Yahoo Live will be live streaming the iHeartRadio Music Festival from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas this Friday and Saturday. Click HERE to watch!
photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images
The iHeartRadio Music Festival returns to Vegas on Sept. 18-19, and with performers like Jennifer Lopez, Duran Duran, Coldplay, and of course the predictably unpredictable Kanye West, the weekend is sure to pack plenty of surprises.
But even though the festival is only in its fifth year, it already has a rich (and sometimes risqué) history of memorable moments. What happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas – it ends up on YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter – so let’s prepare for the 2015 iHeartRadio fest by taking a look at top highlights from the past years.
11. Gerard Way Welcomed Deadmaus to the Black Parade (2013)
The ex-My Chemical Romance frontman and Mickey-eared EDM hero joined forces for the ultimate Sin City megaclub mashup, “Professional Griefers,” in the festival’s third year. Everyone was flaily-dancing like the extras in MCR’s “Helena” music video to this hi-NRG jam.
10. Miley Cyrus Duct’d and Covered… Barely (2013)
Miley was originally slated to play just the Daytime Village portion of the festival two years ago, so when she got added at the last minute to the Saturday evening bill, clearly she was unprepared and had nothing to wear. A couple strips of strategically placed duct tape would just have to do! In all seriousness, though, this pasties-and-mesh look may seem tame compared to some of the get-ups Miley has rocked since – on the VMAs, on her Instagram, in NSFW Terry Richardson photo shoots, etc. – but trust us: Two years ago, this potentially Internet-breaking outfit elicited gasps of shock and awe from anyone watching Yahoo’s live stream.
9. Ed Sheeran and Macklemore Brought the “Love” (2014)
A year before they’d officially team up for Macklemore’s fatherhood ode “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song),” the Seattle rapper was the surprise guest during Ed’s iHeart set. The two touchingly performed Macklemore’s gay rights anthem “Same Love,” and we have to wonder if their duet inspired any same-sex couples to hit up the Little White Wedding Chapel just a couple weeks later – when gay marriage finally became legal in Nevada on Oct. 9, 2014.
8. Pete Wentz Was Surfin’ USA (2014)
Crowd-surfing is nothing new at concerts, of course. But Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz took the rock ‘n’ roll pastime to a whole new very literal level when he rode a raft across the MGM Grand audience during Steve Aoki’s set.
7. Nothing Was the Same After Drake Wore This Jaden Smith T-Shirt (2013)
Drake’s hilariously meta fashion choice during his 2013 headlining set definitely made him that year’s best-dressed. The rapper took the stage in a T-shirt printed with a giant silkscreen of Jaden Smith’s face – a screengrab of a viral moment from the previous month’s MTV Video Music Awards, of an awestruck Jaden watching Drake perform. So, in case you’re confused: Drake was wearing a photo of Jaden Smith watching Drake. Amazing.
(photos: Getty Images/MTV)
6. Queen, Adam Lambert, and Nate Ruess Made the Rockin’ World Go ‘Round (2013)
The Stateside concert debut of the new Queen lineup featuring Adam Lambert on lead vocals was a big enough event in and of itself, but when another avowed Queen disciple, fun.’s Nate Ruess, joined in for “Somebody to Love” and a Glambert duet of “Fat Bottomed Girls,” it truly was a bohemian rhapsody.
5. Gwen Stefani Was Just a Girl… Kissing Another Girl Named Pink (2012)
The recently reunited No Doubt awesomely opened the second annual iHeart fest, with Gwen Stefani swaggering through the MGM aisles as she made her grand entrance belting “Hella Good.” But No Doubt’s set got even more hella good (hella better?) when they did “Just a Girl” with surprise guest Pink (the other coolest, blondest, most badass lady at iHeart 2012). “She’s the raddest f—ing girl in the world, isn’t she?” Pink raved about her duet partner. The feeling definitely seemed mutual: The two pop-rock icons even shared a cute kiss onstage. Talk about getting the party started!
4. It Was Love at First Sting for Lady Gaga (2011)
Before the Lady was recording, touring, and winning Grammys with her new bestie Tony Bennett, she was making beautiful music at the first-ever iHeartRadio Music Festival with another elegant elder statesman, Sting. Their duet of “Stand by Me” was a treat, but when Gaga, looking like the Queen of Pain as she straddled a motorbike-shaped keyboard stand in leather dominatrix gear, joined the Police-man for “King of Pain,” it hurt so good.
3. Kesha and Joan Jett Were Rock Warriors (2013)
One of the most fun and all-out rawking moments of the festival’s third year was when Ke$ha (who was still spelling her name with a dollar sign at the time) was joined by one of rock’s original rebel-chicks, Joan Jett, for a fierce rendition of (what else?) “Bad Reputation.” Jett shredded; Ke$ha swished her oral hygiene product of choice, Jack Daniel’s; and everyone in the audience wi$hed they could be so cool.
2. The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul Teamed With a Prince (2012)
Practically nothing could compare 2 this. Four songs into her set, Mary J. Blige stopped her band to announce: “I got a real good friend in the building. He’s one of the most amazing artists to ever walk the earth.” And out walked the Artist Forever Known as Prince. Without saying a word, he joined Blige’s band on guitar for her cover of Chaka Khan’s “Sweet Thing” (fitting, since Prince once signed Chaka to his NPG Records label and produced Chaka’s album Come 2 My House). Then Mary and Prince dueted on his ballad made famous by Sinead O'Connor, “Nothing Compares 2 U.” Mary seemed as awed by the moment as anyone else in the MGM Grand, gushing to Prince: “I am so blessed to have you here… I know you have to be very particular about who you be messing with.”
1. Billie Joe Armstrong Was a Bit of a Basket Case (2012)
Ooh boy. It all started when, about 21 minutes into Green Day’s allotted half-hour set, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong yelled, “They say we got nine minutes left! I say boo to that f—ing s—!” Once the countdown clock on the Teleprompter got down to the one-minute mark, his outburst escalated. “I’ve been around since f—ing 19-f—ing 88! And you’re gonna give me one minute? I’m not f—ing Justin Bieber, you motherf—ers. This is a f—ing joke!” And then he smashed his guitar before storming off.
Billie Joe is a punk-rocker, of course, so this just seemed like typical punk-rock behavior coming from him – more of a tantrum than an actual meltdown, and to be honest, one of the most exciting and talked-about moments of iHeartRadio 2012. But it turned out Billie Joe was in crisis. Two days after his iHeartRadio freakout, on Sept. 23, just as Green Day released their new album ¡Uno!, he surprisingly entered rehab for alcohol and prescription pill abuse. The band canceled all scheduled concerts for the rest of 2012 and early 2013, bringing promotion for ¡Uno! and its two “trilogy” companion releases, ¡Dos! and ¡Tré!, to a screeching halt. The whole incident brought sad new meaning to Green Day’s song “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”
(WARNING: In case this hadn’t already been made very clear, the video below contains profanity. Lots and lots of profanity.)