Today, the talk of the town is last night’s explosive Verzuz battle, but before we get to that, there’s a lot more to unpack that happened earlier in the week.
First, Adele posted a rare pic on social media, Dua Lipa and Anwar Hadid became proud parents (of a puppy), and Taylor Swift broke about a zillion chart records.
Then, the first MTV VMAs performers — and the show’s host — were announced, Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty got a street date, Miley Cyrus announced a new song, and much, much more.
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Adele showed her love for Beyonce’s Black Is King
Like most of us, the British superstar spent the weekend obsessing over Beyonce’s new visual album. “Thank you Queen for always making us all feel so loved through your art,” Adele wrote on Saturday (Aug. 1) alongside a photo of her kneeling by a TV featuring Beyonce’s “Already” video. Check out Adele’s latest pic here.
Dua Lipa and Anwar Hadid adopted a dog
Dua Lipa and Anwar Hadid are now puppy parents! The couple has named their adorable black rescue dog Dexter, and he’s already a model, as we can see in these photos. “Our tiny bestfriend Dexter!!!” Lipa wrote on Instagram. “Thank you @thelabellefoundation HE’S PERFECT.”
BTS announced the name of their new single
BTS revealed some more details about their upcoming new song, which will be in English. The track will be titled “Dynamite,” and in case you forgot, it’ll be here on Aug. 21. “We are preparing an album for the second half of this year, but decided to first release a single because we wanted to reach our fans as soon as possible,” BTS also previously said during a broadcast on Korean broadcasting app V Live. “Due to COVID-19, people around the world have been going through tough times and we wanted to share some positive energy with our fans.” Can’t wait!
Taylor Swift became the first artist ever to debut atop the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 charts simultaneously
Taylor Swift landed yet another no. 1 with her new album Folklore, and achieved the biggest week of 2020 to boot. The record started with 846,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending July 30, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. “That marks the largest week registered for any album since Swift’s own Lover, which debuted at No. 1 on the Sept. 7, 2019-dated chart with 867,000 units,” Billboard‘s Keith Caulfield reports. Here’s the full rundown for this week’s Billboard 200 chart.
Plus, lead single “Cardigan” also blasted in at No. 1 atop the Hot 100, making Swift the first artist to debut atop both the Hot 100 and Billboard 200 at the same time! “Cardigan” is joined by two other songs from the set that debut in the Hot 100’s top 10: “The 1,” at No. 4, and “Exile,” featuring Bon Iver, at No. 6. In fact, all sixteen songs from Folklore are on the chart this week. All in a day’s work for Tay.
Harry Styles ruled the Pop Songs chart
As fans celebrated #WatermelonSugarDay on social media on Aug. 3, Harry Styles racked up another chart feat, leading the Pop Songs radio airplay chart with his sticky sweet song. The singer also became the first member of One Direction to notch multiple No. 1s on the chart (Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Zayn each have one topper to their name). Congrats, Harry! Learn more about the “Watermelon Sugar” triumph here.
The first MTV VMAs performers — and the show’s host — were announced
MTV revealed that BTS, Doja Cat and J Balvin are all booked to perform at the MTV Video Music Awards, which are set to air live on Sunday, Aug. 30. BTS will perform their new single, “Dynamite,” which is set for release on Aug. 21. Learn more here.
Also, Keke Palmer is set to host!
Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty line finally received a launch date
Gomez’s makeup line will officially drop on Sept. 3. “I’m SO excited to finally share that @RareBeauty will be launching September 3rd only at @Sephora, @SephoraCanada, @SephoraMx and RareBeauty.com,” the singer and future beauty mogul wrote on Instagram. “I’ve had so much fun creating everything and can’t wait for y’all to try it all! I hope you love it as much as I do!” Yeah, take our money. Learn more about when and where to purchase Rare Beauty here.
Dua Lipa announced her Club Future Nostalgia: The Remix Album
The disco dance jams will keep coming! Lipa revealed her new remix album will be out on Aug. 21, and will include the previously-announced “Levitating” remix by The Blessed Madonna and featuring Missy Elliott and Madonna. Gwen Stefani and Mark Ronson will also feature on the album. Here’s everything you need to know.
Miley Cyrus teased her 7th album and announced a new song
Miley is (finally) coming! The singer took to social media to tease the forthcoming release of her long-awaited album She Is Miley Cyrus, and revealed a new song called “Midnight Sky.” “Meet Miley Cyrus….. again. #SheIsComing #ButForRealThisTime,” Cyrus tweeted, using a clip from the music video for her 2008 single “Start All Over,” from her debut solo album Breakout. Listen to a teaser of the new song here.
Billboard chatted with Alessia Cara
Cara joined the Billboard Pop Shop Podcast for a convo about her latest project, a live EP titled This Summer: Live Off the Floor, as well as new music she’s working on. “I’m writing, definitely, from an introspective place,” Cara says. “All of that stuff [the pandemic] is definitely making an impact on what I write about, but also just the way that I write. You know, it’s just been a really reflective year so far. So [it’s] almost impossible to not talk about those things.” Check out the full episode here.
…And Monsta X
Monsta X will perform during an epic virtual concert on Saturday (Aug. 8), and ahead of the big event, the K-pop group answered 20 questions for Billboard. From their first CDs and first concerts to what’s on their professional bucket list and much more, see what Shownu, Minhyuk, Kihyun, Hyungwon, Joohoney, and IM had to say here.
A new week brought a new round of Billboard Live At-Home performances
Americana rocker Drew Holcomb and country stars Gabby Barrett both performed stellar sets this week, while raising money for great causes.
Notably, Barrett brought out her husband Cade Foehner for her performance, and sweetly recalled the early days in their relationship. “I was just thinking back to when him and I were dating during American Idol at the time,” she said of how he inspired her song “The Good Ones.” Barrett continued, “And some of my family members would just ask me, be like, ‘Oh, how’s your boyfriend doing?’ and I’d be like, ‘Oh, he’s good. He’s a good one, he’s a keeper.’… Not every single person is bad, not all guys are bad, and I found my good one.” Watch the two sets here.
Rick Ross and 2 Chainz battled it out for Verzuz
Rick Ross and 2 Chainz, two of the most prolific star rappers of their generation, were the latest to go head-to-head in Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s Verzuz series on Thursday night (Aug. 6). From Rick Ross’ “Hustlin” vs. 2 Chainz’s “I’m Different” to Kanye West feat. Rick Ross’ “Devil in a New Dress” vs. 2 Chainz feat. Travis Scott’s “4 AM” and much more, it was definitely a Verzuz to remember.
So who won? Check out the scorecard here.