Between Christmas and New Years, we had another special occasion to celebrate here in TODAY as co-host Savannah Guthrie turned 50 last week.
Several of her on-air family members partied on social media, but one of them, her best friend Jenna Bush Hager, took the party even further – to Madison Square Garden – for a surprise that Savannah never saw coming.
And on Tuesday, Jenna shared the jaw-dropping birthday shock with the rest of us.
What do you do for the buddy who’s been pretty much everywhere and done what seems like everything? You go with what you know.
“If you know Savannah, you know how much her faith means to her,” Jenna said in a voiceover as a video of the surprise aired. “His trip to the Holy Land (was) one of his most precious experiences.”
Jenna associated this knowledge with the fact that Savannah is also a music lover, as well as the fact that Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli would be in New York at the time.
So a plan was hatched to prepare for a moment that Jenna called the “surprise of a lifetime” – a private concert at Madison Square Garden, in which the grand opera house would sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” alongside her daughter, just right. for Savannah.
Needless to say, it was the perfect gift.
After driving a blindfolded Savannah back to her seat and moments after the music started, Jenna removed the blindfold and just enjoyed the excitement of her friend.
âThe fact that Andrea Bocelli adapted this very famous song that I know Savannah loves, to fight against the power of faith, is something that I think is going to move Savannah in so many ways,â Jenna explained in the voice over. . âI think there will be tears. I think Savannah is going to cry.
Jenna had that right. Savannah wiped away her tears throughout the special performance.
“I want Savannah to know that in 50 years she’s done so much,” Jenna continued. “She made so many people happy.”
So giving back some of that happiness was a pleasure.
And at the end of the song, Savannah took the stage to say her thanks and to officially dub the moment “the honor of my life!” ”