Coachella: Ariana Grande becomes fourth woman to headline, brings out *NSYNC members and others – USA TODAY


Shad Powers


Palm Springs Desert Sun

Published 7:38 AM EDT Apr 15, 2019

Ariana Grande closed out Weekend One of Coachella in style, putting together a set that included special guests, stunning visuals, and of course her undeniable voice. 

She made history with the first note as she became the youngest person at 25 ever to headline at Coachella. She also became just the fourth woman, and didn’t ease into her performance, either. 

She kicked off her set with a bang, belting her way through “God Is A Woman,” her crisp voice cutting through the night air.

The much-rumored — and hinted at on social media — reunion of *NSYNC did in fact happen as the famous boy band (minus Justin Timberlake) came out to sing her song “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” It’s a song which uses a reworking of the lyrics to *NSYNC’s song “It Makes Me Ill.”

They then sang their hit, “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” while Grande sang and did the iconic dance moves with the group. In a cute twist, the video screens showed ripples and old numbers as though the audience was watching a VHS tape of the performance. The guys thanked the crowd and left. Grande said “I can die now” as they exited. 

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But that was just the start of the surprise guests. Moments later Nicki Minaj arrived to sing “Side to Side.” The two left the stage, walking out onto a bridge along with about 12 dancers. While there, they also sang “Bang! Bang!” the hit song they collaborated on with Jessie J. That part was not without its technical problems as Minaj’s microphone didn’t seem to always be working. 

The guest list wasn’t closed yet, though, later in the set P. Diddy and Mase came on to sing “Mo Money, Mo Problems” as images of Biggie Smalls showed on the center screen which was planet-shaped and almost planet sized. 

Despite all the special guests, this night was about Ariana and she didn’t disappoint — it was “Arichella” as the hashtags say.

She held the audience captivated throughout the night whether it was poppy dance hits like “7 Rings” or more emotional songs like “Breathin” which she sang while being circled by about a dozen women playing violins. 

Grande’s voice is undeniable, and she put it fully on display at the end of her set. She completely belted some of her biggest hits “Dangerous Woman” and “Break Free” to the delight of the crowd who looked on in amazement at the notes she was able to hit and sustain. 

Her second-to-last song was “No Tears Left To Cry” which she actually also sang at Coachella last year when she did a surprise performance with Kygo and sang the then-newly released single. 

Grande ended by listening to the crowd as they shouted “Thank U, Next” in unison as she pretended to be done without playing her signature hit. 

The final images she left her fans with was a rippling pride flag on the big screens and fireworks in the sky. Those fireworks provided a fitting conclusion to her powerful and bright performance.

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