What better way to kick off the holiday weekend than with an epic collab from two of our favorite pop superstars? We’re talking about Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, of course, who dominated headlines all week with “Rain on Me.”
Grande’s been having a very good week indeed — it actually began with a No. 1 for a different winning collab, “Stuck with U” with Justin Bieber. Go, Ari!
Plus, Taylor Swift kept fans warm with a virtual concert, Harry Styles unveiled his touchy-feely music video for “Watermelon Sugar,” and much more.
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Taylor Swift treated fans to a virtual concert — and a surprise release
The Taylor Swift City of Lover Concert, which aired on ABC on Sunday night (May 17), was filmed last September at Paris’ L’Olympia Theater in front of an intimate audience. The event was emotional for a number of reasons, including the fact that it served as a reminder of the shows we miss so much. Ms. Swift also gave fans a special bonus: she released a series of live versions from her 2019 Lover album that were recorded during the September 2019 gig, now available to stream everywhere. Check out the best moments from the concert here.
Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande went No. 1
Grande and Bieber’s charity single “Stuck with U” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, making for their first leader together. Meanwhile, 6ix9ine’s “Gooba” entered at No. 3, which he had some thoughts about. See Grande and Bieber’s responses here, and Billboard’s explanation of this week’s race to No. 1 here.
Harry Styles dropped his much-anticipated “Watermelon Sugar” video
Who isn’t all for ushering in summer with a sexy beachside picnic?! Hazza did just that in his latest video, released on Monday (May 18). Check it out here and bask in that watermelon sugar high.
The “Night Of Covenant House Stars” concert saw celebs unite for a great cause
Jon Bon Jovi, Dolly Parton, Meryl Streep and many more came together for a virtual concert event benefiting the Covenant House charity, which provides “housing, food and healthcare to children and youth facing homelessness and the heroism of front-line staff working around the clock to keep them safe during the COVID-19 crisis.” Check out the best musical moments of the evening here.
Lil Nas X, Cardi B, LeBron James and more won big at the 2020 Webbys
Cardi B, LeBron James, Lil Nas X, Dolly Parton, Ronan Farrow, Game of Thrones and Celine Dion were among the winners of the 24th annual Webby Awards, which honor the best of the web. In lieu of an in-person ceremony this year, Patton Oswalt hosted an online celebration called WFH: Webby From Home. See the full list of winners here.
The Voice crowned a winner for its 18th season
The Tuesday night (May 19) finale of The Voice featured five hopefuls, Toneisha Harris and Todd Tilghman (Team Blake), Micah Iverson (Team Kelly), CammWess (Team Legend) and Thunderstorm Artis (Team Nick). And the winner was…Team Blake’s Todd Tilghman! (Plus, Nick Jonas debuted his new solo track “Until We Meet Again,” and Bon Jovi performed their new single “Limitless.”) See which coach and singer has won every season of The Voice here.
Google paid tribute to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
The latest Google Doodle tributed Hawaiian music great Israel Kamakawiwo’ole on what would’ve been the singer’s 61st birthday, while celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Take a trip “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with the colorful Doodle here.
Sia returned with new music
Speaking of rainbows, Sia debuted the uplifting “Together” along with a colorful video. Per usual, the singer recruited Maddie Ziegler for some expert moves, as well as a cast of backup dancers sporting bright hues. “Together” is one of 10 new Sia songs written by the singer and featured in her upcoming film Music, which is due — along with a new album of the same name — in September.
“Bombshell: In Concert” got Smash fans in the feels
On Wednesday (May 20), People aired a special live stream of “Bombshell: In Concert,” the June 8, 2015 one-night-only performance where stars of NBC’s cult hit Smash performed the songs of the Marilyn Monroe musical-within-a-show Bombshell at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway. The event supported the Actors Fund, and had fans walking down memory lane. Billboard caught up with Katharine McPhee before the broadcast, and ranked every song from the fictional production. After the stream, fans got even more good news: in true life-imitates-art fashion, Smash is headed to Broadway!
Billboard‘s latest cover story detailed how African artists are opening doors
Billboard‘s Gail Mitchell spoke to Tiwa Savage, Davido and Mr Eazi — three of Africa’s biggest stars — about how they’re making the industry come to them. Says Savage: “People just need to get on the train. This isn’t a fad. With 1.2 billion people, we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. We’re here to stay.” Check out the full story here, and see photos from the shoot here.
Twenty One Pilots’ Josh Dun and actress Debby Ryan confirmed they tied the knot
Josh Dun and Debby Ryan are officially married! The couple shared the news via Vogue while sharing gorgeous photos of the (secret) luxe nuptials, which took place on New Year’s Eve. (The pair dated on and off starting in 2013 before getting engaged in 2018.) “The ceremony was the perfect balance,” Dun told the mag. “I felt like it was game night at our house, and this was the ultimate game, and boy did I win! I remember every detail from how it felt to be walking down the aisle, to the full body chills I got watching Debby walk down toward me.” Aww, congrats, you two.
Celebs united for a good cause during Red Nose Day
Red Nose Day USA was, of course, totally virtual this year, but that didn’t stop the stars from bringing their A games. Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Julia Roberts, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Elizabeth Banks and more appeared from their homes to ask for donations to fight child poverty. Check out the most memorable moments from the evening here.
It was a stacked New Music Friday
Yes, this week was mainly about Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s explosive new collab “Rain on Me,” but there were also plenty of other goodies from The 1975, The Weeknd and Doja Cat, Carly Rae Jepsen and tons more. Here’s all of the new music you need to know about this week.