Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade—whether in person or on TV—has become a tradition for millions of people. It takes months worth of production and preparation to get ready for it every year, but since it’s a live show things go wrong and you just have to roll with it.
This year was plagued with acts dropping last minute, non-cooperative winds and the kind of cold that makes even native New Yorkers suit up like they’re about to rob a bank in Antarctica.
But Kelly Clarkson is apparently above all challenges when it comes to putting on a show. First of all, she was added as a performer a mere TWO DAYS before the parade.
Most artists would be worried about such short prep time, but if it bugged Kelly she never showed it. The shows coordinators reminded her that she could use a backing track and lip sync since that’s traditionally what artists do—but she declined and brought her full band.
New York City woke up to an unusually cold and windy Thanksgiving morning, putting the entire parade in danger. The high winds meant the balloons may not be able to fly and the intense cold meant the performers would likely have to lip sync since that kind of cold freezes vocal cords, makes breathing hurt and is generally bad for the lungs.
As usual, acts opted for tracks and lip synced performances so they could put on the best show possible.
Kelly had the opportunity to lip sync. Her horn section had the option to use tracked music since breathing control would be almost impossible in that weather. Her backing singers could have been supported by pre-recorded vocals.
“I sing live.”
And sing live she did. Clarkson and her band turned out a performance that wasn’t just “pretty good for being literally freezing”—it was Clarkson level awesome. Her signature powerhouse raspy vocals didn’t seem touched by the weather at all and if anyone in her horn section was struggling, nobody could tell.
Her backing singers bundled up and made sure their throats were protected by scarves. Everyone hit the stage and went for it.
Watch the performance here.
Twitter lost it with appreciation for how good she was—and how hard it must have been to pull off.
It is 19° in NYC and Kelly Clarkson is singing live! She is the only thing I’m thankful for this year. #MacysDayParade
— Quart-knee (@courtini19) November 22, 2018
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade: it's too difficult to get the proper sound set up with all the moving parts of the parade, not too mention it's too cold for live performances.
Kelly Clarkson: Okay, but consider this…I have my entire band, including a horn section, and I sing live.
— Craw (@notaIobster) November 22, 2018
Kelly Clarkson singing live at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade right now is absolutely amazing… she deserves ALL the turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and desserts she could ever want today because she just killed it #macysthanksgivingdayparade
— Kaitlin Masterson (@kaitliiinmarie) November 22, 2018
Also – is Kelly Clarkson the first person in the history of this parade to ever sing live?
Also – Kelly Clarkson is a national treasure.
Also – she is a stinkin beast. #MacysDayParade
— Travis Cottrell (@cottrelltravis) November 22, 2018
No one else is singing live for the Macy’s parade except Kelly Clarkson, actual queen.
— Kathleen Smith (@fangirltherapy) November 22, 2018
Yo shout out to Kelly Clarkson for actually singing at the parade
— Courtney (@cmcushion93) November 22, 2018
Ok so welcome I will be live tweeting the highlights of the Macy’s thanksgiving day parade because I know you all care about what I have to say. Firstly, I’d like to say Kelly Clarkson just sang LIVE and it was a bop. So good luck everyone else in the parade trying to beatthat.
— HuNTeR gRegoRy (@hunuh17) November 22, 2018
Kelly Clarkson sang live. They only sing in one spot of the parade. John and Rita chose the easier route.
— ThulsaDoom (@raggman) November 23, 2018
Kelly Clarkson actually sung yesterday in the parade…it was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone not lip synch.
— Keith McCarthy (@Spookykid7088) November 23, 2018
Kelly Clarkson performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade vs. everyone else performing at the parade pic.twitter.com/EQF5pbKaWQ
— Tinsel Mortimer (@benarmishaw) November 23, 2018
— Hunter Ingram (@hunter_wesley) November 22, 2018
Macy's parade performances ranked:
1. Kelly Clarkson
2. All the lip syncing people
Last. The bunny guy with a knockoff Avatar haircut who drunk mumbled in Spanish
— Benjamin Priday (@BenjaminPriday) November 22, 2018
This person actually joined Twitter specifically to talk about Kelly going live.
JUST joined twitter to tell you and your singers what BOSSES you are singing live in the parade on it's coldest day in history???????????????????????? #beastmode
— Briggan O'Bryan-ThatVoiceYouHear (@BrigganOBryan) November 22, 2018
But wait… there’s more!
Kelly wasn’t the only performer to go for it. Ella Mai used a backing track, but bounced her way down the parade on a float singing her hit single, “Boo’d Up“.
It seems she was brave enough to go for live vocals too!
Ella Mai live on Macys day parade! ???????? pic.twitter.com/RW81ov2MeD
— Monaelashes.com (@TrishaMonaee) November 22, 2018
So Ella Mai actually sang sang in this thanksgiving parade while it’s cold ???? everybody else lip singing ???????????? ????????
— DeShawn C (@ThatCrucialMF) November 22, 2018
Shoutout to Kelly Clarkson & Ella Mai for singing live at the parade we love talented sisters pic.twitter.com/trU6RiJ1Sf
— ???????????????????????? (@jimileckis) November 22, 2018
ELLA MAI THE ONLY ONE OUT HERE NOT LIPSYNCING AT THE MACY’S PARADE
— sunday addams (@privatetraps__) November 22, 2018
So there you have it folks! Even in ridiculously freezing weather, these women delivered impressive vocals and we applaud them for it.