This week, the good vibes actually began on Saturday evening (April 18), as the massive Lady Gaga-curated One World: Together at Home special took over the four major broadcast networks. Mother Monster continued to dominate the week when she unveiled the track list for her upcoming album Chromatica, featuring some exciting A-listers.
Plus, a few other big events took place — following the Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince on Tuesday (April 21), the Jersey 4 Jersey benefit for the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund (featuring Halsey, Bruce Springsteen and more) and BET’s Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort special (with John Legend and others) both aired on Wednesday (April 22).
And the entertainment keeps coming, as Warner Music Group announced a virtual music festival featuring past performances from Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore and more stars.
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Lady Gaga, Paul McCartney, Beyonce, Lizzo and more entertained (for a good cause) during One World: Together at Home
So many amazing moments took place during the Lady Gaga-curated event on April 18 — which raised more than $50 million to combat the coronavirus pandemic — that it was hard to narrow it down, but Billboard managed to pick the 10 must-see highlights.
If you missed out on Saturday, there’s still time to rewatch the special online — be sure to revisit Lady Gaga’s “Smile” cover, Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s cozy duet, and The Rolling Stones’ rocking Zoom collaboration.
Babyface and Teddy Riley’s “Verzuz” battle finally happened
The battle between writer-producers Teddy Riley and Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds was originally supposed to take place three Sundays prior, but technical issues and Babyface testing positive for COVID-19, among other factors, led to delays. The latest “Verzuz” eventually went down on Monday night (April 20), and Billboard scored the duel here. The final results? 13-10-2, Babyface.
Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg and more celebrated 4/20
“I won’t be smokin’ but the rest of my fam sure will be tokin’…Happy 4/20 y’all,” Cyrus wrote on Instagram Monday (April 20). Other experts in the field, such as Snoop Dogg, Kacey Musgraves and Wiz Khalifa, also got in on the cannabis-oriented celebrations.
The Weeknd returned to No. 1 on the Hot 100
The Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” continued to shine, as the single rebounded back to No. 1 to log a third total week in the penthouse. Plus, his album After Hours has now spent a month in the top spot on the Billboard 200.
The combined accomplishments prompted a grateful tweet from Abel: “Wow! back on top + number 1 album for a whole month? Going to really cherish this moment. Big shout out to the fans. Can’t wait to see you all once we get through these bizarre times.”
Warner Music announced the star-studded PlayOn Fest
Live shows are off, but there’s still a chance to PlayOn with WMG’s new virtual music festival. The three-day event is happening this weekend (April 24-26) for 72 hours straight, and will showcase past performances from more than 65 of the label group’s superstars. Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Panic! At The Disco, Green Day, Coldplay, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Roddy Ricch, Lil Uzi Vert, Paramore, Death Cab for Cutie, Twenty One Pilots, Weezer, David Guetta, Charlie Puth, and Wiz Khalifa are all on the lineup.
Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince honored the late legend
CBS’s Let’s Go Crazy: The Grammy Salute to Prince was filmed all the way back in January, and so we were reminded of The Land Before the Time of Social Distancing when it aired on Tuesday (April 21). If you didn’t tune in, be sure to check out Billboard’s list of best moments, which conveniently highlights can’t-miss performances by Gary Clark Jr. & H.E.R., Miguel, Usher, Sheila E. and FKA Twigs, and Mavis Staples with The Revolution.
Pitbull trademarked his famous yell (yes, really)
“EEEEEEEYOOOOOO!” Ever heard of it? As a refresher, that’s Pitbull’s signature yell, and now he’s trademarked it. “There is a very small sliver of trademarks having to do with sound identification marks. Copyright generally applies to music with respect to sound recordings and music publishing. This is different. This is a signature yell,” said Leslie José Zigel, Pitbull’s general counsel. In short: you’d better not try and use it in your next Miami club banger.
Aloe Blacc, Amara La Negra, KT Tunstall and more performed Billboard Live At-Home sessions
While artists can’t currently stop by the Billboard offices in New York City for acoustic sessions, the music keeps coming. Artists have been performing virtually from their living rooms, with some choosing to debut new songs and others playing old favorites.
This week, Aloe Blacc dedicated his set to former collaborator Avicii on the second anniversary of the Swedish DJ’s death, Amara La Negra transformed her living room into “Club Amara” and much more.
Lady Gaga revealed the Chromatica track list
Gaga confirmed the track list for her highly-anticipated sixth studio album, and fans immediately flipped over the news that Ariana Grande, Elton John and Blackpink are all set to feature. Grande will appear on a track called “Rain On Me,” while the K-pop group will feature on “Sour Candy,” and the legendary Brit on “Sine From Above” (yes, the mathematical spelling is correct).
Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Halsey and more united for Jersey 4 Jersey benefit
Stars hailing from the Garden State came together to benefit the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund on Wednesday (April 22). The highlights: Halsey’s performance of the Manic cut “Finally // Beautiful Stranger,” and Bruce Springsteen and wife singer-songwriter Patti Scialfa kicking off the stream with a performance of “Land of Hope and Dreams.”
BET’s Saving Our Selves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort special featured John Legend and more
Yes, there was a lot to watch this week, and this one’s also worth it! John Legend led the “soul train” during BET’s special, performing “Bigger Love” as dancers virtually backed him up. Jhene Aiko and H.E.R., Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri, Kirk Franklin and more all performed as well. Of course, it was all for a good cause — BET has established a COVID-19 relief fund in partnership with United Way Worldwide to support African Americans who have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The latest Billboard magazine cover story was all about the Marley family
Billboard headed to Jamaica and caught up with the Marleys, who told us all about the evolving plans for Bob Marley’s 75th birthday year, and keeping his legacy alive. “The situation in the world kind of put a stop to some of the stuff we were doing in terms of live events,” says Ziggy Marley. “We’re trying to figure that out now.”
Tomorrow X Together slayed a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next”
Finally, K-pop group Tomorrow X Together dropped a harmonious take on Grande’s No. 1 hit, with Yeonjun, Soobin, Beomgyu, Taehyun, and Huening Kai’s voices blending together perfectly.