Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade had to pivot toward making a number of changes for the safety of everyone involved. The event was made for the home television viewer in mind, and the singers who usually ride aboard elaborate floats down the usual 2.5 mile parade route pre-taped their performances for the Nov. 26 telecast. Actress/singer Keke Palmer, who was styled by Coach, wowed with a rendition of 2020 hit “Dreamcatcher,” as she rode on the fashion brand’s Rexy in the City float for the parade. It was pulled by an animatronic Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton wearing a dapper purple top hat.
Though the tapings didn’t take place in the freezing morning hours of New York City, Keke still looked like she was right there live. She donned a beige leather coat with earmuffs, as the 27-year-old appeared to be bundled up for Thanksgiving morning weather like all of the other performers. Keke even commented on a viewer at home who was pretending to be one of her backup dancers in his living room, retweeting his video and cheering “Come on Daddy! Love it!”
— Macy's (@Macys) November 26, 2020
Keke is no stranger to working on a major event under coronavirus precautions. She hosted the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, Aug. 30, which was the first big awards show to take place amid the pandemic. She opened the telecast by dedicating it to late actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away just two days prior following a secret four year battle with colon cancer. “We dedicate tonight’s show to the man whose spirit touched so many. He’s a true hero — not just on screen, but in everything he did. His impact lives forever,” she said in a cold open.
Come on Daddy! Hahaha I love it! https://t.co/PfgsZPOGIx
— Keke Palmer (@KekePalmer) November 26, 2020
Keke was joined on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade telecast by other talent including Patti LaBelle, Ella Mai, Jordin Sparks and other singers who lent their gift of song for the viewers at home. The usual live performances by the cast of Broadway shows in front of Herald Square were done in pre-taped segments featuring numbers from the shows Mean Girls, Jagged Little Pill and Ain’t Too Proud to Beg: The Life and Times of the Temptations. Broadway shows have been shuttered since March 12 when the COVID-19 pandemic began last spring, so it must have felt wonderful for the talented singers and dancers to strut their stuff again.
Due to the coronavirus limiting gatherings of more than 10 people,the streets of New York were not lined shoulder to shoulder with spectators. The 2.5 mile parade route was eliminated, and “Instead it will be reimagined over the course of several days as a television-only event leading up to the live Thanksgiving Day broadcast that will feature the breadth of Macy’s signature elements,” Macy’s wrote on the parade’s website. It kept the tradition alive for millions of Americans who tune in every Thanksgiving to watch the annual event at home.