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Drake, Britney Spears, U2 and more to play the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas

Drake will headline the sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas in the fall.
Drake will headline the sixth annual iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas in the fall.
(Frank Gunn / Associated Press)

The lineup for the annual iHeartRadio Music Festival has been announced, and for the sixth year in a row it will feature some of the most heavily rotated musicians on the FM radio dial, including U2, Drake, Britney Spears, Twenty One Pilots, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt and others.

The festival is produced by iHeartMedia, the terrestrial radio powerhouse formerly known as Clear Channel, and will occur at the T-Mobile arena in Las Vegas on Sept. 23 and 24. Owner of more than 800 radio stations across the country, the company has in recent years been working to compete with streaming services like Spotify and Pandora by heavily pushing its iHeartRadio streaming app, which recently surpassed 80 million users.

As such, iHeartRadio is going all in on a heavy duty lineup built to draw new users. Featuring marquee names from across rock, pop, rap, country and R&B charts and, according to the press announcement, “a surprise or two,” the two-day, big umbrella festival will highlight a mix of acts not normally on the same roster.

The sophisticated adult contemporary music of Sting, for example, isn’t a sound one would expect to share a stage with the buoyant pop of superstar Ariana Grande. When was the last time Billy Idol fans and Drake fans were in the same room together? Perhaps Pitbull will join U2 for a mash-up of “Timber” and “With or Without You”?

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In addition to the aforementioned artists, the lineup will feature Florida Georgia Line, OneRepublic, Sia, Cage the Elephant, Zedd, Tears for Fears and Usher.

There’s a lot of terrible music out there. For tips on the stuff that’s not, follow Randall Roberts on Twitter: @liledit

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