New Year's Eve 2014: Miley Cyrus, Billy Joel Highlight Star-Studded Night
At one point during the 2014 extravaganza of "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" on Tuesday night (Dec. 31), Miley Cyrus was standing onstage awaiting the Times Square ball to drop, her fluffy white coat grazing the right side of Ryan Seacrest, who was busy conversing with Blondie's Debbie Harry and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. The odd grouping actually made complete sense: on "New Year's Rockin' Eve" and the various other network shows that helped ring in 2014, different genres and generations were gleefully mashed up with joyful aplomb, as the New Year was soundtracked by musical stars that defined 2013 and others that could very well rule its sequel.
Cyrus, of course, was front and center on ABC's "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve," delivering an earnest performance of "Wrecking Ball" in the shadow of the mighty Times Square ball. As a surprising bonus, however, the queen of All Things Controversial in 2013 also played her snappy, Pharrell-produced "Bangerz" cut "Get It Right," forgoing her new ballad "Adore You" for something more exuberant.
Over the bridge in Brooklyn, "Rockin' Eve" captured Billy Joel blasting through a rendition of "You May Be Right" at the Barclays Center, and effectively trumping the younger performers on the program. With the Barclays stage awash in blue light, the Piano Man pounded the ivory keys and greeted the thunderous applause that followed with an unassuming grin.
Also on "New Year's Rockin' Eve," some of the biggest breakout artists of 2013 took well-deserved victory laps by exposing their Top 10 hits to the wide TV audience. Icona Pop tore through a medley of "This Is... Icona Pop" fare before expectedly swiveling toward their ubiquitous anthem "I Love It," while Capital Cities continued to let their scruffy charm shine bright by playing "Safe and Sound." Ariana Grande's voice was even bigger than the massive bow on the back of her dress, sharing the spotlight with Mac Miller for "The Way" before bringing out Big Sean as a surprise guest for their collaboration "Right There."
Artists sparkled on non-"Rockin' Eve" programs as well, with Blake Shelton, J. Cole and Mariah Carey all punctuating 2013 with playful performances. Poised to finally release her next studio album in 2014 -- with a new single coming on Valentine's Day, she told her New Year's onlookers -- Mariah Carey started off the year in style with a pitch-perfect rooftop performance of her latest breakup song, "The Art of Letting Go," on NBC.
Yet the enduring image of New Year's Eve was Macklemore, who ended an unspeakably successful 2013 by jumping around in the frigid New York City air on "Rockin' Eve," with an oversized red poncho serving as his latest thrift shop find. That poncho was eventually removed as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis shifted from one No. 1 hit ("Thrift Shop") to another ("Can't Hold Us"), as the duo performed a pair of songs that were endlessly played in 2013 but can still set the party off. Macklemore fearlessly leapt into his throngs of fans during the "Can't Hold Us" bridge, riding into 2014 on a sea of hands.