Yesterday the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival announced it’s 2019 lineup. This year, which marks the 20th anniversary of the annual music and arts festival, will headline artists Childish Gambino, Tame Impala, and Ariana Grande.  As much as we at Highlark love us some Donald Glover, we started to think why is he is headlining Friday night over Janelle Monáe, who is also performing Friday?


Childish Gambino aka Donald Glover had a pretty remarkable 2018. In May he released the single “This is America” that led to 4 2019 Grammy nominations. We wrote about it here.  His music video for “This is America” has been watched nearly 500 million times. Glover also released the second season of Atlanta to much critical acclaim (including from this publication). Childish Gambino, no doubt, had an incredible year. And he has said he is retiring from music. And yes, he can sell tickets.

But what about Janelle Monáe? Ms. Monáe had an incredible year, too. In April she released the critically acclaimed “Dirty Computer,” which was named the best album of the year by NPR, The New York Times, and The Associated Press. It also landed on many more top album lists of 2018, and she too received Grammy nominations.

We love both Childish Gambino and Janelle Monáe. They both deserve to headline Coachella.  But it is 2019, and we feel it’s Ms. Monáe who should be up there in a larger font. Shortly after hearing about her Grammy nominations, Ms. Monáe said on CBS This Morning, “This album is so much bigger than me… It’s not about me. It’s about a community of dirty computers, of marginalized voices. Being a young, black, queer woman in America, there was something I had to say, and there was a group of people that I wanted to celebrate. I’m happy to be representing them. I hope they feel seen, I hope they feel heard, I hope they feel loved, and I hope they feel celebrated. This is for you.”

It’s 2019. We want more voices like Janelle Monáe! And we are betting Childish Gambino agrees with us!