Pop stars can hide their flaws through clever public relations managers. They can curate their Instagram feed to make it look like their lives are perfect. But they can’t hide from Santa.
Once again, amNewYork has gotten a sneak peek at Santa’s nice-or-naughty list, focusing on the artists performing at this year’s Jingle Ball, the celebration of pop music put on by Z100. Fans will be happy to know that most of their best-loved performers made the “nice” list — it was a down year for pop star misbehavior — but out of every bunch, there’s still one or two bad apples. Is your favorite one of them?
Bebe Rexha: The artist wrote hits for Eminem, Selena Gomez, and Tinashe, but it wasn’t until 2018 that she released her debut album, after a run of singles and EPs. Good things come to those who wait — like gifts from Santa.
Shawn Mendes: The 20-year-old star dealt with online rumors about his sexuality better than artists twice his age may have in the past. As he said on Snapchat: “First of all, I’m not gay. Second of all, it shouldn’t make a difference if I was or wasn’t.”
Alessia Cara: The singer took to Instagram and described the toxic nature of online fandom, telling her mostly young fans about the “gravity of words” and how screens disconnect us from real-world responsibility for what we say. If you have a kid or are simply younger, she’s a positive influence.
Meghan Trainor: This may be more for the event organizers. Fun fact: Trainor released three singles from her 2019 album this year. Can you name them? Maybe the album next year will give her a spark, but she simply hasn’t been an important part of pop culture in 2018.
Bazzi: He’s only 21, so it’s way too early to label Bazzi a one-hit wonder. But the artist’s claim to fame is “Mine,” which became big because of a Snapchat meme. Everything else from the album hasn’t caught on — only a remix featuring Camilla Cabello has recently charted. And yet, he told Rolling Stone: “These next few years, I’m genuinely trying to revitalize and revolutionize pop music because it’s dying.” Big talk for a pretty short (current, admittedly) record.
G-Eazy: His last album, released in December 2017, hit the depressed playboy trope hard. Really, really hard. So hard that “The Beautiful & Damned” may be the most depressing record released by any of these performers. And Santa’s all about the spirit of the season.
If you go: Z100’s Jingle Ball takes place on Friday at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden, 1 Penn Plaza, sold out