In case you’re just emerging from a cabin deep in the woods, we’ll bring you up to speed on the biggest music moment of the week: Taylor Swift’s new album Evermore!
Yep, Swift dropped her second surprise album of 2020 (after Folklore, of course) and it’s the exact dose of magic that we needed this chilly December.
It was a big week for events, too, with Billboard’s Women in Music, the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball and Cyndi Lauper’s 10th annual Home For the Holidays Benefit all going down.
Take a look at all of the week’s can’t-miss music moments below.
Eminem made a surprise cameo during Saturday Night Live
‘Twas the night before Christmas, and we were not prepared for this amazing pre-taped sketch. Slim Shady made an appearance as himself in a Christmas-themed parody of his 2000 music video “Stan,” during which SNL‘s Pete Davidson played the Santa Claus-obsessed “Stu,” while Bowen Yang did an incredible Elton John (who famously performed alongside Em at the 2001 Grammys in 2001). It’s a must-watch.
Bad Bunny earned his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart — and made history
The Puerto Rican rapper’s El Ultimo Tour del Mundo album debuted atop the list, making it the first all-Spanish-language album to reach No. 1 in the 64-year history of the all-genre chart. Plus, Miley Cyrus’ Plastic Hearts debuted at No. 2, while Michael Bublé’s Christmas returned to the top 10. See the full Billboard 200 rundown for the week ending Nov. 26 here.
24kGoldn’s “Mood” featuring Iann Dior returned to No. 1 on the Hot 100
The hit rebounded from No. 2 for a sixth total week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, while Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” returned to the Hot 100’s top 10 (at No. 2) for the first time since it spent three weeks at No. 1. Plus, Brenda Lee and Bobby Helms holiday hits returned to the top 10. All you need to know about the Hot 100 top 10 is here.
Two iconic women will be facing off in the next Verzuz battle
R&B stars Ashanti and Keyshia Cole will go head-to-head on Dec. 12! “Yeah, it’s official! The paperwork is IN,” the official Verzuz Instagram teased of the “legendary Ladies Night.” The matchup will mark the fourth female-charged battle, following Erykah Badu and Jill Scott, Monica and Brandy, and Gladys Knight and Patti LaBelle. Here’s the latest.
A Holly Dolly Christmas brought holiday cheer
It’s Christmas, y’all! On Sunday night (Dec. 6), Dolly Parton’s new holiday special aired on CBS, and the legend performed a number of songs off her A Holly Dolly Christmas album, from classic covers like “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” and “Mary Did You Know?” to original numbers “Circle of Love” and “Comin’ Home For Christmas.” Watch all of the performances here.
Billboard rolled out multiple best-of-2020 lists
Billboard staffers shared their thoughts on all of the music that was worth listening to this year. Check out the 100 best songs, the 50 best albums, the 25 best music videos, the 10 best LGBTQ albums, the 25 best LGBTQ songs, the 20 best rap songs, and the 20 best rap albums of 2020.
YouTube Originals announced a global New Year’s Eve celebration
It’s almost time to ring in 2021, and you can add the “Hello 2021” celebration to your at-home festivities. Dua Lipa, J Balvin, YG, Karol G and Kane Brown will perform, while Demi Lovato, Matthew McConaughey, Behzinga, RuPaul, Larray, Emma Chamberlain, Anne-Marie, Marques Brownlee, the D’Amelio Family and more will make appearances. Learn more here.
Billie Eilish shared her favorite songs of 2020
The taste! The “Therefore I Am” singer shared her favorite tracks of 2020 with Australia’s Triple J as part of their annual countdown, The Hottest 100, and the list is pretty eclectic in the best way, with picks from The Strokes and Phoebe Bridgers to Drake. See Eilish’s fave tunes of the year here.
iHeartRadio’s 2020 Jingle Ball went virtual
This year’s Jingle Ball spread cheer from home this year, delivering a star-studded virtual event on Thursday evening (Dec. 10). Billie Eilish, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, Harry Styles, Lewis Capaldi, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes and more took to the virtual stage! See all our favorite moments from the night here.
Women in Music was a night to remember
Teyana Taylor hosted the 2020 Billboard Women in Music event on Thursday (Dec. 10). Dua Lipa, Jennifer Lopez, Jessie Reyez, Chloe x Halle, Dolly Parton and 2020 Woman of the Year Cardi B were honored during the event, which also featured some stunning performances. Check out the recap here.
Taylor Swift dropped a second surprise album
Quoth the raven: EVERMORE! Yep, Taylor Swift gifted fans with a companion album to Folklore at midnight on Dec. 11, just ahead of her 31st birthday on Dec. 13. Lead Evermore track “Willow” also received a gorgeous music video! Stream Evermore here, watch the video for “Willow” below, read a ranking of every track here, and check out an analysis of the set here.
There was a ton of other epic new music this week, too
Taylor Swift’s Evermore aside, there were plenty of other goodies released this week. Kid Cudi unleashed his Man On The Moon III album, Jack Harlow released his debut studio set That’s What They All Say, and Gwen Stefani returned to ska with “Let Me Reintroduce Myself.”
Cyndi Lauper’s 10th annual Home For the Holidays Benefit will be stacked
Later tonight (Dec. 11), be sure to tune in to see tons of stars perform for a great cause! Cher, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Dolly Parton Adam Lambert, Bette Midler, Billy Porter, Boy George, Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Kim Petras, King Princess, Phoebe Bridgers, Amanda Shires, Jason Isbell, Billy Steinberg, Carson Kressley, Harvey Fierstein, Henry Rollins, Jackson Browne, Judy Gold, Justin Tranter, the cast of Kinky Boots, LL Cool J, Meg Myers, Sharon Osbourne, Shea Diamond, Tom Kelly, Tracy Young, Whoopi Goldberg, and the Youth Pride Chorus are all on the lineup. See when and how to tune in here.