*For 28 years, Darlene Love has belted her signature song “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on David Letterman’s last broadcasts before the holiday break.
With the CBS late night host retiring next year, Love’s final “Late Show” performance of her 1963 classic will take place tonight (Dec. 19).
Love first performed the song for Letterman in 1986, when his show was on NBC, and she’s been back nearly every yuletide since, singing it 21 times. She says she puts in little preparation for the big moment, saying, “I just show up and sing the song.”
The show’s bandleader Paul Shaffer says, “I’m looking forward to it this year more than any other year, with mixed feelings, of course. It’s been incredibly meaningful for me.”
Letterman will be handing the reins of “The Late Show” to Stephen Colbert in May.
Below, clips of Love’s “Letterman” performances through the years…