The 28-year-old half-Mexican American singer/actress has unveiled the deluxe edition of her seventh album Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over.
The deluxe LP includes four additional tracks, one bonus track titled “Sunset,” and three live acoustic versions of the first three “prelude” songs of the album, “Anyone,” “Dancing With the Devil” and “ICU (Madison’s Lullabye).”
The live acoustic songs were recorded during the drive-in premiere of her four-part YouTube Originals docuseries Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil, where she also premiered “Dancing With the Devil” and “ICU.”
“Sunset,” a gospel-tinged love ballad, was revealed to be a part of the album during the SXSW premiere of the doc, as well as another track titled “Say a Prayer” that’s not included in the deluxe version.
The pop superstar released Dancing With the Devil on April 2 with 19 tracks, including collaborations with Sam Fischer, Ariana Grande, Saweetie and Noah Cyrus. The expanded edition digital bonus tracks of her seventh LP include her previously released top 20 hit “I Love Me,” “I’m Ready” featuring Sam Smith, and “OK Not to Be OK” with Marshmello.
Another song, “The Kind of Lover I Am,” directly nods to Lovato’s queer identity that she subtly hinted at in her 2015 hit “Cool for the Summer,” with lyrics about how it “doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man.”
The pop star also confirmed another featured artist will be on her forthcoming LP: Noah Cyrus. She posted an audio snippet of their collaboration on her socials over the weekend.
Dancing With the Devil… The Art of Starting Over serves as the companion project to her YouTube Originals docuseries Dancing With theDevil, which arrives on Tuesday. It previously premiered at SXSW on March 16.
The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist will co-host Rock the Vote’s Democracy Summer campaign kick-off on Thursday, June 18, a two-hour virtual concert co-headlined by Katy Perry and Black Eyed Peas.
Co-hosted by Dawson and Logan Browning with Chuck D and Eve, the event will stream live beginning at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT on democracysummer.org, and Democracy Summer’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
Ne-Yo, Big Freedia, Lucy Hale, Amara La Negra, Saweetie, Sklyar Astin, Max, Leslie Grace, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Rich Brian and Michael K. Williams are among those slated to appear remotely.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro will make appearances.
“I’m excited to be a part of this kickoff to Democracy Summer 2020 with so many amazing talents, activists and speakers,” says Perry. “The young people of America are speaking loud and clear on the streets and online, and come November, it will be more important than ever to fight for justice and equality, and against systemic racism, with our ballots.”
“The young people are engaged. Their voices are loud and getting louder. The world is watching. And we need to vote,” agrees Chuck D, an early and consistent supporter of Rock the Vote, which was founded in 1990 by Virgin Records America co-chairman Jeff Ayeroff primarily to increase voter turnout among young adults.
“We are seeing the urgency for change in America happening in real time. This is the moment for us to use the most important tool on the planet to fight for that change…our right to vote,” says Ne-Yo. “Our democracy needs our voices. Voting is the moment to be the voice for injustice and for equality. But most importantly, to be the voice for humanity. We cannot let each other down in the local elections or on Nov. 3.”
Produced by BWG Live and in partnership with Voto Latino Foundation, When We All Vote and March For Our Lives, the concert marks not only the first live-streamed event for the Rock the Vote, but also its first large-scale summer activation.
In previous years the organization amped up in the fall before a Presidential election and typically staged a live event. Both pivots are a direct result of Covid-19.
“One of the realities is coronavirus derailed the momentum that is required in a major election cycle,” Rock the Vote president Carolyn DeWitt tells Billboard. “A few months ago we began seeing how the restrictions were affecting young people in particular, by moving them off college campuses and disrupting graduations and proms,” she says. “Our effort is really about building that momentum back up.”
With some 4 million young people turning 18 this year and innumerable issues at stake, the goal of Democracy Summer is to bring 200,000 new voters to the polls in November when Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden challenges Donald Trump, as well as myriad primary and local elections throughout the summer and fall. Those interested in the event are encouraged to register at the Democracy Summer web site to get the latest details and lineup updates, although preregistration isn’t required to tune in. Viewers can go to Rock the Vote’s website to register to vote.
The murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer and the swell of support around the Black Lives Matter movement also has catalyzed Thursday’s event. As protesters around the country have taken to the streets, Rock the Vote registered 107,000 new voters through its platforms and gained more than 25,000 new Instagram followers during the week of June 1, DeWitt says—numbers that dwarf those of a typical week.
“With what we’ve seen over the last couple weeks, the effort around Democracy Summer has become even more important. It’s not just the virus, it’s bigger than the economy standing still. The world feels like it’s on the brink of chaos and yet this moment around Black Lives Matter is bigger than that,” DeWitt says. “Frankly speaking, a big part of that is people are exercising their rights in a democracy. Young people are looking for things they can do and actions they can take in order to create change. We want to make sure we’re continuing to sustain that fire and passion into November, and make sure young people know the power of their votes and create the change they want to see.”
The live stream will include opportunities for viewers to donate to black-led and -focused organizations including the Community Justice Action Fund and National Action Network.
“Now, more than ever, voting is key for long-term change,” Black Eyed Peas said in a statement. “The youth vote is going to decide the future of America. It’s not just our duty but our honor to spread the word in an election year.”
“The diversity of America is what makes it great, and it is also what makes it our country,” says La Negra. “I am Dominican proudly, yet I am a black woman always. I matter. You matter. And together, we will always matter!”
“The need for young people to get out and vote has never been more important,” says Participant CEO David Linde. “We are proud to be working with Rock the Vote in making that need a reality and by using the inspiring, powerful message of Rep. John Lewis to make good trouble.”
Rock the Vote is planning additional Democracy Summer activations throughout the summer including on the Fourth of July and on August 6, the anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
The 34-year-old part-Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer-songwriter has been named one of the main stage headliners for the Essence Festival of Culture.
Mars will co-headline the event with Janet Jacksonas Essence celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Mars’ appearance will be his first time performing at the festival — and his only 2020 U.S. festival performance.
Essence Festival of Culture will expand for the first time from three to five days (July 1-5) in New Orleans, marking one day for each decade. This year’s theme is “Own Our Power.”
Jackson will be making her third appearance at the festival. Her appearance will take place during her newly announced Black Diamond World Tour, titled after her upcoming 12th studio album.
In addition to Jackson and Mars, the festival’s three-night concert series will include the following lineups at the Louisiana Superdome:
Main stage: Ari Lennox, Janelle Monae, Patti LaBelle, Raphael Saadiq (performing songs across his entire career from Tony! Toni! Tone! through his solo albums, including Jimmy Lee), Estelle Presents Reggae & Afrobeats Link Up featuring Afro B, Chronnix, Elephant Man, Kranium, Max Glazer, Maxi Priest, Shenseeaand more, Summer Walker, Swizz BeatzPresents In the Zone featuring guest artists.
Hosted by Loni Love with music by D-Nice, the main stage lineup will salute music icons each night, including a special anniversary celebration on July 4.
Superlounges: Casmé, D Smoke, Demi Grace, Doug E. Fresh Presents The Real Hip-Hop and R&B Party, Elah Hale, Goldlink, Jac Ross, Jamesdavis, Jidenna, June’s Diary, Kiana Lede, Kitty Cash, Leikeli47, Masego, Mr Eazi, Oswin Benjamin, Rapsody, Saweetie, SiR, Smino, Stokley, Tamia, Tank and the Bangas, TeaMarrr, The New Respects and Umi.
“This is a milestone year for Essence and our community as we celebrate 50 years of creating opportunities for our culture to shine and the role of black women in making it possible for us to do what no other brand has done,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO of Essence Communications, Inc.“To be able to say that at 50 years, we are black-owned, diversified across media, technology, commerce and live events, and impacting our culture in new and even deeper ways than ever before is a blessing – and one that comes with a tremendous responsibility to our community to continue to evolve, innovate and transform. That remains our focus and commitment as we work to ensure that we are here serving black women deeply and advancing black culture, economic ownership and inclusion globally for the next 50 years.”
Regarding Mars and Jackson, Ebanks added, “These two powerhouses, along with our robust slate of programming, performances and tributes, will continue our legacy of cultural excellence and dynamic, only-at-Essence experiences that excite, elevate and inspire.”