Pitbull, Ne-Yo, Marc Anthony and T-Pain Draw Largest Concert of the Summer to ‘Today’

By Chris Ariens 

Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Al Roker and Savannah Guthrie just before the 9am hour of TODAY after a concert by Pitbull.

TVNewser headed out to 30 Rock this morning for what would turn out to be the biggest crowed yet for this Summer’s “Today” show Concert Series. While Beyonce was in Central Park on “GMA,” rapper Pitbull was on the plaza, performing four songs — one each with Marc Anthony, Ne-Yo and T-Pain and a solo performance.

Before the show we stopped into the control room as the director and producers prepped for the concert; and into the studio, which was empty, save for Ann Curry finishing up an interview about the Royal Wedding in Monaco. We chatted with Curry, who is wrapping up her third full week. Curry, who also hits the road for NBC News, hinted at a big interview she’s working on nabbing.

Pitbull, T-Pain and Matt Lauer.

We talked with Matt Lauer about T-Pain’s other job: Toshiba pitchman. And we caught up with Natalie Morales and nearly walked into one of Al Roker’s weather hits.

The “Today” show concerts, tucked between the 1 Rockefeller Plaza and 10 Rockefeller Plaza office buildings, provide an intimacy most fans can’t get from a traditional concert. Lauer, Curry, Roker, and Morales bounced between reports from the studio and live shots from the plaza, before, during and after the performances.

Melissa Lonner, in charge of entertainment productions for NBC News and NBC Sports booked this concert in April — a short window by most measures, but timed perfectly as Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” hit the top of the Billboard charts this week — his first #1.

“To be number one is almost surreal,” Pitbull told TVNewser after the show. “It’s definitely

something that you always hope and wish for,” he says, “But now we gotta come with the next one.”

We broke the news that his was the biggest “Today” show concert so far this summer. “Wow, I didn’t know that. Feels great, but more than that, it feels great to be up there with guys who I genuinely respect in the music industry and have helped me so much in my career.”

The rapper is looking beyond music too. Pitbull hosted a show on Telemundo’s Mun2 a few years ago and says more TV projects are on the way. He was mum on details, but did add, “I’m telling you, when it does hit, you’ll say ‘oh my God.'”

(Photos: Chris Ariens)

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