Bebe Rexha on performing in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 'It brings a sense of unity'

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Alex Biese, Asbury Park Press
·3 min read
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Bebe Rexha is coming home for the holidays.

The New York City native will join the likes of country icon Dolly Parton, soul legend Patti LaBelle, "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks and "Hamilton" Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. when she performs Thursday as part of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Rexha will perform "Baby, I'm Jealous" — her single featuring Doja Cat released last month — in the parade, airing from 9 a.m. to noon on NBC.

She'll be performing on the float for Jennie-O, the first turkey partner in the nearly century-long history of the parade.

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to performer Bebe Rexha, "brings a sense of unity, togetherness, warmth."
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to performer Bebe Rexha, "brings a sense of unity, togetherness, warmth."

Designed at the Macy's Parade Studio in Moonachie in New Jersey's Bergen County, the 36-foot-long float is adorned with tail feathers two stories tall, according to a news release.

Rexha recently spoke via email about being part of this year's parade, which can only been viewed on NBC — due to COVID-19 safety precautions, the millions of spectators who usually view the 2.5 mile parade are being told to stay home, and all activity will be limited to the Herald Square area of Midtown Manhattan.

MORE DETAILS: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be different in 2020 due to COVID-19

Q: As a native New Yorker, how do you feel about coming home to be part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, something that has been part of the holiday season in the city for nearly a century?

A: I’m so excited to see my family and I’m looking forward to be a part of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. My family and I used to watch the parade every year, it’s a family tradition. I’m so happy to be on the Jennie-O float because their meatballs are actually my favorite. My mom used to make them all the time.

Jennie-O's float for the 94th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was designed at the Macy's Parade Studio in Moonachie, Bergen County, New Jersey.
Jennie-O's float for the 94th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was designed at the Macy's Parade Studio in Moonachie, Bergen County, New Jersey.

Q: In a year where everyone has to celebrate the holidays in a different way than usual, why do you think it was important for the parade to still happen in some way?

A: Even though people can’t go to the parade in person, I think it’ll be fun for families to watch it from home. It's really beautiful they are still able to put it on. It brings a sense of unity, togetherness, warmth.

Q: There will be no crowd at the parade this year, and the live music industry has largely been at a standstill since March. As someone who has toured consistently for the last several years, what do you miss most about the traditional concert experience?

A: I mostly miss being able to share the live music experience with my fans. There’s something about the energy in the room when you’re at a live show that is so special to me.

Q: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I have to ask: What are you thankful for in 2020?

A: I’m thankful for my family, friends and my dog Bear. I’m thankful for the sense of unity amongst all people.

For more details on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, visit macys.com/social/parade.

Alex Biese has been writing about art, entertainment, culture and news on a local and national level for more than 15 years.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Bebe Rexha on performing in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade