Ariana Grande Brings Out Nicki Minaj During NBA All-Star Halftime Show
The pop superstar also performed hits like "Break Free," "Problem," "The Way" and "Love Me Harder."
One month before headlining Madison Square Garden for the first time, Ariana Grande took the stage at New York's famed arena during the NBA All-Star Game halftime show, as part of the Entertainment Series presented by JBL. Unlike Christina Aguilera, who performed a medley of New York anthems during the player introductions on Sunday night (Feb. 15), Grande went with an extended medley of her hits, and brought out her "Bang Bang" pal Nicki Minaj for a surprise team-up.
Opening with her summer smash "Problem," Grande shimmied to center stage with a cheerleader getup that exposed her midriff and a smile that underlined a newfound confidence on a big stage. Grande's dancers disappeared for a minute of her most recent Top 10 hit, "Love Me Harder," and after that strobe-heavy bit, the pop star segued into her breakout single, "The Way."
With the MSG attendees providing extra lighting via synchronized phone apps, Grande introduced her new single, "One Last Time," with some fluttering notes that eventually congealed into an impressive melisma. Grande tore into her collaborative hit "Bang Bang," with Minaj finally appearing to hurry through her verse and grind in front of Grande during the final chorus.
Sadly, Minaj was gone before the pair could debut their salacious new collaboration, "Get On Your Knees," live. Instead, Grande and her dancers bursted through another Top 10 hit, "Break Free," before Grande blew a kiss to the appreciative arena.
Last week, Grande performed "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" at the Grammy Awards, where her sophomore album My Everything was nominated for best pop vocal album. The Honeymoon Tour, a five-month headlining trek in support of My Everything, kicks off on Feb. 25.