If you had whiplash trying to keep up with all of the major headlines this week, you’re not alone — and we’re here to help.
The biggest topic to dominate this week was, of course, Taylor Swift dropping a new album — with not much of a heads-up — and we are here for it. We’ll be spinning Folklore all day, every day…through “August,” at the very least!
Plus, One Direction celebrated their 10th anniversary (weeps), Nicki Minaj announced her first pregnancy (!), Demi Lovato got engaged (!!), and much more.
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Nicki Minaj announced she’s pregnant
Congrats are in order for Nicki Minaj, who took to social media on Monday (July 20) to reveal she’s pregnant. Sharing photos from a glamorous shoot, Minaj bared her baby bump for all to see, and thanked fans for the support. “Love. Marriage. Baby carriage. Overflowing with excitement & gratitude. Thank you all for the well wishes,” Minaj wrote. See the bump pics here.
The 2020 iHeartRadio Music Festival is officially a go
BTS, Coldplay, Kane Brown, Khalid, Miley Cyrus, Migos, Thomas Rhett, Usher and more are set to perform at the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Festival, which is understandably going virtual this year. The event will air Sept. 27 and 28 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. ET on The CW and iHeartRadio stations nationwide. Learn more about the 2020 iHeartRadio Music Festival here.
Bad Bunny was the latest to join YouTube Music’s “Artist Spotlight Stories” series
The Latin superstar shared his road to success from the beginning of his career to his chart-topping YHLQMDLG album through a new short documentary presented by YouTube Music. “I try never to limit myself, at least not me and when someone tries to do so, I try to push them to the limit, as far as I can,” he says. Bunny’s installment premiered on Wednesday (July 22). Here’s everything we learned from the mini-doc.
Harry Styles debuted a new mustache
The “Watermelon Sugar” has been living his best life in Italy, and fans immediately took notice of his new look when the star posed in a photo at Modena, Italy’s Osteria Francescana restaurant. “Harry Styles may be the only person who could wear a mustache like this and still look good,” one fan tweeted. See all of the best reactions to Harry’s ‘stache here.
Billboard announced the new dates for Latin Music Week 2020
Latin Music Week isn’t cancelled — it’s just going virtual! The latest edition is set to take place October 20-23, and will feature intimate artist conversations, industry panels, workshops and performances. J Balvin, Black Eyed Peas, Maluma, Ozuna, Rosalía and Carlos Vives and more will participate. Learn more about Latin Music Week 2020 here.
One Direction celebrated their 10-year anniversary
From a new anniversary celebration video to posting sweet tributes on social media, the members of One Direction celebrated their 10th anniversary on Thursday (July 23). A special website, 10YearsOf1D.com, also launched, along with a newly-enhanced 4K version of the “What Makes You Beautiful” video.
There was also a One Direction billboard in Times Square, new Spotify playlists, and much more! Plus, revisit Billboard’s ranking of every One Direction single and check out the list of their biggest Billboard hits.
Regrettably, Harry Styles did not comment on his new mustache.
Demi Lovato got engaged
Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich announced their engagement on Thursday (July 23)! “When I was a little girl, my birth dad always called me his ‘little partner’ – something that might’ve sounded strange without his southern cowboy like accent,” Lovato wrote. “To me it made perfect sense. And today that word makes perfect sense again but today I’m officially going to be someone else’s partner.” Check out the sweet engagement photos here.
Billboard scored the latest Verzuz face-off and broke the news about a new partnership
Hip-hop heavyweights Snoop Dogg and DMX faced off for the latest edition on Wednesday night (July 22). Despite some technical difficulties at first, both parties brought it. From Snoop Dogg’s “Deep Cover” vs. DMX’s “Intro” to DMX’s “Party Up (Up in Here)” vs. Snoop Dogg feat. Pharrell’s “Drop It Like It’s Hot,” see the recap and final score here.
Meanwhile, Verzuz will now be available on Apple Music and Beats 1! The breakout series, which is co-helmed by hip-hop producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, will now stream each battle live on the music streaming service for free, ensuring fans don’t miss a moment. Learn more about the exciting new partnership here.
…And caught up with Luis Fonsi
Billboard’s Jessica Roiz interviewed Fonsi about all things La Voz, which will officially return Sunday (July 26) for its final rounds. “It’s a step towards some type of normality, that’s the way I see it,” Fonsi said of the television competition show. “The world is still a little crazy and to be able to bring music to people’s homes, to me that’s refreshing and that’s much needed and we’re doing it in a way that’s safe for everybody, so it’s exciting.” Watch the full video interview here.
…And unleashed our gaming issue with cover star Travis Scott
Game on! Billboard’s Tatiana Cirisano interviewed the rapper about his record-setting Fortnite performance, and explored whether video games will be a lucrative new frontier for the live-music business. Check out the cover story here, and check out the rest of the gaming Deep Dive stories here.
Taylor Swift dropped a new album with just one day of warning
That’s right, Folklore arrived one day after Swift made the surprise announcement, and it’s exactly what we needed. After you stream the whole thing, check out Billboard’s review of the album here, and be sure to watch the magical “Cardigan” music video. Finally, see the best reactions from fans and celebs alike!
A new week brought a new round of Billboard Live At-Home performances
New Zealand-by-way-of-L.A. group The Naked and Famous celebrated an important anniversary during their set; their debut album Passive Me, Aggressive You turns 10 this year. (Their fourth album Recover is also out today — check out their interview with Billboard here.) Plus, U.K. electronica artist Jack Garratt served as the ultimate one-man band, performing “Better,” “Circles” and “Time” from his 2020 album Love, Death & Dancing. Watch both sets here.
New Music Friday was stacked
Once more for those in the back: Taylor Swift dropped a new album, Folklore, and it’s magnificent. Plus, Logic unveiled No Pressure, which he says is the last album he’ll ever release, J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny and Tainy united for “Un Dia” and so much more. Billboard has rounded up all of the releases you need to know about this week here!