If there's anyone who could possibly live up to Beyoncé's practically legendary performance at Coachella last year, it's Ariana Grande, who announced on Wednesday night that she is indeed headlining this year's festival—and even snagged both of its final slots. This year, as with last, Coachella will take place across two weekends—April 12 through 14, and April 19 to 21—meaning that Grande's performance will come after dozens of others, including two more headlining sets by Childish Gambino and Tame Impala.
For Childish Gambino, those performances just might be a swan song; this time last year, Donald Glover announced that he'd soon be putting this portion of his musical career to rest, after walking back on saying he'd do so in 2017. (Instead, he released his album Awaken, My Love!, which was nominated for five Grammy Awards.) He's sticking around, however, for the first days of each of the festival's weekends, which will also include performances by Janelle Monáe, Diplo, Kacey Musgraves, and King Princess. (Also on the lineup ahead of Grande are Solange; Kid Cudi; Weezer; the Pixies; Bad Bunny; Billie Eilish; Kacey Musgraves and her soon-to-be tour opener, Soccer Mommy; and DJ-slash-designer-slash-collaboration king Virgil Abloh, who'll have just shown Louis Vuitton and Off-White's fall 2019 collections the previous month.)
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farewell 2018, you fuck. i hope this new year brings you all much laughter, clarity and healing. 🖤 be gentle with yourselves and each other. if we made it thru this last year, we’ll for sure make it thru this one. thank you for everything. 🖤
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Still, there's no doubt that Grande, like Beyoncé before her, will end up stealing the show. (Even Grande's surprise appearance at last year's festival has been largely forgotten in the wake of #BeyChella, which also marked the first time that a woman headlined the festival in 10 years.) These days, though, it's Grande who's been dominating the headlines: her post-breakup single, "thank u, next," has now been no. 1 at the top of the charts for seven weeks straight, making her perfectly poised to finally put the past behind her in the new year. It's no surprise that just a few days ago, she excitedly bid "farewell [to] 2018, you fuck"; what with her extremely public breakup with her ex-fiancé, Pete Davidson, the death of her ex Mac Miller, and the aftermath of the Manchester bombing, she's come to consider the past 12 months as "one of like the best years of my career and like the worst of my life," as she put it when tearfully accepting Billboard's Woman of the Year last month.
The final days of 2018 also saw Kanye West drag Grande into his ongoing feud with Drake. Thankfully, it doesn't seem likely that she'll be running into West backstage. (According to TMZ, he declined to perform at this year's festival because he found its traditional 60x40 foot stages to be too "artistically limiting.") Still, that's not to say that another Kardashian won't make a surprise appearance; it was, after all, just a couple of months ago that she got Kris Jenner to make a cameo as Regina George's mom in the music video for "thank u, next."