The annual Z100 Jingle Ball, carried on iHeart Radio stations across the country, is always a celebration of the holiday season — and some of the year’s hottest acts on the airwaves. But this year’s edition of the all-star concert, held Friday night at Madison Square Garden, also turned into something else: a post-Grammy nominations party for some of those who received nods for music’s highest honor earlier in the day.
The parade of this year’s Grammy nominees kicked off with 20-year-old singer-songwriter Shawn Mendes, who was nominated for both Song of the Year (for “In My Blood”) and Best Pop Vocal Album (for his 2018 self-titled album). “Today has been a dream for me,” said the Canadian, working his guitar and heartthrob appeal to an audience of mostly teenage girls. “It’s the perfect way to end the day today.”
Then there was Bebe Rexha, the Best New Artist nominee who was decked out in a red outfit, complete with feathers, befitting a Vegas showgirl. The New York native ended her set with “Meant to Be,” her hit with Florida Georgia Line that was nominated for Best Country Group/Duo Performance.
Former Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello sparkled in a glittery silver jumpsuit as she strutted confidently across the stage to celebrate her two Grammy nominations, including Best Pop Vocal Album for her solo debut “Camila.” She ended her set with her biggest solo hit “Havana,” which is up for Best Pop Solo Performance.
After performances by previous Best New Artist winners Meghan Trainor and Alessia Cara — who delivered the best set of the night — current Best New Artist nominee Dua Lipa pumped up the crowd with dance tracks such as “One Kiss” and “New Rules.”
But the night’s boss lady was Bronx rapper Cardi B, who headlined the night after scoring five Grammy nominations, including Album of the Year (for her debut “Invasion of Privacy”) and Record of the Year (for her summer smash “I Like It”). She closed her set with “Bodak Yellow,” the 2017 No. 1 hit that launched her career into the stratosphere, saying, “I’m gonna perform this song until the day I die.”
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