Z100’s iHeartRadio Jingle Ball hit Madison Square Garden on Friday (Dec. 7), bringing a packed guest list of performers — including Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and Khalid — to the famed New York City venue to ring in the holidays with an array of radio hits.
Amid the nearly four-hour marathon concert, these seven moments stood out.
The all-star collabs
If you’re a Bazzi fan, you’ll know the 21-year-old pop newcomer behind heart-eyed hit “Mine” is as hopeless a romantic as they come. So when he brought fellow love ode savant Camila Cabello onstage to perform their sweet duet “Beautiful,” giving the pop star a little twirl before enveloping her in a bear hug, hearts exploded across the arena. Later in the night, Khalid invited Normani onstage to serenade the crowd with their sultry collab “Love Lies,” with their dance moves just as in sync as their vocal harmonies.
Sabrina Carpenter’s MSG debut
Tonight marked Carpenter’s first-ever performance at Madison Square Garden — so it was only natural for the 19-year-old former Disney star to celebrate the milestone with a performance of her hypnotic electro-pop track “Why,” which begins with a line about New York City. Shimmying across the stage in a fully-sequined silver bodysuit, Carpenter also performed tracks off her recent album Singular, like the confident “Sue Me” — the idea for which she explained came to her after, literally, getting sued — and club-ready “Almost Love.”
Shawn Mendes nailing “In My Blood,” again
It doesn’t matter how many times he performs it (whether at the VMAs, music festivals or on late-night TV) — Shawn Mendes belting out “In My Blood” just doesn’t get old. Rocking out onstage in a crisp white button-down, the Canadian heartthrob lit up the arena, hitting every one of the rousing, motivational song’s many sky-high notes. (For the record, he also performed hits old and new favorites, like “Lost In Japan” and “Stitches,” along with a mini-cover of Kings of Leon‘s “Use Somebody.”)
Camila covering Elvis Presley
Picture this: Camilla Cabello sitting at a piano in a sequined getup, fog spreading at her feet, as she draws out every heart-aching note of “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” one of the most classic love songs of all-time. Tearing up yet? Us, too. The cover only lasted 60 seconds or so, but it was jaw-dropping to hear Cabello’s impressive range against only the sound of spare piano keys — and if nothing else, the cover provided the perfect transition to her own emotive piano ballad “Consequences.”
Alessia Cara bringing the realness
“How are you guys doing, good? Well, this song’s about not doing so good,” Alessia Cara joked before launching into her R&B-flavored coming-of-age melody “Growing Pains.” On a night known for glitz and costume, Cara broke up the set list with some real talk, also performing her 2015 breakthrough hits “Here” and “Scars To Your Beautiful” as images of a diverse group of women flashed on the screen behind her. Also making her MSG debut tonight, Cara closed out her uplifting set with an energy-packed performance of her smash Zedd collaboration “Stay” before bouncing offstage.
Dua Lipa performing “Electricity” hours after receiving a Grammy nod for the song
Friday morning, Dua Lipa celebrated the news of her double Grammy nominations — best new artist and best dance recording for “Electricity” — with a little breakfast champagne. She kept the festivities going by performing the magnetic Silk City collab in a colorful sequined mini-dress (yes, sequins seemed to be the theme of the night), taking a moment beforehand to share her gratitude for the nomination. She wasn’t the only 2019 Grammy nominee onstage: Jingle Ball’s Cardi B, Cabello, Mendes, Bebe Rexha and G-Eazy are all also up for awards.
Cardi B bringing down the house
Cardi knows how to make an entrance — that is, strutting onstage atop a gold platform, showing off her six-pack with an emerald fringe crop top and miniskirt, blonde Rapunzel waves swishing past her waist. The sharp-tongued Bronx rapper kicked things off with her hard-as-nails Invasion of Privacy track “Drip” before running through hits like “Money Bag,” “MotorSport” and the new “Money,” with plenty of okrrrs in between. But it was her playful performance of Latin trap-salsa groove “I Like It” that turned the stage into a party, with a six-piece dance crew all shaking, twisting and twirling in unison. “I cannot wait to spend my first Christmas with my baby,” Cardi explained toward the end of her set, alluding, of course, to her newborn daughter Kulture. Turning back to the music, Cardi gave her final song, breakout hit “Bodak Yellow,” a fitting intro: “This song is my special song, and I’m going to perform this song ’til the day I diiiiie!”