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Top 10 Coachella Performances of All-Time

Go Gaga for THE who's who list of legendary Coachella acts

Top 10 Coachella Performances of All-Time

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have heard of Coachella. This is ‘THE’ annual music and arts festival held in California’s Colorado Desert that you NEED to add to your festival bucket list.

The festival has been cancelled 2 years in a role due to COVID-19 cry, so we thought we’d share some legendary performances from Coachella to inspire you to go when we can all travel again (hopefully soon!).

We love Coachella as much as Kanye loves Kanye, so let’s throwback to some of the all-time best performances of the show.

1. Beyoncé | 2018

Queen Bey was the first Black female headliner of Coachella, she made the festival into her own concert in 2018, after she cancelled her performance in 2017.

Beyoncé performed some of her hit songs, such as “Crazy in Love”, “Freedom” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to heat up the crowd. Special guests appearances from Destiny’s Child, her husband Jay Z and her sister Solange lit up the show even higher.

Her performance at Coachella was so astounding and netizens (like citizens of the net – internet that is!) gave Coachella a nickname as “Beychella”.

2. Kanye West | 2011

Surprisingly Kanye West loves Coachella as much as himself! Kanye performed 5 times in total at Coachella in 2006, 2011, 2015, 2016 and the most recent one in 2019.

Even though Kanye is a ‘regular’ performer of the festival, his performance in 2011 was still considered as one of the all-time best performances of Coachella.

Kanye performed in a fashionable way, where he performed 27 songs in total, including “Jesus Walks”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”, “Hell of a Life”. He also paid tribute to his late mother by singing the song “Hey Mama” at the end of his performance.

3. Prince | 2008

Although Prince might be gone, his performance at Coachella in 2008 will always be remembered by everyone forever.

Prince performed some of his famous songs, such as “1999”, “Little Red Corvette”, “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy”, he also performed a fair amount of cover songs, including Radiohead’s “Creep”.

Prince was so ‘stubborn’ and he didn’t allow anyone to post the video of him covering the song on the internet for 7 years. The cover became a Coachella myth since there were no videos of it to be found. Not until 2015, Prince changed his mind, allowing the video to see the sun again.

4. Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg | 2012

Dr Dre & Snoop Dogg’s collab could be the most unexpected yet craziest performance at Coachella. The duo lit up the stage and they stunned the crowd with a hologram to REVIVE the late West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur (2PAC).

They performed “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” and “Gangsta Party” together for a very extraordinary performance. The two rappers even brought on Wiz Khalifa, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent and Tony Yayo to the stage during their set.

With the 2PAC Hologram and the quality of guests stars, the performance of these two hip-hop legends will remain iconic in history forever.

5. Lady Gaga | 2017

Lady Gaga was named as the headliner of 2017 Coachella after Beyoncé’s cancellation and she certainly handled it well. Mother Monster’s doing her ting!

The pop singer performed a few tracks that she hadn’t performed for serval years, such as “Scheiße”, “Teeth” and “Sexxx Dreams”.

The best part of Gaga’s performance had to be her acoustic act though, where she played the piano and sang “The Edge of Glory” and “Speechless”. Her performance was simply astonishing. We went gaga for Lady Gaga.

📷: Hanny Naibaho

6. Madonna | 2006

Madonna’s performance at Coachella back in 2006 was a decade before pop stars took over the festival and she is always ahead of her time.

“The Queen of Pop” slayed the stage by singing and dancing and playing the guitar for her performance. She performed 30 minutes set of club hits lively and had everyone shaking and dancing.

While everyone else was singing and rapping, Madonna’s performance at Coachella was definitely on another level.

7. Pharrell Williams | 2014

Pharrell Williams made his performance at Coachella in 2014, after his single “Happy”, a soundtrack for the film Despicable 2, was crowned top of the Hot 100 chart.

P. Willy performed “Hunter”, “Come Get It Bae” along with "Blurred Lines" and "Get Lucky". He also had Gwen Stefani, Snoop Dogg, Diplo and Jay-Z as his high profile guest stars. Wow, I mean Pha-Real?

Everyone was HAPPY to see Pharrell concluded his set with his hit single “Happy” and the spectacular set was just irreplaceable.

8. Jay Z | 2010

Jay Z was the first-ever rapper to headline Coachella in 2010 and his performance was amazing. J-Hova showed he’s truly the God of rap!

Jazzy paid tribute to producer Rick Rubin by singing “99 Problems”. He also performed some of his best hits like “On to the Next One”, “Jigga My Ni**a” and “Empire State of Mind”.

During the encore, he brought out his lovely wife Beyoncé to sing “Young Forever” with him and he ended with his song “Encore”.

9. Ariana Grande | 2019

While people were still discussing Beyoncé’s legendary performance from the previous year, Ariana Grande became the youngest artist to ever headline Coachella and she had a wondrous performance in 2019.

Ariana paid lots of efforts to live up to the fabulous “Beychella” and she definitely didn’t disappoint the audience.

NSYNC, Nicki Minaj, Diddy and Mase were among the star-studded guest list in the first week and Justin Bieber was surprisingly the guest for Ariana’s set in week 2. Ari-dreaming? That was too good to be true.

10. BLACKPINK | 2019

‘BLACKPINK IS THE REVOLUTION’! Wow, that was 2 years ago already, when BLACKPINK made history to be the first K-Pop female group to ever perform at Coachella in 2019. Time flies!

Even though the Korean girls group’s songs were mostly in Korean, they believed that music can bring people from different worlds together and they certainly did that!

The K-Pop superstars united everyone at the show when they performed some of their hits like “DDU-DU DDU-DU”, “Whistle” and “BOOMBAYAH”. The girls slayed Coachella! BLACKPINK was IN OUR AREA!

With their energetic electric performance, BLACKPINK’s set was stunning and breathtaking, it was one of the best performances in Coachella’s history.

There were so many other great performances at Coachella in the past, but these are THE most legendary performances. Can't wait to see performances again at Coachella next year!

📷: Hanny Naibaho

About the Author

Linus Lam

Linus Lam

I love food, music, movies, travelling and using social media. Sometimes I take snapshots on my phone to record my life and adventures. Born and raised in Hong Kong, lived in Norway for a year. This city boy is enjoying his life on the Gold Coast at the moment.