Gloria Gaynor to perform ‘I Will Survive’ in Times Square on New Year’s Eve
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Gloria Gaynor has the right message for 2020: You’re not welcome anymore.
The disco diva will perform her anthemic — and suddenly appropriate — 1978 breakup hit “I Will Survive” on New Year’s Eve at the Crossroads of the World during the Times Square Alliance’s “Heroes of 2020” event to honor essential workers and their families.
In a fitting way, the 77-year-old two-time Grammy winner will sing out the old year that was rocked by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a divisive presidential election and more. She also will perform her 1975 tune “Never Can Say Goodbye,” as well as “Joy Comes in the Morning,” from her 2020 Grammy-winning gospel album “Testimony.” The event will again be hosted by “Mean Girls” actor Jonathan Bennett, who most recently appeared in the 2020 Hallmark holiday movie “The Christmas House.”
The celebration will reflect a “resounding resolve and a determined spirit, at a time when the world collectively awaits a renewed beginning,” said Tim Tompkins, president of the alliance. “This year, it feels most appropriate to shine a spotlight on the individuals who are tirelessly leading our nation through hard times with unshakable strength, determination and poise, as well as their families, who deal with their own set of sacrifices.”
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the event will not include a public audience. It will instead be streamed on multiple sites — including TimesSquareNYC.org, NewYearsEve.NYC, Livestream.com/2021 and TimesSquareBall.net — starting with the ball-raising at 6 p.m. on Dec. 31. And, for the first time since 1907, the iconic ball drop itself will take place as a reveler-free event — which, in past years, has drawn a million-plus people to Midtown Manhattan and Times Square.
With lyrics such as “I spent so many nights thinking how you did me wrong” and “Go on now, go, walk out the door / Just turn around now, ’cause you’re not welcome anymore,” Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” seems like a fitting exit for 2020.
In the early days of the pandemic, Gaynor even repurposed the song — which was already well-established as an LGBTQ anthem — as a tutorial for appropriate hand-washing. “It only takes :20 seconds to ‘SURVIVE!’ ” she wrote in a caption accompanying a TikTok video in which she both serenades viewers and suds up in accordance with the CDC’s recommended guidelines.
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