Monday’s concert at Xcel Energy Center has one of the more impressive lineups of recent years for the KDWB Jingle Ball, although the late dropout of best new artist Grammy nominee Julia Michaels was a bit of a blow, as is the news that bigger markets in the iHeartRadio chain got Taylor Swift and Sam Smith among their ballplayers. Once flyover country, always flyover country.
Here’s who we do get to see on Monday.
Kesha: It’s a fitting year for the “Tik Tok” and “Timber” hitmaker to be at the ball, following her long battle alleging sexual harassment against her former producer Dr. Luke. The album that came out of her ordeal, “Rainbow,” was relatively snubbed in the Grammy nominations this week but could make for a bold statement to the show’s teen audience.
Charlie Puth: There’s nothing edgy or topical in this 25-year-old Jersey boy’s tunes, including the megahit “One Call Away,” which makes him the safest, surest bet in the lineup this year.
Niall Horan: The Brit popster followed his bandmate Harry Styles as another One Direction singer with a solo hit, first with “This Town” and then the even bigger and mushier “Slow Hands.” Consider this appearance an audition for his Minnesota State Fair grandstand concert next summer.
Liam Payne: Third One Direction solo hitmaker, Payne hasn’t been quite so red-hot out of the gate, with his single “Strip That Down” only reaching No. 10. But he did show a little more edginess with his Zedd-produced dance single “Get Low.”
Camila Cabello: The former member of last year’s Jingle Ball headlining group Fifth Harmony is in heavy-repeat mode at KDWB and other Top 40 outlets with a No. 1 single that’s an ode to her Cuban-American roots, “Havana.”
Fall Out Boy: Just a month after their own headlining appearance at the X and a month before their delayed new album “Mania” drops, the middle-aged Chicago pop-punkers are out to test just how old is too old to be vying for teen audiences.
Halsey: A pop vet at 23 whose voice is most recognizable from the Chainsmokers’ megahit “Closer,” she was added to the lineup following her own well-received Xcel Center show last month.
Sabrina Carpenter: Another late addition, she’s the “replacement” for Julia Michaels. We had to Google her, too.