Whether you’re in a glittery gown or eating takeout at a friend’s house, everyone has their own New Year’s Eve traditions. But at some point during your life you probably turned into some of your favorite pop and rock stars as they ring in the new year on TV.
It’s an understatement to say that over the past two decades there have been more than a few great performances, but there have been some clear standouts. From teen-pop to punk, Dick Clark, Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly have all hosted some of the most memorable New Year’s Eve performances of all time. See who made our list below.
Mariah Carey, 2013
Before Mariah Carey delivered her controversial 2016 New Year’s Eve performance, she did slay the holiday celebration three years prior. With a medley of “Hero,” “We Belong Together” and “I Give My All,” Mariah’s soaring vocals and over-the-top holiday cheer filled fans with joy.
The Jonas Brothers, 2009
It may have been below freezing in Times Square, but that didn’t stop Nick Jonas from raising the temperature with his voice. In singing “Burnin’ Up,” the band of brothers filled the audience with blissful pop... and put some more optimism into the universe at the same time.
Lady Gaga with Tony Bennett, 2015
Imagine a more iconic duo than Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. Serenading the crowd with “Cheek to Cheek,” Bennett and Gaga make for the most elegant and talented odd couple to ever grace the NBC New Year’s Eve stage.
Green Day, 1999
Remember when Carson Daly and Jennifer Love Hewitt dated? That was almost 20 years ago. We didn’t until we saw this video. It’s also a great reminder that there was a time when rock ruled the New Year’s Eve performances. This gritty Green Day medley is the alt-rock band at its finest, performing “Scattered” and “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).”
Miley Cyrus, 2014
There’s no denying Miley Cyrus has some of the most incredible pipes in the business, but she shows her talent is in its prime with this Times Square performance of “Get It Right” and “Wrecking Ball.” During this performance, Cyrus’ husky, soulful vocals have never sounded better.
Back when Tom DeLonge was still in Blink-182, the punk-rock trio delivered one of its finest performances on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, singing hits “First Date” and “The Rock Show.” Their energetic concert from New Year’s Eve past should serve as incentive for DeLonge to reunite with the group.
Jennifer Lopez, 2017
When Jennifer Lopez had her residency in Las Vegas, we didn’t know that would mean getting a live New Year’s Eve performance on TV. Not only does J.Lo look ageless, but she travels back to the hits that made her rise in the music scene with powerful performances of “If You Had My Love” and “Get Right.” There’s no denying she’s still got it.
Taylor Swift, 2015
In honor of her first full-on pop record 1989, Taylor Swift performed singles “Welcome To New York” and “Shake It Off” in the heart of Times Square on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. She showed that even with an outdoor performance on live TV she can do no wrong with her gorgeous vocals.
Christina Aguilera, 2007
There was no lip-syncing during Christina Aguilera’s 2007 live show during New Year’s Eve, you can be sure off that. Aguilera’s hypnotic vibrato carried her through a festive set of “Candyman” and a strong performance of “Fighter.” Come back with a new record soon, Christina!
One Direction, 2015
To say One Direction slayed its New Year’s Eve performance two years ago is an understatement. It’s emotional to see all the band together again, but the five members all look and sound like stars on stage. Harry Styles and Liam Payne carry this performance with style and grace, and make us yearn for a reunion.