Queen Bey was set to headline the Coachella Music and Arts Festival out in Indio this year, but due to her being pregnant with twins, she was forced to pull out of her performance by her doctor’s orders to ensure the health of her babies. It was announced that she will be moving her headlining performance to 2018. There has been no announcement on who her replacement will be yet, so let’s take a look at some of the top possibilities available.
1. Chance the Rapper
This one is pretty obvious. Following his breakout year in 2016, the performer from Chicago is probably the hottest act in the world right now. Fresh off winning three Grammys for his incredible album Coloring Book, an announcement of Chance as the replacement would definitely get festival goers excited. He has performed at Coachella before and he will be headlining festivals like Governor’s Ball and Bonnaroo later this year, so he would be fully capable of holding it down for a festival crowd with one of his signature high energy performances. His upcoming spring tour happens to start in San Diego the day after Coachella ends, which does put him in the area with availability. The one thing that works against this is that Coachella already has a hip-hop headliner with Kendrick Lamar and they usually don’t like to double up on genres with headliners. I don’t think many people would complain if they bent their rules for this one though.
Image Source: DJBooth
Following this year’s Grammy Awards where Adele beat out Beyoncé for the top awards of the night, Adele proceeded to profess her love for Bey in both acceptance speeches and even broke her trophy Cady Heron-from-Mean-Girls-style to give a piece to Beyoncé. How fitting would it be now for Adele to step in to fill her idol’s shoes? Her music catalog may not seem like the right fit for a music festival – as it’s filled with mostly somber songs and ballads – but she headlined the famed Glastonbury Festival last year to high acclaim and had this to say about her doubters, “To the people who say I am too boring to headline, you’re more f*cking boring for moaning about me headlining.” Maybe Goldenvoice will listen and we will all be saying Hello to Adele in Indio.
Image Source: Billboard
Rihanna actually may be the most logical choice because, as far as fan demographic goes, she’s probably as close to a plug-n-play as there is. She will fill the same pop/R&B headline slot that Beyoncé is leaving open and should make the currently disappointed fans happy again. Rihanna finished up her 75 show world tour in late November, so she may be a bit too burnt out for these performances. On the other hand, she will already have a strong performance concept and set list ready to use on short notice. Rihanna’s treasure chest full of smash hits combined with her most recent Grammy nominated album, Anti, should give the people plenty to cheer for in the desert.
Image Source: iTweety
4. Frank Ocean
The enigmatic Frank Ocean is a hard guy to pin down. After his critically acclaimed first album Channel Orange released in 2012, Frank infamously removed himself from the spotlight. After a long four-year wait, Ocean finally dropped his second album, Blonde, toward the end of last year. The album has received widespread acclaim and thrust Frank back into the spotlight that he tends to avoid. He has been a desirable artist in this year’s festival season as he will be performing and headlining a handful of them – including Panorama in New York, which is another Goldenvoice promoted festival. Having that connection established with the festival producer already could be a good sign that we will see Frank make his first return to Coachella since 2012.
Image Source: Howl & Echoes
5. Lady Gaga
Gaga’s show production value may be too high for a Coachella performance, but it would definitely be a sight to see if it happened. Known for her wild and over-the-top antics, she would undoubtedly put on a show unlike anything seen in the desert before. Lady Gaga definitely has the music catalog full of upbeat songs and dance anthems that will keep the crowd moving into the late night. She may be the only one on this list that could produce a performance as energetic, powerful, and dance heavy as Beyoncé would have. Gaga recently announced her tour promoting her latest album Joanne, which will be starting later this year. This means she is in the process of creating a tour-ready show, but it’s unknown if it could be put together and perfected in time for the mid-April festival.
Image Source: CNN
This would make a lot of sense actually. The other half of the power couple has headlined the festival in the past – back in 2010 – so he’s fully aware of what he would need to do to put on a great show. A show from Jay could really be anything, which is what makes him such an interesting choice. He hasn’t released any new solo music since 2013 – so his set could just be a greatest hits performance spanning his legendary 30-year career. Or, he could utilize his never ending connections in the music industry to put together a show filled with heavy hitting guests sending the crowd into a frenzy. Or, he could call on his friend Kanye for a Watch the Throne reunion show. There’s really no telling what Jay-Z would do, but I think he would do his wife proud in her absence.
Image Source: Zimbio
7. Justin Timberlake
The former boy band heartthrob may seem like an odd choice, but he has already been rumored to be headlining the festival in 2018. If true, it’s quite possible that Timberlake and Bey could be trading spots. The one catch is that he was supposedly going to be performing next year as part of promotion for his next album that he is currently working on. So he may not be ready, or even want, to put together a show for this year. His most recent world tour, The 20/20 Experience, was received with acclaim from critics who described the shows as hypnotizing and full of fun. His lineup of songs covers a wide range of emotions perfectly tuned to the eclectic group of people that fill the polo grounds for Coachella. The “Prince of Pop,” or “President of Pop,” or whatever title he now holds in the pop universe may be the perfect choice to replace Beyoncé and put on an unforgettable show.
Image Source: Pitchfork
8. Daft Punk
Every year around the time the lineup is announced, I see thousands of people requesting and hoping for Daft Punk to show up on the poster, but they never do. They performed at Coachella in 2006 and people have been clamoring for them to return ever since. There are a few things that give credence to this possibility though. The duo has only gone on tour twice in their long career in 1997 and 2007 – there is some belief that they will keep with that 10-year separation and go back on the road in 2017. If that is the case, then they may have a show concept prepared that they can deliver to the Coachella stage. They’ve also been more active lately than normal, as they have collaborated on The Weeknd’s latest album and even performed alongside him at the Grammys earlier this month. So, I’ll say to all those that have been waiting for Daft Punk’s Coachella return to not get your hopes up, but keep your fingers crossed – this might finally be your year.
Image Source: Thirst4Beats