Exclusive: Jessie James Decker on crowning the first new millionaire for 2021 on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest

Jessie James Decker
Jessie James Decker will be announcing the first new millionaire of 202`1 at Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve. Pic credit: John Hillin

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest will say goodbye to 2020 and ring in 2021 this Thursday night, marking the 49th anniversary of the music spectacular.

The special will look different this year with the absence of the hoards of people that normally squeeze into Times Square to hear the performances and watch the ball drop at midnight, but the show will go on.

Joining host Ryan Seacrest with live performances will be Jennifer Lopez, Machine Gun Kelly, Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper and Jimmie Allen. Then, Brandy, Doja Cat, Ella Mai, Lewis Capaldi, Maluma, Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus, Nelly, and Saweetie will take the stage from the West Coast broadcast.

Additionally, Jessie James Decker will return as Powerball correspondent for the second year, checking in with five randomly selected finalists across the country throughout the broadcast, before revealing the Powerball First Millionaire of the Year just after midnight.

“Last year, we flew in the contestants and I got to spend time with them one-on-one and learn a bit about their backstories,” Decker tells Monsters & Critics in this exclusive interview.

“This year, I will be in New York, but I will be doing a lot of it virtually. All the contestants will be home; they will not be in person. So, I’m interested to see how that’s going to pan out, but I’m sure it’s going to be just as great.”

The country/pop singer-songwriter is looking forward to seeing all of the music performances but says two of her favorites will be rapper Nelly and country artist Jimmie Allen, but not as much as she is looking forward to awarding the Powerball $1 million to one of the five finalists.

“What I love about it is I feel like I’m giving someone news of their whole life,” Decker says. “It feels pretty special to be able to share with them something as incredible as you’ve won a million dollars. I get to be like the best messenger ever. So, it’s exciting for me and it’s amazing to be a part of something where someone’s life can be changed forever. I think it’s going to be really great.”

Decker also chatted with M&C about her normal NYE traditions, her resolutions and hopes for 2021, as well as her plans to release new music in the coming year.

Monsters & Critics: When you’re not doing New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, how do you normally spend New Year’s Eve? Do you have traditions? 

Jessie James Decker: I hate to say it, but we’re kind of boring. I’m asleep. My husband (former NFL star Eric Decker) and I usually do not make it to midnight. We’ve been together 10 years and I think we’ve seen midnight twice. Our babies go to bed early and either my husband was playing football, so we needed a full night’s rest, or we had babies, so this is going to be new. I’ll be drinking lots of coffee so I do not get tired.

M&C: Do you make New Year’s resolutions?

Jessie James Decker: I do. I make a couple. One of the ones I always have is to get healthy, get back in shape. I always let myself enjoy the holidays and eat good stuff, and then I always liked to have the New Year’s resolution to get back in shape and try to eat really healthy again because bikini season is right around the corner.

But this year I’ve added another one to my list, which is to get more organized, and not be afraid to ask for help. I’ve always been a person to do everything on my own and we’ve got busy jobs and a big house full. And so, I’ve decided this year, I’m going to not be afraid to ask for a little extra help.

M&C: What are your hopes for 2021?

Jessie James Decker: My hopes for 2021 is for things to get back to normal. I miss touring. I miss being out on the road. I miss being able to go to an event and spend time with the people I love. And so, I’m really hoping that eventually by summer some of these things can go back to normal.

M&C: You made a new record deal, so what’s happening with music for you? You had to put things on hold because of the pandemic. Any word on when you’re going to release your new album?

Jessie James Decker: I’m hoping that the timing works out. I will be putting out new music at the top of the year. It could be as soon as the next couple months, so I’m hoping to have a single out and then, hopefully, go on tour by end of summer.

M&C: What inspires your music most? 

Jessie James Decker: I have to be able to connect to it. I have to be able to relate to it. Even if I didn’t write it, I feel like I have to live somehow in the song just so it can be genuine whenever I sing it or perform it for my audience.

But my family inspires me. My everyday life inspires me. I’m a singer, but I’m also just as much a songwriter. I’ve been writing music since I was nine years old. The songwriting element is really an important part of my job, and so, I always liked to make sure that the message is right.

M&C: When you started, your first record deal, the label tried to make you more pop than country. Is this album going to be more country? More who you really are?

Jessie James Decker: They had me sing in a pop style, they really gravitated towards that just because that’s what they did. I was signed to a pop label. My intention was to always be a Nashville country artist.

I have a drawing of myself that I drew when I was like nine or 10 years old performing at the Opry, which I got to do, but I’ve always wanted to be a country artist and it’s always been my intention, so it feels really good for it to come full circle and to be signed to my first Nashville label, being signed to Warner. I’m really excited. It’s a fantastic company and I just cannot wait to have this thing roll out.

M&C: You also released a cookbook Just Feed Me. Are those recipes from your family?

Jessie James Decker: I released the cookbook in September. It was my second book I believe. These are recipes I’ve been cooking for my family and for my husband for … I have been with my husband for the past 10 years and these recipes just developed over the years.

It’s just a little piece of my home that I put in a book and, hopefully, could share some love in my readers’ homes. It was a lot of fun to create that book.

M&C: Since you love to cook and we’ve been in quarantine, have you been experimenting with new recipes? Maybe there’s another book in the future.

Jessie James Decker: Yes. I just got signed on for another cookbook, which will be coming out in 2022. I’m very excited about that. I have been creating tons of new recipes, lots of cocktails.

If we didn’t slow it down, I don’t know if I would have had the time to really get adventurous. So, I’m excited. My husband started a garden and so it will be lots of fresh vegetables and lots of fresh new salad recipes.

M&C: In addition to maybe working together in the garden, you also work together on your fashion line Kittenish. I was surprised to see that Eric would be interested in fashion. How did you get him to be part of that company?

Jessie James Decker: My husband got his degree in business, and he’s always had a knack for it. He always knew that his post-football life would be as a businessman, but he saw a void in my business for his position. And so, it just kind of fell into his lap. He actually loves it so much.

I’ve asked him many times, “Are you sure you want to be doing this?” And he’s like, “I love it.” He really enjoys it. He’s a competitive person and he loves the comradery of a team. And so, he’s really taken a lot of those elements from his football career into our business here and the headquarters here, so it’s been amazing to work together.

M&C: There are some designs for men. Was that Eric’s influence when he joined the company or was that something you were doing before?

Jessie James Decker: That’s something we were doing before, but, obviously, Eric was the influence for that. It was taken really well and people loved it, so I’m sure there will be another men’s collection in the future.

Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest begins airing live Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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