This week was one of celebrations, as Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit & Prom got the party started.
Later in the week, Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas and more performed at Democracy Summer 2020, Alicia Keys and John Legend honored Juneteenth with a soothing Verzuz battle, Beyonce dropped a surprise song on the holiday, and much more.
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter hosted their Pride Summit and Prom
Pride isn’t canceled. The Pride Summit and Pride Prom on Saturday (June 13) featured panels, musical performances, glam tutorials (leading up to the Pride Prom) and tons more. The event featured appearances and performances by Billy Porter, Shea Diamond, Rex Rebel, Madame Gandhi, Trixie Mattel, Tituss Burgess, Pabllo Vittar, Shamir, Noah Cyrus, Tove Lo, Lauren Jauregui and many more.
Lil Baby’s My Turn album returned to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart after three months
It was Lil Baby’s “turn” again, as his latest album rocketed back to No. 1 with 65,000 equivalent album units earned (up 5 percent) in the U.S. in the week ending June 11, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. “My Turn climbs back to No. 1 thanks in part to its steady performance since its debut, and because of a lack of big new albums being released on June 5,” chart expert Keith Caulfield writes, adding, “How sparse was the June 5 release schedule? No albums debut inside the top 40 of the new chart.” Check out the full rundown of this week’s Billboard 200 here.
Eminem shared his greatest rappers of all time list
The “Rap God” himself responded to a tweet from YouTuber NoLifeShaq, sharing his personal list of the greatest rappers. Lil Wayne, 2Pac, Royce da 5’9″, Jay-Z, Redman, Treach, Kool G Rap, Notorious B.I.G., Kxng Crooked, LL Cool J, Nas, Joyner Lucas, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Andre 3000, Rakim, and Big Daddy Kane all made the cut! Learn more here.
“Rockstar” reigned again
DaBaby’s “Rockstar” featuring Roddy Ricch has now spent a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. The track “marks the first Hot 100 No. 1 to notch multiple weeks on top after a run in which five songs each spent a first and lone week at the summit,” Billboard’s Gary Trust reports. ((Meanwhile, the track also hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Songs of the Summer chart.) Check out the full rundown here, and congrats to DaBaby and Roddy!
The Roots announced they’re taking their Roots Picnic online this year
With some help from former First Lady Michelle Obama, The Roots are putting on a virtual festival that will stream on YouTube June 27. The event has quite the lineup: it will be hosted by Quest, Black Thoughts and Obama, with sets from The Roots, H.E.R., Roddy Ricch, Lil Baby, SZA, Kirk Franklin, Snoh Aalegra, Earthgang, G Herbo, Polo G, D Nice and Musiq Soulchild (backed by The Roots).
There will also be appearances from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Paul, Tom Hanks, Liza Koshy, Kerry Washington, Tracee Ellis Ross, Janelle Monáe, and Elaine Welteroth. Learn more here.
Cardi B teased new music
Could the follow-up to 2018’s Invasion of Privacy be on its way? Cardi B took to Twitter on Tuesday (June 16) to tell fans that she has new music coming — perhaps even an album. “It’s comin .Its going to hit too!!!” she promised. Check out the exchanges here.
Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas and more performed at Democracy Summer 2020
Rock the Vote got fans fired up for the election on Thursday (June 18) with their virtual Democracy Summer 2020 concert. Katy Perry and The Black Eyed Peas co-headlined the two-hour event, and Ne-Yo, Big Freedia, Lucy Hale, Amara La Negra, Saweetie, Sklyar Astin, Max, Leslie Grace, Dove Cameron, Sofia Carson, Rich Brian also performed.
Billboard picked the 20 greatest “final” Hot 100 No. 1 hits
From Hall & Oates’ “Out of Touch” to the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” and Cher’s “Believe,” here are the top 20 “songs that best capped some of the longest and most winding careers in Billboard Hot 100 history.”
…And examined the unusual amount of turnover atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart
Six new No. 1s in six weeks demands attention, no? We analyzed the turnover atop the Hot 100, which includes “The Scotts,” by The Scotts, Travis Scott & Kid Cudi, “Say So” by Doja Cat featuring Nicki Minaj, “Stuck With U” by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, “Savage” by Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé, “Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga and Grande, and DaBaby’s “Rockstar” featuring Roddy Ricch in its first frame at No. 1.
….And interviewed the Black Eyed Peas about taking a global approach with their new album
Billboard’s Leila Cobo spoke to the group about recruiting Latin stars for their latest album, Translation. “Long before they were a chart-conquering, arena-ready quartet, the Black Eyed Peas were a trio of high school friends in Los Angeles — an African American (William “Will.i.am” Adams), a Mexican American (Jaime Luis “Taboo” Gomez) and a Filipino (Allan “Apl.de.ap” Pineda),” Cobo writes. “They made hip-hop with a vast multicultural mindset, blurring ethnic and genre lines beyond distinction years before ever dreaming about ruling pop radio.” Check out the interview here.
Artists continued to raise money for charity with Billboard Live At Home performances
This week, Scarypoolparty and Brian McKnight performed at-home sets. Notably, Scarypoolparty (born Alejandro Arandaorn) opted to raise money for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and spoke about these trying times: “I think this time is really interesting for that because it’s taking a lot of us to really analyze what’s going on and to understand that we’re all here for each other. We have to be…. In this time, we’re taking big steps in our lives to understand that we need to stand up for what we believe.” Check out the recaps and rewatch any performances you may have missed here.
Juneteenth brought tons of potent new music releases
From Beyonce’s surprise song “Black Parade” to Teyana Taylor’s The Album, John Legend’s Bigger Love, and a new version of Aretha Franklin’s “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” this New Music Friday was focused on riveting and powerful Black voices.
“I’ve always been here. I’ve always been about us being celebrated and celebrating my culture and my people,” Taylor told Billboard of releasing her album on Juneteenth, a day commemorating when slaves were declared free in the state of Texas following the conclusion of the American Civil War. “For everything to happen, from my album getting delayed and it falls perfectly on Juneteenth, yes, it’s a celebration.”
Alicia Keys and John Legend battled it out in Juneteenth Verzuz special
Finally, piano-playing powerhouses Alicia Keys and John Legend faced off in a more-than-two-hour battle for the latest edition of Verzuz on Friday (June 19). “In a time of civil unrest throughout the country, Alicia Keys and John Legend’s Verzuz event was a healing balm,” writes Jewel Wicker. From Keys’ “Gangsta Lovin’” vs. Legend’s “So High” to Keys’ “Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down” (2009) vs. Common feat. Kanye West & Legend’s “They Say,” see the recap here.