Stars kick off Christmas at Rockefeller tree lighting

Cee Lo Green, Rod Stewart, The Muppets and more performed at the tree-lighting ceremony hosted by Billy Crystal and Bette Midler in New York.

Cee Lo Green and Rod Stewart kicked off the official Christmas season in New York City on Wednesday by performing at the tree-lighting ceremony outside the city's iconic Rockefeller Center. Thousands of New Yorkers and tourists braved the cold weather for the 80th annual ceremony to light the Big Apple's most famous Christmas tree.

Green arrived onstage aboard a red sleigh along with The Muppets, including Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and treated fans to "This Christmas" and "All I Need is Love" from his new holiday album, "Cee Lo's Magic Moment."

Related: Read about how this year's Rockefeller Center Christmas tree survived Sandy.

Rod Stewart then sang his rendition of festive track "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" before New York's mayor Michael Bloomberg flipped the switch, lighting up Rockefeller Square.

Video: Christmas officially begins in New York

Mariah Carey also appeared on the bill in a pre-recorded performance, singing her holiday classic "All I Want For Christmas Is You" alongside a Santa Claus. American Idol winner Scotty McCreery also performed, while Bette Midler and Billy Crystal helped host the event.