Dick Clark ProductionsIt’s been on for more than 40 years, so pretty much every current musical artist grew up watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve on ABC, right? Well, no, they didn’t, if they’re not American — and a surprising number of artists who are performing on this year’s edition of the show aren’t. But while they initially may not have been familiar with the show, they sure are now…and they’re pretty happy to be included in the biggest U.S. New Year’s Eve telecast going.
Among the non-American acts who’ll be featured on this year’s show are One Direction, Rixton, Bastille, Charli XCX and Ella Henderson, all of whom are British, and Nico & Vinz, who are Norwegian. “We didn’t watch it when we were younger, so we had to do our research before we came here,” Nico tells ABC News Radio about being invited to perform on New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. “And we saw that it’s really a big thing. And you can also see it when you look at the artists that are performing, big names, you know, so it’s amazing to be a part of it.”
Vinz, meanwhile, says he was somewhat aware of the show, but only because he checked it out on the Net. “I watched Macklemore‘s performance in New York [online last year],” he says. “And I was like, ‘Wow, this is a big deal!’ And so when we got the request… it was a really cool thing to be a part of.”
British group Rixton, meanwhile, says they’re happy to be included in a show that’s an American institution. “We just feel incredibly lucky, you know?” lead singer Jake Roche tells ABC News Radio. “We’re just four mates from Manchester and just being given this opportunity is incredible. And the lineup itself is mind-blowing, so we’re just so happy to be a part of it. It’s insane!”
For Rixton, the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve appearance is just another highlight in a year full of them, thanks to the success of their hit “Me and My Broken Heart.” “Getting the number one in the U.K. in our home country was a big deal, [going] platinum over here, hearing our song on the radio, just seeing the fan base grow, it’s just been incredible,” says Jake, recalling some of his favorite moments of 2014.
Charli XCX topped the charts this year thanks to her featured performance on Iggy Azalea‘s “Fancy,” and then followed that up with her own hits “Boom Clap” and “Break the Rules.” She says she’s happy to be part of such a big celebration.
“I feel like New Year’s can either go, like, one way or another: it’s always, like, a hyped-up thing,” she tells ABC News Radio. “So I’m glad that I’m going to be doing something that’s going to be super fun.” As for what we can expect from her set, she says, “I’ve kind of gone back to the ’80s for my performance, it’s kind of like ’80s New Year in my brain, so it’s going to be cool.”
The Grammy-nominated band Bastille will perform their hit “Pompeii” on the show, and lead singer Dan Smith says like the other acts, he had no idea what New Year’s Rockin’ Eve was at first. “We weren’t actually aware of it until this year, but just looking at all the other people who are playing, it’s amazing to be involved so we’re really excited,” he tells ABC News Radio. “I love New Year’s Eve. Everyone always complains about it being over-hyped and stuff and yet, it is, it’s always over-hyped. But ultimately if you can get everyone together in the same room, it’s quite hard to mess it up.”
As far as performing on New Year’s Eve, Dan laughs, “[It's good] if you get to finish before midnight, because then you want to start drinking, and we try not to drink before we play…because otherwise it would be bad.”
Ella Henderson is the most newly minted star on this year’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve lineup: she’s huge in her native U.K., but is just making inroads on the U.S. charts with her hit single, “Ghost.” “It’s so exciting, I’m so glad that I can be a part of it and there’s no better way to see the New Year,” she tells ABC News Radio about appearing on the show. “I never really do anything, [so] to actually be doing something and performing and having a bit of a party, I love that!”
As for her New Year’s resolution, Ella’s is one that can probably apply to just about everyone. “My New Year’s Resolution [is] probably to just keep enjoying everything that I do and stay positive minded,” she tells ABC News Radio. “And hope that everyone has a happy and healthy year!”
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest gets underway Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio