After two days and dozens of legendary performances, the eighth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival hosted by Ryan Seacrest concluded on Saturday evening at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas with unforgettable performances by Justin Timberlake, Fleetwood Mac, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Panic! At The Disco, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo, Rae Sremmurd, Logic, Childish Gambino and more, plus this year’s Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star winner, Heffron Drive.
The iconic weekend-long concert event included the biggest names in music across all genres, on the main stage at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on the evenings of September 21 and September 22, and at the Daytime Stage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival on Saturday afternoon at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, which featured performances by Logic, Dua Lipa, 5SOS, Lil Uzi Vert, Dustin Lynch, Bazzi, Belly, Bobby Bones and The Raging Idiots, Greta Van Fleet, Bad Bunny, Grandson, Leon Bridges, MAX, Badflower, The Vamps, Drax Project and FOX’s The Four: Battle For Stardom Season One Winner and iHeartMedia’s “On the Verge” artist Evvie.
Throughout a summer-long on-air and online promotion, hundreds of lucky winners from across the country were awarded exclusive VIP trips to the two-day concert event. For fans not in attendance, Elvis Duran hosted a live backstage broadcast featuring exclusive artist interviews and performances that aired that aired across iHeartMedia radio stations throughout the country in more than 150 markets and on iHeartRadio. The CW Network exclusively livestreamed both nights of the festival via CWTV.com and The CW App, and will broadcast a two-night television special on October 7 and October 8 from 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. EST/PST.
Highlights of the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival and the Daytime Stage:
• On the dawn of the one-year anniversary of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting, Jason Aldean and Bobby Bones honored all of the heroic police, firefighters, and all other first responders who selflessly worked to help survivors, as they invited a handful of them up on the main stage during night one of the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival
• Childish Gambino took to the stage to perform a few of his latest hits. The Atlanta star and creator gave fans a show of a lifetime as he delivered one of his last performances ever.
• Frontwoman Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac gracefully and effortlessly performed some of the band’s biggest hits on night one.
• Jack White took the stage by storm, delivering a rousing set that had the entire venue on its feet. Even Rae Sremmurd were caught backstage rocking out to his set.
• Mariah Carey performed a medley of her classic hits including “Always Be My Baby,” “Shake It Off,” “#Beautiful,” “Emotions,” “Honey,” and her brand new single and breakup anthem “GTFO,” for the first time ever.
• Rae Sremmurd displayed their SremmLife lifestyle by showing up on stage with an armored Brinks truck and throwing money into the crowd. The duo played some of their original hits like, “No Type,” “No Flex Zone,” and “Black Beatles.” The brothers then switched to a performance of their latest hits “Guatemala,” and “Powerglide,” from their new album SR3MM.
• Hometown hero, Brendon Urie and Panic! at the Disco performed a mix of their new songs and classic hits.
• Kygo closed night one with an electrifying set featuring star-studded surprise appearances from Sandro Cavazza, Miguel and Conrad Sewell. Justin Jesso also joined him on stage to perform the previously unreleased song, “Happy Now.”
• Magician Julius Den made believers out of celebrity guests including Paula Abdul, Brendon Urie, Ryan Seacrest, Rae Sremmurd, Jason Aldean and more by performing some mind-blowing magic tricks.
• Justin Timberlake opened night two performing songs from his new album like “Say Something” and “Filthy” as well as classic hits like “Sexy Back,” “Cry Me A River,” and more. The crowd then went crazy as he welcomed surprise guest Shawn Mendes to the stage to perform a duet of “What Goes Around,” and shared a hug onstage. Timberlake closed his set with a rousing rendition of “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” Later on, he reunited backstage with Ryan McKenna, better known as Selfie Kid from the 2018 SuperBowl.
• Carrie Underwood and her budding baby bump took to the stage performing a medley full of some new music like “Cry Pretty” and “Love Wins,” in addition to fan favorites including “Church Bells,” “Blown Away,” and “Think Before He Cheats.” After performing “Last Name,” Underwood stated, “My baby was kicking during that one. My baby like you guys.”
• Shawn Mendes later delivered an exhilarating set of his own, including “Treat You Better” and “In My Blood,” a song he described as being very important to him.
• Kelly Clarkson paid tribute to the late Aretha Franklin by performing “Respect,” one of the songs she performed for the finals of her season of America Idol.
• Luke Bryan brought Nashville to Las Vegas during his upbeat set.
• Lynyrd Skynrd played an epic, moving 12-minute long version of their song, “Free Bird,” which featured silent video of late bandmate Ronnie Van Zant singing the track on the giant screen behind them, synced up perfectly with his brother Johnny Van Zant’s singing.
• Lady Gaga appeared on-screen to premiere an exclusive look at her new movie “A Star Is Born,” and to give two lucky audience members the chance to attend the film’s premiere in Los Angeles alongside Bradley Cooper and herself.
• Imagine Dragons performed rock anthem after rock anthem throughout their 25-minute long homecoming set.. The band paid tribute to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival by proposing a toast to the city of Las Vegas.
• Logic closed out night two with a positive performance of tracks that included “44 More,” “Everybody,” and “1-800-273-8255.” He was later joined on stage by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder to perform their recently released collaboration, “One Day,” and described Tedder as the most talented person he’s ever worked with.
The festival also welcomed celebrity presenters and guests from across the entertainment industry including Taran Killam from SNL; Ireland Baldwin; Erin Foster and Sara Foster from VH1’s Barely Famous; Ken Jeong; Sarah Hyland; Sabrina Carpenter; Nikki Bella and Brie Bella from Total Bellas; Iggy Azalea; Victoria Secret model’s Lais Ribeiro and Shanina Shaik; Jeff Gordon; Kristin Cavallari from E!’s Very Cavallari; KJ Apa, Skeet Ulrich, Casey Cott and Luke Perry from The CW’s Riverdale; Sharna Burgess from DWTS; The CW’s Candice Patton; Nicole Maines; Paula Abdul and Taylor Lautner; Sofia Carson; Debby Ryan; Lance Bass; Jana Kramer; Ben Higgins, Becca Tilley, Ashley Iaconetti, Jared Haibon, Wells Adams, Jason Tartick and Blake Horstmann from The Bachelor and The Bachelorette; plus host Ryan Seacrest and iHeartRadio’s on-air talent, Big Boy, Bobby Bones, Elvis Duran, The Breakfast Club and Woody.
On Friday night, Ryan Seacrest introduced a moving video montage (HERE) produced with collaboration from iHeartMedia, 23andMe and Peace One Day – the non-profit that established an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence on September 21, featuring performers Mariah Carey, Carrie Underwood, Kygo, Logic, 5 SOS, Belly as well as Sam Smith, Nick Jonas, Troye Sivan, Dinah Jane and more, who came together to share a powerful Peace Day message – written by American singer-songwriter, poet and record producer Mike Posner – urging others to make peace and put their differences aside. These diverse artists rallied together as one for Peace Day which corresponded with the opening night of the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival.
In the past eight years the Festival has helped raise $1.9 million for a number of national charities, including the American Association for Cancer Research, Ryan Seacrest Foundation, Corporate Angel Network, Augie’s Quest to Cure ALS, Lalela, Genesis Foundation, Community Foundation of NW Mississippi, City of Hope, Kristen Ann Carr Fund and many more. Additionally, the Festival plays host to a number of critically ill children and their families through its long-term partnership with the Make-a-Wish Foundation.