Mariah Carey apologised to the hundreds of fans who showed up to watch her perform at New York City's famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony after arriving three hours late for a pre-taped segment on Tuesday (02Dec14).

The pop star was due to sing her festive classic All I Want for Christmas is You for the event, which aired on America's NBC network on Wednesday night (03Dec14), but her tardiness prompted show bosses to scrap the recording and send her home.

Producers decided to give Carey a slot during the live show in order to make it up to her fans, who had waited in the cold and rain on Tuesday in anticipation of the diva's performance.

Just before taking to the stage on Wednesday, Carey took to to show her remorse for her cancelled Tuesday gig, and wrote, "Last night's situation was beyond my control. I apologize to all that showed up, you know that I would never want to disappoint you You've kept me here, in your hearts, and I keep you in mine always."

Reports suggest Carey was late because she had become too engrossed in sorting out property details with her lawyer regarding her recent split from husband Nick Cannon.

As promised, Carey opened the live programme with her hit holiday track. However, she suffered a problem when she attempted to remove the sparkling red shawl she was wearing during her performance. The sweater was caught on the wires leading to her ear piece, and the coat swung behind her while she performed.

At the end of the performance, she exclaimed, "Merry Christmas! I'm getting a new coat!"

Joining Carey at the 82nd annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center celebration were artists including Idina Menzel, LeAnn Rimes, Seth MACFarlane, Prince Royce, Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga, Trisha Yearwood, Darius Rucker, and Cyndi Lauper.