Taio Cruz is set to perform John Lennon’s “Imagine” moments before the ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve, the Times Square Alliance announced.
The classic song is usually played over a loudspeaker just before midnight, but Cruz will be the first musician to perform it live.
“I tried not to mess with it too much because it’s such a classic song and so many people love it,” the R&B star told Poison Ivy during a NIVEA press conference on Friday the version he is writing.
“I didn’t want to make a dance version or a crazy up-tempo remix-sounding thing that people would absolutely kill me for.”
The “Dynamite” singer said he hasn’t finished mixing it yet, but expect live piano and strings.
This year’s New Year’s bash, Cruz’s first in New York, may be bittersweet for the R&B star.
“Last New Year’s I was cuddling my girlfriend," Cruz said. "I’m not with her now. That sucks."
Cruz joins Ke$a, Jennifer Hudson, Willow Smith, Ne-Yo, and a huge roster of other A-listers as musical guests on “Dick Clark’Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” New Year’s special, Just Jared reported.
iTunes will carry a recording of the song starting January 1st and sales will benefit mentoring organization Big Brothers Big Sisters.