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Iggy, Meghan Trainor, Fall Out Boy, OneRepublic shine at Jingle Ball
Entertainment news: Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jerry Nunn, Windy City Times

Finishing out the holiday season in a big way, 103.5 KISS FM's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014 presented a list of performers that made your head spin—or at least your booty. The Allstate Arena was packed in Rosemont with screaming young fans for the Jingle Ball Dec. 18.

The band Fall Out Boy kicked things off, returning to its Illinois hometown. The act even brought fireworks for its latest single, "Centuries," that samples Suzanne Vega's "Tom's Diner" hit.

The "Fancy" singer Charli XCX talked with Windy City Times on the red carpet about her success this year with her song "Boom Clap" and how incredible it has been being nominated for two Grammy awards. Although not a diva, if she did have any demands for her dressing room it would be champagne fountains and puppies. She stated that she doesn't feel famous and has not changed since the last time she spoke with WCT during an early appearance at Borderline Music in Chicago.

It has been a roller-coaster for her but she keeps herself grounded by still hanging out with the same friends and keeping it real, she said. Combining fashion with performance, Charlie's jumpsuit by Scottish designer Pam Hogg was beyond fabulous. For the new year, she's written on the Gwen Stefani album and worked with DJ Mustard; also, her new album, Sucker, just debuted. She's also talking about collaborating with fellow singer Rita Ora, who performed that night as well.

Canadian reggae fusion band Magic! talked with WCT about working with Shakira on the track "Cut Me Deep" while in Barcelona. The band then took to the stage for its hit "Rude."

Another up-and-coming Toronto talent who some see as the next Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes certainly has the young-girl fan base who knew every word to his acoustic songs. He will tackle a tour with Taylor Swift in 2015 as her opener.

Now a solo act, Nick Jonas kissed a lucky winner onstage and performed his new single "Chains," but no abs were in sight.

Meghan Trainor was "All About That Bass," talking about the gay bars in Nashville. She recorded her whole album there on a farm with her producer, adding that she saw hundreds of cows every day.

Rock band OneRepublic has had a stellar year with "Counting Stars" and "Good Life." The group's Ryan Tedder talked about working Madonna on her new leaked album and new music coming out next summer.

Demi Lovato looked stylish and friendly on the red carpet, posing for an "elfie" with our out elf on a shelf, buddy Tommy Holl ( who was recently all over AIDS Foundation of Chicago's World of Chocolate ).

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performed "Bounce" and "Black Widow," her hit with Rita Ora. But it was the J Lo track "Booty" that really brought down the house as she shook her rump for the fans.

Strong belter Jessie J showed she meant business, holding the stage on her own with no back-up dancers or band. Wearing a shirt dress, she had the crowd sing the Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj parts to her hit "Bang Bang" with mixed results; luckily, there was a backing track for them and she quickly proved she didn't need one with that voice. WCT talked with her backstage about her "album cover hair," as she dubbed it, adding she wanted to thank the gay community for its support. Jessie said she feels they are the most loyal fan base and she says she has had that since the beginning. She added she's seen drag queens perform her songs even better than herself, so she would like to go and perform with them to learn some new moves.

"Hideaway" singer Kiesza mentioned the same thing about the gay community being her first supporters. In New York City—when she was experimenting with new music—the gay clubs were a place to try her music. She described her style growing up as vintage clothing that didn't always go together. She didn't have a lot of money and would mix and match items. Those poor days seem far behind her as she continued an after-party at The Mid, performing at 2 a.m. for a crowd that visually showed her gay fans were in the house to support her more.

Instead of just being a radio promo, the station donated one dollar from each ticket sold to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation, a non-profit organization that inspires youth through entertainment.

The night was star-studded with plenty of talent that left the packed arena full of the holiday spirit for those lucky to have been there.

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