Music

Music

Universal Music Partners With USC Think Tank to Boost Diversity in Music Industry

Professor Stacy L. Smith’s diversity research group rebrands as the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative; new advisory board to include execs from UMG, Disney, Sony and others. USC Annenberg professor Stacy L. Smith‘s Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative, well known for its rigorous studies on representation in the film and television industry, is evolving to include a music focus. The think tank is rebranding as the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and has teamed with Universal Music Group to include music in its examination of representation in the entertainment business. “‘Diversity’ is just too small of a word,” Smith, who will remain founder and director of the newly named initiative, tells The Hollywood Reporter. “Focusing on ‘inclusion...

Mary J. Blige, Grace VanderWaal to Receive Honors at Billboard Women in Music 2017

Mary J. Blige will receive the ‘Icon’ award and Grace VanderWaal will be honored with the ‘Rising Star’ award at Billboard‘s annual Women in Music dinner and awards ceremony. Blige, an R&B legend, and VanderWaal, who made a name for herself as a winner on America’s Got Talent, will be recognized at the Los Angeles event at the Ray Dolby Ballroom on Nov. 30. The industry’s most powerful artists and executives are honored each year at the Women in Music awards ceremony and in Billboard‘s Women in Music issue. Selena Gomez has been named Billboard‘s Woman of the Year for 2017. Kelly Clarkson, Camila Cabello and Kehlani are also set to receive honors. Performers at this year’s Women in Music event include Clarkson, Cabello, Kehlan...

Chance the Rapper & Jeremih Will Reunite for Joint Christmas Album

Last Christmas, Chance the Rapper and Jeremih gifted fans Merry Christmas Lil’ Mama, their collaborative 9-track Christmas project dedicated to their native Chicago, IL. In a new interview with Rap-Up, producer Bongo ByTheWay revealed that the duo will reunite to re-release the mixtape as a full-length album.  According to Bongo, who produced for the mixtape, Chance and Jeremih will create original music as well as remakes of festive classic tracks. “It’s gonna be a little bit of both, but pretty much, it’s gonna be a completion of that project,” he told Rap-Up. “We just put it out for the culture, for the fans and stuff. Now, we’re really finishing it up and we’re gonna put it out right. It’s gonna have new music. It’s gonna be mixed and mastered and everything.” While the cre...

BTS & Steve Aoki Lay Down the ‘Mic Drop’ In New Clip Ahead of Upcoming Remix Feat. Desiigner

The song won’t be out until Nov. 24, but fans were just graced with a short hint of the upcoming collaboration between BTS, Steve Aoki, and Desiigner. On Thursday (Nov. 16), BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment shared an one-minute long teaser video for the Steve Aoki remix of “Mic Drop,” a track from the Korean band’s record-breaking Love Yourself: Her album. The clip showed Aoki DJing as the members of BTS dance along to the propulsive beats in a recording studio and surrounded by flaming cars. In a rarity for K-pop videos, as a nod to the internationality of the remix, the teaser video ends with the release times of “Mic Drop (Steve Aoki Remix)” listed for Korea and the East and West Coasts of the United States. While he didn’t appear in the teaser, Desiigner will also fea...

Justin Tranter Unites RuPaul & More LGBTQ Artists to Call for Greater Queer Visibility in Music

Prolific pop songwriter Justin Tranter has teamed up with GLAAD to call for more LGBTQ visibility in music. The video is part of GLAAD’s Transgender Awareness Week, an initiative to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address issues the community faces. In a video premiering Thursday (Nov. 16) exclusively with Billboard, Tranter — who has penned hits for the likes of Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani, Kesha and Justin Bieber — speaks alongside other LGBTQ figures in music like RuPaul, country songwriter Shane McAnally and members of the Los Angeles Trans Chorus about the importance of music in their lives and the duty to encourage LGBTQ youth in their musical pursuits. Tranter serves on GLAAD’s Board of Directors and identifies as gend...

Watch Lewis Capaldi Soulfully Perform ‘Fade’ in New Multicolored Video: Premiere

Lewis Capaldi has captivated listeners with his soulful voice since releasing his debut single “Bruises” earlier this year, continuing that with the release of his Bloom EP, which arrived via Virgin/Capitol Records on Oct. 20. The Scottish singer-songwriter has since released two live videos, one for “Bruises” and another Bloom track “Lost on You,” and today (Nov. 16) he premieres another for “Fade” — this time, adding some color to the visual. The video begins with Capaldi’s silhouette softly singing the first verse, seated before a red backdrop. As he makes his way through a room that changes colors throughout — red, orange, green, purple, blue — Capaldi emotes louder and louder, “Girl, you make my heart break ...

Kelly Clarkson and P!nk To Team Up For Exciting Performance For 2017 AMAs Opener

Kelly Clarkson and Pink have now added to the already stellar lineup of performances scheduled for the 2017 AMAs. For the first time ever, the two stars will take the stage together to open the awards show. Earlier this month, Clarkson expressed wanting to collaborate with Pink at some point in a conversation with EW editor-in-chief Henry Goldblatt at one of the magazine’s A-List events. “I’m a huge fan of Pink,” Clarkson said, “I haven’t had the chance yet to work with her. I think if you project it enough, it might happen, right?” Looks like she was right.  Clarkson went on to gush over Pink’s latest album Beautiful Trauma, “I love her because she has done the whole singer-songwriter record she recently did, she does pop, she loves rock.” Clarkso...

Viacom Reports Higher Quarterly Earnings, Flat U.S. Ad Revenue

Viacom, led by CEO Bob Bakish, on Thursday reported higher fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and said it continues to work on turning around its business. The entertainment conglomerate, controlled by the Redstone family, reported adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $310 million, or 77 cents per share, for the latest quarter, compared with $273 million, or 69 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The adjusted figures exclude a year-ago $206 million restructuring and programming charge. Wall Street had on average forecast 86 cents per share in quarterly earnings, but that excluded the impact from the collapse of a planned slate financing deal, which the company recently said would affect its earnings in the quarter. One Wall Street observer said that made it difficult to compare...

CAPPA Returns From Year-Long Hiatus With ‘Waste My Time’: Premiere

Listening to Nashville-based singer CAPPA’s new indie-pop track “Waste My Time” is definitely not a waste of time, and luckily you can stream it today (Nov. 16) for the first time exclusively at Billboard. CAPPA (born Carla Cappa) says she finally found a breakthrough with “Waste My Time” (CONGO Records via Spinnin’) after a long period of creative limbo.  “‘Waste My Time’ is the first single I’m releasing in over a year,” she tells Billboard. “I got in a weird funk for a while where nothing was inspiring me musically and I had too many people telling me what they liked and didn’t like. ‘Waste My Time’ is different musically than anything I’ve done in the past and I knew right away that I wanted to release it. It’s abo...

‘Miss Golden Globe’ Title Retired as Dwayne Johnson’s Daughter Becomes ‘Globe Ambassador’

Simone Garcia Johnson, whose mother is producer/manager Dany Garcia, will step into the newly named role for the 75th annual awards show. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is retiring the Miss Golden Globe title for a more updated one — Golden Globe Ambassador — and Simone Garcia Johnson, the 16-year-old daughter of Dwayne Johnson and manager/producer Dany Garcia, is the first celebrity offspring to take on the newly named role. The HFPA revealed Wednesday that Garcia Johnson will assume the title for the 75th annual Golden Globes awards show. Johnson, who stars on and produces HBO’s Ballers and was recently seen in Baywatch and The Fate of the Furious, took Garcia Johnson as his guest to the awards ceremony last year. Newly signed to IMG Models, Garcia Johnson is Johnson’...

Kelly Clarkson ‘Cried a Lot’ While Making New Album

Returning to the recording studio after having her second child, Kelly Clarkson said she “cried a lot.” Clarkson has two young children with husband Brandon Blackstock — 1 year-old Remington Alexander and 3-year-old River Rose. She says she intentionally got back to music fairly quickly after each child was born, “just to be productive in a different way.” “Obviously it’s very productive making a human,” she said. “I needed something outside of that — almost as a bit of an escape. And then come back (home) and you’re like so in love with the moment again.” But as the tears began to fall, the former American Idol winner had to work to shape her jagged sensitivity into the lyrics and soulful songs that would become her eighth studio album, Meaning of Life. “I possibly went back too early aft...

Logic Tweets National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Statistics Since His ‘1-800’ Release

Logic dubbed “1-800-273-8255” the “most important song I’ve ever wrote” in a tweet accompanied by official statistics from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on Wednesday evening (Nov. 15).  1-800-273-8255 is the phone number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and Logic’s “1-800” track (featuring Alessia Cara and Khalid) was released on April 28. On the day of its release, according to the statistics provided, the Lifeline received the second-highest daily call volume ever at that time — over 4,573 calls.  Logic, Cara and Khalid performed the song together at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 27, which included many suicide attempt survivors — wearing tees with the Lifeline’s number on them — joining ...