This week was a good one for new music releases, as Katy Perry unveiled her buoyant new single “Smile,” J Balvin and Tainy dove into the world of SpongeBob SquarePants, and Kid Cudi and Eminem teamed up for a fiery new collab.
Plus, Blackpink kept the “How You Like That” party going with a new dance video, Kelly Clarkson slayed a Whitney Houston cover, and much more.
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Stars celebrated the 4th of July
Jennifer Lopez, Paul McCartney, Pitbull, Miranda Lambert and many more took to social media to celebrate the Fourth.
“Thank you Abuela and Tia for getting my mom out of Cuba through Pedro Pan. It gave me the chance to be born in the USA to enjoy its freedom and create my own destiny – Not bad for a 1st generation Cuban American. You can do the same, buckle up and focus. GOD BLESS AMERICA,” Pitbull wrote. See more messages here.
Lil Baby’s My Turn topped the Billboard 200 for a fifth week
My Turn now has most weeks at No. 1 among all albums in 2020 — congrats, Lil Baby! “Notably, with a fifth week at No. 1, My Turn ties Boyz II Men’s II for the most weeks at No. 1 for a Motown album in the last 40-plus years,” Billboard’s Keith Caufield reports. “II also logged five nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 (Sept. 17-24, Oct. 8, Oct. 29, 1994, and March 11, 1995).” Check out the full rundown for this week’s Billboard 200 chart here.
Blackpink dropped an epic dance video for “How You Like That”
Blackpink aren’t resting on their laurels after releasing “How You Like That.” Jisoo, Jennie, Rosé, and Lisa unleashed a dance video for the comeback single on Sunday (July 5), running through the elaborate choreography from the swaggering track’s music video. Watch the impressive video here. Additionally, “How You Like That” debuted at No. 33 on the Hot 100; Billboard staffers answered five burning questions about the feat here.
Ringo Starr rang in his 80th with a “Big Birthday Show”
Ringo Starr turned 80 years old on July 7, and to celebrate, he threw a jam-packed celebration. Paul McCartney, Ringo Star & His All Starr Band guitarist Joe Walsh, Gary Clark Jr., Sheryl Crow, Sheila E. and Ben Harper put on at-home performances, all while raising funds for Black Lives Matter Global Network, the David Lynch Foundation, MusiCares and WaterAid.
The Premios Juventud 2020 nominations were announced
Univision revealed the complete Premios Juventud 2020 nominations on July 7, with 12-time nominee J Balvin leading the pack. Karol G followed with nine nominations, Bad Bunny with eight, and Anuel AA with seven. Plus, Daddy Yankee and Manuel Turizo tied at five nods each while Banda MS, Maluma, and Sebastian Yatra each received four. Check out the full list of nominations here.
Blake Shelton announced a drive-in concert
The country star is the latest to hop on the drive-in concert train. He will perform with special guests Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins on July 25, and in the same vein of the recent Garth Brooks show, fans can watch the shows at drive-ins throughout the U.S. and Canada for $114.99 per vehicle. Learn more here.
Kelly Clarkson nailed a Whitney Houston cover
For the latest installment of Kellyoke, the pop superstar took on Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know,” and it was glorious. Accompanied by her socially-distanced house band, Clarkson delivered a pitch-perfect cover of the Houston classic. Watch the can’t-miss video here.
Future announced he’s launching the “I’m Still a Dreamer” Georgia COVID-19 Scholarship
Future will offer incoming college freshmen a chance to apply for a new scholarship through his FreeWishes Foundation. “You don’t have to be in the perfect situation or come from the perfect background to reach for your dreams. Despite this Covid-19 pandemic, I encourage all dreamers to continue to dream big,” the rapper said in a statement. Learn more about the scholarship here.
Katy Perry unveiled her new album’s title and artwork, plus a new song
Through a playful cover reveal on social media, the popstar announced that “KP5” is officially titled Smile! The artwork features Perry as a glum-looking clown, red nose and all. Smile will be released on Aug. 14, and the title track is out now. Check out the new details here.
Lana Del Rey’s spoken word album now has a release date
In other pop news, LDR’s album of spoken word poetry, Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass, will be released later this month. The hardcover book edition will then hit shelves a few months later. Check out the artwork and learn more about the project here.
J Balvin headed down to Bikini Bottom
Paramount Animation and Nickelodeon have joined forces with NEON16 to bring the SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run movie soundtrack to life, and you can hear the first taste — J Balvin and Tainy’s “Agua” — now. The OST will also feature songs by Tyga, Swae Lee, Lil Mosey, Weezer, Snoop Dogg, The Flaming Lips, Kenny G and Cyndi Lauper! Listen to “Agua” here.
A new week brought a new round of Billboard Live At-Home performances
Singer/songwriter/producer Maejor and pop singer Cyn performed for this week’s series, and in case you missed their performances, you can check them out here. “It’s a crazy time…it’s a time of a lot of change,” Maejor (real name Brandon Green) said during his healing set. “And I think that change can be good and change can be bad. And right now, we gotta just look for the good…we gotta look for opportunity, how can we grow from it.”
It was a stacked New Music Friday
Juice WRLD, Summer Walker, Katy Perry and many more make up this week’s essential new music releases. From Juice WRLD’s posthumous album Legends Never Die to Kane Brown, Swae Lee and Khalid’s team-up “Be Like That,” Billboard has rounded up everything you need to hear this week.