Lainey Wilson Rocks Graceland With Elvis-Inspired Christmas Performance

Wilson covered “Santa Claus Is Back in Town.”

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

November 30, 2023

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Lainey Wilson; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Lainey Wilson channeled Elvis Presley with a bluesy performance of “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” during NBC’s Christmas At Graceland special on Wednesday evening (Nov. 29). 

The newly crowned CMA Entertainer of the Year got viewers into the Christmas spirit with her standout performance, which took place in front of the Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tenn. The setting for the performance was stunning and retro with vintage cars and trucks parked in front of the colonial-style home serving as a backdrop.   

Performed In Front Of The Graceland Mansion

Lainey Wilson; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC
Lainey Wilson; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Donning a festive bell-bottomed jumpsuit adorned with rhinestones, sequins, and a cape, Wilson added her own Bell Bottom Country flavor to the Elvis Presley Christmas hit. For her performance, she was joined by her touring band and special guest Meg McRee, who joined in on acoustic guitar and provided background vocals. In true Lainey Wilson fashion, she confidently navigated the set, delivering a highly entertaining performance for the audience. 

Watch Her Sing “Santa Claus Is Back In Town”

YouTube video

Wilson gave fans a behind-the-scenes look at her performance on Instagram with a video that showcased her getting ready and walking around the iconic mansion.  

“Well y’all…I sure am in the Christmas spirit now! ❤️🎄What a way to officially ring in the holidays by honoring the rock n roll legend himself, @elvis, at the beautiful @visitgraceland,” she captioned the post. 

History Of The Song

“Santa Claus Is Back in Town” is a Christmas classic and was recorded by “The King of Rock and Roll” in 1957 for Elvis’ Christmas Album. The song was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and was the first track on the project. According to Billboard, Elvis’ Christmas Album is the biggest-selling Christmas album of all time in the United States.

This song has been covered by a variety of artists, including Dwight Yoakam, who released his cover as part of his 1997 Christmas album, Come On Christmas. It was released as a single and hit No.1 60 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. 

Who Else Performed?

Wilson was one of several country artists who appeared on the Christmas at Graceland special. The show also included performances by Kacey Musgraves, Kane Brown, and The War and Treaty as well as Alanis Morissette, John Legend, Lana Del Rey, and Post Malone. Each artist paid tribute to Elvis through one-of-a-kind performances that took place at the late music icon’s home – the Graceland estate. 

Lainey Wilson; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC
Lainey Wilson; Photo by: Katherine Bomboy/NBC

Riley Keough, who is Elvis Presley’s granddaughter and an Emmy Award nominee (Daisy Jones & the Six) made special appearances throughout the show and also served as an executive producer under her Felix Culpa banner with partner Gina Gammell.

The inaugural Christmas at Graceland concert marks the first-ever televised performance from the estate, showcasing never-before-broadcast footage of Elvis. It aired on NBC immediately following Christmas in Rockefeller Center. 

Following her performance at the Graceland estate, Wilson will return to the road. She has several shows planned through the end of the year, including a four-night run at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas. To view a complete list of the “Watermelon Moonshine” singer’s tour dates, click HERE

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.