Jingle Ball hits ABC with performances from New York and Los Angeles

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Thursday, December 21, 2023
Jingle Ball hits ABC with performances from New York and Los Angeles
Sandy Kenyon has more on the show.

NEW YORK -- For a quarter of a century, music's biggest stars have celebrated the holidays at the "Jingle Ball."

What began with a single show staged by a radio station in New York City, has grown into a nationwide tour, and a primetime special Thursday night on ABC.

Sandy Kenyon headed to Madison Square Garden for this year's New York show.

It's being called, "the biggest holiday music event of the year"

Airing Thursday night are highlights from "Jingle Ball" concerts held in Los Angeles and New York City where the likes of Olivia Rodrigo rocked the world's most famous arena.

"To get here you have to have a hit song in the year so these artists fought and struggled all year long to get to the top," said John Sykes, iHeart Entertainment, President.

It's a diverse group of artists like SZA and Sabrina.

"You have One Republic. You have Jelly Roll. You have these artists all coming together along with Cher," Sykes said. "It's an incredible night of best in class."

The man in charge is a veteran music executive who brings decades of experience to staging "Jingle Ball."

"I'm just a fan at the end of the day. I get paid to do what I loved in high school," he said.

Sykes was first inspired by "The Beatles" on the "Ed Sullivan Show."

He later worked with Paul and Ringo, and The Rolling Stones, but Sykes earned his own place in music history as one of the co-founders of MTV and another cable channel, VH1.

Today, he can still be found side-by-side with superstars.

"What you have to do first and foremost is listen to the talent, follow the talent, then take whatever talents you might have to bring them to the consumer," Sykes said.

You can watch Jingle Ball on ABC, Thursday, December 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.