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Kanye West out at Coachella 2022: 10 artists who could headline in his place

Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) has pulled out of his scheduled performances at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, according to reports on Monday, April 4, leaving the festival without its Sunday night headliner with less than two weeks to go.

Coachella will return to the Empire Polo Club in Indio for the first time since 2019 on April 15-17 and April 22-24. Both weekends are sold out and expected to attract 125,000 people each.

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So who could replace Ye as Sunday’s headliner? The Southern California News Group’s festival brain trust put its, well, brains together and came up with a list that ranges from the serious to the unlikely.

1. Swedish House Mafia

The Swedish DJ supergroup already is listed on the Coachella poster on its own at the bottom with no assigned date. The easiest move would be to slip the reunion of Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso into the vacancy left by West. However, without someone new replacing West the fest’s star power may dim.

Doja Cat performs during 102.7 KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball at The Forum in Inglewood on Friday, December 3, 2021. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)

2. Doja Cat

The rapper is listed directly after Ye on Sunday’s lineup, and she just won a Grammy for best pop duo/group performance for her collaboration with SZA on “Kiss Me More.” A rising star, could she quickly recruit others she’s recorded with — in addition to SZA, the Weeknd, Saweetie, Nicki Minaj, and more — and deliver a headline-worthy set?

Tyler, the Creator perform during the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival 2019 In Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (Photo by Ed Crisostomo, Contributing Photographer)

3. Tyler the Creator

A huge favorite of the Coachella crowd, the inventive hip-hop artist will wrap his current U.S. tour on April 8, leaving him tuned up and performance ready for two more weekends, if he’s asked. He also has worked with Coachella promoter Goldenvoice on his own festival, the Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival.

4. Silk Sonic

The retro-soul of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, who were featured at the Grammys on Sunday, with .Paak resplendent in an Ike Turner bowl-cut wig, would go smoothly on Sunday night, and could be expanded into something special with each performing some of their solo work, too. Silk Sonic’s Las Vegas residency has the month of April off, too.

5. Red Hot Chili Peppers

They’ve got a Coachella history, so the connections are there. Plus, their new album “Unlimited Love” is just out. The band’s world tour doesn’t start until June and the Los Angeles-area date at SoFi Stadium is already sold out, so they wouldn’t be cannibalizing their audience. Are they rehearsed up enough to headline, though?

6. BTS

Can you imagine? The resale market would make a whole lot of Kanye-only fans a little bit rich if the K-pop superstar boy band suddenly appeared on the bill.

7. Bad Bunny

He’s a popular draw with the Coachella crowd and has become a superstar since he played the fest in 2019. His tour has also recently wrapped.

8. Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X just gave a memorable performance at the Grammys and appeared at Coachella’s sister event the Stagecoach Country Music Festival in 2019 as “Old Town Road” was everywhere. Lil Nas X was originally on the lineup for Coachella and Stagecoach in 2020, but dropped off when the 2022 lineups came out. So maybe Goldenvoice can call Montero and get him on stage.

9. Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean was one of the original headliners set to play in 2020, but in a report last year, Goldenvoice said that Ocean wouldn’t be back until 2023. But maybe they could call in a favor.

10. Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine played the first Coachella and reunited there in 2007. The rock band was supposed to reunite again at the polo fields in 2020 before the pandemic hit. They were off the bill for 2022 and have postponed their other tour dates until next year, but maybe they’ll reconsider and put the band back together.

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