Throw on your flower lei headbands and fringe bikini tops, because we are about to talk about Coachella! The Coachella music festival, in Coachella, California, is a very well-known event where people go, party and listen to their favorite artists. Some top Coachella headliners have included Kanye West, Beyoncé, and even Tupac (we’ll talk more later about how that’s possible). At Coachella, there are always surprises in store for the eager audience. Check out all of these famous and infamous Coachella headliner performances that made their mark on the historic festival.
Chance the Rapper Performed with…
Chancellor Johnathan Bennett (what a regal name!) is known professionally as Chance the Rapper. He is an American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer from Chicago, Illinois. Chance stands out among other artists because his music was released exclusively online. In 2013, he began to gain praise after the release of his second mixtape titled Acid Rap.
Chance is also a member of the Chicago collective Save Money and he has worked as the lead vocalist for the band The Social Experiment. They released the widely lauded album Surf in May 2015; in May 2016, Bennett released his third mixtape Coloring Book and it earned him three Grammy awards, including for Best Rap Album. Coloring Book was the first streaming-only album to ever win a Grammy award. Read on to find out who he performed with at Coachella.
Justin Drew Bieber is a Canadian singer and songwriter who was discovered through his YouTube videos in 2008 in which he covered various songs. He was soon signed to RBMG and Bieber released his debut EP, My World, in late 2009; it was certified Platinum in the U.S. Bieber released his first full-length studio album, My World 2.0, in 2010 and it has been a whirlwind of fame (and drama) since then.
Bieber’s album was preceded by his then most successful single, “Baby.” He has won numerous awards, including American Music Award for Artist of the Year in 2010 and 2012. For as young as he is, he has even been listed four times by Forbes magazine among the top ten most powerful celebrities in the world in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Read on to see when he and Chance the Rapper performed together at Coachella.
Chance the Rapper & Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber (aka “The Biebs”) is known for keeping his fans on their toes. He is also known for some erratic recent behavior but we won’t go into all of that right now! So it should come as no surprise that his appearance at Coachella in 2014 was shocking for fans to witness.
He joined Chance the Rapper on stage while wearing a ‘90s throwback bucket hat. Justin riled up the crowds and proved he can sing more than just pop songs. Chance was happy to share the stage with the Biebs and make his impact on the show that much more memorable.
Calvin Harris Performed With…
Adam Richard Wiles, aka Calvin Harris, is a Scottish record producer. He is also a DJ, singer, and songwriter. His debut studio album I Created Disco was released in June 2007. It was the precursor to his UK top 10 singles “Acceptable in the ’80s” and “The Girls.” In 2009, Harris released his second studio album Ready for the Weekend, which debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart and was later certified gold within two months of its release.
Harris topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid DJs for three consecutive years (2013-2015). As one of the most successful musicians in contemporary British popular culture, Harris appeared on Debrett’s 2017 list of the most influential people in Britain; he also runs his own record label, Fly Eye Records. And, he performed at Coachella with the artist on the next page.
Robyn Rihanna Fenty is a Barbadian singer. She is also a songwriter and actress. Rihanna was born in Saint Michael and raised in Bridgetown. She first entered the music industry by recording demo tapes under the direction of record producer Evan Rogers in 2003. She ultimately signed a recording contract with Def Jam Recordings after auditioning for Jay Z.
In 2005, Rihanna rapidly rose to fame. The release of her debut studio album Music of the Sun and its follow-up A Girl like Me charted on the top 10 of the U.S. Billboard 200. In 2012, The “Work” singer shook up Calvin Harris’ Coachella set with a surprise performance. Fans will always remember this pairs stunning Coachella performance and forever have their fingers crossed for a repeat performance in the near future.
OutKast Performed With…
OutKast is an American hip hop duo formed in 1991. The group is composed of Atlanta-based rappers André “André 3000” Benjamin (formerly known as Dré) and Antwan “Big Boi” Patton. The duo achieved both critical acclaim and commercial success in the 1990s and early 2000s. Their album helped to popularize Southern hip hop while developing distinctive personas. They were able to experiment with diverse genres such as funk, psychedelia, techno, and gospel.
The duo is one of the most successful hip-hop groups of all time. They have received six Grammy Awards and have sold over 25 million records. The Rolling Stone and Pitchfork Media listed albums such as Aquemini and Stankonia among the best of their era.
Janelle Monáe Robinson known professionally as Janelle Monáe is an American singer. She is also a songwriter, actress, and model signed to Wondaland Arts Society and Atlantic Records. Monáe made her first unofficial studio album, The Audition, and publicly debuted with a conceptual EP titled Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). In 2016, she had major roles in two feature films, Hidden Figures and Moonlight; both films received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, with Moonlight winning the award at the 89th Academy Awards.
For their performance at Coachella, Outkast likes the way you move—or maybe they liked the way Janelle Monae moved—and she wants to teach you how to walk the tight rope. Can you think of a better combination? Of course not! Monae added a touch of flair to OutKast’s much-anticipated 2014 reunion at Coachella.
David Guetta Performed With…
Pierre David Guetta is a French DJ. He is also a record producer, remixer, and songwriter. He co-founded Gum Productions with Lisa Dodgson. He released his first album, Just a Little More Love, in 2002 and later he released Guetta Blaster and Pop Life. He has sold over nine million albums and 30 million singles worldwide.
David Guetta is one of the most famous DJs of all time; in 2011, he was voted as the number one DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs fan poll. In 2013, Billboard crowned “When Love Takes Over” as the number one dance-pop collaboration of all time so it is safe to say, the fans love David Guetta.
Usher Raymond IV is an American singer. He is also a songwriter, dancer, and actor. When he was 12, Raymond’s mother put him in local singing competitions. He then caught the attention of a music A&R from LaFace Records; in 1994 he released his self-titled debut album, Usher.
He quickly rose to fame in the late 1990s with the release of My Way. His first U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number-one single, “Nice & Slow”, topped the charts. Then there were his popular singles “You Make Me Wanna…” and “My Way”. In 2004, he released Confessions, which established him as one of the best-selling musical artists of the 2000s decade. So it’s possible Usher really meant the words “I won’t run, I won’t fly, I will never make it by without you, without youuuuu” when they were directed at his fellow performer, David Guetta. The two made an unreal musical duo at Coachella.
Fall Out Boy Performed With…
Fall Out Boy is an American rock band that formed in 2001. The band consists of l Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, and Andy Hurley. The band originated from Chicago’s hardcore punk scene; the group was formed by Wentz and Trohman as a pop punk side project of the members’ respective hardcore bands. The group recorded their debut album, Take This to Your Grave in 2003.
The album became an underground success. The band was able to gain a dedicated fan base through tons of touring, as well as some moderate commercial success. Their album, Take This to Your Grave, has been cited as an influential blueprint for pop punk music in the 2000s.
Tauheed Epps aka 2 Chainz is a Grammy award-winning American rapper. He initially gained recognition for being part of the Southern hip-hop duo Playaz Circle. They are perhaps best known for being signed to fellow Georgia-based rapper Ludacris’ Disturbing tha Peace label. 2 Chainz released his debut studio album Based on a T.R.U. Story, to mixed reviews, but there is no doubt that he has quite the dedicated fan base.
You may be wondering why a punk rock band would perform with a popular rapper. Well, when two very, very different artists come together, something beautiful can happen. Sure, it was a bit strange, but it made for a very memorable Coachella performance.
Drake Performed With…
Aubrey Drake Graham is a Canadian rapper. He is also a singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor but he initially gained recognition as an actor on the teen drama television series Degrassi: The Next Generation in the early 2000s. He departed the series in 2007 following the release of his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement, because he wanted to become a rapper. He was signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment in June 2009.
During Drake’s headlining Coachella set, he brought out Madonna. Right after, he debuted his If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late track “Madonna” live for the first time and she launched into a nearly set-killing medley of “Human Nature,” “Hung Up,” and her new single “Bitch I’m Madonna.” And of course, he performed with…
Madonna (And the Infamous Lap Dance)
Madonna Louise Ciccone is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman. She achieved popularity by pushing the boundaries of lyrical content. Her popular music and imagery became a fixture on MTV in the ‘80s. Madonna is known for reinventing both her music and image but has generated some controversy. Madonna has also been referred to as the “Queen of Pop.”
Before ending her appearance at the Coachella festival with Drake, she decided to give him a lap dance tease and long kiss. Based on Drake’s reaction, the kiss seemed incredibly unplanned but there’s no way to be sure. It does go to show that, Madonna still knows how to grab headlines. Let’s choose to remember it for the awesome music instead of the awkward make-out session.
Jay-Z Performed With…
Shawn Corey Carter aka Jay Z, is an American rapper, businessman, and investor who is also Beyoncé’s husband. He is one of the best-selling musicians of all time, having sold more than 100 million records. He even received 21 Grammy Awards for his music and MTV ranked him the “Greatest MC of all time” in 2006.
Four years after Jay Z headlined the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and brought Beyonce out for a surprise duet of “Young Forever,” making all music fans swoon. The power couple once again pulled a fast one (or two) on the Indio music festival, making separate appearances on Saturday night April 12, 2014. They are quite unpredictable and the fans love it.
Beyoncé (Of Course!)
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who rose to fame in the late 1990s as lead singer of R&B girl-group Destiny’s Child. The group became one of the world’s best-selling girl groups of all time. Beyoncé released her debut album, Dangerously in Love in 2003, which established her as a solo artist worldwide. Some of her most popular, number-one singles are “Crazy in Love” and “Baby Boy.”
Only Queen Bey could claim two spots on the list, because she also had a performance at Coachella with her sister, Solange Knowles, making her Coachella queen! It’s magical enough she graced the desert with her presence twice but there’s something adorable about how Mr. and Mrs. Carter vibe together on stage.
But This Year, There Is a Twist
Beyoncé was supposed to be the headlining performance at this year’s Coachella festival, and fans were elated to see the news. However, she recently announced that she is pregnant with twins. So, Lady Gaga is taking over Coachella duties for expectant mother Beyoncé. The music festival has announced Lady Gaga will headline both weekends of this year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Unfortunately, Beyoncé’s pregnancy prompted her to drop-out.
But fans shouldn’t be disappointed because Lady Gaga has been quite the spit-fire performer herself. Surprises are still to be had—The singer confirmed the news with a tweet that read, “Let’s party in the desert!”
Mother Monster Replaces Beyoncé
Beyoncé would not be performing at the festival on the advice of her doctors so Lady Gaga will now headline those two weekends at the festival on April 15, 2017, and April 22, 2017. Lady Gaga was this year’s Super Bowl halftime performer and both stars were among the performers at the Grammys this year.
So what does this ultimately mean? Well, Lady Gaga will be joined at Coachella 2017 by other headliners that include Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar, Bon Iver, and Lorde. And, if you are a huge Beyoncé fan, don’t fret; she is set to headline Coachella 2018 as a make-up of sorts.
The Weeknd Performs With…
Abel Makkonen Tesfaye aka The Weeknd is a Canadian singer. He is also a songwriter and record producer who has gained fame more recently from his hit singles. In late 2010, he anonymously uploaded several songs to YouTube under the name “The Weeknd.”
He became critically acclaimed and fans flocked to hear his music. In 2012, he was a lot less “anonymous”; he released a compilation album Trilogy. These were thirty tracks consisting of the remastered mixtapes and three additional songs released under Republic Records and his own label XO. Since then, The Weeknd cannot be slowed down! His songs are played everywhere.
Kanye Omari West is an American rapper who is known for many things like his strange ways and unique music. He is also a songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur along being the husband of Kim Kardashian. West first became known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s.
West became Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper and released The College Dropout in 2004. He received widespread critical and commercial success. He also founded the record label GOOD Music. In 2013, West released his abrasive sixth album, Yeezus, to further critical praise; his seventh album, The Life of Pablo, was released in 2016. The two artists paired up for a smashing set at Coachella in 2015. Kanye sang “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” in the middle of The Weeknd’s set.
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg Performed With…
If you don’t know who Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are, you have probably been living in a hole or an underground cave. During the headlining set by Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at Coachella, there was a hologram that appeared and fans went wild. It was more a feat of technology and bravado than a performance but by any means, it is one of the most memorable and historic moments in Coachella music festival history.
With this kind of technology available, don’t bet the hologram be limited to this single appearance. Snoop and Dre are reportedly thinking about taking this hologram out on tour…
The Ghost Tupac
Tupac Amaru Shakur also was known by his stage names 2Pac, Makaveli, or just Pac, was an American rapper, record producer, actor, and poet who was murdered in 1996. As of 2007, Shakur has sold over 75 million records worldwide so his Coachella appearance may seem very strange. But fans were thrilled to see Pac. So—how did they see him?
It is now known as the guest appearance heard round the world. Holographic Tupac showed up on stage alongside Dre and Snoop and blew fans away. After his appearance, surprise performances became an expected part of the festival.