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Jenna Bush Hager FaceTimes Dad George W. Bush Live on “Today” to Get Feedback on Her New Holiday Song

"It was lively and it will become a bestseller," Bush told his daughter and co-host Hoda Kotb, who performed their festive new holiday single for the first time on Wednesday

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images</p> George W. Bush and Jenna Bush Hager

Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

George W. Bush and Jenna Bush Hager

Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb’s musical skills have received a former president’s seal of approval.

On Wednesday, the Today with Hoda & Jenna co-hosts performed their holiday single, "A Carefree Christmas," on the show’s Plaza, and following the performance, the duo called Bush Hager's dad, former President George W. Bush, to get his reaction.

Related: Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager Debut Festive Holiday Single 'A Carefree Christmas' — and Hope It Charts


After Bush Hager, 42, revealed that her father, 77, had sent her a text reading, “Hit the high notes like I taught you. Fine performance," Kotb, 59, said that the pair needed “some clarification” on whether the politician actually “liked” their stage debut.

“Should we try to FaceTime my dad?” asked the former first daughter. “He doesn’t usually like it when I put him on the spot like this.”

Bush Hager then questioned whether or not her dad would even answer the phone as she didn’t pre-warn him and “he could be on the elliptical, he could be painting.”

Related: Jenna Bush Hager Shares Adorable Holiday Card Featuring Son Hal Holding His Nose: He 'Likes to Be a Stink'

But President Bush did answer the call — albeit through FaceTime Audio — affectionately calling Kotb "Hody" and telling the co-hosts that he was talking to them through his Apple Watch.

The president then gave the duo’s performance, which saw them wearing matching all-black sparkly outfits, a rave review.

“I was unbelievably impressed,” said the former president, who then noted that his favorite part was listening to Cheryl Porter sing. Porter  — a trained opera singer with more than 20 years of experience, per her official website — was the pair’s vocal coach and also features on the song.

Related: Jenna Bush Hager Reveals Father George W. Bush Underwent Back Surgery Before Bouncing World Series Pitch

<p>John Lamparski/Getty Images</p> Hoda Kotb, Cheryl Porter and Jenna Bush Hager perform "A Carefree Christmas" on the 'TODAY' Plaza

John Lamparski/Getty Images

Hoda Kotb, Cheryl Porter and Jenna Bush Hager perform "A Carefree Christmas" on the 'TODAY' Plaza

“What about us?” asked Bush Hager.

“I thought you all were cute,” President Bush continued, before making a cheeky quip about the pair’s singing. “I thought your dance moves were well choreographed and I thought the sound guy did a good job of making sure your voices were subdued."

“Well thank you Dad, we appreciate it,” laughed Bush Hager.

Related: George W. Bush and Laura Bush's Sweetest Photos with Their Grandchildren

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty</p> Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager

Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty

Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager

"It was very good, it really was fun,” her father added. “It was lively and it will become a bestseller.”

After the call ended, Kotb said, “He called me Hody. You know who calls me Hody? All the people who have known me my whole life. That’s what my sister calls me, my brother calls me and all my high school friends. That is so funny he did that.”

"By the way our song is on iTunes, download it!” added Kotb.

Related: Hoda Kotb Celebrates Jenna Bush Hager's Birthday with a Copy of PEOPLE: 'My Cover Girl'

Shealah Craighead/The White House Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, George W. Bush and Jenna Bush Hager
Shealah Craighead/The White House Barbara Bush, Laura Bush, George W. Bush and Jenna Bush Hager

Bush Hager and Kotb debuted their festive single and its music video during a broadcast in late November.

They also praised Porter for her work, with Bush Hager saying during that segment, "We love Cheryl so much. Without Cheryl, our song would sound a lot worse. Not only did she help us, but she sang a lot of it.”

They also supported the song’s release on social media and shared the music video on Instagram with the caption, “A Carefree Christmas with Hoda and Jenna” is out NOW! 🤩🎄🎁 Thank you to the amazing @cherylporterdiva for working with us on this track, we love you ❤️. Head to the link in bio to stream!"

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