NBC casts Celina Smith as Annie in ‘Annie Live!’

Smith is known for her role in Tyler Perry's Young Dylan,

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It looks like Annie Live! has found its star! The upcoming live musical from NBC has cast Celina Smith as the titular role in the beloved show, which is set to premiere on the network in December.

Smith, who is known for her role in Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan, will be singing “Tomorrow” for homes across the country when Annie Live! debuts this winter. In an official statement Smith said: “It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of the talented young ladies who have played Annie before me and I can’t wait to start this journey,” according to Deadline.

Pictured: Celina Smith Instagram: @officialcelinasmith

This will not be Smith’s first foray into musical theatre. The young star was a part of the national tour of The Lion King, in which she played Young Nala.

NBC seems to be incredibly excited after their nationwide search for their star. “Already a triple threat at the age of 12, Smith will light up center stage with an all-star ensemble that includes Taraji P. Henson as Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace and Tituss Burgess as Rooster,” the network said in a statement obtained by The Wrap.

As theGrio previously reported, it was announced that Henson would be playing the iconic role of Miss Hannigan earlier this year. At the time, Henson shared a statement dedicated to comedy legend, Carol Burnett, who originated the role of Miss Hannigan in the first film iteration in 1982.

“Carol Burnett, who brought Miss Hannigan to life in the classic 1982 movie, is someone I have studied and idolized as far back as I can remember. So when the opportunity came to me to join NBC and this incredible group of producers, I jumped! Carol, I hope to do you proud!” Henson said.

8th Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony - Arrivals
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 03: Taraji P. Henson attends the 8th Annual Breakthrough Prize Ceremony at NASA Ames Research Center on November 03, 2019 in Mountain View, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

As theGrio previously reported, the chairman of entertainment content at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, Susan Rovner, seemed particularly excited for Henson’s addition to the cast. “When we decided to bring back NBC’s holiday musical tradition, we were looking for something that was critically acclaimed and universally beloved – and while that’s definitely the case with ‘Annie,’ it absolutely applies to Taraji as well,” Rovner said in a statement at the time.

“Watching her take on this iconic role will be a thrill that has all the makings of must-watch television,” Rovner added.

Annie Live! will air on NBC on Dec. 2 at 8 p.m.

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