Thousands of screaming fans at Madison Square Garden on Friday night — who never seemed to tire of wailing louder and louder for each consecutive artist — were treated to a snapshot of the current state of popular music at Z100’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.
Before the show on the red carpet, celebrities including Chris Rock, Dr. Oz and Frankie Grande (who bragged about watching his sister, Ariana, in “Hairspray Live!” three times in a row the night it debuted) were buzzing with excitement for the show.
Fifth Harmony kicked off the night with an energetic set with synchronized dances to their songs “Work From Home” and “Worth It.” Later, the group’s Camila Cabello made a surprise performance of her song “Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly.
Lukas Graham, recently nominated for three Grammys including song and record of the year, follow up next with the band’s Madison Square Garden debut. Their song “7 Years” got the audience’s attention and prompted a sing-along.
Ellie Goulding brought confetti and Diplo came with fire. Goulding fought through sickness to belt out her songs “On My Mind,” “Anything Can Happen” and “Love Me Like You Do.” “I used the last bit of voice I had left tonight for #Z100JingleBall and totally worth it,” she tweeted after the performance. MØ made a surprise appearance during Diplo’s set for a performance of “Cold Water.”
Two days before her birthday, Hailee Steinfeld played an acoustic version of her hit “Starving.” “Last year I celebrated my 19th birthday here. This year I get to celebrate ‘Starving’ going platinum,” she told the audience.
The evening also featured a special performance by Niall Horan, who promised to “make it quick” with his debut single “This Town.” Joe Jonas‘ DNCE put on a show with original tracks and covers of “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls and Kanye West’s “Fade.”
But no screams throughout the night were louder than they were for Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber. Grande breezed her way through through songs from her latest album “Dangerous Woman” and also got in the holiday spirit with a medley of songs from her EP “Christmas and Chill.” Bieber who, since March, has been on tour for his album “Purpose” put on a show with hits including “What Do You Mean?” and “Sorry.” He also got intimate for an acoustic performance of “Cold Water” and “Love Yourself.”
Other performers during the long night of music included Charlie Puth, Daya and the Chainsmokers. The show also took a moment to raise money for the Robin Hood foundation, which fights poverty, by bringing out a number of artists including Tinashe, Jake Miller, and Rita Ora to sing “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.”