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Billboard Hot 100 on LI closes with mix of R&B and country

Calvin Harris on stage for the 2016 Billboard

Calvin Harris on stage for the 2016 Billboard Festival at the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach in Wantagh, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Calvin Harris shut down this year’s Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival with a nonstop, hit-packed DJ set Sunday night.

It capped a joyous day of dancing where sweltering heat and drenching rain didn’t dampen the spirits of a sold-out Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, following a thrilling set from newcomer DJ Marshmello and R&B singer/rapper J. Cole.

The festival, now in its second year, has proven so successful that a version is set for Shanghai later this year and for two other international cities next year, according to John Amato, president of Billboard, which co-produces the event with Live Nation. However, Amato says his focus will continue to be improving the festival at Jones Beach. “As a Long Islander, I’m so happy to be able to bring a world-class festival to Long Island,” said Amato, who lives in Melville.

Amato says he was pleased that this year’s festival was able to feature so many different styles of music.

Country singer Brooke Eden won over the crowd at the Sun Stage by mixing cool covers like James Bay’s “Hold Back the River” with her own songs, like her sweet new single “Diamonds,” which showcases her powerful voice.

After her set, Eden said it was a bit intimidating to be the only country artist at the two-day festival, but she enjoyed the warm reception from the crowd. “There’s a lot of pop in country music right now,” said Eden, who even covered a bit of the Blackstreet R&B classic “No Diggity.”

This year’s Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival made plenty of musical introductions Sunday, which Canadian singer Coleman Hell took seriously, shaking hands and taking photos with everyone in the front row who watched his set of sleek dance pop.

Australian YouTube sensation William Singe drew a big crowd with his soulful reworking of Rihanna’s “Work” and Justin Bieber’s “Sorry,” as well as debuting the originals he’s working on for his upcoming album.

Skylar Grey debuted a lot of new material as well, using her main stage set to introduce fans to songs from her upcoming “Natural Causes” album, as well as her single “Wreak Havoc” from the soundtrack to “Suicide Squad.”

And Brooklyn rapper Jadon kicked off the 11-hour extravaganza with a freestyle rap that showed off the skills that landed him a recording session with DJ Khaled.

“I’m buggin’ out right now,” Jadon told the crowd, thrilled to be playing Jones Beach.

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