New Music From Blackpink & Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, The Weeknd & More

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BLACKPINK Selena Gomez, "Ice Cream"
Courtesy Photo

BLACKPINK featuring Selena Gomez, «Ice Cream»

This week, Blackpink and Selena Gomez combine for a delicious treat, Katy Perry returns with an ear-to-ear grin, and The Weeknd teams up with Calvin Harris for some mood music. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:

The Song That Will Give You an Instant Sugar High:
Blackpink & Selena Gomez, «Ice Cream»

After guesting on Lady Gaga’s Chromatica track “Sour Candy” and scoring a top 40 hit with their own single “How You Like That,” K-pop group Blackpink continues its steady U.S. takeover with “Ice Cream,” a new collaboration with Selena Gomez that doubles as one of the most high-profile pop releases of 2020. Uniting two huge fan bases with lots of sweet-tooth euphemisms and a dizzying hook, “Ice Cream” is an inspired style clash, with Gomez hitting the more subtle notes (“Coldest with the kiss, so he call me ice cream,” she happily shrugs) and the Blackpink ladies serving up ostentatious belting and rapping in turn. If “Ice Cream” represents a crucial step for the group’s stateside crossover, they sound like they’re having a blast taking it, as their new friend Gomez is all smiles as she quite literally drives the ice cream truck.

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How Blackpink & Selena Gomez Planned a Delicious ‘Ice Cream’ Marketing Blitz During a Pandemic

The Album That Repositions a Pop Heroine:
Katy Perry, Smile

At the center of Katy Perry’s new album, Smile, are a song titled “Resilience,” in which the pop superstar sings, “You’re gonna watch this flower grow right through the cracks,” and another titled “Not the End of the World,” on which she asserts, “Flipping off the flop, now I just enjoy the ride.” Perry’s follow-up to 2017’s uneven Witness is in some ways a response to her first commercial misstep, but as the former mainstay atop the Hot 100 moves into the next phase of her career — and personal life, welcoming her first child, Daisy, just this week — she’s embracing change while adhering to her positive pop foundation. Previously released tracks like “Never Really Over,” “Harleys in Hawaii” and the now-prescient “Daisies” still serve as grade-A earworms, while “Cry About It Later” could be the sleek, carefree radio hit that Perry is still able to conjure. As Perry evolves, her voice remains a touchstone of modern pop, and it’s good to have it back.

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The Song That Requires Mood Lighting:
The Weeknd & Calvin Harris, «Over Now»

It’s fair to say that the commercial appeal of a collaboration between The Weeknd and Calvin Harris in 2020 is a question mark: although Abel Tesfaye has remained a dominant chart force this year, Harris has strayed from his radio-friendly production and used his Love Regenerator series to explore some left-field impulses, often to great effect. “Over Now” plays out like a meeting in the middle of crowd-friendly and idiosyncratic, an expertly produced lounge single that finds The Weeknd tossing out hooks and relying on his falsetto to navigate the throwback R&B terrain. As the first team-up between the two A-listers, “Over Now” is not the mainstream wallop it could have been, but a slinkier, ultimately effective vibe.

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The Album That Will Have You Longing For a Club Night in Quarantine:
Dua Lipa & The Blessed Madonna, Club Future Nostalgia

Although Dua Lipa’s outstanding sophomore album Future Nostalgia is barely five months old and is plenty uptempo on its own, the pop star has dropped a full dance remix album, in collaboration with the Blessed Madonna, into a world that could sure use a dance break amidst the tumult. Club Future Nostalgia is often a euphoric exercise, especially for those who have played the original songs on repeat — hearing the structures of “Hallucinate,” “Break My Heart” and “Pretty Please” broken down and reassembled by artists like Paul Woolford, Jamiroquai and Masters At Work demonstrates the craft of each multi-dimensional hook. And when a few pop stars show up to the party — Madonna and Missy Elliott on the “Levitating” remix, Gwen Stefani on a Mark Ronson rework of “Physical” — Lipa makes for a gracious mistress of ceremonies.

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The Song That Will Compel An Online Shopping Spree:
Ty Dolla $ign feat. Nicki Minaj, «Expensive»

Ty Dolla $ign’s last single, “Ego Death,” was a rhythmic, multi-part experiment that featured Kanye West, Skrillex and FKA Twigs — a collection of visionaries that are difficult to collect onto a cohesive four-minute jam. “Expensive,” his follow-up featuring Nicki Minaj, is a more streamlined effort, an ode to a woman with expensive taste that turns on Minaj popping in midway through to play the part of that woman. “Gotta get me ice if he tryna skate!” she declares on the guest verse, after name-checking Patek and before mentioning Chanel and Tom Ford; Ty Dolls $ign is simply asked to float above an itchy guitar lick, and the mission is accomplished. These two teamed up this time last year on “Hot Girl Summer” with Megan Thee Stallion, and once again exhibit top-notch musical chemistry.

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The Album That Will Make You Yearn To Attend a Concert:
Halsey, Badlands (Live From Webster Hall)

“I miss performing for you live more than anything in the world so here I am. Right in your bedroom.” Halsey tweeted that out upon the release of Badlands (Live From Webster Hall), the pop star’s first live LP that doubles as a commemoration of the five-year anniversary of her debut album. Although New York’s Webster Hall is a little bit bigger than a bedroom, the album, recorded last year during a two-night underplay, offers an intimate look at a stage show that has expanded to fill arenas but hinges upon the vulnerability in Halsey’s vocal delivery. Plus, hearing the crowd shout along with every word of the fiercely loved debut full-length makes for a nifty bit of fan service, as if Halsey’s supporters have become part of the music, too.

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The Album That Will Inspire Spontaneous Movement Around The House:
Disclosure, Energy

Energy is full of just that, a tour de force third full-length from U.K. brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence that recalls the propulsive presentation of Disclosure’s 2013 debut, Settle, while righting some of the wrongs of its 2015 follow-up, Caracal. While that album was slightly unfocused and full of disparate guest stars, Energy stays lean, refracting the duo’s brand of house music through vocalists — Syd, Channel Tres, Kehlani, Mick Jenkins — that complement each other and help the songs sound part of a whole. The opening track, “Watch Your Step” with Kelis, soars as high as Disclosure’s best work, and Energy rarely looks down from that start.

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The Song That Will Be in Heavy Rotation On Your Hip-Hop Playlist:
Cordae & Roddy Ricch, «Gifted»

Maryland native Cordae has dropped the “YBN” prefix from his name and effectively begun the second phase of his career: “Gifted,” featuring 2020 MVP candidate Roddy Ricch, is an appreciation of past struggles and how they have birthed a bright future. Instead of confining their similar sing-rap energies to separate verses, “Gifted” plays out as a conversation between the two MCS — as soon as Cordae wraps up an anecdote about his teenage drug experimentation, Roddy grabs the mic and asserts that he was fortunate enough to buy foreign cars for his many cousins. There’s a sweetness to “Gifted,” thanks in part to the detailed storytelling; the more Cordae lets us into his imagination, the more success he’ll find.

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The Song That Functions as a Nice, Deep Breath:
Chris Stapleton, “Starting Over”

Starting Over, the forthcoming album from country great Chris Stapleton, was completed in late February, a few weeks before “social distancing” became part of the cultural lexicon in the United States. Yet its title track sounds designed for this moment, an exhalation in the middle of an anxiety-stricken year, with Stapleton’s gruff voice providing hope for a better future. “Nobody wins afraid of losing / And the hard roads are the ones worth choosing,” he sings, the focus on Stapleton’s message as the rambling guitar leads an unobtrusive arrangement. “Starting Over” portrays a sense of simple satisfaction, and right now, it’s a helpful feeling.

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Katy Perry Just Gave Birth to Her First Child, a Daughter Named Daisy Dove Bloom

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Five months after Katy Perry announced her pregnancy in the most epic music video, she announced she just gave birth to her first child!

Katy and her fiancé Orlando Bloom announced the news with UNICEF via an article titled «The most precious gift: A healthy child.» They welcomed a healthy baby girl named Daisy Dove Bloom on August 26.

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Welcome to the world, Daisy Dove Bloom! We are honoured to introduce Goodwill Ambassadors @KatyPerry and @OrlandoBloom’s new bundle of joy.⠀ ⠀ “We are floating with love and wonder from the safe and healthy arrival of our daughter,” Katy and Orlando told us.⠀ ⠀ “But we know we’re the lucky ones and not everyone can have a birthing experience as peaceful as ours was. Communities around the world are still experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers and every eleven seconds a pregnant woman or newborn dies, mostly from preventable causes. Since COVID-19 many more newborn lives are at risk because of the increased lack of access to water, soap, vaccines and medicines that prevent diseases. As parents to a newborn, this breaks our hearts, as we empathize with struggling parents now more than ever.⠀ ⠀ “As UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, we know UNICEF is there, on the ground, doing whatever it takes to make sure every expecting mother has access to a trained health worker and access to quality healthcare. In celebration of the heart we know our daughter already has, we have set up a donation page to celebrate DDB’s arrival. By supporting them, you are supporting a safe start to life and reimagining a healthier world for every child. We hope your ♥️ can bloom with generosity.⠀ ⠀ Gratefully-⠀ ⠀ Katy & Orlando.”⠀ ⠀ Please tap the link in our bio to support the most precious gift: a healthy child.

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Here’s the full statement they released:

«We are floating with love and wonder from the safe and healthy arrival of our daughter.

But we know we’re the lucky ones and not everyone can have a birthing experience as peaceful as ours was. Communities around the world are still experiencing a shortage of healthcare workers and every eleven seconds a pregnant woman or newborn dies, mostly from preventable causes. Since COVID-19, many more newborn lives are at risk because of a greater lack of access to water, soap, vaccines and medicines that prevent diseases. As parents to a newborn, this breaks our hearts, as we empathize with struggling parents now more than ever.

As UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors, we know UNICEF is there, on the ground, doing whatever it takes to make sure every expecting mother has access to a trained health worker and access to quality healthcare. In celebration of the heart we know our daughter already has, we have set up a donation page to celebrate DDB’s arrival. By supporting UNICEF, you are supporting a safe start to life and reimagining a healthier world for every child. We hope your ❤️ can bloom with generosity.

Gratefully,
Katy and Orlando»

Daisy Dove is Katy’s first child and Orlando’s second—he and Miranda Kerr welcomed their son, Flynn, nine years ago.

la premiere of amazon's "carnival row"   arrivals
PHILLIP FARAONEGETTY IMAGES

Before Katy gave birth, she opened up about how she’s always wanted to have kids. She told Australian radio show Fifi, Fev & Byron, «I was that girl, or am still that girl, that had that box, the baby clothes before there was the thought or even an Orlando Bloom.» She also said this is the perfect time to expand her family and added, «I think, definitely, everything’s changing. I wasn’t ready a couple years ago, and I did the work to get ready and now I’m really ready…It’s just time for me, and it’s the right time.»

Congrats to the happy fam!! If you want to donate to UNICEF in honor of Daisy Dove, you can do so here.

Billie Eilish Recreated the NPR Offices in a Genius Way For Tiny Desk (At Home) Concert: Watch

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Billie Eilish Tiny Desk
Courtesy of NPR

Billie Eilish performs during NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series.

Billie Eilish made her debut at NPR’s famous Tiny Desk on Wednesday (Aug. 26), and she somehow managed to do it from a very detailed recreation of the studio’s empty offices!

Accompanied by Finneas, the pop star kicked off her mini-set with her latest single «My Future,» which she played on the keyboard. «But I, I’m in love/ With my future/ And you don’t know her/ And I, I’m in love/ But not with anybody here/ I’ll see you in a couple years,» she crooned on the dreamy ballad’s final stanza.

«So obviously, we are not actually at Tiny Desk, because this is a cardboard cut-out of it. But it’s still real, it’s just not in-person real,» she said, gesturing around the office replica between songs. «Quarantine’s been weird; I know you all feel the same. It’s been weird, we don’t know how long it’s gonna go. There’s barely anything that feels like there’s any hope in, but I think the future is something to be super hopeful in, and the unknown and what is to come…

«We’ll be OK one day,» Eilish concluded. «Maybe not one day, but I think that’s what has been making me hold on.»

Next, the pop singer and her brother closed out their performance with 2019’s «Everything I Wanted.»

«I had a dream/ I got everything I wanted/ But when I wake up, I see/ You with me/ And you say, ‘As long as I’m here/ No one can hurt you/ Don’t wanna lie here/ But you can learn to,'» Eilish sang, with Finneas adding his own harmonies on the second half of the chorus.

The Tiny Desk home concert arrives on the heels of the teen star’s recent performance during the 2020 Democratic National Convention, where she spoke out against Donald Trump, urged her fans to «vote like our lives and the world depend on it» and debuted «My Future» live for the very first time.

Watch Eilish’s Tiny Desk concert below.

 

Disclosure, Kehlani and Sid Drop a ‘Birthday’ Gift

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Disclosure
Hollie Fernando

Disclosure

With just two days before Disclosure drops their third LP, Energy, the duo is gifting the world another single, «Birthday.»

The track is a collaboration with Kehlani and Sid; the UK duo dropped into Los Angeles (pre-quarantine) to work with them. “Being in L.A. was a new one for us,” says Disclosure’s Guy Howard recently told Billboard. “We’re very London.”

The song is a smooth and mellow R&B influenced jam, on which scintillating percussion serves as the base for sultry lyrics that ponder whether or not it’s okay to call your ex on their birthday.

“Syd and I were going through a similar thing at the time,» Howard Lawrence says in a statement, «trying to work out if it was cool to call your ex to say hi or is it too awkward/mean to do so out of the blue?”

“It’s the oldest song on the album by far so has definitely stood the test of time and deservedly made the cut” adds Guy. “And the addition of Kehlani just took it to the next level and turned into a fire duet.”

Listen to «Birthday» below.

Lady Gaga Reveals Her VMA Prep Techniques in Hilarious Posts

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Lady Gaga's Incoming Single Seemingly Samples Nelly Furtado's ...

At the beginning of March, Lady Gaga announced the initial dates of her “Chromatica Ball” tour promoting her new album, which would have seen her playing a half dozen dates in Europe and the U.S., concluding at MetLife Stadium on August 19. Well, we all know what happened next, and while a canceled tour is hardly the end of the world, as a preview of her appearance on the VMAs this Sunday, Gaga vented a little bit in a pair of recent social media posts.

In the first clip, posted Thursday and captioned “When you want to be on stage performing for your fans but there’s a super-virus #VMAs,” we get a couple of glimpses of her vividly decorated home before the camera cuts to Gaga laying face-down in bed, wearing a yellow “Chromatica” t-shirt, underwear that says “Tokyo” and an odd, lobster-ish headdress. The words “Dreaming of reality” pass across the screen before she screams into her pillow, and then there’s a test-pattern sound followed by the words “Stay tuned.” We then see Gaga floating in a pool on a big unicorn-shaped raft, holding a parasol.

In a separate photo posted on Instagram late Tuesday, we see more of her warrior-performer stance as the VMAs draw near: She sits in an ice bath, doing devil horns with both hands: “#vmas,” the caption reads, with a pair of emojis.

Lady Gaga will be performing with Ariana Grande at the VMAs on Sunday night, which is fitting since they both are the show’s top nominees, with nine each — many of them for “Rain on Me,” their duet from “Chromatica.”

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🌧❄️. #vmas

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Tiwa Savage Teams Up With Sam Smith For the Sultry ‘Temptation’: Listen

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Tiwa Savage
Trevor Sturrman

Tiwa Savage

Less than one week away from unveiling her new album Celia, Nigeria’s superstar singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage is giving fans one more taste of what’s to come — and this time, she’s got help.

On Monday (Aug. 24), Savage unveiled her new single «Temptation,» featuring pop superstar Sam Smith. Through scintillating afrobeats perfectly attuned to both her and Smith’s voices, Savage weaves a tale of a passionate but forbidden love affair, before passing the mic to Smith.

«The shape of your body, replays in my mind,» Smith sings on the track’s second verse. «The sound of your promises, echo in me deep inside.»

In an interview with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Savage said that while she knew she and her team had locked Smith in for a feature, she didn’t believe it was actually happening until she heard their vocals. «I literally had goosebumps, because we don’t know how amazing Sam is.  I was like, ‘Wow, this is incredible,'» she recalls. «And it just changed the whole face of the project. Do you know what I mean? Because this is really happening for afrobeat, not even just with Tiwa.»

The star also spoke with Lowe about how afrobeats as a genre has helped bring African culture to a wider, mainstream audience — an accomplishment she’s particularly proud of. «It’s a blessing to live and witness both, to see how it went from not being cool, to being one of the most sought after genres,» she said. «And not just that, the music is shining a different light on the continent … having huge legends like Beyoncé doing a movement such as Black is King, and shining just a different light on my continent, it’s just amazing.»

Check out Savage and Smith’s new single «Temptation» below:

Ellie Goulding Recruits Diplo, Blackbear to Guest in Livestreamed Show

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Rock in Rio 2019, first day - British singer Ellie Goulding during a performance on the World of Rock in Rio 2019 stage, on the first day of the music festival held in the City of Rock, held at Olimpico Park in Barra da Tijuca, west of the city .

Ellie Goulding recruited recent collaborators Diplo and Blackbear to appear in her upcoming livestreamed show. Bruno Baketa / AGIF via AP

Ellie Goulding recruited recent collaborators Diplo and Blackbear to appear in her upcoming livestreamed show.

“The Brightest Blue Experience,” a pay-per-view event presented by LIVEnow, will be broadcast Wednesday, August 26th at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Tickets are available now.

The two guests contributed to the singer-songwriter’s recently issued fourth LP, Brightest Blue: Diplo co-wrote and co-produced her single “Close to Me,” and Blackbear co-wrote and appears on the single “Worry About Me.” The album, which follows 2015’s Delirium, also features Swae Lee, Lauv, serpentwithfeet and Juice Wrld.

The livestream will feature both new and old tracks, with Goulding accompanied by a live ensemble. “How incredible to hear this album come to life with some of London’s most talented players,” she said in a statement. “It sounds exactly how I imagined — like a new world.”

Goulding also noted how the one-off event helps promote the 18-track LP with touring currently sidelined due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a truly incredible opportunity to push my creative boundaries and perform inside one of London’s most iconic museums,” she said. “I can’t wait for you all to see the spectacle we have put together for this extraordinarily special experience.”

The singer will also broadcast the show via additional streams for East Coast North and South America; West Coast North and Central America; and Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

This article is originally from Rolling Stone

Beyoncé’s ‘Brown Skin Girl’ Video Is Now Available Outside of ‘Black Is King’: Watch

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The visual features appearances from Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Rowland and Blue Ivy Carter.

Ring the alarm! Just weeks after unveiling Black Is King, Beyoncé has gifted the wider world with the stunning video for «Brown Skin Girl.»

On Aug. 24, the superstar uploaded the celebratory clip as a standalone visual on YouTube. (Previously, the video for the fan favorite track had only been available to Disney+ subscribers as part of Beyoncé’s most recent musical film, which dropped exclusively on the streaming service July 31.)

In the video, Beyoncé enlists (and name drops) the likes of Naomi Campbell, Lupita Nyong’o and former Destiny’s Child bandmate Kelly Rowland to help laud and pass down the ideals of Black identity, heritage and beauty to future generations of brown skinned girls.

«Oh, have you looked in the mirror lately?/ Wish you could trade eyes with me ‘cause/ There’s complexities in complexion/ But your skin, it glow like diamonds/ Pigment like the earth, you be giving birth/ To everything alive, baby, know your worth,» the singer preaches on the track alongside guest features from Saint Jhn, Wizkid and her eldest daughter Blue Ivy Carter, who closes out the song and video by echoing her mom’s empowering lyrics.

Prior to serving as a centerpiece to Black Is King, «Brown Skin Girl» first appeared on Beyoncé’s 2019 LP The Lion King: The Gift, which was itself a companion soundtrack to Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King. Queen Bey provided the voice of Nala in the reimagining of the 1995 classic alongside Donald Glover (Simba), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Scar), James Earl Jones (Mufasa) and more.

Watch the gorgeous video for «Brown Skin Girl» below.

Well, We Need This Calvin Harris/The Weeknd Track Immediately

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Calvin Harris
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK

Calvin Harris

Superstars collided on social media yesterday (Aug. 20) with both Calvin Harris and The Weeknd teasing a forthcoming collaboration.

On Instagram, The Weeknd posted a presumably pre-quarantine image of him and the Scottish producer (Harris is clutching three full red Solo cups and wearing a Coachella wristband in the shot), with the cryptic caption, «Don’t get too confused…»

Over on Harris’ Instagram Story, footage of vintage mixing equipment was soundtracked by a funky and smooth AF R&B jam that would certainly lend itself to The Weeknd’s falsetto.

There’s no word yet whether this collab will be released by The Weeknd or by Harris, who this year has exclusively dropped music under his acid house influenced alias, Love Regenerator.

The news follows The Weeknd’s Aug. 7 performance on TikTok, during which he performed his current hits “Blinding Lights» and «Pray For Me» and teased 30 seconds of a new song.

Check out the teasers below.

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don’t get too confused…

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Selena Gomez FaceTimes with Her ‘Best Friend’ Taylor Swift on New Episode of Her Cooking Show

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Selena Gomez sorprende a fans de Taylor Swift en uno de sus conciertos

Selena Gomez wants to share all of her cooking accomplishments with BFF Taylor Swift.

In the latest episode of Gomez’s cooking show, Selena + Chef, the 28-year-old singer FaceTimed Swift to show off her creations.

Selena + Chef, on HBO Max, follows Gomez as she polishes her cooking skills with help from professionals while self-isolating at home during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Oh my God, what is that?” Swift, 30, said immediately after answering Gomez’s call, to which professional chef Roy Choi responded: “It’s a Korean barbeque Texas breakfast taco.”

“If you don’t send me the recipe we’re going to have words,” Swift joked. “I want to be served that.”

 

Gomez then introduced Swift to Choi and his daughter Kaelyn, calling the Folklore singer her “best friend.” Before signing off, Swift shared that she was “so proud” of her friend for her cooking creation, adding “Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for you to become obsessed with cooking?”

Earlier this month, Gomez spoke about potentially collaborating with Swift on a song. «I’ve always dreamt of doing a song with Taylor,” she shared during an appearance on Twitch’s Animal Talking streaming talk show. «We both wanted to do that.»

«It just feels like we’re family, I’ve known her for 13 or 14 years now,» she added. «She’s been my best friend, [and] we’ve talked about it, for sure.»

The duo also spoke about their friendship in January through a chat with the Wall Street Journal, where Gomez said the pair «both went through s— at the same time.»

Selena Gomez y Taylor Swift, juntas de nuevo tras supuesto ...

«[Taylor] taught me a lot about how I should be treated at a young age,» Gomez told the publication. «She has showed up for me in ways that I would have never expected. Flown in because I was hurt and was going through something.»

The Rare Beauty founder added: «Stuff that was going on with my family. It’s been proven year after year and in every moment of my life that she is one of my best friends in the world. We don’t agree on everything, but we respect each other with everything.»

«There has always been this quality of sisterhood, and I don’t say that in a basic way,» Swift told WSJ. «I knew from when I met her I would always have her back. In my life, I have the ability to forgive people who have hurt me. But I don’t know if I can forgive someone who hurts her.»

Gomez also explained to WSJ that she and Swift became close in private. «There’s so much of my friendship with Taylor that people don’t know about because we don’t necessarily feel the need to post about everything we do,» she said.