It would be enough for Ariana Grande to take the desert stage in California and perform any one of her chart-topping hits but Ari saw your expectations and said, thank u, next.
The pony-tailed powerhouse teased a ’90s throwback on her social media leading up to the first weekend of Coachella performances and then went full-on nostalgia when she brought *NSYNC onstage to perform “Tearin’ Up My Heart.” And in case you were wondering, Justin Timberlake was busy wrapping up his Man of the Woods tour and didn’t join the group for the epic performance.
An *NSYNC performance without Justin Timberlake? JC Chasez has been waiting YEARS for this. #ARICHELLA
— Taylor Banks (@MsTaylorBanks) April 15, 2019
Just as the audience was catching its collective breath, out came Diddy and Mase to perform the still-a-bop Notorious B.I.G. 1997 jam “Mo Money, Mo Problems”, which Diddy dedicated to Biggie, Tupac and Ari’s late ex, Mac Miller.
Also Diddy and Mase. This is my Game of Thrones.
— Abby Hamblin (@abbyhamblin) April 15, 2019
Grande also brought out gal pal Nicki Minaj for a less successful duet due to sound issues. Apparently, Ariana could be heard saying “We can’t hear anything!” and based on her and Nicki’s lack of flow and confused looks, it seems that they were at the mercy of technical problems.
— 106 KMEL (@106KMEL) April 15, 2019
Despite that setback, the weekend quickly became known as Arichella, with a huge installation of pink rings, a nod to her track “7 Rings,” acting as visual reminder of her influence and presence that would dominate internet chatter on a weekend with a lot going on.
She also entered the history books with her immediately-viral performance as the youngest singer to headline Coachella at 25. The next round of Coachella performances start next Friday for weekend two.