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Darlene Love’s Blue Christmas: Singer Says NBC Tree Lighting Organizers Are Ageist

Darlene Love’s iconic Christmas song, “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home),” was performed Wednesday night on NBC’s “Christmas in Rockefeller Center” tree lighting special — but the woman who made it famous was iced out and she is furious about it.

Love, 78, explained her frustrations on Facebook, calling out Brad Lachman Productions for excluding her from the ceremony, adding that she would only be invited to perform if she were joined by Bruce Springsteen or Bette Midler.

As Love wrote in her post: “They book these young artists to perform my song… each year!! Such an insult and a let down!”

The young artists in question were Skylar Astin, 32, and Alex Newell, 27, the stars of the forthcoming NBC show “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.”

“They book these young artists who can’t even hit the notes properly and are off key. Makes NO sense!! Show me some respect! That’s my song and I’m still alive!”

Love went on to say that her publicist had been trying to get her booked on the show, with no such luck.

“They keep saying that I’m not their demo or big enough and would only book me if Bette Midler or Bruce Springsteen would do it with me. I would NEVER ask my friends to do that. If you want them, go thru their team,” the Grammy Award-winning singer continued. “This business can be so unfair at times. Don’t get me wrong, I’m TRULY blessed for what I have accomplished at 78 years of age but it’s still a constant struggle to stay relevant and convince those who control the industry that I’m worth it.”

Love, who was a surprise guest at the New Jersey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last month, is set to launch her annual holiday tour, featuring Christmas classics and hit songs. The performance of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” was a holiday tradition on “Late Night with David Letterman” and “Late Show with David Letterman” beginning in 1986 through 2014.

She will appear on “The View” on Dec. 20 and will likely address the snub. NBC had no comment.

Said Love: “The producers at ABC treat me very well and with respect. They produce my entire segment, pay my entire band, singers and me too and cover all my expenses,” she wrote. “Most other TV shows require ME to pay them $15,000 to $20,000 to perform. I don’t have that kind of money and not signed to a label. This is all out of my pocket so I’m very grateful for Jamie Hammer and Brian Teta who by the way was a former producer at David Letterman who helped bring me over to The View.”

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