Both X Factor winners were on the bill along with heartthrob Nathan Sykes - youngest member of boy band The Wanted - and Alarm singer Anne-Marie.
It started with a dazzling lights and sound show and ended with a bang with a spectacular festive firework display above the stage in the car park outside the shopping mall.
360 PHOTO: Take a look at James Arthur on stage performin g in front of the 15,000 strong crowd in our amazing 360 degree photo - CLICK HERE.
Hosted by Capital Breakfast Presenters Adam, Danny and JoJo, it raised money for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and Global radio’s Make Some Noise.
Pop stars Olly Murs, Professor Green and Union J have all helped to launch Christmas seasons with previous outdoor concerts at the mall.
But bosses said this was the fastest selling in its history with some fans queuing for hours all day to get near the stage.
All eyes were on comeback kid James Arthur, who went from zero to hero - winning the X Factor in 2012 - then back to zero with a fall from grace, after being dropped by Simon Cowell’s record label following his outbursts on Twitter.
In an amazing turnaround he has been re-signed by Cowell's Syco records, topped the charts with single Say You Won’t Let Go and his second album, Back From The Edge, looks set to beat The Courteeners to top the UK charts this week.
Arthur, aged 28, says all his Christmases will come at once if he gets his first number one album this week.
"Yes, it's the ultimate sense of achievement. I've spent a lot of time making the album and putting myself into it. At the moment nothing surprises me. The crazy milestones keep piling up. I didn't expect people to care that much when I came back ", said Arthur, whose UK tour, including Sheffield O2 Academy on March 13, and Leeds O2 Academy, on March 25, are on sale from today. Details below.
He said: "Fans can expect brand new music and all the new songs from the new album. It's going to be nice because I've been touring the first album for what feels like forever now. My Christmas wish for fans is just to be happy and I want to thank you again for everything you've done."
There was no Christmas lights switch on this year.
That will take place on Tuesday - November 8, at 10am - with the help of around 60 primary school children and teachers, who have been involved in designing a trail of Christmas trees for the malls.
Santa and his friends will arrive at Santa’s Magical Kingdom in the Oasis Courtyard with a parade through the centre on Tuesday, November 15, at 5pm.
Meadowhall Centre Director Darren Pearce said: "It was another amazing night at Meadowhall, the anticipation and atmosphere in the crowd was fantastic. “With such a stellar line up tickets sold out in record time - great news for the two very worthy charities."
For more Meadowhall information including festive late night shopping opening times and other events visit www.meadowhall.co.uk
* James Arthur's 14 date 2017 UK tour in support of his new album, Back From The Edge, includes a date at Sheffield, O2 Academy on March 13 and ends at Leeds, O2 Academy on March 25.