This week started off on an inspiring note, as Sunday afternoon (April 12) saw an incredible Easter concert performed by Italian national treasure Andrea Bocelli.
Then there was good news for Drake fans, as his new single “Toosie Slide” slid in at No. 1 on the Hot 100, and Kelly Clarkson fans, when the popstar released multiple versions of her latest, “I Dare You.”
Plus, Taylor Swift and some other big names were added to WHO and Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home special, which is happening tomorrow (April 18).
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Andrea Bocelli performed a stunning virtual Easter Concert at Milan’s Duomo
Andrea Bocelli brought families around the world some joy and peace on Easter Sunday with his Music for Hope: Live from Duomo di Milano concert. The Italian singer performed solo in the empty (and no less beautiful) Duomo, treating fans to “Panis Angelicu,” his rendition of “Ave Maria,” “Sancta Maria,” “Domine Deus” and “Amazing Grace.”
The concert also set some impressive online records — it reached more than 2.8 million peak concurrent viewers, making for one of the biggest musical live stream performances ever. It was also the largest simultaneous audience for a classical live stream ever on YouTube. The performance has now been viewed more than 37 million times since its premiere, including 28 million views in its first 24 hours.
Drake dethroned The Weeknd on the Hot 100
Drake’s newest single entered at the top spot, with “Toosie Slide” unseating The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” after a two-week reign. And as Drizzy is wont to do, he made history along with his No. 1 debut, becoming the first male act with three No. 1 arrivals. It’s also his seventh total topper; a lucky number indeed!
The song is also Drake’s record-extending 209th Hot 100 entry (he recently passed the Glee cast for the most appearances when “Oprah’s Bank Account,” with Lil Yachty and DaBaby, debuted).
One Directioners noticed that all of the guys are following Zayn on Twitter again
Be still our hearts. Over the weekend, eagle-eyed fans noticed that Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson — as well as the official One Direction Twitter account — are now following Zayn Malik on Twitter. Hashtags like #OneDirectionReunion and #1DOnlineConcertStayAtHome quickly trended on the platform.
As reunion rumors continue to spread like wildfire (and be fanned, in part, by members of the band), One Directioners have never been more ready. In these increasingly depressing times, what could be better? Help us, 1D — you’re our only hope.
Halsey and more will perform at a virtual fundraiser for New Jersey residents affected by coronavirus
JERSEY 4 JERSEY, an all-star benefit for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund, will take place on April 22, and it has some major names lined up. Halsey, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, SZA, Charlie Puth, Saquon Barkley, Tony Bennett, Danny DeVito, Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea Handler, Kelly Ripa, Jon Stewart will all make appearances or perform from home, and fans can tune in worldwide to watch on Apple Music and the AppleTV app.
Taylor Swift joined the Lady Gaga-curated One World: Together At Home special
WHO and Global Citizen’s One World: Together at Home special was already enjoying a pretty stacked lineup, with Billie Eilish, Paul McCartney, Keith Urban, Lizzo, Maluma and others set to perform for the virtual event on April 18.
Now, they’ve added even more talent: Alicia Keys, Amy Poehler, Awkwafina, Camila Cabello, Celine Dion, Ellen DeGeneres, Jennifer Lopez, LL Cool J, Lupita Nyong’o, Matthew McConaughey, Oprah Winfrey, Pharrell Williams, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, Usher and Victoria Beckham are all on deck. You definitely won’t want to miss it!
Bad Bunny offered a fan $5,000 for a true work of art
Forget the Easter Bunny: Bad Bunny was April’s true benefactor. The Latin trap sensation offered Cynthia Coronado, a Houston-based artist, $5,000 for a painting she made of Bunny in quarantine.
Coronado spoke to Billboard after the happy moment, explaining that her sister showed her the tweet. “A few happy tears came rolling after that,” Coronado admitted. “Being a smaller local artist is never easy. It’s really encouraging and motivating, not only for me but also for many locals.”
Drake, Justin Bieber and more are giving away their most prized possessions for charity
Drake, Justin Bieber, Kevin Hart and more have vowed to provide their personal possessions and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities as part of Philadelphia 76ers’ co-owner Michael Rubin’s ALL-IN Challenge amid the COVID-19 pandemic. You can enter to win here by donating to some incredible organizations, and wait until you hear about the potential prizes.
Drizzy is giving one winner a chance to fly on his Air Drake plane to Los Angeles for a weekend out with him and his OVO team at Delilah, while Meek Mill is offering up his Maybach. Also, if you can believe it, Bieber says he will fly to a winner’s hometown, visit their home and perform “One Less Lonely Girl.” Yes, really.
The ALL-IN Challenge has partnered up with several food organizations such as Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry, America’s Food Fund & World Central Kitchen. All of the funds raised will be evenly split amongst all four charities to help battle the food insecurities during the COVID-19 crisis, a release promises.
Kelly Clarkson gifted fans with a new solo single
Kelly Clarkson has been busy with remote Trolls World Tour promo and episodes of The Kelly Clarkson Show, but not too busy to give us new tunes. Clarkson unveiled the sweeping “I Dare You” on April 16, along with five foreign-language versions that prove we can still stay united even as we’re miles apart.
Apart from Clarkson’s original “I Dare You,” there’s also a version where her vocals are woven with her international cast of singers. As for the five foreign-language recordings, definitely check out the renditions by Zaz (“Appelle Ton Amour” – French), Faouzia (“كنتحداك” – Arabic), Blas Cantó (“Te Reto A Amar” – Spanish), Glasperlenspiel (“Trau Dich” – German) and Maya Buskila (“בוא נראה” – Hebrew).
The Grammy Museum announced a new digital Public Program series
“The Grammy Museum’s doors may be closed, but our mission isn’t,” says Grammy Museum president Michael Sticka. Indeed, the museum is getting creative with its programming, and has announced a new digital series with Soul Asylum, Caitlyn Smith, Echosmith and more set to participate.
The digital Public Program series will be created using Zoom, and put on the museum’s official website. Soul Asylum will kick things off on April 18, followed by Smith on April 20.
David Archuleta, Grouplove and more owned their Billboard Live At-Home sessions
Though artists are no longer dropping by the Billboard offices in New York City for acoustic sessions, that hasn’t stopped the music. Artists have been bringing their A game from their living rooms, performing new music and deep cuts alike from their own catalogs, as well as covers of artists they admire — all while raising money for charities of their choice.
This week, David Archuleta took on Louis Armstrong’s 1967 classic “What a Wonderful World,” Grouplove debuted a new single, CeeLo Green invited his teenage son for a family jam session and much more.
Beyonce, Ariana Grande and more performed for the Disney Family Singalong
A dream is a wish your heart makes, and on Thursday (April 16), millions of Disney fans’ biggest dreams (and wishes) came true when their fave stars united for an epic singalong special on ABC. Ariana Grande absolutely slayed “I Won’t Say (I’m In Love)” from Hercules, performing both the main parts and harmonies all by herself, Beyonce made a surprise appearance to perform “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Pinocchio, and John Stamos apparently has a functioning Dumbo ride in his house — goals.
Director/choreographer Kenny Ortega also spoke to Billboard about how that amazing High School Musical finale came about: “I was so moved by the joy and enthusiasm and desire to participate, and [for] everyone to make themselves available, and do whatever they needed to do to technically figure out how to be able to accomplish what we were going after.”
Fiona Apple, Sam Smith & Demi Lovato and (many) more dropped new music
Fiona Apple returned when we needed her most with Fetch The Bolt Cutters, her first album since 2012. Plus, Sam Smith and Demi Lovato dropped their anticipated team-up “I’m Ready,” DaBaby returned with his Blame It On Baby project, and Playboi Carti quickly shot up the YouTube Trending page with his video for “@ Meh.” Check out Billboard’s full rundown of the week’s best new music releases here!
RM revealed BTS is already working on their next album
How’s this for some good news to kick off your weekend with? BTS’s RM went live on the group’s BANGTANTV YouTube channel, and mentioned that they’re already working on the followup to February’s Map of the Soul: 7 album.
“I’m sure many of you have guessed by now, but we’re going to be releasing another album,” he said in the 10-minute clip, in which he sat in an office chair with a grey hoodie over his head. “We’ve begun preparing for it. We’re going to be sharing that preparation process with you. No details have been decided as of now, we’ve only just started talking about it. That we’re going to be creating something new.” Yes please!