IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Jenna pulls off jaw-dropping birthday shocker for Savannah: ‘Surprise of a lifetime’

See how the TODAY co-anchor reacts when presented with this epic, once-in-a-lifetime surprise.

In between Christmas and New Year’s Day, we had another special occasion to celebrate here at TODAY as co-anchor Savannah Guthrie turned 50 last week.

Several members of her on-air family took the celebration to social media, but one of them, her bestie Jenna Bush Hager, took the party even further — all the way to Madison Square Garden — for a surprise Savannah never saw coming.

And on Tuesday, Jenna shared the jaw-dropping birthday shocker with the rest of us.

Savannah Guthrie never saw this birthday treat coming!
Savannah Guthrie never saw this birthday treat coming!TODAY

What do you do for the pal who’s been practically everywhere and done what seems like everything? You go with what you know.

“If you know Savannah, you know how much her faith means to her,” Jenna noted in a voice-over as a video of the surprise played. “Her trip to the Holy Land (was) one of her most treasured experiences.”

Jenna paired that knowledge with the fact that Savannah is also a music lover, as well as the fact that Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli would be in New York at the time.

Tenor Andrea Bocelli performed alongside his daughter, Virginia, for Savannah's surprise.
Tenor Andrea Bocelli performed alongside his daughter, Virginia, for Savannah's surprise.TODAY

So a plan was hatched to prepare a moment that Jenna called “a surprise of a lifetime” — a private concert at Madison Square Garden, in which the opera great would sing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” alongside his daughter, just for Savannah.

Needless to say, it was the perfect present.  

Savannah realizes just what she's been given.
Savannah realizes just what she's been given.TODAY

After leading a blindfolded Savannah to her seat, and moments after the music started, Jenna removed the blindfold and simply enjoyed her friend's excitement.

“The fact that Andrea Bocelli adapted this very famous song that I know Savannah loves, to grapple with the power of faith, is something that I think is going to move Savannah in so, so many ways,” Jenna explained in the voice-over. “I think there’ll be tears. I think Savannah will cry.”

Yes, there were tears.
Yes, there were tears. TODAY

Jenna had that right. Savannah wiped away tears throughout the special performance.

"I want Savannah to know that in 50 years, she has done so much," Jenna continued. "She has brought so many people happiness."

So returning a little of that happiness was a pleasure.


And when the song was over, Savannah walked to the stage to say her thanks and to officially dub the moment "the honor of my life!"