'West Side Story' Star Ariana DeBose to Make 'SNL' Debut

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Ariana DeBose
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Saturday Night Live has tapped West Side Story breakout star Ariana DeBose to lead the first show of the new year.

DeBose will make her SNL hosting debut when the show returns Jan. 15, NBC announced last week. The 30-year-old actress and singer plays Anita in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the iconic musical, and has received accolades for her head-turning performance. She recently received a Critics Choice Movie Award nomination.

She will be joined in the episode by musical guest Bleachers, who replaces previously announced Roddy Ricch, who would have made his SNL debut. It is unclear why Roddy Ricch dropped out.

The late-night sketch show will also air new episodes Jan. 22 and 29 with hosts and musical guests to be announced later.

DeBose spoke with ET at the West Side Story premiere, where she opened up about the attention she's received for her performance.

"I'm not afraid of it but I'm just really proud of what we made," DeBose said in December. "I think anybody recognizing this work, I'm grateful to them for seeing it, for giving it a chance and I think if one person or one department is recognized, that's a win for all of us. I'm just grateful to be a part of the conversation. I never thought I'd get this far, so here we are!"

Saturday Night Live airs live coast-to-coast Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT on NBC.

A version of this story was originally published Thursday, Jan. 6 at 1:39 p.m. PT.

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