2019 Latin Grammys

The 14 Best Things That Happened in Music This Week: Oct. 18

Adam Christopher/NBCUniversal
Ben Platt and Kelly Clarkson  perform on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Welcome to Billboard's weekly recap! Whether it's a newly released song or video, a viral moment or a big announcement, Billboard will have a roundup of the happenings across the music industry at the end of every week.

This week was a mix of emotional and celebratory. The K-pop world suffered a shocking loss with the sudden death of singer/actress Sulli on Monday (Oct. 14), and country star Kane Brown delivered a tearful speech at the CMT Artists of the Year event on Wednesday (Oct. 16) while paying tribute to his longtime drummer who passed away in a car accident over the weekend. On a lighter note, Billboard honored the most influential executives in hip-hop with its annual Hip-Hop Power Players List this week, and Latin stars were celebrated at the 2019 Latin American Music Awards on Thursday night (Oct. 17).

Other exciting happenings throughout the week include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2020 nominees, the 2020 Stagecoach lineup, and unforgettable performances from Taylor Swift at NPR’s Tiny Desk as well as a breathtaking Bob Dylan cover from Kelly Clarkson and Ben Platt on The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Check out a round-up of this week’s biggest moments below.

Travis Scott broke Lizzo’s Hot 100 No. 1 streak

The rapper’s new single “Highest in the Room” held true to its title with a No. 1 debut on the Billboard Hot 100. The feat marks Scott’s second Hot 100 leader, following last year’s smash “Sicko Mode.” But while Lizzo fans are likely bummed that broke her six-week No. 1 streak with “Truth Hurts,” the singer took to Instagram to congratulate the Houston-born Scott: “IMA POP A BOTTLE FOR H-TOWN!!!” she wrote. In other chart news, Justin Bieber’s Dan + Shay collab zoomed in at No. 4 on the Hot 100; and on the Billboard 200, SuperM’s The 1st Mini Album debuted at No. 1 while Summer Walker’s Over It landed at No. 2 — also breaking the record for the largest streaming week for an R&B album by a woman (in terms of on-demand audio streams) with 154.7 million.

BTS announced a concert movie

The K-pop phenoms are gifting their ARMY with a fourth concert film from 2019, the latest titled, BTS World Tour ‘Love Yourself: Speak Yourself’ [The Final], as they revealed Monday (Oct. 14). Fans can catch the film in select theaters across the U.S. just hours after BTS performs the show at Seoul’s Olympic Stadium. A full list of theaters and tickets can be found at the Fathom Events website.

K-pop stars honored Sulli by postponing events 

Shortly after the sad news broke that Sulli was found dead in her apartment on Monday, her fellow Korean stars paid respect for the late singer/actress by canceling events that evening. Among those paying tribute were Super Junior, BTOB's Hyunsik, Nu'Est, SF9's Youngbin, Kang Daniel, Iz*One and Sulli’s former f(x) bandmate Amber J. Liu. Fans and K-pop stars gathered to say a final farewell on Thursday (Oct. 17), when Sulli was laid to rest, further showing the mark she made on the world.

Whitney Houston, Dave Matthews Band and more were nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The nominees for the Rock Hall Class of 2020 were revealed Tuesday (Oct. 15), with 16 artists receiving nods -- nine of whom were first-time nominees: Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, The Doobie Brothers, Motörhead, The Notorious B.I.G., Soundgarden, T. Rex, Thin Lizzy and Whitney Houston. Returning nominees are Depeche Mode, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Nine Inch Nails, Chaka Khan and Todd Rundgren. Vote for who you think should be inducted here!

Carrie Underwood, Eric Church and Thomas Rhett were announced as Stagecoach 2020 headliners

Another big announcement came Tuesday, with the lineup for Stagecoach 2020 arriving more than six months prior to the country festival’s 2020 dates (April 24-26). Thomas Rhett, Carrie Underwood and Eric Church will headline, with other notable appearances from hitmakers new and old, like Dan + Shay, Brett Young, Jon Pardi, Alan Jackson, Tanya Tucker and ZZ Top. Perhaps the most groundbreaking addition to the 2020 lineup, though, is “Old Town Road” star Lil Nas X. 

Kelly Clarkson and Ben Platt slayed a Bob Dylan cover

When a Broadway star visits a powerhouse like Kelly Clarkson, of course there’s going to be some singing. Original Dear Evan Hansen star Ben Platt stopped by The Kelly Clarkson Show on Tuesday to talk about his new Netflix show, The Politician, but Clarkson made sure he sung a little something before he left. The two teamed up for a duet rendition of Bob Dylan’s heartfelt ballad “Make You Feel My Love”...we’ll let the performance do the rest.

Taylor Swift played a Tiny Desk concert

The superstar stripped down three of Lover tracks, “The Man,” “Lover” and “Death by a Thousand Cuts,”  and one fan favorite, “All Too Well,” for NPR’s star-studded performance series. She shared stories about how the songs came to be, declaring that she took her Tiny Desk appearance -- which arrived Wednesday -- as “an opportunity to show you guys how the songs sounded when I first wrote them.”

Bruno Mars teased that he’s in the studio (and fans flipped out)

With nearly three years passed since Bruno Mars’ Grammy-winning 24K Magic and his massive world tour now over, the hitmaker’s fans are eager for more music -- and all it took was one pic of his feet to prove it. Mars shared a photo of his sneakers propped up in front of some keyboards in what appears to be a recording studio, and fans went into a frenzy. "OMG IS BM4 ON THE WAY," one fan wrote. Here’s hoping they’re not wrong!

Reba McEntire was honored as an “Artist of a Lifetime” at CMT Artists of the Year

The country icon was one of the many honorees at this year’s CMT Artists of the Year event, which also celebrated the achievements of Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay and Thomas Rhett as well as breakout artist of the year Ashley McBryde on Wednesday. With a career spanning more than four decades, McEntire received the artist of a lifetime honor, which she tearfully accepted. It was an all-around emotional night, as Kane Brown paid tribute to his drummer, Kenny Dixon, who recently passed away in a car accident; after that, Thomas Rhett offered a prayer during his acceptance speech, which McEntire declared “took guts.”

Cardi B and Kulture made a surprise appearance at Offset’s show

Offset headlined the third annual Billboard Hip-Hop Live concert series on Wednesday night, performing an hour-long set of his own Father of 4 tracks, some of his biggest features and, of course, Migos bangers like “Walk It Talk It” and “Bad and Boujee.” The roughly 1,000 fans in attendance were treated to an extra special surprise at the end of the show, as Offset brought out wife Cardi B -- who sported baby Kulture on her hip -- for a fiery rendition of their team-up “Clout.”

DaBaby was declared “Rap’s Rookie of the Year”

Rap’s latest breakout star is the cover star for Billboard’s 2019 Hip-Hop Power Players issue, which honored the most influential executives and creatives in R&B and hip-hop. The “Suge” rapper talked to Billboard about his rapid rise to fame, losing his dad earlier this year, and why he’s aspiring to be a “bad motherfucker” like Rick James. Leading this year’s of top executives is Parkwood Entertainment president/COO Steve Pamon and his boss, chairman/CEO Beyonce Knowles-Carter. The late Nipsey Hussle was also honored with the Impact Award; his business partners Dave Gross and Steve-O Carless honored his legacy.

Charlie Puth’s Friends knowledge was put to the test

Charlie Puth has a passionate fan base of his own, but what most of his loyal followers may not know is that the “Attention” singer is equally as passionate about the iconic TV series Friends. So Billboard decided to test his Friends fandom with the help of Monica Geller herself, Courteney Cox -- and the result is hilarious (but also, pretty darn impressive). There’s laughing, singing and even a little crying. See for yourself in the latest Quizzed

Anuel AA proved victorious at the Latin AMAs

Latin music’s biggest stars came together for the 2019 Latin American Music Awards Thursday night, where Anuel AA was the big winner of the night with five awards, including the coveted artist of the year honor. Other highlights included new song debuts from Daddy Yankee and Wisin & Yandel, Becky G’s Extraordinary Evolution award win, and Marc Anthony’s tribute to the late Mexican icon Jose Jose while accepting his trophy for International Artist Award of Excellence. 

Katy Perry, Gucci Mane, BTS and more dropped new music

Another Friday, another batch of fresh tunes. This week we have a new song and sultry video from Katy Perry with “Harleys in Hawaii” as well as an unexpected-but-awesome collaboration from BTS and Lauv. And on top of new EPs from hip-hop hitmaker G-Eazy (Scary Nights) and country duo Maddie & Tae (Everywhere I’m Goin’), we were also blessed with full albums from Gucci Mane (Woptober II), Becky G (Mala Santa), Kash Doll (Stacked) and Yungblud (the underrated youth). Check out our hot takes on all things new music with Billboard's First Stream here!


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