The Rock in Rio music festival has finally made its way onto American soil after 30 years' worth of epic shows in Brazil, Portugal, and Spain. This week, Las Vegas is playing host for the first Rock in Rio USA festival, featuring superstars like Taylor Swift, No Doubt, Deftones, Metallica, John Legend, and many others.
In celebration of this major milestone, let’s take a look back at some of the most amazing performances from previous years.
Queen - 1985
The first ever Rock in Rio festival was held in Brazil in January 1985. The event had an impressive lineup of acts such as AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, James Taylor, and Al Jarreau. It was Queen, however, that left a lasting impression on the music world. The performance was broadcast to over 60 countries around the world. In celebration of Rock in Rio’s 30th anniversary, Queen will once again take the stage in Brazil later this year, with Adam Lambert stepping into Freddie Mercury’s spotlight.
Prince - 1991
Every Prince show is destined to be a success, including his performance at the 1991 Rock in Rio festival. His Royal Purpleness keeps a tight grip on any recordings of his music, but that hasn’t stopped bootleg DVDs of the 1991 Rock in Rio show from circulating. While in Brazil, Prince received the royal treatment, including a white grand piano in his hotel suite and purple lighting for his dressing room.
Beyonce - 2013
Festival-goers were blown away by Bey’s performance in 2013. The crowd’s reaction to “Irreplaceable” moved Queen Bey to tears. She rewarded them with a tribute to Brazil by dancing to “Ah Lelek Lek Lek,” an electrofunk hit that was hugely popular at the time (Think of it as Brazil's own "Gangnam Style").
The Rolling Stones with Bruce Springsteen - 2014
Rock in Rio is known for featuring legendary artists in the lineup, but at the 2014 show in Lisbon, fans were treated to a performance by not one, but TWO rock legends when Bruce Springsteen joined The Rolling Stones on stage.
Springsteen and the Stones delivered a rendition of “Tumbling Dice” that will forever live on in Rock in Rio history.
Metallica - 2012
Metallica and Rock in Rio have a long history together, with this year marking their 7th performance at a Rock in Rio event. (Metallica performed at both the Madrid and Lisbon shows in 2008!)
Their 2011 appearance in Brazil is easily one of their best, proving that age ain't nothin' but a number.
Stevie Wonder - 2011
Stevie Wonder wowed a global audience in 2011 with a duet with his daughter, Aisha Morris. The father-daughter duo sang "Girl of Ipanema."
Thanks to social media and a livestream on YouTube, 180 million people in 200 countries were able to witness Stevie’s performance, along with many others, that year.
30 Seconds to Mars - 2013
Jared Leto was a busy man in 2013. Aside from his Award-winning role in Dallas Buyer’s Club, he also released a new album with his band, 30 Seconds to Mars. He took time off from acting and creating short films to appear at Rock in Rio in September 2013.
During the show, Leto flew over the audience on a zip line, taking a cue from Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs, who did the same a couple of years before.
For more info about past and future Rock in Rio events, including photos and videos, visit their official website.
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