says. “I liked it actually. Was it what I wanted to settle with for the rest of my life? No, because music was where my passion was.”
His wife Sophia encouraged his dreams and urged him to audition for American Idol. Just a month before his audition, Sophia died unexpectedly after what should have been a routine heart surgery. The couple had been high school sweethearts and Danny was devastated. Yet in the midst of his sorrow, he honored Sophia’s wish and auditioned for American Idol a month after she passed. He advanced through the competition. Viewers were touched by Danny’s story and the depth and power of his voice made him a fan favorite.
American Idol not only helped Gokey land a record deal and catapulted his voice into the homes of millions, it also help provide a platform for him to launch Sophia’s Heart, an organization founded to carry on the legacy of giving started by his late wife. The organization provides a place to live for homeless families in Nashville, and Gokey is proud of the way Sophia’s Heart has expanded to care for a growing number of families each year.
These days Gokey is in a sweet season. He’s remarried and he and his wife, Leyicet, have a beautiful son, Daniel Emanuel, born January 20, 2013.
Although praise & worship band MercyMe was founded in 1994, vocalist Bart Millard says that the group's birth was a process God began in him during high school. Due to the injury, Millard was left with an elective class to fill and reluctantly joined the only available option: choir. With the prodding of his choir director, he was soon actively involved. During Millard's first semester in college, he was faced with the death of his father to cancer. The loss caused him to look for a change and a fresh start. Millard's youth pastor, who had recently moved from Millard's hometown of Greenville, Texas to Lakeland, Florida, invited him to work with the youth praise band. He accepted the offer and moved at the end of his freshman year of college. Millard says that the praise band involvement marked "the first time I had ever done anything with a band -- just a local youth group who played for a Wednesday night service. But I fell in love with it immediately."
It wasn't long after that Millard became friends with keyboardist Jim Bryson. In the summer of 1994, the two traveled to Europe as part of a praise team. The trip caused Millard and Bryson to consider full-time music ministry. In August of 1994, guitarist Mike Scheuchzer made the duo a trio. The three, who had moved to Oklahoma City, formed MercyMe.
From there the group began to attract local promoters and found themselves opening for Audio Adrenaline. Following this, the band moved to Nashville and then to Texas. Their concerts grew to 200 dates per year. Bassist Nathan Cochran and percussionist Robby Shaffer joined the group, turning it from a trio into a five-member band. MercyMe, with six independent projects to their credit, signed with INO Records and released Almost There in August 2001. Thanks to the Dove Award-winning single "I Can Only Imagine," it topped the Christian charts, made the Top 40 in the overall album charts, and eventually went platinum.
A rootsier album, Spoken For, followed in 2002 and also performed well on the charts; it also earned the band three more Dove Awards.
Since then, the group has released six additional studio albums (four of which have been certified gold) and a greatest hits album, 10. The group has also had 13 consecutive top 5 singles on the Billboard Christian Songs chart, with 7 of them reaching No. 1. MercyMe has won 8 Dove Awards and has had numerous Grammy Award nominations.
About Channel 2 WSB-TV The ABC Affiliate is part of Cox Media Group and ranks as Atlanta’s number one local television station. The station also operates its website, wsbtv.com, its mobile site, wap.wsbtv.com, and airs MeTV on its digital channel 2.2.
About Cox Media Group
Cox Media Group is an integrated broadcasting, publishing, direct marketing and digital media company that includes the national advertising rep firms of CoxReps. Additionally, CMG owns Cox Target Media, which operates Valpak, one of North America’s leading direct marketing companies, and Savings.com, a leading destination for online coupon codes and grocery deals. The company’s operations currently include 14 broadcast television stations and one local cable channel, 59 radio stations, seven daily newspapers and more than a dozen non-daily publications, and more than 100 digital services. CMG currently operates in more than 20 media markets and reaches approximately 52 million Americans weekly, including more than 31 million TV viewers, more than 3.5 million print and online newspaper readers, and more than 14 million radio listeners. For more information about Cox Media Group, please check us out online at www.coxmediagroup.com.