The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball is looking a little different this year, as coronavirus cases continue to climb in the United States — but the holiday cheer will persevere at this year’s virtual event, which will feature performances by Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith and more, as well as appearances from BTS, Lil Nas X and Mariah Carey.
“This is just a year off. Let’s never do this again,” Z100 Morning Show’s Elvis Duran told Billboard with a laugh over Zoom.
Despite the stress of a tumultuous year, the radio host is relieved that Jingle Ball is happening at all.
“The question all year long was, what is this going to be? We pretty much knew all along that there was not going to be a live stage event,” he said, noting that iHeartRadio is known for its high concert production quality. “They’re going to make this really special.”
Duran understandably couldn’t decide on who he’s most excited to see from the star-studded lineup: “Doja Cat and Dua Lipa have had huge years, and Billie Eilish, of course. Harry Styles! Hello?”
He did, however, mention that he recently chatted with Mendes. “I reminded him that the day of Jingle Ball in 2018 where I interviewed him, he had just found out he was up for two Grammys,” he recalled of the singer’s nods for song of the year and best pop vocal album. “He was just bouncing off the walls and excited. I’m always anxious to see what Shawn Mendes brings to the show, because he’s such a talented guy.”
“The great thing about these Jingle Ball concerts every year is the memories that are made at them,” the radio host sweetly added. And while he didn’t reveal any surprises (“If I told you, it wouldn’t be a surprise!”), Duran did share that “there will be, safely, some collaborations.”
“We’ve also asked the artists to bring out some of their favorite holiday songs,” he continued. “I know Sam Smith may do ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,’ Billie Eilish is going to do ‘Silver Bells’ which is going to be interesting and Doja Cat is going to do ‘Santa Baby.’ It’s going to be very different, but we’re looking forward to it.”
“I’m looking forward to having a stage, having a crowd, having the artists and the electricity the crowd gives them next year,” Duran concluded.
Catch the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball across more than 95 iHeartMedia CHR radio stations nationwide and on the iHeartRadio app, the CW app and CWTV.com on Thursday, December 10 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT. The CW Network will also broadcast the event as a nationwide television special on Monday, December 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. See more info here.