We were “happier than ever” to hear Billie Eilish announce this week that her sophomore album, Happier Than Ever, will be out this summer.
The 2021 Billboard Music Awards is coming up much sooner — on May 23 — and the list of finalists revealed The Weeknd came out on top with nominations in 16 categories. DaBaby follows closely behind as the “Rockstar” rapper is a finalist 11 times in nine categories, and Gabby Barrett is a nine-time finalist and the female artist with the most nods.
Plus, Polo G’s “Rapstar” spends a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Young Thug earns his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with his Young Stoner Life Records’ project Slime Language 2.
Take a look at all of the week’s can’t-miss music moments below.
Slime Language 2 was No. 1
As Billboard‘s Keith Caulfield reports, the Slime Language 2 project from Young Thug’s Young Stoner Life Records debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, earning 113,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending April 22, according to MRC Data. Plus, Eric Church and Greta Van Fleet debuted in the top 10. Check out the full rundown for this week’s Billboard 200 here.
Joe Alwyn is officially a Grammy winner
Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, is definitely dancin’ in his Levis this week! The Recording Academy has belatedly awarded a Grammy to him as a co-producer of Swift’s Folklore, which won album of the year at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on March 14. Learn more here.
BTS announced a new song
BTS have announced “Butter,” the English-language follow-up to their 2020 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 smash “Dynamite.” The song is described in a press release as “a dance pop track brimming with the smooth yet charismatic charm of BTS,” and it’ll arrive in May. Find out more about when you can hear “Butter” here.
Polo G’s “Rapstar” topped the Hot 100 for a second week
Polo G’s “Rapstar” spent a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, one week after it debuted at the top spot, as Billboard’s Gary Trust reports. Meanwhile, Dua Lipa’s “Levitating” revisited its No. 5 high, sparked by TikTok momentum. Everything you need to know about this week’s Hot 100 chart is here.
Billboard published its 2021 International Power Players list
For its latest executive list, Billboard paid posthumous tribute to Michael Gudinski, the founder of Australia’s Mushroom Group, as international executive of the year. Overall, the list intends to recognize industry leaders at over 100 companies who are driving the success of music business outside the U.S. See the full International Power Players list here.
Billie Eilish announced her sophomore album and dropped a new song
Billie is back! The singer released a new song titled “Your Power” on Thursday (April 29). Plus, she announced that her next album, Happier Than Ever, will arrive on July 30. See the album news here, and watch the video for “Your Power” here.
Billboard caught up with BLACKPINK’s Rosé about going solo
In a new interview, the K-pop superstar spoke about her two-song solo project -R- — which includes her global hit “On the Ground” — as well as getting support from her BLACKPINK bandmates. “It’s like little baby steps of figuring out who you are and what you want to be,” Rosé says. “Everybody’s a chameleon, everybody can be all sorts of colors.” Read the full interview here.
Florence Welch announced she’s working on The Great Gatsby musical
The Florence + the Machine frontwoman announced on Wednesday (April 27) that she is writing the music and lyrics for the musical adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic 1925 great American novel. Learn more about it here and read why the project has great timing here.
Lana Del Rey announced yet another new album
Get ready for Blue Banisters, which Del Rey said will arrive on the Fourth of July. The singer shared the album artwork and release date on Wednesday (April 27), though she didn’t elaborate beyond that. LDR’s previous announcement noted that her next album would be called Rock Candy Sweet and that it would drop on June 1; time will tell if that record became Blue Banisters, or if this is another LP altogether. See her social media announcement here.
Maroon 5 announced their new album
Maroon 5’s seventh album, Jordi, will be dedicated to their late manager Jordi Feldstein, who died in 2017. Frontman Adam Levine told Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday (April 29) that “there was no better tribute than to name the album after our boy.” Jordi will be released on June 11, and it includes Maroon 5’s collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion “Beautiful Mistakes” and their 2019 hit single “Memories.” Read what else Levine had to say about the album here.
The Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival will return to Tennessee this fall
As Billboard announced on Thursday (April 29), Dave Matthews Band, Maren Morris, The Black Keys and Cage the Elephant are set to headline the Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival, which will take place in Franklin, Tenn., from Sept. 25-26, 2021. Additional performers include Khruangbin, Black Pumas, Amos Lee, Tanya Tucker, Better Than Ezra, Houndmouth, Tank and the Bangas, Valerie June, JD McPherson, Jamestown Revival, Low Cut Connie, Robert Finley, Katie Pruitt, Morgan Wade, Larry Fleet, Harlem Gospel Travelers and Hailey Whitters. See the full lineup here.
Finalists for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards were announced
The Weeknd led all finalists for the 2021 BBMAs — the “Blinding Lights” star is a finalist in 16 categories, including top artist, top male artist and top Hot 100 artist. DaBaby followed with 11, Gabby Barrett with nine, and Morgan Wallen with six (though he won’t be appearing at this year’s ceremony). And Nick Jonas will do the honors of hosting after fellow The Voice coach Kelly Clarkson did it for the last three years. Check out the full list, which was announced on Thursday (April 29), here.
Billboard talked to DJ Khaled about his Khaled Khaled album
Another one! DJ Khaled released his 12th self-titled album Khaled Khaled on Friday (April 30), and he invited Billboard to his home in Miami to discuss working with Megan Thee Stallion and Roddy Ricch. “I always wanted to make an album called Khaled Khaled … But I knew it had to come at a certain time. I figured I had to get past 10 albums,” he said. “But now, it’s time for the new chapter, the evolving of Khaled Khaled.” Read the full interview here and stream Khaled Khaled here.