If you’re one of the most famous pop stars in the world, sometimes you get to bring your 8-year-old self’s karaoke dreams to life. On Sunday night at Coachella, Ariana Grande brought out *NSYNC during her first headlining set, reuniting your fave ’90s boy band (unless, of course, you were a Backstreet Boys kind of gal).
— Alicia (@aLICIaR802) April 15, 2019
Dressed in a baroque Sailor Moon-inspired outfit, she introduced *NSYNC—notably missing Justin Timberlake—by saying, “I’ve been rehearsing my whole f—ing life for this moment.” Grande performed a perfectly nostalgic version of “Tearin’ Up My Heart” with Lance Bass (who went right back to tweeting about Game of Thrones), JC Chasez (who excitedly tweeted “Mic check, mic check one…two…is this thing on?!?”) and Joey Fatone (who tweeted a sweet, simple thanks).
And though JT was missing, I think this Ira Madison tweet sums it up:
The power of Ariana bringing out NSYNC as it should’ve been with JC as the front man
— Ira Madison III (@ira) April 15, 2019
After that performance, *NSYNC stuck around to do a fiery mash-up of Grande’s “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” and their No Strings Attached song, “It Makes Me Ill.” Make no mistake, this was a WILD headlining set for our Pop Princess.
— tati (@strippedjt) April 15, 2019
Later in the show, Grande brought Nicki Minaj onstage, and while performing the rap from “Bang Bang” appeared to experience some technical difficulties. It seems that Minaj’s earpiece either wasn’t working or was out of sync with everybody else’s, and at one point, Grande could be heard saying, “We can’t hear anything.” But the two were pros about it, and the rest of the set featured a Grande cover of Frank Ocean’s Blonde song “Close to You” and Diddy and Mase coming out to join her for “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems” as a tribute to Mac Miller, 2 Pac and Biggie.
And very fittingly for the youngest performer ever to headline Coachella—who’s been through a tremendous amount in the last few years—she closed the set with “Thank U, Next.”