×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cardi B, After a ‘Rough Day,’ Slays, Shawn Mendes Glows Over Grammys at Jingle Ball

Plus: What does Meghan Trainor want for Christmas? "Another season of 'The Four.'"

Despite having a court date in Queens Friday morning (Dec. 7), Cardi B was on hand for holiday cheer and a victory lap celebrating her five Grammy nominations on stage at the Z100 Jingle Ball at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The hip-hop star faced a judge answering that morning to answer to charges that she had members of her team allegedly attack a pair of sisters at a New York club.

“I was having a rough day,” Cardi said to the crowd, but the energy at the Garden certainly raised her spirits.

Drama aside, Cardi took the stage like a professional, perhaps even more amped from the day’s events as she tackled hits and tracks from her album, Invasion of Privacy,  and a set that included “Money,” Bruno Mars collab “Finesse,” and “I Like It,” spitting out rhymes,  and giving the crowd a dose of personality plus, lots of “Okrrrs,” and a pulverizing “Bodak Yellow,” which she said, “My special song, and I’m going to perform this song ‘til the day I diiiiiiiiiiiie!”

Decked out in an emerald fringed crop top and miniskirt, Cardi was pure energy, closing out the show for her hometown crowd while taking in the holiday magic, telling the crowd how excited she is that this will be her baby, Kulture’s, first Christmas.

“I can’t wait to spend my first Christmas with my baby,” she said.

The Grammy celebrations continued onstage, as Shawn Mendes gave his first performance as an official Grammy nominee. Armed with a guitar, Mendes treated the crowd to hits, “Holding Me Back,” “Lost in Japan,” a cool mashup of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” into “Treat You Better,” and “In My Blood,” which is up for Song of the Year.

“I feel like I’ve been walking on clouds all day,” he told the screaming fans. “This is a perfect way to end the day.”

Shawn MendesZ100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, New York, USA - 07 Dec 2018
CREDIT: imageSPACE/REX/Shutterstock

The onstage treats were bountiful: Bazzi and Camlila Cabello teamed up for their first onstage performance of their hit song, “Beautiful.” Speaking to Variety on the red carpet, Bazzi praised his touring partner on her Grammy nominations.

“I saw her and told her she’s a Queen,” he said. “It’s amazing.”

Bazzi had the crowd in the palm of his hand during his set, leading the Garden in a massive singalong to his hit, “Mine.” When asked about the fact that his song was the only one of the Top 30 songs of the year with only one sole songwriter — himself — the Detroit, Michigan native was humble.

“When I found that out, I felt really good, because I take pride in how much of my album I did, I produced and wrote every song, so I am really proud of that and that recognition,” he said.

The backstage area and carpet was high energy, with too good to be true moments on the carpet (BeBe Rexha was adorably starstruck by the cast of “Jersey Shore,” scooping in for a photo with DJ Pauly D and Vinny Guadagnino  on the carpet).

Every star in the backstage had the opportunity to dance with the Waffle Crew and create some social media mayhem in an area designed to look like a subway. Everyone from Cabello (who shared a warm moment as Khalid waved to her before he made his way to take photos), Normani Kordei, LovelyTheBand and Monsta X took advantage of showing their moves. Monsta X was especially impressive, getting down with the acrobatics the group displayed on their hyped up, historic appearances as the first K Pop act to grace the Jingle Ball stage. First appearing at the Los Angeles Jingle Ball, the charismatic and handsome group also graced the stages at the Boston shows and were added as a surprise act on the main stage after blowing up the crowd at the All Access Pepsi pre-show.

“We are going to make more history,” rapper I.M. told Variety. “We didn’t expect it, but we are going to make 2019 for us.”

“I am really proud that BTS is a K-Pop representer,” he said of BTS and their Grammy nomination. “I hope we can make more awards like that” for K Pop artists.

The Grammy Awards were top of mind for many of the artists, and this year’s Best New Artist winner Alessia Cara— who performed new selections from her new album, The Pains of Growing” hits “Scars to Your Beautiful” and “Here” and a Christmas selection, “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”– said the nomination committee got many things right with the categories this year, although she would have like to have seen Ariana Grande get a nomination in the Album of the Year Category, “because she has gone through so much this year.”

“I think it’s been a long year for a lot of us,” she said. “It’s been a very difficult year, if I’m being honest but it was also something that taught me a lot, and I feel like 2019 is going to be really great.’

Walking the carpet, Kordei was a vision in white, looking like a snow angel and ready to take on 2019 by storm. Moments before taking the stage to perform “Love Lies” with the buttery voiced Khalid, Kordei said it is “mind-blowing” that the song is the longest charting record of 2018.

“That song has broken so many records, and it is so special to me because it was just me and a friend getting in the studio because we were so excited to work with each other,” she said. “And people loved it, and that is all you can hope for as an artist, because we make music for the sake of what we love and we just wanted to create our favorite song and it became everybody else’s favorite song.”

Khalid, Normani. Singer-songwriter Khalid, left, performs with Normani at Z100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden, in New York2018 Z100 iHeartRadio Jingle Ball - - Show, New York, USA - 07 Dec 2018
CREDIT: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP/REX/Sh

Kordei teased that there is video for “Waves” shot, and is pumped to tour with Grande on the “Sweetener” tour because “this is the first time my fans can come out and see me live.”

She also revealed that she is planning to write with Bebe Rexha, who was celebrating her Grammy nominations at the New York event. Kordei said she is happy the Grammy Awards stepped up—no pun intended—with the female nominations.

“I am happy to see females standing and representing all of us well, I am really proud to see so many beautiful faces,” she said. “Dua Lipa is standing right next to me and she is really killing it and kicking ass. So if one is up there, you represent all of us. It is such a male dominated field, so I am really proud.”

LovelyTheBand, who had a big year in 2018 with the strength of their hit, “Broken,” made a statement as one of the featured artists at the Pepsi Pre Show. “Broken” was a therapeutic song for lead vocalist Mitch Collins to write, he tells Variety.

“It was written at a time when I felt really lost, and to help other people is all you can ask for,” he said.

Asked about the state of rock music — which Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine recently said was an endangered species — Collins disagreed. “I don’t know about that. I think rock music is doing just fine,” he said.

One group he is happy for is Greta Van Fleet, who earned four Grammy nominations in the rock category.

“I’m excited for them. “The Fever,” best new rock record. There is a lot of good new rock music,” he said.

Other celebs on the red carpet — including Ryan the Selfie Kid, made famous from his infamous photo with Justin Timberlake at The Super Bowl — celebrated the season. Sabrina Carpenter was festive in a silvery number before taking the stage for her first time ever on the main stage at Jingle Ball. Previous years, she appeared in the pre-show, but the success of her new single, “Sue Me,” and mature new album, “Singular: Act 1,” plus starring role in “The Hate You Give,” was a perfect example of how artists grow from the first time appearing at the event.

“It’s my first time performing at Madison Square Garden with so many incredible new artists, and I’m just breathing it all in right now,” she said.

For 2019, she has another movie and “Singular, Two.” “Real Housewives” star Teresa Guidice won mother of the year, taking her daughters Gia and aspiring recording artist 13-year old Milania, to the Jingle Ball. Ashley Tisdale talked her return to music and new album produced by Jon Feldmann (5 Seconds of Summer).

The single, “Symptoms,” address her journey through anxiety and depression, and her hope to help others feel less alone. “I wanted to break down that stigma,” she said. “It can happen to anybody.”

Finally, Meghan Trainor — who was warmly welcomed by the crowd for her set of hits — tells Variety what she really wants for Christmas is “The Four” to come back. “I hope I get a third season,” she says. “Tell them to give me a third season.”

Meghan TrainorZ100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball, New York, USA - 07 Dec 2018
CREDIT: Gregory Pace/REX/Shutterstock

The Jingle Ball is set to air on the CW on Dec. 16

More Music

  • 2019 Variety Predictions

    2019 Predictions: What's in Store for Film, TV and Music Next Year?

    It would be hard to top the drama of 2018. From media mega-mergers to the rise of Time’s Up, it was a year that had more than its fair share of twists and turns. Leslie Moonves resigned in disgrace, AT&T snapped up Time Warner, Disney inched closer to subsuming Fox and “Black Panther” shattered box [...]

  • Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for

    Tencent Music Raises $1.1 Billion for IPO, Much Less Than Expected

    China-based music streaming company Tencent Music Entertainment Group said it raised nearly $1.1 billion in its U.S. initial public offering, according to Reuters. Earlier this year, the company was expected to be valued at as much as $30 billion and raise $4 billion for its IPO, but those estimates were slashed in September. he IPO [...]

  • Justin Tranter and Katie Vinten Partner

    Justin Tranter and Katie Vinten Partner With Warner Bros. for New Label

    As previously reported, hit songwriter Justin Tranter and Warner/Chappell Publishing’s Katie Vinten are launching a new label in partnership with Warner Bros. Records, the company announced officially today. In her new role, Vinten, most recently the company’s co-head of A&R, will also serve as an A&R Consultant to Warner Bros. Records and will continue with [...]

  • Ella Mai

    Ella Mai Signs Worldwide Deal With Sony/ATV Music Publishing

    Singer Ella Mai, who is enjoying a worldwide smash with her song “Boo’d Up” and was nominated for two Grammy Awards last week, has signed a worldwide deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. The song peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has been streamed more than 650 million times in the U.S. [...]

  • Phylicia Fant Shawn Holiday

    Shawn Holiday, Phylicia Fant Named Columbia Records' Co-Heads of Urban (EXCLUSIVE)

    Columbia Records has named Shawn Holiday and Phylicia Fant Co-heads of Urban Music, it was announced today by the label’s chairman and CEO, Ron Perry. The two will each hold the title of Co-head of Urban Music. Previously, Holiday was Senior Vice President of Urban A&R for Columbia, while Fant joins Columbia from Warner Bros. Records, [...]

  • BTS puma collaboration basket sneakers shop

    BTS Escape Injury After Tour Bus Accident in Taiwan

    Korean boyband BTS have escaped injury after a collision that involved three of their tour buses, according to news reports. The superstar pop band were on board the buses after having performed a gig at the Taoyuan Baseball Stadium in Taiwan. At least seven vehicles were involved, according to local reports, but no one was [...]

  • Bruce Springsteen on Broadway

    Film Review: 'Springsteen on Broadway'

    Hope you like the 69-year-old version of Bruce Springsteen’s face, because it’s virtually all you’re going to see for the two hours and 40 minutes of the filmed “Springsteen on Broadway” — other than the bare brick wall of the theater casting a dim glow in the background beyond those gray sideburns, and two songs’ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content