It was a huge week for new music, as Zayn dropped his comeback single, Taylor Swift unleashed a few Evermore bonus tracks, and Saweetie and Doja Cat teamed up for the first huge collab of 2021!
Plus, Playboi Carti earned his first No. 1 album, Miley Cyrus teased an upcoming Elton John team-up, BTS covered a song by rockers X Ambassadors (!) and much more.
Take a look at all of the week’s can’t-miss music moments below.
Beyonce looked back at 2020
In a rare post, Queen Bey took to social media to look back on a bittersweet 2020. She shared a heartfelt video montage reflecting on the ups and downs of the past year, touching on the struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of voting in the presidential election, while also celebrating the success of her Black Is King film and her record-setting nominations at the upcoming Grammy Awards. Watch the IGTV video here.
Playboi Carti landed his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 chart
Playboi Carti earned his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as his Christmas Day release Whole Lotta Red debuted atop the tally. Meanwhile, Lil Durk’s The Voice soared 46-3 after its first full tracking week of availability, Taylor Swift’s Evermore fell to No. 2, and more. See the full Billboard 200 rundown for the week ending Dec. 31, 2020 here, and read five burning questions about Carti’s feat here.
24kGoldn’s “Mood” returned to No. 1 on the Hot 100
After a short break, 24kGoldn and Iann Dior are back on top! “Mood” rebounded from No. 7 for a seventh total week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. Plus, The Weeknd’s former No. 1 “Blinding Lights” returned to the Hot 100 at No. 3, and Dua Lipa’s “Levitating,” featuring DaBaby, soared to the top 10 for the first time. Check out the full rundown for this week’s Hot 100 chart here.
Billboard caught up with Barry Gibb
Gibb is known for making music with his late brothers Maurice and Robin as the Bee Gees, and now he’s found new singing partners in the country world. Greenfields: The Gibb Brothers Songbook, Vol. 1 is out now, and Billboard’s Melinda Newman spoke to Gibb about teaming up with artists like Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Keith Urban and Little Big Town to reimagine of some of the Bee Gees’ biggest hits. Check out the interview here.
BTS covered X Ambassadors for a new ad
BTS unveiled a rocking cover of X Ambassadors’ “Jungle” in a new Coca-Cola commercial in Indonesia! “@bts_bighit COVERED OUR SONG JUNGLE!!!!!! WOWOWOWOWOW the extent of our standom knows no bounds…thank you legends,” X Ambassadors tweeted. Watch the clip featuring the new cover here, and revisit some of BTS’ other covers here.
Taylor Swift dropped the deluxe version of Evermore
On Thursday (Jan. 7), Swift quietly rolled out the deluxe edition of her Evermore album. The new edition features two unheard songs: “Right Where You Left Me” and “It’s Time to Go.” (There are lyric videos, too.) Listen to the new tunes here.
Miley Cyrus and Elton John announced a new collaboration
Get ready to rock! In a new interview with UK radio station Capital FM, Cyrus teased an upcoming collaboration she has planned with a few big-name stars, including Sir Elton John, Yo-Yo Ma and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. Oh, and the song they’ll be performing together? A cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters.” Here’s what we know so far.
MRC Data revealed the top music of 2020
According to MRC Data’s 2020 year-end report, Lil Baby’s My Turn finished as the most popular album of the year in the U.S., while Roddy Ricch’s smash hit “The Box” was the most-streamed song of 2020. Furthermore, U.S. album equivalent audio music consumption grew 12%; Taylor Swift’s Folklore was the only million-selling album of 2020; on-demand audio song streams jumped 17%; and vinyl album sales notch 15th straight year of growth. Learn more about the music that ruled 2020 here.
Zayn dropped new music and announced his next album
Welcome back, Zayn Malik! The former One Direction star dropped his comeback song “Vibez” and announced that his new album Nobody Is Listening will arrive on Jan. 15. Watch the new music video for “Vibez” here.
David Bowie was honored on what would have been his 74th birthday
From a star-studded livestream celebration to the announcement of a compilation album of covers from other artists, David Bowie was tributed by the music industry on Friday (Jan. 8). Plus, two never-before-heard releases from Bowie hit streaming services. Listen here.
Morgan Wallen dropped his sophomore album
The country star kicked off 2021 with a bang, releasing his highly-anticipated sophomore LP Dangerous: The Double Album on Friday (Jan. 8). “The ‘double album’ idea started off as just a joke between me and my manager because we had accumulated so many songs over the past couple of years,” Wallen previously said in a statement. Stream the new release here.
Georgia’s recently-elected Rev. Raphael Warnock has an album to his name
That’s right — add “musical artist” to Rev. Raphael Warnock’s growing résumé, because Georgia’s first Black senator has a decade-old album to his name. Warnock won his Georgia Senate seat once final votes were counted Wednesday (Jan. 6), and Billboard unearthed his joint gospel album with Grammy-winning singer Jennifer Holliday. Check it out here.
Doja Cat and Saweetie teamed up for an epic collaboration
Give it up for the BFFs! Saweetie and Doja Cat have united for a girl power anthem titled “Best Friend,” along with an eye-popping music video directed by Dave Meyers. “That’s my best friend, she a real bad b—h / Drive her own car, she don’t need no Lyft / In the strip club, know my girl gon’ tip / Now she twerkin’, she throw it out and come back in,” the duo boast on the catchy hook. Watch the colorful visual here.