Jingle Ball 2014: Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea Shine As Stars Align In New York

The country-turned-pop princess sings as the closing act at Jingle Ball in Madison Square Garden on Friday. Swift also celebrated her 25th birthday on stage.

Dec. 12, 2014. Taylor Swift performs at Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden in New York. (The Associated Press)
Dec. 12, 2014. Taylor Swift performs at Z100 Jingle Ball at Madison Square Garden in New York. (The Associated Press)

The show on Friday at Madison Square Garden and sponsored by Z100 was a success. Everyone from Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea and Ariana Grande stood out, along with breakthrough stars Sam Smith, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor and so much more.

Few of the artists taking part even had a career two years ago. In this realm, 41-year-old participant Pharrell seemed like Methuselah. The 30-something members of Maroon 5 appeared like hip dads, at best.

Taylor Swift Accepts Woman of the Year Honor.

Smith, Azalea, and Swift were granted the longest sets (four or five songs),  while the other acts did two or three tunes each. “All About the Bass” singer Meghan Trainor sang her hit and that’s about it. “Boom Clap” star Charli XCX brought out an all-girl four piece band wearing cheerleader outfits that played like Joan Jett and the Heartbreakers. Pharrell asked kids up onstage to help him with his now ubiquitous single “Happy.” (Most of them just stood up there taking selfies, instead of actually singing and dancing.)

Ariana Grande had the well-oiled night’s biggest slip up when she almost went splat strutting across the stage in what looked like 6 inch heels.

Z100’s Jingle Ball is part of the national iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour, and is in its 19th year as one of New York City’s biggest annual music events. The concert also donated $1.00 of each ticket sold to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, a non-profit organization thelping young people through entertainment and education focused initiatives.