The sun is has come out today for Atlanta ingénue Celina Smith… and it will continue to come out tomorrow, the day after that and the day after that! After a nationwide search, Smith has landed the titular role of the iconic Annie n NBC’s upcoming holiday production of Annie Live!

Smith joins previously announced cast members Taraji P. Henson who will play Miss Hannigan, Harry Connick Jr. as Daddy Warbucks, Nicole Scherzinger as Grace and Tituss Burgess as Rooster. The live musical event will air December 2 at 8 pm ET/PT on NBC.

Smith began her career as Young Nala in the national touring company of The Lion King. She can also be seen on the series Tyler Perry’s Young Dylan.

“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,” Smith said.

Annie Live! will be executive produced by Robert Greenblatt, Neil Meron and Alex Rudzinsky, with Lear deBessonet and Alex Rudzinski sharing the directing duties. Choreography will be led by Sergio Trujillo. Jason Sherwood will oversee production design. Stephen Oremus will orchestrate the music direction. Emilio Sosa will lead costume design. The live event is being produced by Chloe Productions. 

Smith is repped by Pantheon, J Pervis Talent Agency, AGI Entertainment and attorney Mark Temple.