Here’s Everything You Need to Know About the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival
Another year, another music festival season. This year, the 2016 iHeart Radio Music Festival was jammed packed with all your faves, including Britney Spears, Drake, Ariana Grande and even the Backstreet Boys. As per usual, the annual two-day event also brought out huge celebrity appearances and much talk-about moments.
For those who weren’t out in the desert to experience the whole thing firsthand at the T-Mobile Arena, here are 12 major thing that happened.
1. Backstreet Boys Announces Las Vegas Residency
Like with Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey before them, your favorite ‘90s boy band is heading to Vegas for their very own show. Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough and A.J. McLean all surprised fans at the iHeartRadio Music Festival by joining Florida Georgia Line for their cover of “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)”. After the country group ended their set, the boy band returned to the stage for a musical set including hits like “I Want It That Way” and “As Long as You Love Me” after announcing their residency.
2. Billy Idol Brings Out Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus, who performed at the 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival, returned to the stage to perform a duet with rock legend Billy Idol. Clad in crop top and a leather jacket adorned with the British singer’s face on the back, Cyrus got in touch with her rock ’n roll side by singing “Rebel Yell” with Idol. “It’s fucking good to be back,” she told the audience.
3. Sean Penn Shows Up, But Nobody Really Cares
The entire arena was left scratching their heads when Sean Penn popped by as a presenter. Not only did the actor showed up looking disheveled with a drink in his hand, but his entire speech was completely screwed up with late sound cues. One audience member was overheard shouting, “Get off the stage!” as Penn struggled to deliver his lines.
4. U2 Blasts Donald Trump
In a move that surprised no one, Bono and the rest of the boys of U2 used their set to voice their opinions about Donald Trump and how important it is for citizens to vote (for basically anyone but the former The Apprentice star). If the video clips of the presidential candidate during the band’s set didn’t get the message through, U2 ended their performance by showering the audience with fake dollar bills with Trump’s face on it.
5. Maddie Ziegler Steals Sia’s Show
While Sia didn’t show her face this time, she did enlist the help of dancer Maddie Ziegler to entertain the crowd during her show-stopping set. Bringing in props, masks and a — yes — a stage on top of the existing stage, Ziegler wowed the crowd with her dance routine as Sia belted out hits like “Chandelier” and “Cheap Thrills”.
6. Drake Gives Canada Lots of Love
As always, Drake gave his motherland major shout-outs during his set. Telling people to turn up for Toronto, the rapper ended his set with the most Canadian line of dialogue of all time: “I go by Drake. I’m from Canada, and I appreciate you.” How polite! Oh, and was that Rihanna’s shark tattoo we spied, too?
7. Britney Spears Dances to Missy Elliott
In between performing songs like “Stronger” and “Crazy”, Britney Spears shook what her mama gave her when she broke it down during a mid-show dance sequence set to Missy Elliott’s “Work It” and “Get Ur Freak On”. Though Elliott didn’t make a surprise cameo (missed opportunity, to be honest), the singer did invite G-Eazy on stage to perform their new single, “Make Me”.
8. Mac Miller Supports His Lady
Actions speak a thousand words! Though Ariana Grande still will not confirm her relationship with rapper Mac Miller, her beau’s appearance during her set at the iHeartRadio Music Festival proved that the two rumored lovebirds are as tight as ever. Miller was spotted trying to remain incognito in a grey hoodie as he watched his gal pal perform from the floor seats.
— Carla Marie (@theCarlaMarie) September 25, 2016
9. Christina Grimmie Is Remembered by Her Fans
Christina Grimmie, who was shot and killed at her own concert earlier this year, was given a touching memorial during the second night of the festival. In 2015, Grimmie performed on stage as Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star.
— iHeartRadio (@iHeartRadio) September 24, 2016
10. Zedd Gets a Little Help From His Famous Friends
11. Twenty One Pilots Trades One Dangerous Stunt for Another
Show insiders told us that the rock duo originally had planned to have drummer Josh Dun stage dive into a group of fans. The stunt was axed last minute and, instead, singer Tyler Joseph ended their iHeartRadio Music Festival debut by climbing onto column in the middle of the arena floor.