Coachella was first staged in 1999, with almost a million in ticket sales. By 2004, it had its first sold-out show. As of the world’s most anticipated musical events, it has been graced by actors and personalities like Reese Witherspoon, Clint Eastwood, and Kate Bosworth and has staged some of the most memorable performances— ever. Join us for a trip down memory lane as we relive some of these iconic acts to grace Coachella.
10. Madonna (2006)
There is no question that Madonna is a legend, but even legends have their firsts. 2006 was the year of her first Coachella performance. Her set included Hung Up, Get Together, I Love New York, Ray of Light, Let It Will Be, and Everybody. Madonna has recently shared previously unreleased footage of Hung Up and indeed it is the performance to remember.
9. Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd (2022)
Swedish House Mafia and The Weeknd are two household names when it comes to the party scene as their songs usually trigger alcohol-induced party-goers to dance and go wild. What more if it’s at Coachella? The Weeknd joined SHM for Sacrifice and How Do I Make You Love Me? He continued to hype the audience with crowd-favorite, I Can’t Feel My Face. This was a collaboration unlike any we have seen as two great artists of this generation joined forces to deliver an all-out party anthem of a set.
8. Hayley Williams and Billie Eilish (2022)
April 23 was Hayley Williams’ first time performing at Coachella. The Paramore singer joined Billie Eilish to perform Misery Business from the 2007 Paramore, Riot! album. She also joined in on Eilish’s recent hit, Happier Than Ever. The rock tones from Williams beautifully complimented Eilish’s succulent and sultry voice which in turn became a showcase of two powerhouse artists whose fame transcends time.
7. Kanye West (2011)
Kanye West has had several appearances and solid performances in Coachella which supposedly should have included a return for the Hip-hop artist during this year’s festival. One of the most memorable Kanye West performances however was back in 2011 with unarguably one of his best albums to date, My Dark Twisted Fantasy, taking centerstage. the performance of Runaway was just an amazing moment that fans of Ye still look back until today with the inclusion of an artistic display from the production which featured ballerinas.
6. Aespa (2022)
This year wasn’t short of amazing moments especially from the world of KPop as AESPA took to the Coachella stage to deliver an amazing historic performance as well. They have made history as the third Korean girl group to perform in Coachella while simultaneously being the youngest KPop group as well to do so. The group performed their hit songs Savage, Next Level, and Black Mamba, while also giving fans an English version of a new, unreleased song titled Life’s Too Short, which will be included in their upcoming album.
5. Paul McCartney (2009)
Any stage that has Paul McCartney singing on it is automatically iconic, to be honest. In 2009, the musical genius made his Coachella appearance and delivered a career-encompassing set to the world, including hits like Jet, The Long and Winding Road, and Drive My Car. Despite his age, McCartney proved why he is still a household name in the music industry with songs that have literally stood the test of time.
4. 2NE1 Reunion (2022)
One of the most historic reunions ever! 2NE1 had officially disbanded back in 2016. After 6 years, one of the most popular KPOP girl groups of the 20th century graced the Coachella stage to perform their hit song I am the Best — complete with their hairstyles and costumes from the track’s music video. This was a special moment indeed as CL brought back her friends for an awesome performance that fans of KPop and music, in general, won’t forget anytime soon.
3. Prince (2008)
It was the year 2008 when Prince declared Coachella “the coolest place on Earth right now.” Dressed in white, his set included an eight-minute version of Radiohead’s Creep as well as some of his most iconic songs like 1999, Little Red Corvette, Purple Rain, and Let’s Go Crazy. Prince is known for his eclectic approach to music including funk, R&B, rock, new wave, soul, synth-pop, pop, jazz, and hip hop in his sound and creating something truly revolutionary. This Coachella moment will surely be etched forever in the hearts of music fans as a timeless and unique moment from an amazing superstar.
2. Beychella (2018)
Beyonce is regarded as the Queen Bee of R&B for the 20th century and for the right reasons. When the artist graced the Coachella stage in 2018 for the festival’s headliner lineup, the event immediately turned into what is referred to as Beychella. Beyonce performed 21 songs in her two sets with performances that were influenced by black feminism. She brought her fellow Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, her husband Jay-Z, and her sister Solange Knowles to perform with her as well. Beyonce’s Coachella performance made history as well as she became the first black woman to headline Coachella with Vogue stating that the artist has “set the stage for a new era of female domination” at the festival.
1. Tupac Hologram (2012)
During the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre took to the stage to close out the night. The performance turned into something remarkable and history-making as the two artists brought out Tupac via a hologram of the late great artist. The post-humorous performance was goose-bump-inducing as the Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre managed to pull off an incredible tribute to their friend for a historic moment and one that was truly a celebration of Hip-hop.
What’s your favorite Coachella moment?
Coachella has been one of the annual events that fans of music look forward to as it is the celebration of the art form. It is more than just an event but rather a culmination of music and its artists from all across the world. This list barely scratches the surface of memorable performances from the festival’s history. Music has this way of magically weaving itself into the lives of people and thanks to these larger-than-life events music is once again able to touch and move people.
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Also, check out: AESPA is the next KPop Group to Perform at Coachella