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Jingle Ball 2021 Is December 10th at Madison Square Garden

For IHEARTRADIO’s 2021 Jingle Ball to have any validity as the pop performer show of the year it needed two performers only: Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo. It got one of them. And to a degree that is enough but not to 100%. It is enough-ish. We got Lil Nas X.

Lil Nas X is one of the brightest stars in the firmament who has done more for gay bottoms than even Troye Sivan. He is fearless in his presentation of gay sex, and he is astonishing in his hip hop skills, Montero is better than Certified Lover Boy, and nearing Donda scale greatness, and Lil Nas X is so self-evident, so visually arresting, as transparent as his glam fashions, and such fun that you’d have to be crazy to fight him. All I can think of is all the latent teen homosexuals given permission to be who they are. Yes, Jingle Ball had to have him and got their man.

But the biggest album of the year was released in May, Sour is Disney actress Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album and it has been in the US Top Ten since it was released. I don’t know of a better representation for teenage girls anywhere, the songs are uniformly brilliant pop rock gems, and “Brutal” owes less to Elvis Costello than Nick Lowe’s “So It Goes” does to Steely Dan. She is also equal parts stunningly beautiful and insecure detailing a public relationship that ended. I am not sure what she has in mind, she can fill MSG (though not Metlife) by herself and hasn’t begun to tour -we have an idea of what a live show might look like from that streaming concert (“Carrie”‘s prom without the pigs blood). It wouldn’t have been a bad idea for Olivia to have test driven her live shows during Jingle Ball -Taylor Swift does it all the time- less time on stage and the spotlight while on her, not exactly on her.

Anyway, December 10th we will get: Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, Saweetie, AJR, Kane Brown, Tate McRae, Bazzi and Dixie D’Amelio. Excuse me if I’m not overwhelmed. Ed I’ve seen countless times, Dua has “Levitating” and that’s it, Jonas Brothers are a bore, Doja Cat isn’t quite there yet and nobody else is close to first tier. Will I go, sure, For Lil Nas X.

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