Cardi B’s “Up” Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Streaming Songs Chart

Things continue lookin’ up for Cardi B

For the fourth time, the 28-year-old half-Dominican American rap superstar has logged the No. 1 track on Billboard’s Streaming Songs chart.

Cardi B

Up,” Cardi B’s latest single, debuts atop the list dated February 20, with 31.2 million U.S. streams in the tracking week ending February 11, according to MRC Data.

Cardi B first ruled the Streaming Songs chart with the two-week No. 1 “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” in 2017, and followed it up with the Bruno Mars collaboration “Finesse” (one week, 2018) and the 10-week rule of “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion last year.

Cardi B now ties Taylor Swift for the most Streaming Songs No. 1s among women.

FKA Twigs to Perform at Denmark’s Roskilde Festival Next Summer

FKA Twigs is ready to Rosk(ilde).

The 32-year-old part-Spanish singer-songwriter has been added to the lineup of Denmark’s Roskilde Festival in 2021.

FKA-twigs

Much like every major concert in 2020, the festival’s organizers had to take a break this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But this week, the promoters excitedly announced that they “think there is a need and reason to be hopeful.”

Kendrick Lamar will headline the festival in 2021; he’d previously been slated to headline the 2020 event.

In addition to FKA Twigs and Lamar, the festival, which is expected to run from June 26-July 3 next year, the roster includes The StrokesTyler, The CreatorFaith No MoreHaimThom Yorke‘s Tomorrow’s Modern BoxesGirl in RedAnderson.Paak, Big Thief, DaBabyDeftones, Doja Cat, Fontaines D.C. and Megan Thee Stallion.

Missing from the original roster of acts who were announced for the 2020 fest are Taylor SwiftKacey Musgraves, The Roots, Brittany Howard and Waxachatchee, among others.

The announcement is good news for live music fans who’ve gone almost a year without being able to attend live shows. But with the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine just now rolling out to first responders, medical professionals and nursing home residents in the U.S. and Europe, it remains to be seen if it will be safe to gather in large groups again by the summer.

Kid Cudi Earns Third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Chart with “Man on the Moon III: The Chosen” 

Kid Cudi has another smash on his hands…

The 36-year-old part-Mexican American rapper/singer has earned his third No. 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart as Man on the Moon III: The Chosen debuts at the top of the chart dated December 26.

Kid Cudi

The set, released through Republic Records on December 11, earned 144,000 equivalent album units in the week ending December 17, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

Prior to the Man on the Moon III landing, Kid Cudi previously reigned with the set’s previous installment, 2010’s Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager and 2013’s Indicud, both of which debuted in the top slot and reigned for one week.

Beyond the two leaders, Kid Cudi’s three other projects all reached the top five: 2009’s Man on the Moon: The End of Day (No. 5), 2014’s Satellite Flight: The Journey to Mother Moon (No. 2) and Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ (No. 5, 2017).

In addition, the act Kids See Ghosts, a duo comprising Kid Cudi and Kanye West, also claimed a No. 1 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with their eponymous LP in 2018.

Man on the Moon III: The Chosen likewise debuts at No. 1 on the Top Rap Albums chart and at No. 2 on the all-genre Billboard 200, behind Taylor Swift’s Evermore.

As Man on the Moon III arrives, 18 of its tracks dot the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, led by the top 10 arrivals “Tequila Shots” (No. 7) and “She Knows This” (No. 9). The pair produce Kid Cudi’s third and fourth top 10s, following his 2009 breakthrough “Day and Night” (No. 5) and this year’s “The Scotts,” billed to The Scotts, Travis Scott, and Kid Cudi, which debuted at No. 1 in May and held for one week.

Here’s a full rundown of where all 18 Man on the Moon III cuts show on the ranking:

No. 7, “Tequila Shots”
No. 9, “She Knows This”
No. 12, “Show Out,” with Skepta and Pop Smoke
No. 16, “Another Day”
No. 21, “Mr. Solo Dolo III”
No. 22, “Dive”
No. 24, “Heaven on Earth”
No. 27, “Sad People”
No. 28, “Damaged”
No. 32, “Beautiful Trip”
No. 33, “The Void”
No. 35, “Rockstar Knights,” with Trippie Redd
No. 37, “Sept. 16”
No. 39, “Elsie’s Baby Boy (Flashback)”
No. 40, “Lovin’ Me,” featuring Phoebe Bridgers
No. 44, “The Pale Moonlight”
No. 47, “4 Da Kidz”
No. 50, “Lord I Know”

With 18 simultaneous placements, Kid Cudi becomes the fifth artist to post at least that many entries on the chart in a single week. His company includes Drake, who has claimed 10 separate weeks with 18-plus entries, Lil Uzi Vert and The Weeknd, each with two such weeks, and Lil Wayne and Pop Smoke, who have managed the feat once apiece.

Gloria Estefan to Perform at ‘Nurse Heroes Live’ Benefit Virtual Concert on Thanksgiving

Gloria Estefan is giving special thanks to some of our frontliners…

The 63-year-old Cuban singer will be among the entertainers honoring nurses in a star-studded benefit virtual concert on Thanksgiving.

Gloria Estefanria

Nurse Heroes has announced that the concert called Nurse Heroes Live will stream on the organization’s YouTube and Facebook pages along with LiveXLive on November 26 at 7:00 pm EST.

The benefit will provide money for a variety of programs including scholarships for nurses and their children.

Estefan joins a lineup of performers that include Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, The Wailers, Carole King, Maluma and Andrea Bocelli.

Whoopi Goldberg will host the concert with special appearances by Oprah Winfrey and Billy Crystal.

Taylor Swift will donate a signed collectible edition “Folklore” guitar, which will be auctioned for the benefit of the Nurses Heroes Foundation.

The nurses of New York’s Northwell Health will be the first beneficiaries of the concert. The event will also showcase 50 nurses from the hospital in an ensemble performance with several celebrities.

The concert will be produced by Emilio Estefan and Times Square Live Media.

Demi Lovato to Perform at This Week’s Pepsi Unmute Your Voice Concerts on Triller

Demi Lovato is trillin’ for votes…

The 28-year-old half-Meican American singer will perform at the Pepsi Unmute Your Voice concert on Triller on Thursday, October 8 and Friday, October 9.

Demi Lovato

Lovato, who recently released the emotional ballad “Still Have Me,” joins a lineup that includes Chance the Rapper, Chloe x Halle, Saint Jhn, Brett Young and Ava Max.

The shows, slated to kick off at 8:00 pm ET both days, are a collaboration with Rock the Vote.

“I’m joining @triller & @pepsi for their #PepsiUnmuteYourVoice concert This election is SO important me to so get registered to vote with @RockTheVote and join me on 10/9 at 8pm EST on #Triller!!” Lovato tweeted. The concerts are the latest get out the vote effort in the run-up to the Nov. 3 election.

With less than 30 days to go before the election, artists from Taylor Swift to Justin BieberAriana GrandeFrank OceanBillie EilishKaty Perry and Vanessa Hudgens are putting a full-court press on voter registration, joining existing campaigns and making personal pleas to exercise your constitutional right to pick the next President.

Prince Royce Joins Global Citizen & HeadCount’s ‘Just Vote’ Campaign

Prince Royce is getting out the vote…

The 31-year-old Dominican American bachata singer, who performed as part of this year’s Democratic National Convention, has joined Global Citizen and voter registration organization HeadCount’s Just Vote campaign.

Prince Royce

Prince Royce joins a roster of new additions that includes Bob Weir, Dave Matthews, Donna Karan, Dove Cameron, Gavin Rossdale, Kaia Gerber, Andrew “King Bach” Bachelor, Lenny Kravitz, Madison Beer, Meghan Trainor and Shawn Mendes.

The Just Vote campaign aims to engage young Americans to check their status, register and vote in the November 2020 general elections and beyond. The non-partisan campaign has the goal of engaging one million young voters and get 50,000 young people registered ahead of the 2020 elections.

The group joins previously announced participants Billie Eilish, Billy Porter, DJ Khaled, FINNEAS, Julianne Hough, Loren Gray, Nicky Jam, Quavo, Taylor Swift and Usher.

“We are at a pivotal moment in the campaign as we head towards the final stretch of voter registration,” said Hugh Evans, co-founder and CEO of Global Citizen. “Through this campaign, tens of thousands of young people have already checked their voter registration status, but we have to keep up the momentum. It’s more important than ever to engage young people in the political process, and with the support of these great artists, even more young people will get registered to vote.”

By checking their voter registration status, young people can unlock exclusive experiences, performances and memorabilia donated by artists and entertainers. Once they check their voting registration status, participants will have the opportunity to receive access to opportunities like a one-on-one video chat with Kravitz, an acoustic performance by Matthews, a virtual hangout with Trainor and more.

Rodrigo Prieto: The Cinematographer Behind the Lens of Taylor Swift’s “Cardigan” Video

Everything’s o-Tay for Rodrigo Prieto

The 54-year-old three-time Oscar-nominated Mexican cinematographer is earning rave reviews for his work on Taylor Swift’s music video for the pop star’s latest single “Cardigan.”

Rodrigo Prieto

The top-secret music video, written, directed and styled by Swift, was filmed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The dreamy video, released on Friday, July 24 alongside Swift’s new album Folklore, presents a cottagecore aesthetic and features Swift in three different settings.

The “homespun” and “dreamlike” video starts out with Swift sitting in a candlelit cottage in the woods, wearing a nightgown and playing a vintage upright piano. When the soundboard starts glowing, she climbs into it and is magically transported to a moss-covered forest, where she plays the song on a grand piano producing a waterfall. The piano bench starts to glow and she climbs into it. She gets transported to a dark stormy sea, where she holds on to a floating piano. The piano soundboard glows and she climbs in, and she returns to the cottage, where she dons a cardigan.

Taylor Swift Cardigan Video

“She had the whole storyline – the whole notion of going into the piano and coming out into the forest, the water, going back into the piano,” Prieto tells Rolling Stoneof hisfirst phone call with Swift.

Their last collaboration, on the music video for “The Man,” saw Swift adopting a male alter ego to satirize gender inequality.

From the beginning, though, Prieto says “Cardigan” was always going to be more ambiguous, and more personal: “When she called me and told me that this was more of a fantasy, I found that really appealing.”

This was in early July, when Prieto had simultaneously begun serving on a committee for the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) to conceive solutions for safely resuming film production during the ongoing pandemic.

Prieto had just finished filming a PSA for a healthcare company when Swift asked him to work on “Cardigan,” and he was well aware of the many, many layers of risks involved in the project.

“We needed to be safe, for her sake and for our sake as a crew during the shoot, but also for the future of filmmaking,” he says. “Because we want to keep working and doing what we do, and if, God forbid, someone got sick on one of the first jobs that was filmed, it would probably close down [the industry].”

The extensive safety protocols for the shoot ranged from standard – everybody had to get tested, and every member of the crew wore a mask – to outlandish: Because Swift would need to spend a large part of the shoot not wearing a face covering, the crew used a colored wristband system, determining which members of the team were permitted to stand closest to her. (Prieto, assistant director Joe Osborne, and set designer Ethan Tobman all wore one color, lighting designers and gaffers wore another, and so on.)

Prieto actually wore two face coverings – a mask and an acrylic shield – for most of the day-and-a-half-long shoot. And just to ensure that crew members crossed within a six-foot range of Swift as little as possible, the entire “Cardigan” video was shot by mounting the camera to a robotic arm, which was then controlled by a remote operator.

The “techno arm,” as Prieto calls it, is typically only used in the industry for crane shots and other establishing visuals.

“We were going to use the crane for the ocean scene,” Prieto explains, referencing the shot where the image zooms out on the wide expanse of the water before honing back in on Swift. “So then I said, let’s have it both days.”

Hooking the camera up to a giant robot was the safest way to get close-ups on Swift’s face, Prieto explains. And as unwieldy as that sounds, you’d never know from watching the video that a human being wasn’t behind the lens at all times.

There was, of course, the added tangle of secrecy – the filmmaking had to be done indoors to avoid crowds, and Swift wore an earpiece throughout the shoot to lip-sync to the song without any of the crew hearing it.

The crew built three sets on two stages across one large studio, and in order to create the illusion of natural light for the outdoor scenes, Prieto and his crew draped giant stretches of white bouncing fabric on the walls and ceiling. The process took longer than usual due to COVID, with the lighting crew working in small groups and frequently taking breaks so they could remove masks and catch their breath.

“Filmmaking is a gregarious endeavor by nature,” Prieto says. “People are close to each other, so it’s really hard to remember to keep to yourselves.” Given the distancing on set, it was sometimes tricky for crew members to communicate over reference points and documents – “we had to kind of point at each other” – but Prieto attributes Swift’s clear vision for the project as a guiding light.

Ahead of the shoot, she sent him and Tobman numerous visual references for each scene – a mix of photographs for the dark ocean water and drawings for the fantastical forest sequence. One illustration, of a sword lodged into a rock formation overlooking a creek, was particularly inspiring: “That became our focal interest – we didn’t imitate it, but the feeling of it was what we went with.”

On top of that, Swift came up with a detailed shot list for the video ahead of time, with each visual accompanied by a time sequence within the song.

“The ocean water, the fingers on the piano, whatever it may be, she knew what she wanted for each section,” Prieto says. Unlike with “The Man,” Swift couldn’t be as hands-on with her direction on set – she viewed each take through a video monitor after it was shot – but Prieto was impressed by her ability to “talk with the camera” and utilize cinematic language without formal training, like with the unorthodox, zoom-out-and-in shot over the ocean. “I was blown away, because it’s all metaphorical,” he says. “This video is not just pretty images of things; she’s telling a personal story through her lyrics, her music, and now through the video.”

The video has already been viewed more than 40 million times on YouTube since its release.

Prieto previously earned Academy Awards for his lensing work on Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain (2006), Martin Scorsese’s Silence (2017) and Scorsese’s The Irishman (2020).

His other film credits include Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel (2006) and Biutiful (2010), Francis Lawrence’s Water for Elephants and Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo.

Tekashi 6ix9ine Earns Career First No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 with “Trollz,” Featuring Nicki Minaj

Tekashi 6ix9ine has trollz his way to the top…

The 24-year-old Puerto Rican & Mexican American rapper, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, has blasted to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated June 27 with his Nicki Minaj collaboration “Trollz.”   

Tekashi 6ix9ine

It’s the first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 6ix9ine and the second for Minaj, who notches her first in a lead role.

He had previously tallied two prior top 10s, each of which reached No. 3: “FEFE,” featuring Minaj and Murda Beatz, in August 2018, and “Gooba,” which debuted at No. 3 on the May 23-dated chart, five weeks ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNg3M9IJJlY

“Trollz,” released June 12 via Create Music Group, also launches at No. 1 on the Digital Song Sales chart with 116,000 sold in the week ending June 18, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data, another career first for him, and No. 3 on Streaming Songs, with 36 million U.S. streams in the same span. It drew 1.2 million radio airplay audience impressions in the week ending June 21.

“Trollz” boasts the highest weekly sales sum since Taylor Swift‘s “Me!,” featuring Brendon Urie, soared in with 193,000 (May 11, 2019).

“Trollz” concurrently opens atop the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Hot Rap Songs charts, which employ the same multi-metric formula as the Hot 100. 6ix9ine earns his first No. 1 on the former chart and second on the latter, after “Gooba.” 

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.

Rosalia to Receive the Rising Star Award at Billboard’s Women in Music Event

There’s no denying Rosalia’s status as a rising star…

With Billboard‘s 14th annual Women in Music event just weeks away, the 26-year-old Spanish singer/songwriter, a big Latin Grammy winner this year, among the artists being celebrated for their contributions to female empowerment.

Rosalia

Rosalía, nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy this year, will receive the Rising Star Award after changing the sound of today’s mainstream music with her fresh flamenco-influenced pop.

She joins newly announced honorees Alicia Keys, who will receive the Impact Award, and Megan Thee Stallion, this year’s Powerhouse Award honoree.

“Women in Music is a celebration of artists and executives who are changing the world through their work. We are excited to honor Alicia Keys, Rosalía and Megan thee Stallion, whose singular visions and voices are shifting our culture while inspiring fans to stay true to themselves,” said Hannah KarpBillboard’s editorial director.

The trio will join previously announced honorees Taylor SwiftBillie Eilish, Alanis Morissette,Nicki Minaj, Brandi Carlile and Roc Nation chief operating officer Desiree Perezat the 2019 Women in Music event, presented by YouTube Musicand hosted by last year’s Rising Star honoree Hayley Kiyoko.

The event and red carpet pre-show will stream live from the Hollywood Palladium on December 12 at YouTube.com/Billboard starting at 9 p.m. ET.