Justin Bieber, Drake, Miley Cyrus among major stars performing ahead of the Super Bowl

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LOS ANGELES – Some of Hollywood's biggest names turned out to perform over a weekend of entertainment events leading up to Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Drake, Blake Shelton, Machine Gun Kelly and Mickey Guyton were among the major stars who performed in the Los Angeles area in the days leading up to Sunday's game at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, the first in the Los Angeles area in nearly three decades, with the hometown Rams facing off against the Cincinnati Bengals.

At each event, proof of vaccination was required. Few wore masks.

Miley Cyrus and Green Day capped the weekend festivities Saturday night in Los Angeles as co-headliners of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest. Across town, Drake played a set in West Hollywood for the second night of a party known as “Homecoming Weekend,” for which Justin Bieber performed on the first night. And John Mayer and Shaquille O’Neal each had their own events earlier in the week.

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Miley Cyrus and Green Day span decades, genres in final pre-Super Bowl concert

Miley Cyrus has been alive for only about half the Super Bowls ever played, but her setlist on the eve of the 56th spanned the whole history of the big game and then some.

Cyrus mashed up songs from the '60s, '80s and '90s with her own at the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest on Saturday night.

This combination of photos shows, from left, Lil Baby, Justin Bieber, Drake, Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton, who are among the performers playing shows ahead of the Super Bowl between Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
This combination of photos shows, from left, Lil Baby, Justin Bieber, Drake, Miley Cyrus and Blake Shelton, who are among the performers playing shows ahead of the Super Bowl between Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.

The 29-year-old was the co-headliner with Green Day on the third and final night of the festival at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles, about 10 miles from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, where the LA Rams play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

The annual festival, which also featured Halsey, Machine Gun Kelly, Gwen Stefani, Blake Shelton and Mickey Guyton, prides itself on bringing together artists from across genres, but Cyrus did that all by herself, blending country and pop rock, dance pop and alternative rock.

She sang Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” from 1966 – the year before the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – as an intro to her own 2007 “See You Again.”

“I hope this show is a representation of how you never need to choose who you want to be. You can be everything and anything,” Cyrus said as she donned a cowboy hat and pulled an oversized sportscoat over the futuristic Gucci tracksuit she took the stage wearing. “You may look ridiculous, like you’re wearing workout attire from 3033 and a cowboy hat. It’s just how I feel tonight.”

She opened the show with her 2013 hit “We Can’t Stop,” and blended it with the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” from 1988, the year Washington beat Denver in the Super Bowl in San Diego.

She pulled the same trick in her first encore, blending her “Wrecking Ball” with the Prince-penned Sinead O’Connor hit “Nothing Compares 2 U” from 1990, the year Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers beat John Elway’s Denver Broncos.

She thrilled the crowd with Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” from 1989 – the last year the Bengals were in the big game – turning her backup singers into a small gospel choir.

She also mixed in music from Stevie Nicks and her godmother Dolly Parton, and she closed the night with the fitting-for-Super-Bowl-weekend “Party in the USA.”

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The members of Green Day focused on their hits of the 1990s and early 2000s. They opened with a rousing rip through 2004′s “American Idiot.”

“Los Angeles!” lead singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, who turns 50 on Thursday, shouted during the song. “Super Bowl!” he later yelled, in the only real mention the game got during the night.

Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs on day three of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.
Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day performs on day three of the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

They brought their own bit of 1966 with a cover of “I Fought The Law,” whose most famous version was released that year by the Bobby Fuller Four.

The 20,000-seat Crypto.com Arena was nearly full for all three nights. Fans had to show proof of vaccination to get in. Most ditched their masks once they were inside the main hall.

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Drake was a star among A-listers

Drake's "Homecoming Weekend" performance Saturday night began with a dramatic entrance from the multi-Grammy winner dressed in an all-white outfit, darting down an aisle before performing center stage under an airy tent at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California.

The crowd included several entertainers and athletes such as Issa Rae, a mask-wearing Mike Tyson, Lil Wayne, Jamie Foxx, Paul Pierce, Derrick Henry, Ricky Gervais, John Hamm, Nicole Scherzinger, Cedric the Entertainer, Karrueche Tran and Flava Flav.

Drake told the crowd that he was initially asked to perform around five songs, but he extended his song list by triple the amount. The rapper said he felt compelled to perform for a longer stint because of where he traveled from.

“They flew me out of like three feet of snow for this, so I got to perform for you,” said Drake, who went on to perform several bangers including “No Friends in the Industry” and “Girls Want Girls” from his recent album “Certified Lover Boy.”

The rap star talked about being able to perform in person and showed appreciation to everyone in attendance.

“I’m sure at one point we’re all sitting at home – maybe a little depressed, maybe a little frustrated, maybe a little confused,” he said. “I want to make a toast to how grateful I am for being in this (expletive) room with each and every one of you. I wasn’t sure how and when we would be able to do this again. But cheers to each and everyone of you. More life.”

Drake went on to perform his other hits including “Controlla,” “God’s Plan,” “Too Much” and “Passionfruit.” He surprised the crowd with a guest appearance by Future, who performed “Way 2 Sexy” with Drake before his uber-popular “March Madness.”

At the end, Drake paid homage to Lil Wayne – who watched from section – before closing out his set by playing “I Will Always Love You,” a Dolly Parton song that Whitney Houston made famous. He along with many in the crowd sang every word of the classic melody.

Justin Bieber performs for Jeff Bezos, actors, NFL stars

Justin Bieber can leave even a room full of elite athletes, actors and A-listers star-struck.

The invite-only guests at Friday’s first of two nights of a Super Bowl-week party dubbed “Homecoming Weekend” crushed around a small stage-in-the-round under a tent at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, California, to get close to Bieber, who hopped, bopped and shimmied through a 45-minute set as the evening’s headliner.

The crowd included Jeff Bezos, his girlfriend, TV host Lauren Sánchez, “Hamilton” actor Anthony Ramos and NFL Hall-of-Famer Tony Gonzalez.

Most of the hands around the stage were holding phones in the air and filming. Some gleeful fans turned around to shoot selfies with Bieber, who wore a a black skullcap, shades, a white hoodie and a sparkling necklace as he boogied in the background.

With a spare five-piece band, the 27-year-old pop star played a set that leaned heavily on recent songs, including “Somebody,” “Hold On,” “Ghost,” and “As I Am,” with a few nods to the past, like 2015′s “What Do You Mean?”

He stood at a keyboard to play an earnest electric-piano intro to “Peaches” before getting back to the dancing.

Bieber kept the songs flowing, and kept the between-song banter to a minimum.

“You guys having a good night?” he said at one point. “You guys rooting for the Rams?”

Despite the free food and top-shelf spirits being served, the outdoor patios were mostly empty as everyone jammed into the tent to watch Bieber.

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Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl concerts include Justin Bieber, Drake, Mickey Guyton