From Radiohead to Beyoncé, a look at the biggest acts to headline Coachella

By Amir Vera

Published April 7, 2019

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When Ariana Grande takes the stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this year, Billboard says she’ll be the “youngest Coachella headliner ever” at 25 years old. She’ll also be performing with Childish Gambino and Tame Impala.

But she’s not the only performer to make history. Here’s a look at some of the biggest Coachella headliners throughout its 20 years.

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1999: Rage Against the Machine

Headlining the inaugural festival were Rage Against the Machine, Tool and Beck. The two-day event failed to turn a profit and didn’t return for another two years.

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2001: Jane’s Addiction

Jane’s Addiction headlined the festival when it returned. Other performers included Fatboy Slim and Weezer. The second Coachella was a scaled-back, one-day event.

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2002: Björk

Björk became the first solo female act to headline the festival. She shared the top spot with Oasis. The festival also returned to its original two-day format.

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2003: Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys became the first hip-hop artists to headline the festival, sharing the top spot with the genre-bending Red Hot Chili Peppers.

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2004: Radiohead

Radiohead was joined by The Cure as headliners. But the big draw was the reunion of the Pixies, who – at that point – hadn’t performed together in about 10 years.

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2005: Coldplay

Coldplay and Nine Inch Nails headlined Coachella, appealing to both soft and hard rock music fans in the same year.

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2006: Tool

Tool and Depeche Mode were the big acts at this festival. It also was the year Daft Punk debuted their legendary “pyramid stage” performance.


2007: Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers headlined, as did a reunited Rage Against the Machine, who hadn’t performed together in seven years. Coachella was also extended to three days.

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2008: Prince

Prince delivered a stunning performance, including a highly acclaimed cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.” Other headliners included Roger Waters and Jack Johnson.

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2009: Paul McCartney

Coachella’s 10-year anniversary featured a lineup for the ages: Paul McCartney, The Killers and The Cure.

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2010: Jay-Z

Jay-Z became the second hip-hop headliner in Coachella history. Other top-billed acts that year included Muse and Gorillaz.

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2011: Kanye West

Kanye closed out the festival by bringing out two guests, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and rapper Pusha T. Other headliners included the Strokes, Arcade Fire and Kings of Leon.

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2012: Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg (special guest Tupac Shakur)

Among the most memorable performances at this Coachella were Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, who were joined on stage by Tupac Shakur’s hologram. The festival, which was extended to two weekends, also featured The Black Keys and Radiohead.

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2013: Blur

Blur performed with fellow headliners The Stone Roses, Phoenix and (again) the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Phoenix brought out R. Kelly as their special guest.

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2014: Outkast

Outkast reunited to headline the festival after a seven-year hiatus by the hip hop duo. The artists shared top billing with Muse and Arcade Fire.

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2015: Drake

With Drake, AC/DC and Jack White headlining, Coachella reached a wider audience that spanned multiple genres and generations.

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2016: LCD Soundsystem

LCD Soundsystem reunited to headline the festival. It was the rock band’s first show since 2011. DJ Calvin Harris and a reunited Guns N’ Roses also performed.

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2017: Kendrick Lamar

Kedrick Lamar headlined Coachella just days after the release of his critically acclaimed fourth album, “DAMN.” Among the other top acts were Lady Gaga and Radiohead.

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2018: Beyoncé

Beyoncé became the first woman of color to headline Coachella. She was joined by The Weeknd and Eminem. It was the first time all the headliners were hip-hop or R&B acts.

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