The best Coachella Music & Arts Festival performances with Prince, Madonna, Daft Punk and more.

The best Coachella Music & Arts Festival performances with Prince, Madonna, Daft Punk and more.

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From The Cure breaking curfew to Madonna dazzling the dance tent to Tupac's on-stage resurrection, these are the 20 moments that helped make Coachella the king of all U.S. festivals.

On April 10 -- and then again on April 17 -- thousands of sun-worshipping music fans will head out to the desert in Indio, Calif. for the start of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Drake, AC/DC and Jack White will headline the two-weekend event, while Florence + The Machine, David Guetta, The Weeknd, Alt-J, Steely Dan and dozens of other indie bands, dance and hip-hop acts will keep the tunes going nonstop on the festival's five stages.

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As we gear up for this year's six long, loud days on the Empire Polo Field, spread out over a pair of weekends for the fourth time in the festival's history, we look back at 20 of the most memorable moments from Coachella's past.

20. Pharrell Williams Brings The Hits -- And Famous Friends


During the spring of 2014, Pharrell Williams' "Happy" settled in at the top of the Hot 100 chart and the super-producer had completed his miraculous career renaissance as a leading man. Coachella, then, was his victory lap, and what a lap it was: Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, Nelly and Busta Rhymes were among the guests, and Williams needed no help to get the huge crowd moving during "Blurred Lines," "Get Lucky" and "Happy." A star-studded pop performance, Pharrell's set was something that could not be duplicated anywhere outside of Indio.

19. Pavement Gets The Band Back Together


When Pavement performed at Coachella in 1999, the group was on the brink of dissolution. That made their reunion show at the festival 11 years later all the sweeter: Stephen Malkmus and co. returned with a triumphant set that ended with a passionate version of "Cut Your Hair," and started a reunion tour that would stretch well beyond Indio. Coachella had once again become the home of a notable band reunion; that year, Faith No More also got back together at the fest.

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18. M83 Blows Out The Mojave Tent


There have been a lot of great DJ sets at Coachella over the years, but few performances have provoked more spastic dancing than M83's exuberant 2012 show. Making their first Coachella appearance since 2005, the French synth-pop group delivered an absolutely kinetic performance, punctuated by driving dance beats, lush new-wave chords and irresistible sing-along melodies. And when "Midnight City" finally dropped, there wasn't a silent onlooker within a thousand yards.

17. Lana Del Rey Becomes A Can't-Miss Performer


Lana Del Rey came into Coachella with a considerable amount of momentum in 2014, as well as with lingering questions about her shaky early performances. She left the festival as a reliable star, with a new onstage confidence and a gentle interplay with her adoring fans. The singer debuted her single "West Coast" at Coachella, but her older hits -- "Born To Die," "Blue Jeans," 'Video Games" -- had seemingly the entire West Coast in the palm of Lana's hand.

16. Blur's Triumphant Return To The States


In 2013, Coachella hosted a Britpop revival that featured a closing performance by Madchester kings Stone Roses -- but anyone in earshot will attest that the night belonged to Blur, who gave its first performance on U.S. soil since 2003. With an elaborate backing band that included a choir of backup singers and a thundering horn section, the band kept the energy high with standout tracks like "Boys & Girls," "Tender" and "Parklife." And, of course, there was room for "Song 2." Woo-hoo!

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