Mariah, TLC Highlight 'Zootopia'
New York top-40 powerhouse WHTZ (Z100) celebrated its 20th birthday last night (June 1) at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., but it was Mariah Carey who was the belle of the ball.New York top-40 powerhouse WHTZ (Z100) celebrated its 20th birthday last night (June 1) at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., but it was Mariah Carey who was the belle of the ball. Z100's annual Zootopia summer concert stretched almost six hours into a chilly New Jersey night. The show featured 17 scheduled performances, surprise guests, and a special presentation to Carey of the first "Z100 Achievement in New York Music Award."
Before a reported crowd of more than 46,000, Carey professed her delight at being "the first person to win this award." Her acceptance was followed immediately by a performance by Kelly Clarkson, who blurred the distinction between budding star and adoring fan. The "America Idol" winner gushed repeatedly about Carey, her obvious stylistic inspiration. "That's my first time to be in the same area with her," Clarkson told the crowd.
Carey later returned to perform, bringing out surprise guests Busta Rhymes and the Flipmode Squad for the finale of her brief set.
Most acts performed only two or three numbers. The longest set list belonged to TLC. Surviving members Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins and Rozanda "Chilli" Thomas delivered an emotional performance of their biggest hits in what was billed as their farewell as a group. The set also was a tribute to group member Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, who died last year in an automobile accident.
Aerosmith drew the evening's biggest response with a powerful, swaggering four-song set. Other performers included Ginuwine, JC Chasez, Bowling For Soup, Tanto Metro & Devonte, Wayne Wonder, Daniel Bedingfield, Jewel, Third Eye Blind, Ashanti, Ja Rule, and new "American Idol" winner and runner-up Ruben Studdard and Clay Aiken.
The latter pair was warmly greeted. Singing live to recorded tracks, Aiken delivered his pop-gospel rendition of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and Studdard crooned through "Superstar" and his upcoming single "Flying Without Wings." But by the time the two got together for the anthemic "God Bless the U.S.A.," the crowd had thinned out substantially.