Cardi B Makes History in the U.K. as “WAP,” Featuring Megan Thee Stallion, Rises to the No. 1 Spot on Singles Chart

Cardi B’s wap-ping her way into the music history books…

The 27-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar’s smash “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion, has reached the No. 1 spot on the U.K. charts.

Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion

Cardi B’s “WAP” rises 2-1 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart, to become the first-ever female rap collaboration to reach the summit in the U.K.

After two weeks at No. 2, the track snags 65,000 charts sales, including 8.5 million streams, to take the title, the Official Charts Company reports.

It’s a personal best for both artists. Cardi B’s previous peak on the U.K. chart was No. 5 for 2018’s “Finesse,” her collaboration with Bruno Mars. Megan’s previous high point was a No. 3 for “Savage” in May of this year.

“WAP” is just the second female-led single to hit the top this year, following Lady Gaga’s “Rain On Me” featuring Ariana Grande in May.

You’d have to go back to September 2014 for the last all-female collaboration to hit No. 1, Jessie J, Grande and Nicki Minaj’s “Bang Bang”.

Maluma Wins His First-Ever Moon Person Prize at This Year’s MTV Video Music Awards

Maluma is officially over the Moon (person)

The 26-year-old Colombian singer-songwriter, who recently released his surprise new album Papi Juancho, won his first-ever Moon Person trophy at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards ceremony.

Maluma

During this year’s socially distanced and COVID-19-compliant awards ceremony, Maluma and J Balvin picked up the Best Latin award for their hit collaboration “Que Pena.” It’s J Balvin’s fifth MTV VMAs trophy, and his third straight in the Best Latin category.

Maluma, who performed during this year’s VMAs ceremony, had previously been nominated three times in the Best Latin category.

But Maluma wasn’t the only Latinx act with reason to celebrate…

CNCO picked up their first MTV Video Music Awards prize.

The Latin boy band, a Push Artist of the Year nominee at last year’s ceremony, won in the Best Quarantine Performance category for their “MTV Unplugged at Home” at-home concert earlier this year. The performance featured the songs “De Cero” and “Honey Boo.”

Airing live on MTV and simulcast on The CW and other ViacomCBS brands, the 37th annual ceremony was hosted by Keke Palmer with performances by Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, The Weeknd and others. Shot in the various boroughs of New York City, the ceremony was an homage to the city and its resilience.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Video of the Year: The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – XO / Republic Records
Best Art Direction: Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” – RCA Records – Art Direction by Christian Stone
Best Editing: Miley Cyrus – “Mother’s Daughter” – RCA Records – Edited by Alexandre Moors, Nuno Xico
Best Cinematography: Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records – Cinematography by Thomas Kloss
Best Quarantine Performance: CNCO – Unplugged At Home
Best Choreography: BTS – “On” – Big Hit Entertainment – Choreography by Son Sung Deuk, Lee Ga Hun, Lee Byung Eun
Best Visual Effects: Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records – Visual Effects by Ingenuity Studios
Best Rock: Coldplay – “Orphans” – Atlantic Records
Push Best New Artist: Doja Cat – Kemosabe / RCA Records
Best Hip-Hop: Megan Thee Stallion – “Savage” – 300 Entertainment
Tricon Award: Lady Gaga
Video for Good: H.E.R. – ”I Can’t Breathe” – MBK / RCA Records
Artist of the Year: Lady Gaga – Streamline / Interscope Records
Best R&B: The Weeknd – “Blinding Lights” – XO / Republic Records
Best Pop: BTS – “On” – Big Hit Entertainment
Best Music Video from Home: Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U” – Republic Records / Def Jam
Song of the Year: Lady Gaga with Ariana Grande – “Rain On Me” – Streamline / Interscope Records
Best Latin: Maluma ft. J Balvin – “Qué Pena” – Sony Music Latin
Best Direction: Taylor Swift – “The Man” – Republic Records – Directed by Taylor Swift
Best Collaboration: Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber – “Stuck with U” – Republic Records / Def Jam
Best K-Pop: BTS – “On” – Big Hit Entertainment
Best Group: BTS
Best Alternative: Machine Gun Kelly – “Bloody Valentine” – Bad Boy / Interscope Records
Song of the Summer:
BLACKPINK “How You Like That”

Anthony Ramos to Serve as a Presenter at This Weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards

Anthony Ramos wants his MTV…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor, who currently appears in the film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical Hamilton on Disney+, will participate in this weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards.

Anthony Ramos

Ramos will serve a presenter during Sunday’s award show, which will be hosted by Keke Palmer. Other presenters include Nicole Richie, Drew Barrymore and Kelly Clarkson.

There will be several “first” moments during this year’s MTV VMAs, besides the fact that it’s being held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

BTS will make their first television performance of their English-language single “Dynamite,” while Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande will perform “Rain On Me” on stage for the first time on television since releasing their No. 1 hit. The two pop stars lead this year’s nominations with nine each. Maluma and CNCO are also confirmed to perform.

Taboo and his fellow Black Eyed Peas members, who performed “Where Is the Love?” on the VMAs pre-show 17 years ago, are making their way to the main stage for their first time ever to perform “Vida Loca,” from their eighth studio album Translationfor the first time. 

But previously announced acts J Balvin and Roddy Ricch will no longer appear at the socially distanced ceremony.

Here’s a look at the presenters and performers for the 2020 MTV VMAs, which will broadcast live around various NYC locations at 8:00 pm ET:

Presenters: 
Anthony Ramos
Bebe Rexha
Bella Hadid
Drew Barrymore
Jaden Smith
Joey King
Kelly Clarkson
Machine Gun Kelly
Madison Beer
Nicole Richie
Sofia Carson
Travis Barker

Pre-Show Performers:
Chloe x Halle
Jack Harlow
Lewis Capaldi
Machine Gun Kelly featuring Travis Barker and blackbear
Tate McRae

Performers: 
Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga
Black Eyed Peas
BTS
CNCO
DaBaby
Doja Cat
Maluma
Miley Cyrus
The Weeknd

Jared Leto In Talks to Star in Ridley Scott’s Next Project “Gucci”

It looks like Jared Leto could be landing a fashionable new role…

Ridley Scott is reportedly in talks with the 48-year-old part-Spanish American Oscar-winning actor/singer to star in his next project, MGM’s Gucci.

Jared Leto

Leto forms part of Scott’s all-star cast wish list that includes Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jack Huston and Reeve Carney

Lady Gaga is already attached to star as Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, who was tried and convicted of orchestrating his assassination on the steps of his office in 1995. She served 18 years in jail before being let out in 2016.

Maurizio had two daughters with Reggiani, but he left her for another woman. She’d had a brain tumor removed, and her children blamed it for her actions; the media took a darker view of her during a sensationalized affair, depicting her as a hot-blooded woman scorned and dubbing her “Black Widow.” She was originally handed a sentence of 29 years.

It’s Gaga’s first starring role since her Best Actress Oscar nomination in 2018’s A Star Is Born. She won an Academy Award for writing the song “Shallow.”

MGM landed the rights to the film back in April with plans to go into production after Scott finishes shooting his current project The Last Duel.

Scott’s partner Giannina Scott long has been passionate about the cinematic prospects for a film about the tumultuous Gucci family’s fashion dynasty and the murder of the grandson of founder Guccio Gucci.

The Gucci murder tale is scripted by Roberto Bentivegna, based on Sara Gay Forden’s book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.

Leto, who won multiple awards, including an Oscar, for his role in Dallas Buyers Club, will next appear in Sony’s Morbius.

Anthony Ramos Releases Powerful New Single “Stop”

There’s no Stop-ping Anthony Ramos’ trajectory…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor, currently appearing in the film version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton, has released the new single “Stop,” as well as the official music video for the powerful track.

Anthony Ramos

Featuring church bells, handclaps, shimmering keys and Ramos’ impressive vocal runs, the song serves as a reminder to carpe diem

“Stop came from my inability to do just that. It’s a song about stopping, breathing, being present in whatever moment you’re in and finding the beauty in it,” says Ramos.

Directed by Blythe Thomas, the music video seamlessly reflects the spirit of the song.

It follows Brooklyn artist and stylist Anthony Payne. After losing his job at a hair salon in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, he grabbed his scissors and comb and decided to bring a little light into the world following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The video finds Payne cutting hair outdoors in Brooklyn while supporting the Black Lives Matter movement by donating the proceeds.

The video also shows Ramos canvasing the streets, linking up with Payne, and delivering a subtle and well-placed message, “Vote.

Ramos, a multi-talented force, recently joined forces with Storybooth to produce an animated tribute to Black Lives Matter. The collaboration showcases 12-year-old Keedron Bryant’s unofficial Black Lives Matter anthem “I Just Wanna Live.”

Ramos first made his mark originating the dual roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the Hamilton musical. He’s also appeared opposite Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born, and Spike Lee’s acclaimed Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It

Signed to Republic Records, Ramos released his debut album last fall. The album, The Good & The Bad, debuted in the Top 10 on iTunes Pop Albums chart.

He’s currently featured as the voice of King Trollex in the recently released film Trolls World Tour. And he’ll next star as the lead role in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s highly anticipated film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights.

CNCO Celebrates Class of 2020 with Virtual YouTube Performance of Hits

CNCO is celebrating the Class of 2020 in a special way…

The Latino boy band got graduates dancing at home with their party-ready medley of hits on Sunday night (June 7).

CNCO

CNCO — Christopher, Erick, Zabiel, Richard and Joel — synchronized their own moves, in separate video frames, as they performed “Honey Boo,” “Hey DJ” and “Reggaetón Lento” remotely during the after party following the “Dear Class of 2020” YouTube Originals graduation ceremony.

Earlier in the evening, in the midst of the actual ceremony, they also popped in to teach this year’s grads how to say “Congratulations to the class of 2020” in Spanish.

The virtual graduation ceremony, which started with Lizzo‘s powerhouse flute performance and was chock-full of all-star commencement speeches from the likes of Barack and Michelle ObamaBeyoncéBTSLady Gaga and more, was capped off with a class of 2020 after party with CNCO, Megan Thee Stallion and BTS.

Jennifer Lopez to Appear as Part of YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” Global Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Jennifer Lopez is ready to motivate this year’s graduates…

YouTube has added several speakers and musical performances to Dear Class of 2020its global virtual commencement ceremony set for June 6, including the 50-year-old Puerto Rican superstar.

Jennifer Lopez

In addition to Lopez, others joining Barack and Michelle ObamaLady Gaga and more as part of the special event are Beyoncé Knowles-Carter— who will deliver an inspirational message to the graduates — La La AnthonyAndy CohenLana CondorMisty Copeland,Kevin DurantFINNEASBill & Melinda GatesJoseph Gordon-LevittDemi LovatoHasan MinhajJanelle Monáe,Antoni PorowskiBilly PorterPhoebe RobinsonYara ShahidiMichael StrahanTaylor SwiftCiaraRussell Wilson, the casts of Euphoria and RiverdaleToday’s Jenna Bush Hager and Natalie Morales, and YouTub ecreators Emma Chamberlain, John GreenNikkieTutorials, and Mark Rober.

The multi-hour event premieres on Saturday, June 6 on YouTube. Other speakers and performers include BTSAlicia KeysKelly Rowland, Kerry WashingtonChloe x Halle and Zendaya, among others.

Barack and Michelle Obama each will deliver commencement speeches – as well as a joint heartfelt message – to this year’s high school and college seniors who are missing graduation celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Michelle Obama’s Higher Reach Initiative will host a full hour of content to kick off the celebration.

“Graduation is a tradition that students and families look forward to and with the current state of the world, YouTube is lending some inspiration in the form of a virtual commencement,” said Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Content for YouTube. “We hope bringing together noteworthy, influential speakers along with performances from some of their favorite artists will provide encouragement for the students who have worked so hard to get here.”

In “Dear Class of 2020,” people from around the world will join the class of 2020 as a singular community to celebrate their resilience, and the endless possibilities of their future, says YouTube. 

“The festival-style line up combines classic commencement day themes with a diverse array of entertainment that will capture all of the emotions of graduation including pride, hope, optimism, and camaraderie.”

YouTube is working in partnership with Higher Reach, Born This Way FoundationMalala FundTODAY, and Ideas United to showcase student stories and feature graduates around the world, including a crowd-sourced commencement speech. The special will be produced by Done + Dusted.

“Dear Class of 2020” can be streamed on the YouTube Originals channel and the Learn@Home site. 

The full schedule of commencement events is available on the Learn@Home site.

Demi Lovato Performs Rousing Rendition of National Anthem at the Super Bowl

It’s a star-spangled night for Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

The 27-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress helped kick off Super Bowl LIV on Sunday night at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami with a soaring rendition of the National Anthem

Wearing an all-white pantsuit with a belt, Lovato delivered a note-perfect rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, nailing both the dramatic “land of the free” climax and the elongated closing “brave” note. 

The anthem has been performed at the Super Bowl in recent years by P!nkLuke BryanLady GagaIdina Menzel and Gladys Knight

The Super Bowl marks Lovato’s second Sunday in a row delivering a high-profile performance on national television, having debuted her new heart-wrenching single “Anyone” at the Grammys a week earlier

The song is expected to debut on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, Lovato’s first entry on the chart since “Sober” in 2018. 

Camila Cabello’s “Señorita” with Shawn Mendes Appears on “Grammy Nominees 2020” Album

Camila Cabello is the Señorita of the Grammys

The 22-year-old Mexican and Cuban American singer appears on the compilation album Grammy Nominees 2020, which is set for release on January 17 through Warner Records.

Camila Cabello & Shawn Mendes

Cabello’s collaboration with Shawn Mendes, “Señorita,” appears on the album. The track is nominated in the Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category.

Slightly more than half of the tracks on the album (11 out of 21) made the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Seven of them reached No. 1 on that chart, including Cabello’s “Señorita.”

All eight nominees for record and album of the year are represented on the collection. So are all five nominees for best pop duo/group performance, best pop vocal album, and best country duo/group performance.

Song of the year nominees that are missing from the collection are Lady Gaga‘s “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is BornTanya Tucker‘s “Bring My Flowers Now” and Lewis Capaldi’s “Someone You Loved.”

Best new artist nominees not represented are Black PumasMaggie RogersRosalía,Tank and the Bangasand Yola.

The Grammy Nominees franchise is in its 26th year. A portion of album process will benefit the Grammy Museumand MusiCares.

Here’s the complete track listing for Grammy Nominees 2020.

Billie Eilish, “Bad Guy”
Ariana Grande, “7 Rings”
Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road (Remix)”
Lizzo, “Truth Hurts”
Khalid, “Talk”
H.E.R., “Hard Place”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello, “Señorita”
Ariana Grande & Social House, “boyfriend”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber, “I Don’t Care”
Post Malone & Swae Lee, “Sunflower”
Taylor Swift, “Lover”
Jonas Brothers, “Sucker”
Vampire Weekend, “Harmony Hall”
Bon Iver, “Hey, Ma”
Beyoncé, “Spirit” (from Disney’s The Lion King)
Lana Del Rey, “Norman F***ing Rockwell”
Little Big Town, “The Daughters”
Dan + Shay, “Speechless”
Maren Morris feat. Brandi Carlile, “Common”
Brothers Osborne, “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)”
Brooks & Dunn with Luke Combs, “Brand New Man”

Lucrecia’s “Celia Cruz: The Musical!” to Open in New York City’s Lehman Center in November

Lucrecia is ready to bring a legend’s story to life in the Big Apple…

The Lehman Center for the Performing Arts has just announced the New York premiere of Celia Cruz: The Musical!, starring the 52-year-old Cuban singer as the late Queen of Salsa, scheduled for November 16. 

lucrecia-as-celia-cruz-the-musical

The show, which premiered at the Starlite Festival in Marbella, Spain, and has been performed at Miami’s Adrienne Arscht Center, was written and directed by Gonzalo Rodríguez and Jeffry Batista, with Omer Pardillo-Cid, the executor of the Celia Cruz Estate, as executive producer.

Pardillo has described Cruz as “a black woman, who was poor, who left Cuba and conquered the world,” becoming, he says, “the Lady Gagaof her time.” 

The musical, which Pardillo ensures tells the true story of the woman known all over the world as the “salsa queen,” re-creates Cruz’s final concert before her death in 2003 at age 77, flashing back to episodes cued by well-known songs, from “Quimbara”to “La Negra Tiene Tumbao.”

Celia Cruz

“Celia conquered the world with her voice and her huge heart,” Lucrecia says. “She was noble, a woman of the old school. She remembered everyone’s name. You’d meet her once and she’d be sending you postcards for the rest of her life.”

During the show, Lucrecia makes 18 costume changes, wearing dresses and wigs that a Miami seamstress painstakingly copied from Cruz’s original show wardrobe. The singer performs monologues that encapsulate different periods of Cruz’s life, setting up songs that took her career from Cuba, where as a young woman she had her big break with La Sonora Matancera, to the heady days of New York salsa with the Fania All Stars, to her later years as an international icon.

“My admiration, respect and love for Celia runs very deep,” Lucrecia says. “I do the show with love, without any sense of rivalry or trying to take her place. I come out on stage to bring her alive.”

Lucrecia, whose given name is Lucrecia Pérez-Saéz, became known in Cuba as a lead vocalist and pianist with the iconic all-women band Anacaona. In 1993, she settled in Barcelona and formed her own group. The Latin Grammynominee (for 2010’s Álbum de Cuba), frequently recognized on the street by her trademark colored braids, is now a household name in Spain for her role as the singing host of the children’s television series Los Lunnis; she also appears in movie based on the series that premiered in Spanish theaters early this year. 

Lucrecia is set to receive recognition as the Best Latin American Children’s Movie Actress and Best Children’s Music Singer at the Premios Latino 2019 awards in Marbella in September.

In 1998, Lucrecia appeared with Cruz, the great bassist Israel “Cachao” Lopez and actor, musician and producer Andy Garcia at an event organized by Bacardi rum in Marbella.

 “I met her at the press conference,” she recalls. “I was so nervous.” During that presentation, Cruz called Lucrecia her successor.  Lucrecia wrote a song in Cruz’s honor, “Agua con Azucar y Ron.”

Lucrecia recalls Cruz calling her when she was pregnant, and later bringing gifts for her son. “La Vida Es un Carnaval” was the first song that Lucrecia sang to him in the hospital. They remained friends until the end of Cruz’s life.

Celia’s career was long, and when you have a career like that you can start on one path and then take another,” notes Lucrecia. “Of course, there are evolutions,” she says, pointing to Cruz’s 2001, “La Negra Tiene Tumbao,” which has an urban beat and premiered accompanied by a fabulous video by Cuban director Ernesto Fundora

“Reggaeton was just coming out at that time, and there she was, doing reggaeton!

“They called her the queen of salsa,” Lucrecia adds, “but she was always the guarachera de Cuba. It was always about her Cuba, and taking it with her around the world.”