Jingle Ball 2003: The Time A Simple Plan Was Billed Over Jay Z and Beyonce


It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The stockings are hung, the lights are shining bright and that can only mean Z100’s Jingle Ball is near! One of New York’s most beloved traditions, since 1993 the Jingle Ball has served as both the holliest AND jolliest of non-stop pop performances, as well as something of an important snapshot of the year in music.

With Friday night’s Jingle Ball set to feature Miley Cyrus, Robin Thicke, Pitbull, Paramore, Enrique Iglesias, Fall Out Boy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Selena Gomez, Fifth Harmony, Ariana Grande, Jason Derulo, and Austin Mahone, we thought we’d take a look back at the line-up of a decade ago, as well as put on our archeological caps and dig for contemporary blogs of the time to get a feel for how the show was received. Go ‘head baby, get ready to get Jinglin’ with us all the way back to Jingle Ball 2003.

Hosted By Jennifer Lopez
“She really is such an incredibly beautiful woman.”
Ahh yes, the year J.Lo made Gigli. Who would have guessed it would take another nine years to hear her Greatest Hits album?

Hillary Duff
“Hilary Duff kicked off the show. We all thought she ‘sucked’.”
In 2013, Hilary Duff is reportedly six songs into recording a “happy and upbeat” EDM record. Her sister also appeared on a Kool G. Rap album, which is pretty cool.

Jason Mraz
“Jason Mraz was good but a definite one hit wonder. He better invest his money properly.”
Not all things are definite as Mraz has continued to delight fans, including performing at last year’s Jingle Ball 2012.

Michelle Branch
“Michelle Branch was really good. She certainly has talent. I personally loved the t-shirt she had on which said ANTI. I’d like one for myself.”
To think we were only seven years away from a Michelle Branch-Timbaland collaboration. While Branch has hit an unfortunate string of shelved albums, she’s reportedly recording a new one in London.

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey
“Oh, I forgot to mention that Jessica Simpson and her husband (sic) Nich Lachey came in somewhere for 2 songs. Yikes were they awful. There was absolute consensus on that one.”
While it’s been quite a few years since the former “Newlyweds” had their very public break-up, seeing both Lachey remarry and Simpson become engaged, we’re holding out some hope they can still work it out.

3 Doors Down
“3 Doors Down was not bad but we aren’t huge fans.”
In 2013 3 Doors Down continue to tour sans bassist Todd Harrell who was charged with vehicular homicide earlier this year. On a lighter note, I remember in high school this girl I knew was flirting with some guy online, and when he said his favorite band was “3 Doors Down,” she said “If we were ever at the same hotel, you would be 3 Doors Down from me.” I have no idea what that was supposed to infer, but whenever I read that band’s name it comes to mind.

Kelly Clarkson
“Kelly Clarkson was awful. She has a good voice but no talent. As I explained, that is why American Idol is nonsense. Having a good voice doesn’t mean you have the talent to move upward and onward.”
Kelly Clarkson just released a Christmas album. Upward and onward, indeed.

Matchbox Twenty
“Matchbox Twenty was really good. Personally, they were my favorite performers. The lead has an awesome voice, very distinct.”
This past summer, Matchbox Twenty toured with the Goo Goo Dolls, but we’ll always have a certain level of props for singer Rob Thomas after his cameo on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Sean Paul
“The kids loved him. I think he sounds like Shaggy whom I prefer.”
Sean Paul is still putting out music, including singles this year that featured Juicy J, 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj. However, we’re still bitter at how he kicked our caboose every which way but loose in the hip-hop fighting video game Def Jam: Fight For NY.

“We all ragged on her lime green body suit – she looked like a xmas tree. But, she is talented and was a solid.” Yes, Beyonce’s done a lot in the past decade, BUT DID YOU SEE WHAT SHE WAS WEARING AT THE 2003 JINGLE BALL?!

“The kids thought he was the best. I think all the songs sound the same but am a fan of rap, so there you have that.”
The cultural event known as The Black Album, Jay-Z’s third “final album,” had just dropped, but unlike with Reasonable Doubt and Vol. 3, this one came with the hoopla of signaling his full-blown retirement and starting the mash-up craze. But we couldn’t just put him on last, right?

A Simple Plan
“Last on, Simple Plan. Not bad, but time to leave.”
That’s right folks, the 2003 Jingle Ball was the night Beyonce as a break-out solo star and Jay-Z’s grandiose retirement opened for A Simple Plan. Shocking and unfathomable as it may seem now, it’s important to remember that every event organizer is not a perfect person.

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