In a preview clip from the special, TLC’s T-Boz and Chilli return to their sultry R&B take on the typically jolly Christmas classic. (Their version appeared on the soundtrack for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York soundtrack in 1992.) Missy Elliott pops out in time to cover the late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ original verse from the tune.
Other performers in the special include Henson’s Empire co-star Jussie Smollett, Taye Diggs, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC and Pharrell Williams, who wrote the majority of the songs that appear on the soundtrack for Henson’s upcoming film Hidden Figures. Snoop Dogg’s contribution to the special is a remix of the viral meme where Pastor Shirley Caesar sings several holiday-centric dishes, titled “U Name It.” Smollet amped up “Little Drummer Boy” into an EDM-tinged party tune.