Commercial radio gets a lot of flak from music snobs. Elitists like music journalists at free weekly newspapers will whine and moan about the repetition of the same tunes played every hour, the quality of those songs on repeat, and even the fact that the stations have too many commercials.
But Top 40 radio is a beloved institution for a vast number of listeners. And no station in America has been playing the hits as long as WHYI-FM. Better known as Y100, it has been broadcasting whatever the popular music of the day is from Key Largo to Fort Lauderdale ever since 1970, which according to Wikipedia makes it the longest running Top 40 station in North America.
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For the many of you that have Y100 in the first position on your car radio presets, Jingle Ball is the concert event of your holiday season. Like the station it is celebrating, the concert plays one chart-smashing pop phenomenon after another in a live setting. This year's edition, held December 18 at BB&T Center, will showcase ten acts that dominated the airwaves in 2016.
The night is headlined by the Chainsmokers, a New York DJ duo which has topped the pop charts for 11 consecutive weeks with "Closer." Meghan Trainor, the singer-songwriter who is best-known for her 2014 bootycentric anthem "All About That Bass," will sing some of her dance pop from this year's Thank You. Fifth Harmony, the girl group which includes Miami native Lauren Jauregui, will perform the crowd-pleasing pop you would expect from an act formed out of the ashes of The X Factor.
Also on the bill is Los Angeles-based producer Diplo, whose Mad Decent record label promotes EDM but who gets on Y100 due to his collaborations with Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Tove Lo (who Rolling Stone once dubbed "Sweden's darkest pop export"). The actress Hailee Steinfeld will also be in the house, but instead of reenacting monologues from her Academy Award-nominated role in True Grit will be singing tracks from her 2015 EP Haiz. The lineup is rounded out with Canadian singer Alessia Cara, reggaeton superstar Nicky Jam, viral sensation Charlie Puth, and Danish teeny-boppers Lukas Graham.
If the last few Jingle Balls are any indication, you also won't have to wait until midnight on Christmas Eve to catch a special surprise celebrity guest.
Y100's Jingle Ball with Diplo, Meghan Trainor, and more. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, December 18, at BB&T Center, 1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise; 954-835-8000; thebbtcenter.com. Tickets cost $46 to $251 via ticketmaster.com.