LOS ANGELES — It may have been a brisk December evening in Southern California, but with Shakira, Sean Paul, Frankie J, Chris Brown, Rihanna and the Pussycat Dolls working to heat up the stage at KIIS-FM’s Jingle Ball on Tuesday, there wasn’t a case of winter blues to be found at the Shrine Auditorium, where thousands of KIIS Club VIPs packed the sold-out show.
Headliner Shakira generated the most commotion as she took the stage straight after jetting in from the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas (see “Green Day And 50 Cent Dominate Billboard Music Awards” ). The pint-sized powerhouse, who donned a black and gray tank tied at the waist to show off her most-wanted abs and tight black pants to highlight those signature dance moves, closed out the show with her husky vocals and sultry shimmies, belting out tunes including “Hey You,” from her new album, Oral Fixation, Vol. 2, and “La Tortura.” Shakira slowed the pace down midway through by launching into a haunting rendition of “Underneath Your Clothes,” from her 2001 English-language breakthrough, Laundry Service, and ended with her latest single, “Don’t Bother.” While her half-hour set was cut short, the Colombian crooner returned to the stage and did an encore of two more songs before disappearing into the night.
R&B newcomer Chris Brown proved why he was the new face to watch as he easily ran through his four-song set to screams from many young ladies. The suave crooner arrived less than an hour before he was set to hit the stage, coming straight from the awards show in Las Vegas as well. Brown, who wore a black sweatshirt with a portrait of late rapper Notorious B.I.G. airbrushed on the front, performed tracks from his debut self-titled LP including “Gimme That,” “Run It!” and his latest single, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss).”
Pussycat Dolls were among Brown’s many female admirers, spilling to MTV News that they were most looking forward to seeing the debonair youngster perform live. Appropriately for the holiday celebration, some members donned festive candy-cane-striped belly shirts and red-and-green capri pants. It’s been quite a year for PCD, who were just newcomers at KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango back in May (see “Old Meets New As Gwen, Ciara, Simple Plan, Peas, J. Lo Rock Wango Tango” ). With two hit songs behind them, the girls returned to the stage like seasoned pros. The group performed four songs including their singles “Don’t Cha” and “Stickwitu,” along with “Wait a Minute,” a serious contender for their next single, the Dolls revealed.
Frankie J scored one of the night’s highlights by bringing out longtime friend and surprise guest Baby Bash to accompany him on live renditions of hits “Suga Suga” and “Obsession (No Es Amor).” Decked out in stylish evening wear fit for the occasion — a black blazer over a slightly unbuttoned black dress shirt, jeans and shades — Frankie J was in the mood to celebrate on the eve of his 27th birthday. “I’m going to rock the show, and then at midnight, we’re going to party,” he boasted before his performance. Frankie made a lucky young lady’s night when he handpicked her from the crowd to serenade with his hit “How to Deal,” and drew screams of approval from fans as he closed with “Don’t Wanna Try” and his cover of Extreme’s “More Than Words.”
Rihanna opened the show with an energetic set that included “Pon De Replay” and “If It’s Lovin’ That You Want,” while the cast of MTV’s “Laguna Beach” mingled with dozens of star-struck teens in between acts, posing for photos and signing autographs with throngs of fans.
And the Laguna posse wasn’t above some good-natured ribbing, as KIIS DJs Ryan Seacrest and Ellen K. grilled Talan Torriero on his 11-day engagement to Kimberly Stewart. Seacrest pried for details on the proposal itself, but the reality-show star swiftly dodged the question, only opting to reveal that it took place at his home in Laguna. Meanwhile, Seacrest tried to hook fan favorite Stephen (sans old girlfriend Kristin Cavalleri, who was a no-show) up with a young lady from the audience but he opted to be a good boy, only pretending to be caught in a passionate embrace with the blonde.
Dancehall king Sean Paul, who plans to spend the holidays in his home country of Jamaica after two years on the road, took home the award for most songs squeezed into a set as he breezed through nearly a dozen old and new tracks. Accompanied by his brother on the mic — as well as four bootylicious back-up dancers — Sean Paul got the crowd on its feet, opening with a handful of oldies including “Like Glue,” “Gimme the Light,” “I’m Still In Love With You,” “Get Busy” and “Shake That Thing” from his 2002 debut LP Dutty Rock and topping off with “We Be Burnin’,” “Breakout” and “Temperature” from The Trinity. Paul even threw in a couple of wild cards, channeling Beyoncé’s “Baby Boy” and a portion of Black Eyed Peas’ “My Humps.”
For more sights and sounds around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.