Friday, May 17, 2024

Pop Poop Out: Jingle Ball Line Up Stars Shawn Mendes, Cardi B, Reflects End of Bieber-Grande-Demi Lovato Era


The Jingle Ball is coming. Yes, it’s that time of year. I Heart Radio, formerly Clear Channel, rounds up all the big top 40 acts of the year and sends them on the road for a jukebox tour of America. Each act does a few songs, teenage girls scream, and lots of merchandise is sold. It’s always been a lot of fun.

But this year, maybe not so much. The main stars are Shawn Mendes (talented, yes), Cardi B (an attraction), and Calvin Harris (deejay, ex boyfriend of Taylor Swift). Also featured, in different cities, Alessia Cara (one hit, “Scars”), Marshmello, Khalid, and in a couple of major markets, Camilla Cabello.

This year’s Jingle Ball is not every exciting. That’s not the fault of the promoter. It’s just a generation has aged out. Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are old, as in o-l-d. Demi Lovato is old and in rehab. Justin Bieber is married, maybe having a nervous breakdown, buying mansions. Ariana Grande is engaged, taking it easy, not into it. Charlie Puth? He’s over it, too, I guess. And where is that South Korean boy band?

Who you’re not going to see this year: Drake, the best selling artist of the last 12 months, or Kendrick Lamar.

That Cardi B is who the Jingle Ball is relying on says a lot. She’s an attraction, not an artist. She’s what they call a novelty act. Mendes looks like he’s carrying the weight of the tour to major cities and even minor ones. Well, he’s 20, he has the energy, he can take it.

But pop looks pretty pooped from this selection. And rock is just about dead. Hey– there’s always next year!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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