Ariana Grande, the youngest artist to ever headline the Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California, did the unimaginable by reuniting one of the biggest boy bands in history for several tunes during her set.
Grande had teased a reunion with 1990s pop group ‘NSYNC Friday on her official Twitter, sharing a video of herself dancing to the band’s music and a vintage clip of herself in her mother’s arms during one of the band’s tours.
The reunion was wildly rumored throughout the weekend until the moment the singing group took the stage with Grande after 10:30 p.m. PST Sunday evening, the first of her two headlining sets at the music festival.
Grande, a big fan of the band since childhood, noted, per CNN, that she “waited her whole life for this moment.” She and ‘NSYNC members JC Chasez, Lance Bass, Joey Fatone, and Chris Kirkpatrick then performed their hit “Tearin’ Up My Heart” and sang a portion of Grande’s “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” the song where she sampled their song “It Makes Me Ill” from their album No Strings Attached.
Grande’s mother, Joan Grande, tweeted on Friday that she noticed her daughter had some musical ability when she was just 2-years-old and “sitting in her car seat, singing to ‘NSYNC.”
“She was nailing all of JC’s high notes… I was in shock.”
Missing from the reunion was Justin Timberlake, who had just wrapped his “Man of the Woods Tour” the evening before, reported CNN. The tour, which is 115 dates long, was plagued with cancellations as Timberlake recovered from bruised vocal cords reported Consequence of Sound. He was scheduled to headline the arts festival that Grande would subsequently lead but pulled out of the event after the concert dates he canceled in 2018 and rescheduled. This conflicted with the current Coachella dates.
CNN reported that Grande’s set, which totaled 90 minutes, also included several guest appearances from performers Nicki Minaj, Diddy, and Mase.
Diddy alluded to the personal issues Grande has experienced over the past year, including the anniversary of the May 2017 Manchester, England, bombing where 22 of Grande’s concertgoers were killed, the death of longtime love Mac Miller, who accidentally overdosed in September 2018, and the end of her engagement to Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson in October 2018. He said to the crowd of Grande, per CNN, that she’s “been through a whole lot” but is “still standing.”
On Saturday, Grande shared a scan of her brain to her Instagram story, explaining that PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is a “real thing.” She called the scan both “hilarious and terrifying” and that it was “not a joke.” She also posted a selfie captioned with the words “life is wild”, “my brain is tired”, and “she’s trying her [expletive] best.”
Only the fourth woman to ever headline Coachella, after Bjork, Lady Gaga and Beyonce, Grande will perform next on April 21 at the close of the annual music and arts festival.