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Cool grandpa Lester Holt shows off his bass skills on 'Kelly Clarkson Show'

"I'm not nervous doing the news but right now, I am terrified," he told Clarkson before performing.
/ Source: TODAY

NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt is many things: a newsman, a grandfather and, of course, a talented bass player.

He showed off his skills on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" on Tuesday, playing with the show band as they went to break.

As he picked up the instrument, Lester admitted that he was nervous.

"I'm not nervous doing the news," he explained to Clarkson. "But right now, I am terrified."

It's not the first time he's slapped a little bass in the public eye.

In 2015, Lester appeared on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" and played with The Roots. The TODAY family loved that performance and even talked about it on the show the next morning.

"He's already like one of the coolest guys who works here, but this just takes it to a whole another level," Savannah Guthrie said at the time. "Can we have your autograph?!"

He even played the bass for Clarkson before when the two chatted in May 2020 from quarantine.

"Lester, at some point in life when we can be within six feet of each other, we gotta do something together," she exclaimed. "I love it... Few people know this but actually — they always think it's the drummer — but it's actually the bass and the drums that really hold down the rhythm of a set."

"It's a sexy instrument," Clarkson laughed at the time. She clearly meant it, because in the episode that aired on Tuesday, she reiterated her opinion.

"Lester Holt jamming with my band, y'all!" she shouted as the show returned from commercial break. "Looking all sexy on that bass, what!"

The two then proceeded to play a game where they tried to read ridiculous news stories on a teleprompter without laughing.

Lester is also in a band called Rough Cuts, which is made up of predominantly other NBC employees and prior to the pandemic, had been known to play a few gigs. Moonlighting as a musician previously earned Lester a write up in The New York Times, which noted that the NBC News frontman had been hooked on music since he was a teenager and saved money delivering newspapers in Sacramento to buy his first guitar, a knockoff Fender Jazz, for $60 at a pawn shop.

That same guitar sits in his office at Rockefeller Center as a symbol of how far he's come, The Times reported.

“I’m at the top of my profession,” Lester told the paper in 2019. “There’s nowhere else to go, but I don’t want this to define who I am. If this job ever went away, I’m still me, I still have so much more to give, and doing this music thing is a symbol of that.”

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