×

Thirty Seconds to Mars Pay Tribute to Bennington, Cornell, Bowie, Prince, Michael With Medley at iHeart Festival

Backed by a 20-piece choir, Thirty Seconds To Mars delivered a touching tribute to several icons who’ve died in the past couple of years — David Bowie, Prince, George Michael, Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell and Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington — with a complex medley at the IHeartRadio Festival Friday night in Las Vegas.

The medley — which kicked off the band’s set — included snippets of Bowie’s 1977 classic, “Heroes,” Prince’s “Purple Rain,” Michael’s “Freedom,” Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun” and Linkin Park’s “Crawling.”

The group also performed the medley for the BBC earlier this month (see video below).

The band — which also includes drummer Shannon Leto and multi-instrumentalist Tomo Miličević — continued with a solid set of its own material, including “Kings and Queens,” “Up in the Air” and their new single, “Walk on Water.” The band invited a couple dozen audience members onstage to dance during the home stretch.

Losing both Bennington and Cornell—who passed away after taking their own lives—was “a great loss,” the 2014 Academy Award winner Best Supporting Actor in the film, Dallas Buyers Club, told Variety in a backstage interview.

Losing all of the icons was rough, Leto told Variety in an interview backstage, but “losing Chris and Chester in such a short time is shocking and brutal,” he said. “Chester was a tremendous person and an incredible artist,” he said of Bennington, who’d introduced Thirty Seconds to Mars at the iHeartradio Awards in 2014; sadly, Leto returned the gesture by paying tribute to Bennington and Cornell in August at the MTV Video Music Awards.

“I was glad that I could be there for the family and the friends and the band and just support [Bennington] and try to honor him in the best way possible,” he said. Linkin Park, accompanied by members of System of a Down, Korn, Avenged Sevenfold, Bring Me the Horizon, Yellowcard and others, will pay tribute to their late singer with a concert at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 27.

Asked if Thirty Seconds to Mars will participate, Leto answered, “I don’t know as of yet.”

The iHeartRadio Festival concludes tonight (Sept. 23) with performances by Miley Cyrus, DJ Khaled, Lorde, Niall Horan, Thomas Rhett, Kesha, Big Sean and Kings of Leon.

 

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Triples Free-Trial Period on Premium Service

    Spotify today extended the free-trial period for its Premium service from one month to three, tripling the amount of time listeners can take full advantage of the streaming giant’s offerings without paying for them. According to the announcement, the offer is “always-on/not limited time,” and will roll out across Spotify Premium plans globally: Individual and [...]

  • Celso Pina Dead

    Celso Piña, Known as 'Rebel of the Accordion,' Dies at 66

    Celso Piña, the cumbia music legend known as “the rebel of the accordion,” died of a heart attack on Wednesday in his hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. He was 66 years old. “Today is a sad day for La Tuna Group, with deep pain we communicate the unexpected departure of a family member, our friend, and [...]

  • Shawn Mendes, Camila CabelloShawn Mendes and

    Camila Cabello, Shawn Mendes to Perform 'Señorita' for First Time at VMAs

    Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes are performing their hit single “Señorita” live together for the first time at the 2019 Video Music Awards. Cabello received five VMA nominations this year, including Best Collaboration, Best Art Direction, Best Choreography, Best Cinematography and Song of Summer. Mendes received six: Artist of the Year, Best Collaboration, Best Art [...]

  • Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift in concert at

    When Could Taylor Swift Re-Record Her Big Machine Songs? It's Complicated

    Her few words echoed around the world within minutes: Asked in a preview of her forthcoming “CBS This Morning” interview whether she might re-record her master recordings from her Big Machine, which are now owned and controlled by her nemesis, Justin Bieber manager Scooter Braun, Taylor Swift said, “Oh yeah.” Asked whether she plans to: [...]

  • James Corden Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

    James Corden Got a Little Help From Paul McCartney on His Drive to the Emmys

    Saying “Baby, I could drive your car” has proven to be a very good strategy for James Corden — never more so than when he put Paul McCartney into the highly sought passenger seat. The primetime special “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool” is a contender in five Emmy categories this year, [...]

  • Big Mouth Netflix

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces 'Big Mouth' Season 3 Premiere Date

    In today’s roundup, “Big Mouth” Season 3 sets an October 4 premiere date and Univison releases a sneak peek of its new music competition show “Reina de la Canción.” DATES “Big Mouth” will return to Netflix with its third season on Oct. 4. The adult animated comedy, created by childhood friends Andrew Goldberg and Nick [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content