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CNN Live Event/Special

New Year's Eve Live. Aired 1-2a ET

Aired January 01, 2023 - 01:00   ET




MANNIE FRESH, MUSIC PRODUCER: And the music went like this. It went --


FRESH: Hey, girl.

Hey, girl.


MANNIE FRESH, MUSIC PRODUCER: That's how we started. That's how we started.

Y'all ready for this countdown?

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Midnight, it is New Year's Eve, it's 2023. Happy New Year.

"Auld Lang Syne", please, man.


LEMON: Where you from?

San Antonio?




LEMON: I wish I could hear anything anybody was saying, I can't.

Where you from?


LEMON: I'm from Baton Rouge.

Where did you go to school? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baton Rouge High.

LEMON: Hi, beautiful, where you from?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm from Magna, Mississippi.

LEMON: Are you guys having a good time?

What should we sing now?

Beautiful. Now let's do something that is really New Orleans. All right, you guys. "When the Saints..." That's how we really celebrate here in New Orleans.

You guys ready?

"When the saints..."




FRESH: Happy New Year.

LEMON: Whoo!

Mannie Fresh, what you got for us?

FRESH: Y'all ready for this?

LEMON: We're ready.

FRESH: Y'all ready for this?

Y'all sure y'all ready for this?

This is New Year's, now y'all ready, we going to do it like this.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is New Year's, y'all ready to do it like this?

And it starts up and it went like this.



Fresh is out front, baby.


FRESH: 2023 the lights went out.

(LAUGHTER) LEMON: Mannie's so hot, the lights went out. Perfect time to take a break. We'll be right back, New Year's Eve here on CNN.







LEMON: Hello, everyone. We are back in New Orleans for CNN New Year's Eve. Listen, it's really loud here. I can't really hear anything, so just go along with it and enjoy it. Mannie Fresh is here.

Can we call you the prince or the godfather of hip-hop?

FRESH: Yes, New Orleans.

LEMON: New Orleans. The Jamettes are here. As you know, last year they taught me a dance routine. I kind of got in a little trouble for throwing it back.

It's OK to throw it back, right?



LEMON: It's OK to throw it back. Still, they're going to teach me another dance routine this year and I might be throwing it back. But first I'm going to throw it to Stephanie Elam, who is in the Bahamas.

Stephanie, I'm so jealous of you that you're in a warmer climate than me. But you can't party more than the people in New Orleans.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No. No, that's probably true. And Don, I've partied with you before, if we're honest. So I know we both can go for a long time.

LEMON: Very honest.

ELAM: Getting our dance on, right?

Very honest. Listen, let me tell you what it's been like --


LEMON: Our dance, our drinks, our fun.

ELAM: Yes. All of that, all of that. But here at Atlantis tonight, this concert was so much fun. And I've got to introduce you to Ezinma, because she brought the house down with her violin tonight.

The way you reworked songs, lady, how did you even come up with this?

EZINMA, VIOLINIST: I don't know. I mean, honestly, it just kind of comes to me. And I just love so many popular songs. And I love classical music. So any chance I have to fuse them together, I'm so there.

ELAM: OK and so that is why your name is also classical babe, right?

Also because you've toured with phenomenal artists as well.

EZINMA: Yes, yes, yes.

ELAM: Tell me.

EZINMA: Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, you know.

ELAM: I mean, pretty awesome.

You should see the show this lady puts on with her violin. From where I was standing, you could see strings were popping. I mean, she is going for it.

And it's songs you know, songs from the modern era remixed on the violin, right?

EZINMA: Yep, that's me, that's me.

ELAM: This is just you?

You've been playing forever.

EZINMA: Yes, I've been playing forever. It's so crazy. I'm a classical violinist. And I always wanted to do something different. So I literally made my own niche. I'm doing my own thing and it's crazy. I can't believe it's my job, that I get to perform and make music for a living. It's what I do.

ELAM: And you're playing hip-hop beats and reworking them. I mean, just give us a couple of songs that you did tonight.

EZINMA: Tonight the set opened with the box double, a concerto written in 1731. A violin arrangement of Drake. And future life's good. Then thunderstruck.

ELAM: It was all mixed up, it was awesome. You were so beautiful. Everyone needs to check out your videos, she's stunning and awesome.

Don, so much fun here tonight. I know you guys just hit the New Year. So you probably are still in that party mode. I want to send it back to you.

LEMON: Stephanie, we not only hit the New Year, as in New Orleans style, we were late because we're Southerners. I couldn't hear the cue. So we missed the countdown. But that's all right, we got a lot of 2023 to roll out. So Stephanie, I need you to stand by and watch and listen, because I want you to tell me -- but I want you to tell me how I do, OK?

Because The Jamettes along with Mannie Fresh, we're going to do a dance. They're going to teach me a dance routine. It's an ode to Janet Jackson?

All right, don't judge me at home. I'm still a serious news guy.

Are you ready now, Mannie?

Ode to Janet Jackson.

FRESH: I'm ready.

LEMON: Show me the routine.

What happens?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We break it to the right.

LEMON: You break it to the right, to the left --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Middle, diagonal.

LEMON: That's the Janet Jackson move, you've got to do that. Shit.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Then we have the --


LEMON: Whoops. I forgot I was on TV. Sorry.


LEMON: Sorry about that.


All right, here we go, let's go. Yes, I'm ready.

Go. One -- go.

We need Mannie.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are we doing it, doing it?

LEMON: We're doing it.


LEMON: I missed the whole thing. That's all right, I got it, though.


LEMON: I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it. I missed it. I got it, I got it, I got it.


I know. Y'all did a great job.

Did you see me?

I was behind them doing the entire routine.

I learned that, right?

How good was that?

I was good.

Jamettes, you guys are here every year. Thank you.

Oh, oh, oh, oh, don't get me throwing -- aww, don't make me do this 'cause I don't want a lot for Christmas.

This is why I get in trouble every year.


Pump it, pump it, pump it.

Pop it, pop it, pop it.

LEMON: I could pop it like that. I'm going to drop it cause it's hot.

Oh. Oh. Let's go talk to Mannie.

Mannie, we party in the streets down here.

FRESH: Yes, we do. This is New Orleans. No party like New Orleans. No disrespect to everybody else around the world but this is the party. You heard me.

LEMON: Mannie, is it OK for a newsman to drop it like it's hot?

FRESH: Yes, sir. Drop it like it's hot, Don. Don, show off and go off.

LEMON: Can I pop it?

FRESH: Go off tonight, show off, pop it, drop it, whatever you like to do.

LEMON: Mannie, are you drinking?

FRESH: I am drinking.


FRESH: Less thinking and more drinking. You heard me. LEMON: Because it's New Year's Eve.

FRESH: It is New Year's Eve.

LEMON: Tell me about your love for New Orleans.

FRESH: I love New Orleans, bro, like I said. No city like this. I'm born and raised here. The people that are here, my family, everything, my upbringing. And if you love my music, then this -- my music is New Orleans. Everything about me is New Orleans.

My culture. There's no other place like Louisiana. I will always love this place. I'm not going nowhere.

LEMON: I have never seen people who are more real, who love life more, who don't put on airs, who don't give a you-know-what.


LEMON: About what people think about them.

FRESH: All day, every day.

And we've gone through so much here.

LEMON: You think about what's happened with Katrina, you think about what's happened in the city over the years, the rise and the fall of crime. What's happened with the youth. But you see why people here, you see what's happening with the brass bands, what's happening. They're bringing youth in.

FRESH: The best way I can say it and still, still, we rise. We rise to the occasion. We do our best. We love each other. We embrace each other. And we will always put God first, music second. Don't mess with my mama if you don't want no problems.

LEMON: Don't mess with my mama and no problems. Hey, listen. We talked a little bit about it, I don't think we talked enough about the 50th anniversary of hip-hop that is happening, which is really (INAUDIBLE) tomorrow, I said it before midnight.

But it is today. Hip-hop changed the entire music industry, it changed the world, really.

FRESH: For me, I'm a young entrepreneur, you know. I started this in the '80s. My first time doing music and seeing what it has turned into, like as a business. As a young Black man.

And for 50 years in hip-hop, that's the only job I've ever had. The only thing I've ever done is music, music, music. And my family, they trust me. And that's all I can say is, I love it; 50 years of it, I'm still here.

Thank y'all for embracing Mannie Fresh.

Thank you for having me, sir. I love you. LEMON: Let's do it again.

I love you. You represent the best of this city.

FRESH: Thank you.

LEMON: We're representing the best of New Orleans and the best of the world tonight on CNN. We're going to take a quick break. We're live with CNN for New Year's Eve down in NOLA right after this.








LEMON: We're back now from a very loud and very intoxicated New Orleans. That's what they do here.

You know they're about to drop the potato in Idaho in 30 minutes. We celebrated 30 minutes ago. We were a little late on CNN because I couldn't hear anything.

So Gary and Lindsay Tuchman in Idaho, what happens when you drop the potato?

Is that like dropping it because it's hot?

LINDSAY TUCHMAN, GARY'S DAUGHTER: Hey, Tom, welcome to Boise for our favorite family tradition.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The great family tradition that we have, we love being here right now. This state is famous for its beautiful outdoors and skiing, its mountains. We're here for a different reason this state is famous, a reason that's right above our head.

L. TUCHMAN: So take a look. It may look like the size of a baked potato that you'd eat like one I ate last night. But in reality, that is a 2,500-pound potato that's going to be dropping in about 30 minutes now.

G. TUCHMAN: That's right; 1,000 LED lights are inside that potato. There are laser beams. There is fog coming out of it.

L. TUCHMAN: It's a disco potato.

G. TUCHMAN: Yes. We call it disco potato, also a glowtato. (CROSSTALK)

G. TUCHMAN: We want to introduce somebody who's here right now. This person right here --

L. TUCHMAN: This is my new best friend, Spuddy Buddy. Hug.

G. TUCHMAN: Spuddy Buddy does not talk because potatoes don't talk. But Spuddy Buddy, who represents the Idaho Potato Council and 13 billion pounds of potatoes are harvested in Idaho each year.

L. TUCHMAN: Not Spuddy Buddy, though.


G. TUCHMAN: No, this is the number one state, everyone loves potatoes, it's the perfect food. Spuddy Buddy can't talk but Spuddy Buddy can dance. Give us the potato dance.

L. TUCHMAN: Oh, yes. And everyone here really loves potatoes. But we also love being out here in this beautiful weather.

G. TUCHMAN: Right, this is the state capital of Idaho, right behind us. We're in downtown Boise. Right now thousands of people here. We want to give you a look over here.

At the stroke of midnight Mountain time, on this little ski mountain, there are going to be skiers and snowboarders in a competition doing death-defying feats. So we're excited to be here. This is the one thing I'm going to tell you about we're really excited about --


G. TUCHMAN: -- tell them the honor that we have.

L. TUCHMAN: So we've got the very distinct honor of pressing the button at midnight to welcome the New Year's in on Mountain Standard Time.

G. TUCHMAN: That's right, we're going to press the button. And the potato is going to come down to bring in 2023 here. So it's exciting for us to have that honor.

Whole different topic, I'm a huge hockey fan and I want to promote something on our sister network, TNT. The Winter Classic hockey game outdoors tomorrow, Fenway Park where the Red Sox play, where the Green Monster is.

The Boston Bruins, the Pittsburgh Penguins, 1:00 Eastern time, 10:00 Pacific time. Tomorrow on TNT.

That's my promo for the great sport of hockey. Don, back to you.

LEMON: Gary and Lindsay, you guys got it all in. You're dropping a potato. It's different. But hey, enjoy. Happy New Year to you. We'll get back to you at the top of the hour. I'm going to walk through the crowd and talk to these guys. This is

what it's like walking through here when it's me.

Are you guys ready?


Let's go.

Hi, guys, how are you?

Excited to be here?

Where are you from?


LEMON: Why are you in New Orleans?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're here for the Sugar Bowl.

LEMON: You were. I'm so upset we weren't in the Sugar Bowl. I went to LSU.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, -- I'm actually a Volunteer.

LEMON: You are?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So the Vols won last night against Clemson. But my husband, he's -- his team is Kansas State.

LEMON: All right, all right, all right.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We lost, lost against Alabama.

LEMON: Happy New Year. As long as we beat Alabama, I don't care if we beat any other team.

Where you from?



LEMON: You're from Birmingham, Alabama?

You know I lived there.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know you did, you worked there, exactly. I know that, Connie.

LEMON: Connie, nice to meet you.

Where you from? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Brooklyn, New York.

LEMON: What are you doing here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm studying mental health.

LEMON: I went to Brooklyn College.


LEMON: I went to Brooklyn College.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I went to Howard University. I'm at Loyola University, New Orleans, right now.

LEMON: Congratulations.

Where are you from?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

LEMON: Nice to meet you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice to meet you.

LEMON: Where are you from, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Gramercy, Louisiana.

LEMON: My dad is from Gramercy, Louisiana. I have a connection to everything.

It's nice to meet all of you.

I want you guys at home to meet some really great people here. These are the artists -- I want to first introduce you to, this s Lionel Milton. Lionel is a proud New Orleans native. He's known for his really great artwork. He just hit this.

Lionel, thank you.

LIONEL MILTON, ARTIST: Nice to meet you.

LEMON: You're amazing.

MILTON: Thank you, you are as well.

LEMON: How did you -- look at this.

Did you just do this one picture of me on television?

MILTON: Yes, I'm a big fan of yours. Saw you on TV, took a shot on my iPhone, painted it.

LEMON: Tell me about your work.

MILTON: My work's very colorful and very honest, it very New Orleans. I try to do the best I can with the talent God gave me.

LEMON: You're known for your socially conscious murals all around the city.

Did you help with any of the murals we see here?

MILTON: I didn't come ready to go but I've been around the city, I've been around the world as well. I've been places like Uptown, (INAUDIBLE), Downtown.

LEMON: Lionel, I love you, brother, thank you for doing this. Thank you very much.



LEMON: Frenchy's here every year. We love Frenchy because you're out here every year. And your work is socially conscious as well.

Why do you come every year to support this?

FRENCHY: Well, Don, you're awesome and you're a native, a native Louisiana guy. And I'm actually a big fan, I watch you all the time. I'm really happy for you. I like the day shift. It's a different speed for you.

LEMON: I can barely hear you.

FRENCHY: I can barely hear you, too.

LEMON: I'm so glad you're here.

What are you doing tonight?

FRENCHY: OK, so tonight I worked on the band, you, New Orleans. I'm documenting the night and all the energy.

LEMON: I have a bunch of Frenchy's work. One day I know it's going to be my retirement plan, Frenchy. Your work that you sent to me and the work that I bought from you.

Who is that?

FRENCHY: That's you, you sexy man.

LEMON: And that is why I love Frenchy.

FRENCHY: Man, you're right.

LEMON: Frenchy, tell us about your work around the city.

FRENCHY: You know, I've been in New Orleans a long time. I basically -- when people ask me what style I paint, I just say I paint New Orleans. Painting a lot of music, on the sidelines painting Monday Night Football at the Superdome. You know. Just living life. Loving life in New Orleans. Keeping it on the DL.

LEMON: You know, when I come here, I usually go to Jackson Square, I try to buy local artists, local artwork. Especially since Katrina, I've been buying a lot of the artwork. I've seen a number of different artists who have come to New Orleans, who stayed here, are making their living here, who believe in the city.

Where does that come from?

FRENCHY: Man, it's the lifestyle in New Orleans. You know?

You just be yourself. Used to be cheap to live here, now it's not. But it's -- the energy here in New Orleans is so thick. It was laid down over 100 years ago, you know, from Mardi Gras to the Second Lines, the floats, the parades, it never ends. Not to mention the food or the art.

And Lionel over there, him and I, we go back over 25 years.

LEMON: 25 years.

How is the city, how has it changed since Katrina, you think?

Especially the art world and the artists?

FRENCHY: We had a couple of slow years. But I think it's blossomed big time. There's a ton of awesome artists in New Orleans right now.

LEMON: I got to tell you, some of the best artists I've seen, not only painters but musically that I've seen -- you know, I've noticed the art scene here, it has become -- there's always a jazz influence. But now there's a bluegrass influence. There's a country influence.

Have you noticed that?

FRENCHY: Absolutely. I paint it all. Yes, I mean -- you know, I love to -- one of my favorite things to do is sit in the back of a club like The Maple Leaf and paint some live music from New Orleans. Get down.

LEMON: Get down. It's not just the Quarter. I got to tell you a secret, is that I have a little place in the Marigny here, it's one of the hottest neighborhoods.


LEMON: People call me all the time, I want to buy your place. I want to buy your place. No. It's not just -- people think of New Orleans, they think of the Superdome, the French Quarter.


LEMON: But it's so much beyond that.

FRENCHY: We have 17 wards. Those are different neighborhoods. And you know, what's crazy is each neighborhood has its own little style of music. Even back in the day. Like the Nevilles, they're from Uptown. You dig?

Al Toussaint, he's from Central City. Like all the different neighborhoods have their own unique little sound. It's pretty amazing.

LEMON: Frenchy, I love you, brother, thank you.

Lionel, thank you, man. I'm so glad you're here.

How can we get your artwork?

MILTON: My website, Catch me there. And on Twitter as well as Instagram,

LEMON: Go online and Google these guys. Google Lionel, Google Frenchy. Lionel Milton, I think it is -- Then just Google Frenchy artist online. The most amazing artists in the world I think are here in New Orleans.

And they need your help. They need exposure. Go online, check them out. When you come to New Orleans, buy their work.

We're here in New Orleans, live for CNN New Year's Eve. Don't go anywhere, be right back





LEMON: Hello, everyone, we're back from New Orleans, having a great time here. We hope you're having a great time. And I hope you're with people you love. Hope you're having drinks if that's your thing. But I hope you're with people you love.

My entire family's here.

Can we get a wide shot of the whole family?

Say hi, everyone. They have been standing by the whole night.

Are you excited about being on TV?


LEMON: This is my little mini me, this is Tyrell (ph).

Tyrell (ph), what grade are you?

TYRELL (PH): Third.

LEMON: How old are you?

TYRELL (PH): Nine. LEMON: I can't even hear you.

TYRELL (PH): Nine.

LEMON: You're 9 and you're in the third grade.

I was on the air one weekend at CNN when I was doing the weekend anchoring. And someone gave me a call and set, you are now a great- uncle. It was this guy, years ago.

This is my other great-nephew.

How old are you now?


LEMON: You're 16. And you are a sophomore and you're a football player and you're being recruited by ... ?


LEMON: LSU. And he plays varsity.

You're playing varsity as a freshman.


LEMON: You were. And he thinks he's bad -- I almost said bad you- know-what. He thinks he's grown.

You're not grown yet. I can still knock you on your booty.

This is my middle niece; no, my youngest niece, Kimbo (ph).

KIMBO (PH), DON'S NIECE: Yes, that's me.

LEMON: I told them that I would get them on television.

Are you happy to be here?

KIMBO (PH): A little.

LEMON: A little?

Are you loving it?

KIMBO (PH): I'm liking it.

LEMON: Are you ready to go home?

KIMBO (PH): I'm maxed out socially.

LEMON: She came, got all dressed up, the girls are out and everything, she's looking good.

This is my brother-in-law, Jeffrey (ph). UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nephew-in-law.


LEMON: Oh, my what?

My nephew-in-law; sorry, not brother-in-law.

This is his other half. This is my oldest niece, Ashley (ph). I taught her everything she knows, even how to say bad words.

ASHLEY (PH), DON'S NIECE: Oh, the cussing for sure.

LEMON: I taught her how to cuss when she was a little baby. I also taught her how to swim. I taught that one how to swim.

This is my middle -- this is the hottie toddy.


LEMON: That's Katherine (ph).

Hi, Katy (ph).


LEMON: How are you?


LEMON: So listen, my trainer is in love with Katherine (ph). He says Katherine (ph) has big thighs. Big thighs save lives.

KATHERINE (PH): And they do.


LEMON: And my mom.

Say hi, Mom. You have your own mic.


LEMON: Are you having fun?

CLARK: Yes, I am.

LEMON: Are you enjoying yourself?


LEMON: I'm selfishly taking this time to introduce my family to the world.


LEMON: And this is Beverly (ph). Beverly (ph) is the extended member of our family. Really the member of our glam squad.


LEMON: Beverly, thank you for taking care of my mom all these years.

BEVERLY (PH): I love it, it's a pleasure and an honor.

LEMON: Thank you very much.

Mom, I love you. I hope you had a great time enjoying this New Year's Eve.

She was worried I was going to get too lit this New Year's.

CLARK: Yes, but I'm glad everything turned out well.

LEMON: I can't hear you but I love you. Happy New Year.

This is my beautiful family. This is beautiful Blackness.


LEMON: You are seeing here on CNN so you get to know a little bit more about me. We did pregame a little bit before the show. I did not drink on the air but I had some drinks. So don't get it twisted. I'm still going to do my thing, I'm a grown man.

So Happy New Year, everybody. I love you. I will see you on New Year's -- I will see you in the New Year on "CNN THIS MORNING," starting at 6:00 am on Monday, 6:00 am to 9:00 am.

So I hope you have a great night. We're going to start -- come back with the New Year's Mountain time. So make sure you stay tuned for more CNN live coverage. I'm Don Lemon in New Orleans. Stay with us. Happy New Year, everybody.





G. TUCHMAN: Hello, everybody. We are in Boise, Idaho. Behind us, you can take a look at thousands of people getting ready for the potato to drop.

L. TUCHMAN: I think it's time. We're going push the button.

G. TUCHMAN: We're going to walk up to the stage right now and we are going to push the button that will allow the potato, the 2,500-pound potato, made of metal, to come down. It is a famous part of Idaho lore, the potato.

My daughter, and Lindsay Tuchman and me. And people are shouting our names, what a great honor.

Hello, everybody, happy New Year, everybody.

L. TUCHMAN: Happy New Year.

G. TUCHMAN: It's 58 seconds until the year 2023 in Idaho. Idaho is famous for the outdoors, the skiing, the mountains, the friendly people.

L. TUCHMAN: And the potatoes. Don't get me wrong, we've got some really good potatoes since we've been here.

G. TUCHMAN: That's right.

And here's the crowd. We can tell everybody that 13 billion pounds of potatoes are harvested every year in the state of Idaho. If you eat potatoes, you've had Idaho potatoes. It's the number one staple.

L. TUCHMAN: And they're all cheering for us over here.


G. TUCHMAN: They're cheering the potato. And now it's time to push the button. There we go. There we go.

Down to 20 seconds, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Happy New Year!


L. TUCHMAN: There goes the potato.


L. TUCHMAN: Happy New Year.

G. TUCHMAN: Happy New Year, everybody. We thank all the people in Idaho, tens of thousands of people in downtown Boise, the state capital, celebrating the Mountain time zone's New Year 2023.

And Lindsay and I want to thank all of you who have been watching us all night, Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, Don Lemon and all of us at CNN. We want to wish every single one of you watching tonight a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2023. Thank you for watching, good night and good morning to all of you.


AVA MAX, SINGER: Rain or shine, Times Square, we're here and we're celebrating New Year's. I want to wish everybody a happy New Year. I love you guys so much.