Here’s Why Z100’s Jingle Ball Still Stands as One of the Best Concerts of the Year

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Cardi B performs at Z100's Jingle Ball 2018 at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

As a New York native who was obsessed with music, I waited for the holiday season every year for one thing — Z100’s Jingle Ball. 

There’s nothing like seeing a concert at Madison Square Garden (it IS called the World’s Most Famous Arena after all), but sitting in a seat to watch some of the most popular and rising artists of that year in one place is absolutely magical for any music lover.

I remember my first Z100 Jingle Ball like it was yesterday. I won tickets by being caller #100 on the Top 9 at 9 and it was exactly ten years ago. Lady Gaga opened the show with a medley of songs that included her hit single at the time “Just Dance,” and artists like Kanye West, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Katy Perry, and Ne-Yo were performing some of my favorite anthems that I would blast on my iPod before first period. Fast forward ten years later and these artists are some of the biggest names in music, winning countless awards and changing the game when it comes to their respective genres of pop and hip-hop, show production, and more.

My first Jingle Ball, 2008, with my sister Jozie.

On December 7th, I checked off covering Z100’s Jingle Ball on my list of “projects to work on” that I made when I started Celeb Secrets. It was definitely a “pinch me” moment walking backstage at MSG, as the venue was such a staple in my life growing up. Just only a few hours after the nominees were announced for the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards, which included artists on the lineup like Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Dua Lipa and Bebe Rexha, I couldn’t help but think this — Z100’s Jingle Ball is THE concert of the year.

Featuring some of this year’s most popular artists, Z100 Jingle Ball’s list of performers included Cardi B, Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello, Calvin Harris, G-Eazy, Dua Lipa, Khalid with Special Guest Normani, Alessia Cara, Meghan Trainor, Bebe Rexha, Bazzi and Sabrina Carpenter. JUST THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH TALENT IS IN ONE ROOM!!! With hit after hit being played, it was SO hard to resist getting out of my seat to dance along to songs like “Bodak Yellow,” “Holding My Back,” “Havana,” “One Kiss,” “Me, Myself and I,” “New Rules,” “Love Lies,” “Scars To Your Beautiful,” “All About That Bass,” “I’m A Mess,” “Beautiful,” and “Almost Love.”

NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 07: G-Eazy performs at Z100’s Jingle Ball 2018 at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)

As I waited between sets, I couldn’t help but look at the younger generation and wonder what was going through their heads at the show. They seemed as if they were having the time of their lives with their friends and family, probably feeling the same feelings I did when I went to my first Jingle Ball at age 14 — carefree, intrigued, and on top of the world. Looking forward ten years from now, these kids will reminisce on how they saw the future of music all on one stage, and hopefully be inspired by each artists’ musical journey and apply the work ethic to their everyday life. I know I did, and it brought me back to where it all started 🙂

Click through the gallery to see some highlights from Z100’s Jingle Ball, and remember the names of every artist who graced the MSG stage on Friday night. They’re poised to be next future of music! 

Want more Jingle Ball coverage? Make sure to follow us on Instagram at @celebsecrets4u as we’re headed to Miami this weekend for Y100’s Jingle Ball on December 16th! 

Written by Juliet Schroder

Juliet is the founder and executive producer/host of Celeb Secrets and Celeb Secrets Country. When not reporting on the latest news in pop culture and country music, she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, and exploring the latest fashion trends.

Juliet holds a B.S. in marketing from St. John's University.