What Fans Can Expect From Camila Cabello's Performance for the White House Holiday Special

Camila Cabello is one of many stars who'll be singing during the TV special In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season. Hear what else she said about the big event.

By Elyse Dupre Dec 20, 2021 9:19 PMTags
Watch: Camila Cabello Talks Holidays & Preforming at the White House

My oh my! Camila Cabello is performing at the White House.

The 24-year-old artist is singing as part of the pre-taped PBS special In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season. She'll be performing a mariachi rendition of "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and said her dad, Alejandro, joined her at the White House for the big performance.

"My mom is a Cuban immigrant, my dad emigrated to the United States from Mexico and recently also became a citizen," she told PBS in a video shared with E! News. "The fact that I'm able to pay tribute to my heritage and represent Latinos and also have my dad be sharing this moment with me it's kind of, like, a crazy moment. The fact that we're an immigrant family and we're at the White House is really special and really cool."

Camila Cabello's Best Looks

When it came to choosing a song, Cabello knew she wanted to do "I'll Be Home for Christmas" because she could "totally relate to that feeling of looking forward" to spending time with family at home for the holidays.

"For me, it's being in Miami, being with my family," the three-time Grammy nominee shared. "Because I'm traveling so much year-round, the holidays is a time I know that I'm going to be home and I really look forward to that. And yeah, the mariachi version came about because I've been writing my album Familia this year, where I've intertwined my heritage and my music a lot. So I was like, 'How can I do that for this Christmas song to have it kind of tie into this chapter of my life where I'm really digging deeper and deeper into my roots and where I come from and the musical side of that?'"

Alexander Tamargo/Telemundo/Photo Bank

As for her favorite holiday tradition, Cabello said it's celebrating Nochebuena. "Latinos celebrate Christmas the 24th, and it's something that we call Nochebuena," she said. "That's when we have kind of, like, our party and there's rice and beans and a bunch of our traditional food from the countries."

The Cinderella star also said that her grandmother's birthday is Dec. 24 and her mom's birthday is Dec. 25.

"So it's a lot happening in those two days," Cabello noted, "so we celebrate their birthdays, too."

Cabello isn't the only one set to perform in the musical special. Andrea Bocelli along with his son Matteo Bocelli and daughter Virginia BocelliEric Church, the Jonas BrothersNorah JonesPentatonix and Billy Porter are also set to sing. 

In addition, there will be performances by the Northwell Health Nurse Choir, a group that formed in 2020 and consists of frontline nurses from New York; Voices of Service, a singing quartet that's part of the Center for American Military Music Opportunities and uses their platforms to raise awareness for how music can help servicemen and servicewomen coping with post-traumatic stress; and the United States Marine Band.

Jennifer Garner will host the hour-long event, and President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will deliver remarks. Viewers will also have the opportunity to see the White House holiday decorations.

"Audiences will see the First Family's 'Gifts from the Heart'-themed holiday installations currently on display throughout the White House," a PBS press release states. "The performances and inside look at the White House holiday décor will honor the resilience of the American people, with communities coming together in service to others, during this celebratory and reflective time of year."

In Performance at the White House: Spirit of the Season, which was recorded Dec. 11–14, will premiere on PBS Dec. 21 at 8:00 p.m. EST and then air at a later date via the American Forces Network.