Pop

The 13 Best Things That Happened In Music This Week (Dec. 27)

Kanye West
Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Kanye West attends Sunday Service at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York on Sept. 29, 2019 in New York City. 

Christmas week was a busy one! Highly-anticipated albums from Ariana Grande and Kanye West arrived, and both Drake and Travis Scott surprised fans with new music.

Those who weren't busy releasing music were spreading holiday cheer, as the likes of Mariah Carey, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry and Justin Bieber -- the latter of whom shared a big announcement for 2020 on Christmas Eve.

Take a look at the week's biggest happenings below.


Ariana Grande released her Sweetener Tour live album

Promptly after Ariana Grande finished her final Sweetener Tour show at The Forum in Los Angeles, the singer dropped her much-anticipated live album from the trek. Titled K Bye For Now, the 32-track album is "a little something to thank u for everything and to make saying goodbye to this chapter a lil easier,” Grande said in a tweet.

Mariah Carey and Brenda Lee dominated the Billboard Hot 100

For the first time in Hot 100 history, two holiday songs topped the chart simultaneously: Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” at No. 2 (the song’s highest peak since its 1958 release) and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at No. 1 for a second week. Two other holiday songs landed in the top 10 this week, Burl Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas” and Bobby Helms “Jingle Bell Rock,” tying the record for most holiday tunes in the Hot 100’s Top 10.

Taylor Swift gave an inside look at how “Christmas Tree Farm” came together

Swifties have been soundtracking their holiday season with Taylor Swift’s latest Christmas tune, so the day before Christmas Eve, the singer decided to gift fans with a video on how the song came together. The nearly five-minute video documents the creation process of “Christmas Tree Farm,” which began on the first of December this year and took just six days to make.

Lizzo brilliantly clapped back at another hater

Two weeks after receiving backlash about her risqué Lakers outfit, Lizzo faced another negative comment from a Twitter user, who asserted that she’s popular because of the “obesity epidemic in America.” She promptly responded by declaring “I’m popular because I write good songs and I’m talented and perform high energy hour and a half shows filled with love,” also adding a stern demand to anyone who has something negative to say about her: “Look in the mirror before you come for me.” 

Harry StylesFine Line had a major debut week

The first-week numbers for Harry Styles’ sophomore album came in Sunday (Dec. 22), proving that his star power has only increased: The LP saw 2019’s third-biggest debut, with 478,000 equivalent album units. It’s Styles’ second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, making him the first UK male artist to debut at No. 1 with his first two albums. His big album numbers helped land seven Fine Line tracks on the Hot 100, and shot Styles to No. 1 on the Artist 100 for the second time (he first topped the tally in 2017 following his self-titled debut). 

Miley Cyrus posted touching family photos

Before spending Christmas with her boyfriend Cody Simpson, Miley Cyrus had some quality time with her entire family, and shared some sweet photos from their holiday family affair. Cyrus posted three black-and-white pics with her four siblings and parents on Instagram, captioning the shots, “Happy Holidays from America’s most dysfunctional family” — even though the pics looked anything but dysfunctional.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Happy Holidays from America’s most dysfunctional family --

A post shared by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

Justin Bieber announced 2020 tour dates and “Yummy” single

After months of teasing new music, Justin Bieber delivered on his promise in a major way: Not only did he reveal that his forthcoming single, “Yummy” will arrive Jan. 3, but he also announced a massive 2020 tour. On top of that, Bieber revealed that he also has a docu-series coming, which will include “all different stories,” as he said in a 90-second announcement video.

BTS teased an “upcoming tour”

BTS hinted that 2020 will involve something exciting in a cryptic tweet on Tuesday (Dec. 24), which featured an image of purple water with the word “Tour” that was captioned “April 2020. Stay tuned.” Naturally, that sent the ARMY into a frenzy, as the tweet garnered more than 900,000 likes and a flurry of tweets dissecting what else the teaser could mean.

Drake dropped a new song/video

John Lennon’s classic Christmas song may say “War is Over,” but in Drake’s eyes, “War” has just begun. The 6 God dropped a new track, “War,” on Christmas Eve, but its accompanying video had nothing to do with war at all — in fact, the three-minute clip sees Drake and his pals enjoying a proper white Christmas, riding on snowmobiles and chilling by a fire.

Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood and more shared Christmas greetings

Amid their own holiday celebrations, stars spread the Christmas cheer with messages on social media. Mariah Carey shared a photo of herself in reindeer pajamas wishing fans a Merry Christmas nine minutes before the clock struck midnight on Dec. 25, and soon a hoard of stars posted pics from their own celebrations, from Carrie Underwood’s dogs to Ciara’s family’s red satin PJs. See them all here!

Kanye West released Jesus Is Born

As promised, Kanye West dropped his latest gospel offering, Jesus Is Born, on Christmas Day. The album is a 19-track extension of what West and his band and choir have been playing at his Sunday Service sermons throughout the year, also marking the first album from Sunday Service, as the previous LP, Jesus Is King, was released under West’s name. According to fan reviews on social media, Jesus Is Born is actually king: “Kanye West got this one right,” wrote one fan on Twitter.

BLACKPINK, NCT-127 and more shared Christmas covers

K-pop stars got in the holiday spirit too, with several of the genre’s biggest names taking on some Christmas classics. After BLACKPINK’s Rose delivered her version of Nat King Cole’s iconic “The Christmas Song” on Dec. 18, several others decided to also hop on the holiday train during Christmas week: TWICE’s Nayeon and AKMU’s Suhyun both sang a rendition of Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me”; Apink’s Eunji also sang the Ari hit along with Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”; and members of NCT shared covers of Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe” as well as fellow K-pop stars EXO’s “First Snow.” There’s plenty more where those came from:

Travis Scott, Kehlani and Keyshia Cole and more released new music

As people begin to shelf Christmas songs until next year, several artists delivered new tunes to spin for the final days of 2019. Travis Scott kept his promise by releasing Jackboys, a seven-song project from his Cactus Jack collective; Kehlani teamed up with Keyshia Cole for an uptempo R&B track “All Me”; and DJ Snake recruited some of Latin’s biggest stars — Ozuna, Nicky Jam, Natti Natasha, Darell & Sech — for a remix of his already star-studded “Loco Contigo” that will cure your post-Christmas blues. Check out all the new releases from this week here!