First Stream: New Music From Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande, The 1975, The Weeknd & Doja Cat

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lady-gaga-ariana-grande-2015-billboard-1548-1585429833
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Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande attend Stevie Wonder: Songs in the Key of Life – An All-Star GRAMMY Salute at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Feb. 10, 2015 in Los Angeles.

Billboard’s First Stream serves as a handy guide to this Friday’s most essential releases — the key music that everyone will be talking about today, and that will be dominating playlists this weekend and beyond.

This week, Lady Gaga makes it rain with Ariana Grande, The 1975 delivers another opus and The Weeknd recruits Doja Cat for another pop radio offering. Check out all of this week’s First Stream picks below:

The Song That Can Be Described As An International Bop:
Lady Gaga feat. Ariana Grande, «Rain On Me»

If anyone thought Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” was a dance-pop red herring leading up to the release of her new album Chromatica, “Rain On Me,” her new collaboration with Ariana Grande, quickly dispels such notions. The new team-up shimmers to an even more spectacular degree, gobbling up house and disco touchstones to become a gigantic dance record about embracing pain as a marker of humanity (“I’d rather be dry, but at least I’m alive,” goes the post-tears refrain). Lucky for us that Gaga selected the perfect collaborator for the track: Grande sounds reinvigorated here, her melismas filling gaps in the song and her verse becoming a full-on diva showcase. If the rest of Chromatica is this propulsive, we’ll be grooving to it well into 2021.

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The Album That’s Worth The 80-Minute Run Time:
The 1975, Notes on a Conditional Form

For those of you desperate to hear The 1975 deliver a concise (read: shorter) body of work after their first three albums contained at least 15 songs each: album number four, the 22-track Notes on a Conditional Form, will not grant your wish. Yet the self-indulgence and air-gulping ambition of Matty Healy and co. have also produced wide-screen brilliance on a consistent basis, and Notes on a Conditional Form demands your attention because it has several of them. The amount of rock-adjacent sounds covered here is staggering, from the scream-punk urgency of “People” to the coffee-shop acoustic intimacy of “The Birthday Party” to the hilarious gospel/rap/piano-pop mash-up  “Nothing Revealed / Everything Denied,” but Healy’s songwriting can handle the sprawl and jump over the potential missteps. Sure, The 1975 could have turned Notes on a Conditional Form into a tighter 12 songs — but then, the most interesting rock band in the world wouldn’t be themselves.

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The Remix That Could Lead To Another No. 1 Smash:
The Weeknd feat. Doja Cat, «In Your Eyes» remix

The Weeknd and Doja Cat are two of the most recent artists to top the Hot 100 chart, with “Blinding Lights” and “Say So,” respectively; one is a established hitmaker approaching a decade as a major name in music, while the other is the mainstream’s most in-demand rising star. It makes sense, then, that the pair balance each other out so effectively on the new remix to the Weeknd’s “In Your Eyes,” with Abel providing the steady hand on the track and Doja delivering the breath of fresh air. “Hate the way I feel love, only hurts with real love,” she sings, her voice unexpectedly fragile, her sentiment taking a page from the Weeknd’s pleasure-is-pain brand of pop. “In Your Eyes” just received an injection of feeling from the exact right choice for a remix, and could become another major hit for both artists in the coming weeks.

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The Video That Makes Eating Fruit Look Super-Cool:
Harry Styles, «Watermelon Sugar» video

“This Video Is Dedicated To Touching,” reads an intro slide ahead of Harry Styles’ new video, which takes a Fine Line standout, adds some heavy petting (on the beach, no less), and lets us all wistfully reflect on the days before social distancing. The “Watermelon Sugar” clip is celebratory and slightly ridiculous — no one man should have all that citrus, and at one point, Styles casually tosses a full watermelon high behind his head with little concern. Yet Styles’ charm levels remain unending, and watching him pal around on the beach and pose for photos will make you want to do so the same (even if, you know, the snack menu is slightly diversified).

The Album That Could Be The Arrival of a Reliable Hip-Hop Star:
Gunna, Wunna

In addition to scoring solo hits like “Skybox” and “Speed It Up,” Gunna has become one of rap’s most in-demand collaborators, hopping on recent tracks by Young Thug, NAV and his Drip Harder partner Lil Baby. Wunna, a new 18-song project, boasts its own share of high-profile collaborations, but kicks off with four solo cuts that showcase the Georgia native’s effortless flow, melodic understanding and flashy-lifestyle lyrics. Come to Wunna for the Travis Scott teaming “Top Floor” and the latest Lil Baby link-up, “Blindfold,” but stay for Gunna running laps around his foes on the crackling “Feigning” and crooning all over the late highlight “Don’t Play Around.”

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The Song That You’ll Want To Add To Your Instant-Inspiration Playlist:
Sia, «Together»

“Together” is a song that Sia wrote for her upcoming directorial debut, Music, and the veteran pop mastermind has said in recent interviews that the track was designed as a closing-credits anthem. If that’s the case, rarely will leaving a movie theater feel so empowering: “Together” aims to enthrall its listener with images of rainbows, angels, sharing love and setting the past ablaze, with Sia selling the approach with full vocal enormity. From “Alive” to “The Greatest” to “Elastic Heart,” Sia has fashioned a solo career out of providing hard-fought inspiration; “Together” is a kid-friendly, candy-colored edition of that vision, and an effective way to reach a new generation of listeners.

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The EP That Sounds Like An Overdue Hang With Old Friends:
Florida Georgia Line, 6 Pack EP

“It’s beer. Thirty. And I’m. Thirsty.” So goes the opening line on Florida Georgia Line’s new EP, the appropriately titled 6 Pack, and the best-selling country duo is making it clear that, even if these songs don’t represent the proper follow-up to their ambitious 2019 album Can’t Say I Ain’t Country, at the very least they’re going to check in with you and provide a party. “Thank the Lord it’s Friday night and it’s time to chill,” Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard remark on the standout “Ain’t Worried Bout It,” which joins the previously released “I Love My Country” and the impressive Songland product “Second Guessing” on the track list. That sense of relief and welcome distraction pervades the project, with FGL saddling up during a fraught period in the country and doing what they can to entertain over the course of 17 minutes.

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The Song That Should Immediately Be Added To Your BBQ Mix:
Deadmau5 feat. the Neptunes, «Pomegranate»

For a too-brief moment in the 2010s, Pharrell Williams revived his career in front of the boards and became one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, thanks to “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk, then his own “Happy,” and his GIRL full-length, which snagged a Grammy nom for album of the year. Williams has seemingly placed his singing career on the back burner in recent years, but no reason that he can’t occasionally slip into the spotlight and deliver another heater, as he does on the deadmau5-Neptunes collaboration “Pomegranate.” With the robe-funk production taken care of by the experts, Williams is given room to glide around his sea of intimate euphemisms (“You’re making faces, probably so am I / We’re in the ocean / Waves are rolling in your eyes”). Even as “Pomegranate” serves as delectable summertime fodder, let’s hope it’s not the last we hear from Williams for a while.

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The Album That Pop Twitter Will Be Raving About All Weekend:
Carly Rae Jepsen, Dedicated: Side B

Although Carly Rae Jepsen’s songwriting has evolved thematically with each new release — the young-love meet-cutes of her “Call Me Maybe” days have given way to adult passion and attentiveness — there’s still a mixture of an airiness and inclusivity that has served as her bedrock and turned her into a cult hero. Dedicated: Side B, a collection of cuts from the sessions of last year’s masterful Dedicated, is stronger than most pop stars’ actual albums, and part of that consistency has to do with a lack of pomp or circumstance. Songs like “Summer Love,” “Let’s Sort The Whole Thing Out” and the Bleachers team-up “Comeback” are dreamy, ‘80s-indebted pop tracks that don’t need high stakes or superficial drama to soar. Jepsen remains such a talented song creator that even her castoffs sound blissful.

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Sia Announces New Song ‘Together’ Off Her Upcoming ‘Music’ Film

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Sia
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Sia performs at KeyArena on Sept. 29, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.

We’re gonna swiiiiing from the chandelier, because Sia is back with new music.

The singer announced on Wednesday (May 13) that her new single, «Together» is dropping on May 20.

The tune will be part of her upcoming film Music, which is «due for release» in September. The movie, announced back at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, stars Kate Hudson, Maddie Ziegler, and Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr. The film marks Sia’s first director gig, and she co-wrote and co-produced Music with writer Dallas Clayton and producer Vincent Landay, respectively.

Pre-save «Together» here, and see the announcement below.

Source: Billboard

The Jonas Brothers Will Finally Release ‘5 More Minutes’ in Addition to New Karol G Collab

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Jonas Brothers
Miller Mobley

Jonas Brothers

Update (May 12): The Jonas Brothers took to social media on Tuesday (May 12) to announce that they’ll also finally drop their song «5 More Minutes,» which they debuted at the 2020 Grammy Awardsin January:

The Jonas Brothers have surprised fans Monday morning (May 11) with the announcement of their upcoming single “X” in collaboration with Colombian sensation Karol G.

Across their social media, the JoBros shared the artwork showing a white outlined letter X on top of red lips; Jonas Brothers ft. Karol G is in small text.

Without giving too many details, the group also revealed that “X” will drop this Friday, May 15.

Fans were quick to react with many of them agreeing that “it’s about time” this collaboration happened. “It’s going to be everyone’s favorite summer song,” one fan on Instagram declared.

On release day, Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas will participate and answer fan questions in a virtual SiriusXM Hits 1 Celebrity Session hosted by The Morning Mash Up, where they will interact with an audience of frontline healthcare workers and their families from across the country. The Jonas Brothers will talk about their music, including their upcoming collab with Karol.

Their Karol G-assisted track marks the second time the Jonas Brothers team up with a Latin act, following the 2019 summer bop “Runaway” with Sebastian Yatra, Daddy Yankee, and Natti Natasha.

Check out the official announcement and artwork below:

Source: Billboard

Katy Perry Responds to Taylor Swift Collab Rumors in New Interview & We Are Not Calm

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Is a collaboration between Katy Perry and Taylor Swift happening? In a new interview on Monday (May 11), Perry teased the possibility while promoting her upcoming performance on American Idol.

«Well, you’re just gonna have to tune in to Idol next week to see all rumors, true or false,» the pop star told Extra as her fellow judges Luke Bryan and Lionel Richielaughed along at her promoting the show.

Whether or not it’s a collaboration with Swift, Perry is set to release her new track «Daisies» — the lead single from her upcoming fifth studio album — on May 15, just two days before the season finale of American Idol, where she’ll perform the track live for the first time. (Perry also joked that she will not be giving birth on air.)

An assist from Swift would mark the first time the two singers have collaborated in the studio, though they ended their longstanding feud in 2019 when Perry made a surprise cameo in the video for Swift’s second Lover-era single «You Need to Calm Down.»

Check out a clip from Perry’s Extra interview below.

GIGI HADID & ZAYN MALIK WE’RE HAVING A BABY!!!

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Ariana Grande Will Melt Your Ears With Beautiful At-Home Cover of ‘Still Hurting’: Listen

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Ariana Grande
Brian Friedman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ariana Grande onstage at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.

She teamed with Jason Robert Brown’s SubCulture for the song from «The Last Five Years.»

Ariana Grande was back on Broadway on Monday night (April 27). Well, virtually anyway. The singer joined Jason Robert Brown’s Virtual SubCulture Artist-in-Residency concert series for a three-hanky cover of the opening ballad «Still Hurting» from Brown’s 2001 The Last Five Years musical.

Grande, who got her start in 2008 in one of Brown’s earlier musicals, 13, sang her stunning vocals in front of a professional mic set-up from an undisclosed location, while Brown accompanied her remotely on piano, along with other dialed-in musicians adding strings and guitar.

“What I have missed and mourned the most over these last extraordinary weeks has been my ability to connect with music – to play and sing with other musicians, and to feel the audience responding,” Brown said in a statement about the now-online versions of the five-year-old series. “Every month for the past five years, I’ve been able to do just that at SubCulture, working with the best musicians and singers I know to make music together for a smart, involved and joyful audience in a place that’s come to feel like a second home.”

Grande really appreciated the opportunity to stretch her musical wings, writing, «that was so beautiful @MrJasonRBrown i loved every minute so much ! thank u and @SubCulture_NYC for having me and for doing this. everyone played and sang so beautifully. love u.»

The SubCulture series is free, with fans encouraged to donate to help the series’ musicians during the coronavirus shutdown of Broadway. Over the years, Ana Gasteyer, Tony Danza, Justin Guarini, Sutton Foster, Betsy Wolfe, Megan Hilty, Norm Lewis, Cynthia Erivo and many more have appeared on the seriesClick hereto watch the full performance.

Watch Grande’s performance below.

Source: Billboard

Watch Justin Bieber Cradle His Baby Sister While Doing the ‘Toosie Slide’ in New TikTok

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Justin Bieber
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Justin Bieber is seen on March 13, 2020 in Los Angeles.

Some days lately a dance challenge is about the best you can hope for. It’s a great way to get the family together, and it’s just good, clean fun. Justin Bieber got into the act this weekend, reposting a TikTok video from his step sister Allie Rebelo, in which he, wife Hailey Baldwin, Allie, Jazmyn Bieber and Justin’s youngest sister, Bay, 1, take a shot at Drake’s «Toosie Slide.»

Wearing a yellow hoodie and matching sweats, Bieber left foot slides, right foot slides and then moonwalks out of the video.

JB also reposted a video in which he joins Allie and Jazmyn for the «Come Around Me» challenge, busting some enthusiastic arm movements while Hailey just walks through the frame.

TRAVIS SCOTT’S MIND-BENDING FORTNITE CONCERT WAS A JOYRIDE THROUGH SPACE

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At Travis Scott’s new “Astronomical” concert, I met skyscraper-sized clones of the rapper made out of fire, got granted special underwater breathing access to watch jellyfish backup dancers, and came face-to-face with a giant, carnivalesque planet with a pulsating speaker for a core.

This virtual experience happened via the online video game Fortnite and was announced on April 20 by Epic Games, surprising everyone used to Instagram Live concerts and livestreams in the midst of this global pandemic. Aside from just offering these otherworldly surprise moments for his fans, Scott also unveiled a new collaboration with Kid Cudi that looks to be part of a bigger moment involving the two artists: a formation of a group named The Scotts.

Shortly before the first of five shows kicked off on Thursday night (April 23), Scott appeared on Big Boy’s Neighborhood to tease what was to come. «To be honest, it’s just a full experience … a different experience,» he said. «Just giving people — without trying to say too much — give them just, like, a full experience of what I feel sometimes.  It’s so much fire shit.”

As it turns out, he meant “fire shit” literally. As the psychedelic intro began, following the living Astroworld planet zooming through space and time to bring Scott to his specially built virtual stage, I realized that Scott was about to take viewers on a trip unlike anything that we’d experienced before. Ten minutes and five songs later, I was breathless. And correct.

  • First, a planetary invasion set to “Sicko Mode”

    Astroworld, the massive planet that Scott calls home, arrived to bring Fortnite’s virtual conqueror to his new kingdom. Once it arrived, the rapper, the size of Optimus Prime, jumped from its surface and landed on the ground. The force of the impact sent me flying back hundreds of feet. I was then treated to a trampoline-filled performance of the song as giant Scott stomped around and alien astronaut holograms sensually danced around him. Like a ninja, Scott moved stealthily and continuously disappeared and reappeared clouds of enormous smoke.

  • Some stars were a little too close in “Stargazing”

    The sky darkened to a bloody orange and showers of stars began to pelt me like golf ball-sized hail bullets. Scott eased into a cosmic rendition of  “Stargazing” and danced in the midst of this wicked weather. With Astroworld behind him appearing as an alien tangerine, Scott became so excited by the moment that he began to generate gigantic vines of lightning through his skin. It quickly turned into a nightmare when his epidermis began to melt down to the bone, revealing a mechanical skeleton for one nightmare-inducing minute. The lightning came alive in the form of backup dancers who flashed around the map along with towering fire clones who matched Scott’s movements.

  • There was a surprise colorful appearance for “Goosebumps”

    Scott became a living rainbow as the colors raced through the sky on their own roller coaster loops. If you ever wondered what a kaleidoscope would look like if it were detangled and had each of its colors placed inside of the washing machine at the same time, look no further. The hues eventually took over my skin and made me one of the rainbow’s children.

  • “Highest in the Room” offered a look at the sea floor

    It’s ironic that for “Highest in the Room,” Scott went extremely low in terms of elevation. The rapper fell into the water, with the impact of the massive rapper’s collision with the ground sending me hurtling beneath the ocean’s surface. He turned into a massive deep sea diver and performed with giant jellyfish while I was gifted with the ability to breathe underwater. Giant, watery clones of the rapper invaded the water along with meteor showers of debris.

  • From inside of a black hole, a planet’s retreat looks nice for “The Scotts”

    After a brief interlude set to Drake’s “Sicko Mode” verse, where Scott’s deep sea diver turned into a dancing astronaut, Scott premiered his heavily anticipated new song, “The Scotts,” a collaboration with Kid Cudi, who says that it’s also the name of their new group. Scott sent me flying into the atmosphere while I zoomed through the eye of a quickly moving tornado. From the left, Scott suddenly floated by while sitting on top of Astroworld, presumably heading back home to plan his takeover of this world. He briefly disappeared, and then Cudi’s verse started while Scott walked around his planet in slow motion.

    The show ended with me thrusted toward the center of a black hole, everything a blur except a gravitational singularity of pure white. The outline of a butterfly manifested itself, and before I could be sure of what I saw, the one-of-a-kind event was over. Just as I can gather what I saw, I’m eliminated out of a Fortnite battle royale. Things are back to normal, at least until Scott comes back. The next virtual show you can catch (following this morning’s one at 10 a.m. ET), will be on April 25 at 12 a.m. ET.

Kanye West takes issue with Forbes’ billionaire designation

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Kanye West is challenging the notion he has finally achieved billionaire status, insisting his net worth is actually $3.3 billion (£2.6 billion).

The Power hitmaker was reportedly left fuming last year (19) because financial experts at Forbes magazine declined to call him a billionaire in his cover article, as the rapper and fashion designer had not been able to produce the paperwork requested to back up his claims.

As a result, the hip-hop star was left off the publication’s annual list of billionaires, released in early April – and Kanye took issue with his omission.

Now, after «months of lobbying», he has officially earned the Forbes designation – but he’s still not happy with the news because he insists it undercuts his actual value.

In a new piece by senior editor Zack O’Malley Greenburg, the journalist reveals Kanye personally texted him after the billionaires list was published to protest his absence, again accusing editors of «toying» with him as he vowed not to «lye down and take it anymore (sic)».

And even after being told he was set to be acknowledged in an updated story about having a net worth of $1.3 billion (£1 billion), the egocentric star, who is married to Kim Kardashian, argued that figure isn’t accurate.

«It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count,» Kanye protested.

Greenburg describes Kanye as being «as overly boastful as his political idol, President Donald Trump» and explained how Forbes officials arrived at their $1.3 billion number: «For years, Forbes had an informal ‘Trump rule’-take whatever the future president insisted he was worth, divide by 3, and start honing from there. Like mentor, like mentee,» he wrote.

«Welcome to the ten-digit club, Kanye. You may not like our number, but you’ve joined the highest company in that regard.»

Kanye’s new estimation makes him $300 million (£242.6 million) richer than his sister-in-law Kylie Jenner, who at 22, was recently named the youngest self-made billionaire for a second consecutive year.

Gigi Hadid & Zayn Malik Cozy Up in Cute Photo Celebrating Her 25th Birthday

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Gigi Hadid Zayn
Darren Gerrish/WireImage

Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik attend the Versus Versace show during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer collections 2016/2017 on Sept. 17, 2016 in London.

Gigi Hadid recently celebrated her 25th birthday alongside those closest to her, including family, friends and her boyfriend Zayn Malik.

On Saturday (April 25), the supermodel shared a cute boomerang post on Instagram of herself holding up a silver «25» balloons while cuddling up to the former One Direction member and her sister Bella Hadid.

«Slideeeee to the left. slideeee to the right…Criss cross!!» Bella jokingly commented.

Gigi, who turned 25 on Thursday, gave fans another sneak peek into her birthday celebration by sharing a second post with a series of snapshots, including one of her embracing Malik, and others of her amazing bagel birthday cake.

«Had the sweetest day celebrating my 25th birthday with my quarantine family, who made it so special for me, along with all the love I felt from all over the world!» Hadid captioned the post. «Thank you to everyone for the birthday messages, I carried you with me yesterday!!»

Last week, Hadid took to social media to thank her friend Taylor Swift for sending her a beautiful bouquet of flowers for her 25th birthday. The supermodel shared a pic of the colorful flowers in her Instagram Story, thanking  Swift and her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, and their cats.

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Had the sweetest day celebrating my 25th birthday with my quarantine family, who made it so special for me, along with all the love I felt from all over the world! Thank you to everyone for the birthday messages, I carried you with me yesterday!! 💛🙏 I am grateful and lucky that my family and friends -near and far- are healthy and safe, and although I missed loved ones I wish I could have celebrated with, know that these times will make us even more grateful for togetherness to be had in the future ! I will never forget my 25th bday! +++The icing on the perfect quarantine bday was finding out my surprise everything-bagel-cake was made by the one and only Cake Boss @buddyvalastro who I have watched for over a decade. I CRIED REAL TEARS! BUDDY! This is a dream come true. I can’t believe you made this cake for me while the bakery is closed. It means more to me than you know, and when we hopefully meet some day you will truly know that there almost isn’t an episode I’ve missed. 10/10 would be a Carlo’s intern whenever needed. 😆 Grateful, honored, your biggest fan. 🥯🥯🥯🥯🍰

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Source: Billboard