Virginia Sherwood/NBCThe stars were out Wednesday night for the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, kicking off Christmas season in New York City on NBC’s Christmas in Rockefeller Center. Among the many well-known artists who sang holiday-themed songs during the live musical event were Neil Diamond, Dolly Parton, Tony Bennett and Sarah McLachlan.

Diamond performed a Christmas medley that included “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Parton sang her tune “Christmas of Many Colors. ” Bennett crooned “The Christmas Song,” while McLachlan sang “Winter Wonderland.”

When asked what the celebration meant to him, Diamond kept it simple: “This is all about having a good time, and opening the holiday season and everybody just getting with the program.”

Other performers included Garth Brooks and his wife, Trisha Yearwood; a cappella act Pentatonix, who were accompanied by the Harlem Gospel Choir; Tori Kelly; Josh Groban; and Anthony Hamilton with The Roots.

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