The pop singer on Sunday night performed the first of two headlining sets at the annual music festival, using part of her time in the spotlight to stage a reunion of ’90s boy band *NSYNC, which was just one of the surprise guest appearances of the night.
Timberlake’s absence was not acknowledged on stage, but parts typically sung by him in the band’s hit single were taken over by Grande.
“I’ve been rehearsing my whole f—ing life for this moment,” Grande said as she brought the band out.
Joey Fatone, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick, and Lance Bass also joined Grande on a portion of her song “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.”
The rest of her nearly 90-minute set also included guest appearances from Nicki Minaj, Diddy and Mase.
Despite some audio issues, Minaj powered through songs “Side to Side” and “Bang Bang” with Grande.
Diddy and Mase, meanwhile, paid tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. with a performance of “Mo Money Mo Problems.”
Grande’s Coachella performance comes after what has been a series of professional triumphs and personal trials.
Speaking on stage, Diddy prompted the crowd to give its headliner some love, noting, “She’s been through a whole lot. She’s still standing.”
Indeed, she has and, indeed, she is.
In all, the singer, who is the youngest performer to ever headline Coachella, sang more than 20 songs in a set bookended by “God is a Woman” and “Thank U, Next.”