The summer may be over (even if its unofficial anthem, “Despacito,” is still ruling the Hot 100). But take a look at Billboard’s 2017 Fall Preview, and you’ll see there are plenty of reasons to get psyched for the season to come — 44 of them, to be precise. Cover stars Halsey and her tour-mate Charli XCX, two of the smartest, most outspoken women in pop right now, will come to an arena near you with their infectious brand of girl power (and, probably, a spot-on cover of “Wannabe” to go with it). Walk the Moon will prove they’re much more than a one-mega-hit rock band. And speaking of rock, it’s most certainly not dead yet — at least if the Foo Fighters and indie heroes like The National and Deer Tick have anything to say about it (meanwhile, Pink should fulfill your need for epic pop, and Travis Scott could satisfy fans with two potential new albums).
If the news has got you in a protest frame of mind, let rap-rockers Prophets of Rage instruct you in how best to resist this fall (if chilling out or simply living your best life are more your style, Jack Johnson and Margo Price have you covered). As Spotify’s possible stock market entry looms, streaming giants and up-and-comers alike will face tectonic shifts before year’s end (Art Garfunkel’s memoir, on the other hand, will get you nostalgic for the days of tape decks). SpongeBob SquarePants will sing Bowie, T.I., Aerosmith and more in his Broadway musical debut. And with an adventurous new album, R&B hitmaker Ty Dolla $ign might just make you believe in his personal credo: “There’s no ceiling for the Dolla.”
— Post-prison, Gucci Mane opens up with album Mr. Davis (Sept. 15), The Autobiography of Gucci Mane (Sept. 19) and a BET reality show with fiancee Keyshia Ka’oir (Oct. 17).
WHO WILL BREAK OUT?
“I think that Jessie Reyez is going to have a moment here pretty damn soon. She has a song called ‘Figures’ that I’m obsessed with and she’s really talented. She may not have gotten the big big break yet, but I think there is going to be a really bright future for that girl.” — Julia Michaels
— ‘Tis the season for pop queens: Miley Cyrus drops Younger Now on Sept. 29, Demi Lovato’s Tell Me You Love Me arrives Sept. 29 and Kelly Clarkson’s Atlantic Records debut appears before the year’s end.
— The Bellas are back: Pitch Perfect 3 (Dec. 22) reunites Anna Kendrick, Ester Dean, Rebel Wilson and crew with now-pop star Hailee Steinfeld for the a cappella juggernaut’s final installment.
WHO WILL BREAK OUT?
“Bailey Bryan is cool, but not unapproachable cool: just really raw, herself cool — like, the kind of person you want to be best friends with. Her music is a parallel to that.” — Kelsea Ballerini
— Calling all Animals: For her first solo trek in four years, Kesha invites you to “boogie” with her as she takes her acclaimed Rainbow on a North American tour (starting Sept. 26).
— Posthumous dives into rock god lives: Dylan Jones’ epic oral history David Bowie: A Life (Sept. 12) and Anthony DeCurtis’ Lou Reed: A Life (Oct. 10), based on extensive interviews with Reed.
— Still spooky after all these years? Marilyn Manson has called forthcoming 10th studio album Heaven Upside Down “the most thematic and overcomplicated thing I’ve done.”
— St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) shreds across Europe and the United States (starting Oct. 17) on her Fear the Future Tour — and could well release an album to go with it before year’s end.
— Following up this May’s widely acclaimed Billboard 200 No. 2 From A Room: Volume 1, renegade country rocker Chris Stapleton looks to ascend the chart again with From A Room: Volume 2.
WHO WILL BREAK OUT?
“When I listen to Luke Combs, he’s got such a natural country lyrical turn of phrase — it fills a part of my heart that’s been missing since the heyday of 90s country.” — Ben Vaughn, President Warner/Chappell Nashville
— Two years after his glam-pop-rap-punk debut, Ratchet, eccentric charmer Shamir returns on a new label (San Francisco indie Father/Daughter) with Revelations (Nov. 3).
— Tony- and Oscar-winning composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land) take the big screen with the Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya musical The Greatest Showman (Dec. 25).
— Rock fans, rejoice: Indie heroes LCD Soundsystem release American Dream on Sept. 1, The Killers return with Wonderful Wonderful on Sept. 22, and Fall Out Boy hits the road on Sept. 16 before January’s Mania.
…And More Must-Know Releases
Tori Amos, Native Invader
Gregg Allman, Southern Blood
Neil Young, Hitchhiker
Kip Moore, Slowheart
Esperanza Spalding, Exposure
Emily Haines, Choir of The Mind
Sleeping With Sirens, Gossip
Cut Copy, Haiku From Zero
Fergie, Double Dutchess
Chris Janson, Everybody
Phoebe Bridgers, Stranger in the Alps
Jaws of Love, Tasha Sits Close To The Piano
Echosmith, Inside A Dream
Liam Gallagher, As You Were
Kane Brown, Kane Brown (Deluxe)
Carlos Vives, Vives
Darius Rucker, When Was the Last Time
Chris Young, Losing Sleep
Tyminski, Southern Gothic
Julien Baker, Turn Out the Lights
Kenny Chesney, No Shoes Nation: 10 Years of Concert Hits
TOURS & FESTIVALS
Post Malone (starts Sept. 2)
Big Boi (starts Sept. 2)
Arcade Fire (starts Sept. 5)
Paramore (starts Sept. 6)
Meadows Music & Arts Festival (Sept. 15 – 17)
Jawbreaker at Riot Fest Chicago (Sept. 17)
War on Drugs (starts Sept. 21)
ASAP Mob (starts Sept. 23)
Phoenix (starts Oct. 10)
King Krule (starts Oct. 21)
BOOKS & FILM
Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen (On-sale Oct. 24)
Gaga: Five Foot Two (On Netflix Sept. 22)