Jingle Ball on a Call: The Concert

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Photo by Mwabonje from Pexels

For this year’s annual iHeart Radio Jingle Ball concert, performers put on a show from home.

There would be no complete holiday season without the most awaited holiday music event: iHeart Radio’s Jingle Ball concert. With COVID-19 regulations, it would have been impossible to host a concert that usually has up to 20,000 attendees, but these regulations did not stop iHeart Radio, and Jingle Ball 2020 was not cancelled. The show must go on, even without a live audience. Moving from the stage to the living room, Jingle Ball was hosted on Dec. 10, 2020. The festive concert was streamed on many different platforms, giving fans many opportunities to tune in and stream the concert from the safety and comfort of their own homes and hopefully spreading some holiday cheer during this challenging time for all. 

The merry concert broadcast showed pre-recorded performances from the biggest artists in music today. The lineup included performances by Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Shawn Mendes, Sam Smith, Lewis Capaldi, and The Weeknd. The event also brought fans into the homes of the top artists from this year. Here, they shared their personal holiday traditions and performed their top hits and never-before-seen covers of some favorite holiday songs. This included Doja Cat’s performance of “Santa Baby,” Billie Eilish’s performance of “Silver Bells,” Sam Smith’s performance of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and many more. Freshman Bianca Dublin exclaimed, “Sam Smith’s Performance was by far the highlight of Jingle Ball; he did such an amazing job!”

According to Billboard (billboard.com), these covers of classic holiday songs made the list of the Top-9 Best moments from iHeart Radio’s 2020 Jingle Ball. Dua Lipa even included her fans in her performance. Her cover of John Lennon’s hit song “Happy Xmas” included harmonies from her fans around the world. Selected fans were featured in the broadcast, singing from their own homes alongside the top artist. Other artists not included on the original lineup also made an appearance: BTS, Mariah Carey, Lil Nas X, and more were all included in the event to talk about their holiday traditions. There was even a performance of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” from the K-Pop band BTS. Freshman Tori Martinez commented on the performance she enjoyed most: “My favorite part about Jingle Ball this year was the performance by BTS of ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town.’ I thought they sounded great, and it really put me in the holiday spirit.” The star-studded event was broadcasted by more than 95 iHeart Media radio stations, the iHeart Radio app, and the CW app. The concert was also streamed again on Dec. 14 for anyone who might have missed it the first time. 

Before the concert, the CW network broadcasted a pre-show event on Dec. 3. The event was called “Jingle Ball’s Greatest Moments.” While highlighting the greatest moments of Jingle Ball, special behind-the-scenes and backstage moments, and more, the pre-show event also celebrated the 25th anniversary of Jingle Ball. Tom Poleman, chief programming officer for iHeart Media, told People magazine, “Because of the pandemic, we’re moving from the stage to the artist’s home this holiday season for what will be an unforgettable show with amazing performances and moments that can only happen at the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball.” Freshman Giulia Sacchetti commented, “I streamed Jingle Ball this year, and I was blown away. My favorite performance of the night was Harry Styles, and I think that the whole event really shed some light during the difficult year we all had.” 

iHeart Media’s “Z100” first introduced the festive holiday concert at the Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford NJ in 1995. Since then, the event has evolved, having performances by artists from Jay-Z to Justin Bieber. Jingle Ball is highly awaited every year. Fans get to see all their favorite artists perform while also spreading festive cheer. Now that this year’s event is over, the countdown for Jingle Ball 2021 begins!