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Arooj Aftab serenades crowds at Coachella in debut performance

Arooj Aftab isn’t tired of making history just yet. After bagging Pakistan’s first Grammy Award, the singer became the first Pakistani to perform at Coachella Music Festival, which returned this year after a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus. Taking to her Instagram, the Mohabbat singer shared snippets from her performance, writing in the caption of a post, “Epic epic epic weekend 1 at Coachella. See you in LA at The Roxy this Monday and again at Coachella for weekend 2.”

In terms of fashion, the singer opted for an edgy look, wearing a spikey structured statement black top and matching black pants. Aftab kept her hair up for the performance, adding a pair of sunglasses into the mix to pull the outfit together. For her off-stage look, the singer kept things casual in a black T-shirt and jeans with a longline colourful collared shirt thrown on top.

Revellers in thong bodysuits, sporting glitter eyeshadow and sheathed in neon partied late into the night Friday as the first Coachella since the pandemic’s onset got underway in the California desert.

Harry Styles debuted at Coachella as a headliner, kicking off the night’s premiere set enveloped in a fur coat before stripping to reveal a disco ball of an outfit he donned to dance down the stage runway, thousands of screaming fans clamouring at his feet.

He later delighted fans by bringing none other than Shania Twain on stage for a string of duets, telling the audience he used to sing along with the nineties-era superstar’s hits in his mom’s car.

“I’m a bit starstruck… It’s a bit surreal to sing this song with you,” Twain said when the pair crooned her 1997 track You’re Still The One.

The mammoth event that takes place over two three-day weekends is one of the world’s most-watched festivals, and traditionally kicks off the year’s summer concert circuit.

Coachella’s 2020 edition was scrapped as the coronavirus pandemic came into full force, and two years of chaotic cancellations, rescheduled shows and lineup shakeups ensued.

As it returns after a three-year hiatus, Coachella is a bellwether for the multi-billion-dollar touring industry that’s still on shaky ground after persistent pandemic setbacks.

After other large-scale festivals including Lollapalooza last year required proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 result, Coachella this winter announced it would not require any such mitigation measures, including masks or social distancing.

Other major acts playing sets at Coachella this weekend include Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat.

After Styles Friday, Billie Eilish is set to headline Saturday and The Weeknd will collaborate with Swedish House Mafia to helm Sunday.

The duet act was an 11th-hour addition after chaos agent Kanye West unceremoniously pulled out of his headliner spot mere weeks ago.

Travis Scott also dropped out after a deadly stampede at his Astroworld show in Houston last year, while 2020’s anticipated headliner Frank Ocean is set to return to the desert in 2023.

Stromae is set to play Saturday, as is Palestinian DJ Sama’ Abdulhadi.

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