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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Jingle Ball 2020

The CW / Online / Music

In 1994, Z100 hosted the inaugural Jingle Ball, a winter concert that featured the year’s top artists performing their hits. The event marked the biggest night of the year for many teenagers, selling out Madison Square Garden. Now helmed by IHeartRadio, Jingle Ball remains a teen High Holiday and it won’t be disappointing any pop fans in this year of banned gatherings: a virtual, live-streamed show will take viewers right into the homes of artists. The lineup is headlined by teen phenom Billie Eilish, beloved for her moody melodies, bass-heavy beats, and a lilting yet deep voice that coos over adolescent pains: “all good girls go to hell,” “wish you were gay.” Then there is The Weeknd, whose danceable bops are always shaded by a bit of darkness, and Sam Smith, a British crooner who has written ballads for Celine Dion and is a go-to for a good cry. The night, offering a range of today’s pop stylings, is sure to draw in plenty of Top 40 fans but should also serve as a good primer for anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with the charts lately. —C.J.F.

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