A household name to WWE fans, pop-rock and nu-metal artist Poppy is set to perform and debut a new song during the second night of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver on Thursday, April 8, Billboard can exclusively announce.
“Music has always been such a big part of WWE,” says Paul Levesque, WWE’s evp, global talent strategy and development. (Levesque is also a WWE superstar who debuted as “Triple H” in 1995, and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2019.) “Music adds so much to the emotion of what it is we do and that connection has been there since the very beginning when you had the rock and wrestling connection with Cyndi Lauper as part of the WWE.”
The 26-year-old artist, whose “Bloodmoney” was up for best metal performance at this year’s Grammys, is “custom built for us and we immediately reached out,” says Levesque, who brought Poppy on board after his team introduced him to her music. “NXT, a two-hour weekly live show, caters to a younger demographic and we typically have up-and-coming talent that we’ve been able to expose them in a bigger way to the world outside of their genre. It’s a great platform for her and it’s great for us.”
Collaborations between musicians and the WWE have evolved, Levesque points out. “They were sort of just transactional at first. Like, ‘We want to use your song, pay us this much to use the song,’ and that was the end of it. But now bands are super collaborative because they need the platform and we want to work with them. Now it’s like, ‘Hey, how can we work together to make this big for you and to make it big for us?’ We have over a billion social media followers globally so the size and scope of WWE on every level can help these artists tremendously. When we work all together, it’s magic.”
Most recently, Bad Bunny has been making the rounds at WWE performing his smash hit “Booker T” at the 2021 Royal Rumble. But he didn’t stop there. The Puerto Rican Grammy-winning artist is making his Wrestlemania 37 debut on April 10. His opponent: The Miz.
“Bunny finds himself at a place in his career where he can just say I want to be in the WWE and that’s amazing to me,” Levesque adds. “He got a place in Orlando and he’s been training three times a week for the past three months. He has taken it so seriously. I love those collaborations. And Poppy is like Bunny in the way that every time I see her, she wants to get in the ring and wrestle and start training.”
NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver will be a two night event with night one (April 7) airing live on USA Network at 8:00 p.m. ET and night two (April 8) streaming at 8:00 p.m. ET exclusively on Peacock in the U.S. and WWE Network around the world.