Welcome to Billboard‘s weekly recap! Whether it’s a newly released song or video, a viral moment, or a big announcement, Billboard will have a round-up of the happenings across the music industry at the end of every week.
This week was a bittersweet one, as it began with the loss of another rock icon, The Cars‘ frontman Ric Ocasek, who passed away from heart disease on Sunday (Sept. 15). Then on Wednesday (Sept. 18), Billboard lost one of its longtime country contributors, Chuck Dauphin, who died from complications of diabetes. Each death was emotional for their respective communities, and our hearts are with those who were close to both Ocasek and Dauphin.
Amid the sadder news, some of music’s biggest names made major announcements and reached milestones in this mid-September week. On Monday (Sept. 16) alone, Post Malone nabbed his second consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200; Lady Gaga launched her Haus Laboratories makeup line; and BTS returned from their month-long break. The rest of the week included moments from Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Billboard‘s latest cover stars Lil Nas X and Lizzo.
Check out our recap of the most notable moments from the week below.
Post Malone earned his second No. 1 album with Hollywood’s Bleeding
After earning 2019’s biggest streaming week yet (365.4 million on-demand audio streams of Hollywood’s Bleeding’s 17 songs), Post landed his second album atop the all-genre Billboard 200 chart on Monday (Sept. 16). Though it couldn’t top Taylor Swift’s knockout Lover first-week tally, Post’s numbers were still plenty impressive, opening with 489,000 equivalent album units in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music — subsequently landing all 17 tracks on the Billboard Hot 100 in its debut week.
Lady Gaga launched Haus Laboratories
The Mother Monster officially joined the beauty market on Monday (Sept. 16), launching her highly anticipated Haus Laboratories makeup line. Amid a “Haus Party” of 500 guests at Los Angeles’ Barker Hangar — where Gaga herself DJ’d — the pop star debuted the six-product collection that features lip liners, eyeshadow shimmers, eyeliners and stickers. Gaga told partygoers that while she’s hoping Haus Laboratories does well, “I want Haus Laboratories to succeed because of what we stand for,” she said. “Although I am chairwoman of this company, I care about people, and I care about how people feel. I want people to love themselves, and I want them to see how beautiful they are.”
BTS ended their break
Just one month after BTS shocked ARMY members around the world with an announcement that they’d be taking a break “to recharge and prepare to present themselves anew as musicians and creators,” the K-pop superstars were already back at work on Monday (Sept. 16). Members of the boy band were spotted at the Seoul-adjacent Incheon Airport, where they were headed overseas “for an engagement abroad,” according to the group’s management company Big Hit Entertainment. While it’s unclear where they were traveling to or how long they’d be abroad, BTS’ break wasn’t going to last much longer than September anyway: The group is set to bring their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself tour to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and Seoul, South Korea next month.
Taylor Swift announced Lover Fest
The “ME!” singer took to social media to reveal some big (and history making) news Tuesday (Sept. 17), announcing a batch of Lover tour dates for 2020, including the inaugural performance at Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium on July 25, 2020 — making her the first woman in history to open an NFL stadium. “For me, the Lover album is open fields, sunsets, + SUMMER,” Swift wrote in her announce. “I want to perform it in a way that feels authentic.” She’ll be playing eight international festivals, including Denmark’s Roskilde Festival and Brazil’s Allianz Parque, before bringing her curated Lover Fest West and Lover Fest East to LA and Boston, respectively.
Mandy Moore returned to music
A week before the premiere of This Is Us Season 4 on Sept. 24, Mandy Moore the pop star decided to also give her music fans something to talk about: A brand new single, the introspective midtempo tune “When I Wasn’t Watching.” Making things even more exciting, Moore confirmed that she has a full album on the way (set for early next year), which she called a “purposeful departure” from her poppier past in a statement. We’re ready.
Whitney Houston hologram tour dates were released
The Whitney Houston Estate revealed Tuesday (Sept. 17) that the late superstar’s legacy will live on thanks to a hologram production, titled An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour, in partnership with BASE Hologram. The first round of dates includes Mexico — where the tour will kick off on Jan. 23 — the U.K. and Europe, wrapping in Belarus on April 3. The tour is expected to come to North America in the fall of 2020.
Alicia Keys and Miguel teamed up for a new tune
How do you make Alicia Keys sound even better? Add another smooth-voiced singer like Miguel to her track. Keys recruited Miguel for “Show Me Love,” which they released alongside a “visual sonic experience” video on Tuesday (Sept. 17). The pair’s sultry tones are taken to the next level thanks to the song’s sensual lyrics: “Treat it like we freakin’ on the weekend, show me love/ I heat up the seconds, times and reasons for your love,” Keys sings on the chorus.
George Strait, Loretta Lynn and Luke Combs were honored at the Nashville Songwriter Awards
The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) paid tribute to the songwriting community with a two-and-a-half hour awards ceremony at the famed Ryan Auditorium Tuesday night (Sept. 17). George Strait received the President’s Keystone Award, Loretta Lynn was honored with the Kris Kristofferson Lifetime Achievement Award, and Luke Combs was highlighted as the songwriter/artist of the year. In addition to the honorees, trophies were also handed out for “10 Songs I Wish I’d Written” awards, which included Florida Georgia Line and Bebe Rexha’s crossover hit “Meant to Be” and Dan + Shay’s breakthrough smash “Tequila.”
Katy Perry talked about making amends with Taylor Swift
Perry visited Ellen DeGeneres to perform her latest hit “Small Talk” on television for the first time, but what KatyCats (and Swifties) mostly cared about her official declaration that she and Taylor Swift are friends again. “We have so much in common, there’s probably only 10 people in the world that have the same things in common,” Perry explained to DeGeneres. “I was like, ‘We should really be friends over that and share our strengths and our weaknesses and our challenges.’”
Billie Eilish performed two intimate shows in Los Angeles
In the midst of playing arenas around the world, Eilish gave several hundred lucky LA fans the chance to get up close and personal with her on two separate occasions, in the same week. First, Eilish and her brother, FINNEAS, played an acoustic set and took part in a Q&A at the Grammy Museum on Tuesday (Sept. 17); one day later, Eilish took the stage at LA’s famous venue Troubadour for a special show for SiriusXM subscribers on Wednesday (Sept. 18).
Kodi Lee won America’s Got Talent
Ever since blowing the world away with his soaring voice and effortless piano skills, Lee proved to be one of the most beloved contestants on AGT Season 14. Following two more breathtaking performances in the competition finals, Lee was crowned the winner on Wednesday (Sept. 18), melting hearts around the world when asked how he felt after his victory: “I feel so amazing!”
P!nk was announced as Billboard’s 2019 Legend of Live
The “Walk Me Home” singer wrapped her year-and-a-half-long Beautiful Trauma World Tour in August with $397.3 million grossed (and more than 3 million tickets sold), marking the biggest tour for a woman in over a decade. That feat made P!nk an undeniable choice for Billboard‘s latest Legend of Live honor, which was announced on Thursday (Sept. 19). She will accept the award at Billboard’s 2019 Live Summit, taking place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 5 and 6.
Lizzo and Lil Nas X became Billboard cover stars
Billboard’s annual Grammy Preview Issue arrived Thursday (Sept. 19), with 2019 breakout stars Lil Nas X and Lizzo each gracing the cover, particularly thanks to their respective Hot 100 No. 1 hits, “Old Town Road” and “Truth Hurts.” “Only the big dogs really make it to the cover,” Lizzo told Billboard in a video interview. “To be on the cover of Billboard means that I’m really doing the damn thing… It doesn’t just mean that your music is good — it means that your music is reaching the world, and your music is making a mark. Not only with numbers, but with impact.”
From nostalgic pop-punk to the current K-pop craze, several genres saw new releases on Sept. 20. Check out some of the biggest releases here, and hear interviews with Liam Payne and Zac Brown on this week’s First Stream Podcast here.