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Justin Bieber Will Not Perform Live at Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

By Jill Colvin | November 29, 2011 6:07am
Justin Bieber lights the The Empire State Building on November 18, 2011 in New York City.
Justin Bieber lights the The Empire State Building on November 18, 2011 in New York City.
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Cindy Ord/Getty Images

MIDTOWN — Listen up, tweens: Pop sensation Justin Bieber will not be performing live at the Rockefeller Tree lighting ceremony Wednesday night.

Numerous media outlets, including DNAinfo, the New York Post and the Daily News had reported that Bieber would perform at the annual ceremony, which is set to kick off just two hours after President Barack Obama is set to arrive in the city for a series of fundraising events.

But event organizers clarified Monday that the Canadian heartthrob will not in fact be appearing live on stage Wednesday, and has instead pre-recorded a segment that will air during the show.

“It’s taped,” a spokeswoman said.

The website for NBC, which broadcasts the festivities, does not make a distinction between which performances will be live and which pre-taped in its description.

The apparent overlap between Obama and Bieber's visit prompted traffic guru “Gridlock Sam" Schwartz to issue the "biggest gridlock alert day of [the] decade," adding that, "With masses of people in Midtown for the tree lighting and to see Justin Bieber, the President could’ve picked a better day to visit."

The news will likely be a blow for many true Beliebers, some of whom are already counting down the minutes to the event, according to their Twitter feeds.

"Omg!! Guess who's going to the tree lighting on Wednesday...me!!! And guess who is going to be singing their...JUSTIN BIEBER!!! Ah!!!!" HeartThatDemi wrote late Monday.

"Officially seeing Justin Bieber and Michael Buble wednesday at the Rockefeller tree lighting in NYC!! @LEXXXX_x0 pumped !!!," user said.

Others stars, including Cee Lo Green, Faith Hill, Michael Bublé, Carole King, Katherine McPhee, and the Radio City Rockettes will be performing live on stage, organizers said.

And even without Bieber, the combination of the star-studded event and the president's visit are likely to result in traffic nightmares across Midtown, yet again.