Miley Cyrus Brought The House Down With Her ‘Heavenly’ Chris Cornell Tribute Performances

Wednesday night’s (January 16) Chris Cornell tribute show boasted no shortage of rock royalty — the late grunge icon‘s former bandmates in Soundgarden, Audioslave, and Temple of the Dog were on hand, as were Foo Fighters, Metallica, Ryan Adams, and more. But perhaps the buzziest performance of the night came from Miley Cyrus, who proved herself a chameleonic star by putting her stamp on a pair of beloved Cornell tunes.

Taking the stage at The Forum in Inglewood, California, Cyrus certainly looked the part of a grunge fan, wearing a sweatshirt bearing Cornell’s image, glossy pants, and platform boots. And as soon as she opened her mouth, she sounded the part, too. Cornell — who died in May 2017 at age 52 — had a formidable range that’s practically untouchable, but the 26-year-old pushed her vocals to the max on “Say Hello 2 Heaven,” headbanging alongside Temple of the Dog and drawing cheers from the shocked crowd.

Sharing a clip of her passionate performance on Instagram, the newly married singer wrote, “Had a heavenly experience with you tonight, Chris. We felt you and heard you…. your words and spirit filled the room…. there was an overwhelming feeling of so much love… we miss you deeply … tonight was an honor.”

Elsewhere during the nearly five-hour tribute concert, Cyrus delivered a soft but soulful performance of Cornell’s 2009 blues ballad “Two Drink Minimum.” “It’s hard to say goodbye,” she wrote alongside a clip from that cover.

In addition to her spine-tingling Cornell tributes, the past few weeks have given us Miley covers ranging from pop (“No Tears Left to Cry“) to Christmas classics (“Happy Xmas (War Is Over)“). So just remember: there’s seemingly no genre this girl can’t absolutely crush.

With WayV, All Eyes Are Finally On C-pop

By Tássia Assis

WayV, a boy group composed of members from Korean label SM Entertainment’s experimental collective NCT, debuted today (January 17) in China with their three-song digital EP, The Vision. The group benefits from the popularity of known faces WinWin, Lucas, and Ten, while properly introducing member Kun to a fixed unit and welcoming rookies Xiaojun, Hendery, and Yangyang to the ensemble. For SM, WayV represent the next step in the company’s plan to extend their reach across the globe with region-specific idol groups — but they’re also a gamble.

This is not the first time that SM Entertainment has tested the billion-dollar Chinese market, where the most popular acts have profits that average more than $17 million USD per month. In 2008, the company debuted Super Junior-M, a Mandarin subunit of popular boy group Super Junior, and promoted soloist Zhang Liyin’s first solo album, I WILL. In 2012, idol group EXO debuted with two subunits, EXO-K and EXO-M, with the intent of promoting in Korea and China simultaneously.

However, following the implementation of THAAD restrictions in 2017, which banned South Korean music and television content to be streamed in China, Hallyu’s (or Korean pop culture) world expansion took a blow that led to focusing in other markets, such as the West, Middle East, and Southeast Asia. The tensions also halted SM’s ambitious plan to debut WayV in 2018; in fact, removing the NCT label from the group’s name — they’re rumored to have been originally named NCT Vision — seemed to be a calculated decision.

In order to overcome any THAAD-related obstacles, SM’s strategy for WayV is to promote them under Label V, a Chinese company who will manage the group’s activities in China. (It’s unconfirmed whether SM will manage the group and its seven members outside of China.) Now, with the release of their new EP, curious eyes turn toward the burgeoning C-pop idol industry, making this a timely moment for a proper introduction to the genre.

C-pop is, first of all, a term much like K-pop, embracing various styles under Chinese popular music. It has three main subgenres: Cantopop (sung in Cantonese), Minnan Pop (sung in Taiwanese Hokkien), and the most popular, Mandopop (sung in Mandarin).

China tends to prefer soloists over groups, with popular solo artists Jay Chou, JJ Lin, and Jolin Tsai historically owning the market, but this hasn’t stopped K-pop idol groups from developing massive audiences in the country. Legendary boy band Big Bang has over 7 million followers on their Weibo page, while EXO’s Sehun has amassed more than 10 million fans on his profile. Many Chinese idols who work in the K-pop industry also tend to carve out successful solo careers in the country, such as EXO’s Lay Zhang and GOT7’s Jackson Wang.

Getty Images

Chinese idols Lay Zhang (left) and Jackson Wang (right)

However, the soloist trend might be starting to change. The aforementioned political tension between South Korea and China has posed obstacles for the Hallyu expansion, but also left enough space in Chinese entertainment to prompt a surge of their own productions. The country’s edition of Produce 101 drew more than 4.3 billion views in total, while Idol Producer, a similar survival show produced by Baidu’s iQiyi, garnered over 100 million votes to decide the top 20 trainees.

The enormous success of both shows has led to online commentary naming 2018 “the first year of the idols’ reign” in China. Meanwhile, several Chinese music shows, inspired by Korea’s popular weekly music broadcasts, also launched last year, including iQiyi’s Idol Hits and tech giant Tencent’s Yo! Bang, a streaming show that gives out awards based on chart results.

With so much excitement around C-pop in its home country — and deep-pocketed investors who believe idol groups might finally break out in China — the moment is certainly promising, even though the industry itself is still figuring things out. The government’s extensive internet censorship — which restricts access to most content for the rest of the world — is one of the biggest hurdles. Still, there are a slew of idol groups to look forward to in 2019. Take a look.

  1. Nine Percent

    The temporary boy band formed by Idol Producer released their first album To The Nines last November, accumulating almost a million digital sales and landing at No. 2 on the Billboard China V chart. After the survival show ended, the group was sent to Los Angeles for two weeks to further their training, where they worked with producer Rodney “Darkchild” Jerkins and Emmy-nominated choreographer Christopher Scott. Another reality show, Nine Percent: Flower Road Journey, followed the group during their trip.

    Cai Xukun, the first-place contestant, was already a popular figure due to his activities with group SWIN S and his own solo work, and K-pop fans might know members Zhu Zhengting (formerly known as JungJung) and Justin (Huang Minghao) from the Korean version of Produce 101, where both competed. The group also includes Fan Chengcheng (known as actress Fan BingBing’s younger brother), Chen Linong, Lin Yanjun, Wang Ziyi, Xiao Gui, and You Zhangjing.

    Their latest release, “I Need a Doctor,” is a melodramatic pop song about heartache, echoing the best of *NSYNC’s lovesick anthem, “I Drive Myself Crazy.” It’s an addictive track that showcases why they’re the nation’s pick (and probably will become yours, too).

  2. Rocket Girls 101

    The winners of Produce 101 released their first EP, 撞 (Collide), in August, garnering over two million digital sales on QQ Music, China’s biggest streaming platform, as well as a double-diamond certification. Meng Meiqi and Wu Xuanyi, from K-pop group WJSN, finished in the top two spots on the show, and former The Rap of China contestant Yamy placed fifth. Completing the eleven-member set are Yang Chaoyue, Duan Aojuan, Lai Meiyun, Zhang Zining, Sunnee, Li Ziting, Fu Jing, and Xu Mengjie.

    While their debut was nearly derailed because of management issues, the girls are known for their bubbly pop songs, such as “Calorie,” a top-charting single for the movie Xihong City’s Richest Man. However, it’s “Sailor Moon,” a b-side promoted on live shows, that reveals their true potential. The song features an exciting mix of futuristic sounds and 8-bit music, with addictive “oh oh oh la la la las” and Yamy’s rap elevating the track to another dimension. The only thing missing is an official music video, but for now, the live performances do a great job displaying the girls’ charisma and skill.

  3. NEX7

    Managed by Yuehua Entertainment, the same company that represents K-pop groups WJSN (in partnership with Korea’s Starship Entertainment) and UNIQ, septet NEX7 are yet another debut to ride on the popularity of Idol Producer. All members participated on the show, with Fan Chengcheng, Zhu Zhengting, and Justin (Huang Minghao) making it to the final line-up. The remaining members are Ding Zeren (who was a former SM Entertainment trainee), Bi Wenjun, Huang Xinchun, and Li Quanzhe, and the group recently released their second album, Next to You, selling over two million digital copies on NetEase Cloud Music, another prominent music streaming service in the country.

    Because of their company’s partnerships with Korea-based agencies, NEX7 trained in the country, and their debut song, “Wait a Minute,” was in part produced by Ryan S. Jhun, who’s worked on K-pop hits like SHINee’s “Lucifer,” EXO’s “Love Me Right,” and Red Velvet’s “Dumb Dumb.” The song is an explosion of hard-hitting sounds, plagued by the hook’s unfortunate “woo woos” and “skrrrt skrrrts,” but its melodic verses make up for it, as well as the trippy, colorful visual.


    Having first debuted under the name Acrush in 2017, FANXYRED are a group comprised of five androgynous young women who encourage fans to pursue their own identities. Inspired by singer Li Yuchun, who is considered the mother of unisex looks in China, Lu Keran, Peng Xichen, Linfan, An Junxi, and Peng Yiyang offer a fresh approach to girl groups.

    While their re-debut under the new name is still to be announced, they currently upload dance covers of K-pop songs and other videos on their company’s YouTube channel.

  5. ONER

    Yet another fruit of Idol Producer, ONER are a quartet under Qin’s Entertainment. They debuted in August 2018 with the album 过敏 (Allergy) and were awarded Popular Group of the Year at the Tencent Star Awards in December.

    Their debut single, “Dazzle,” is an atmospheric deep-house track with an alluringly mysterious vibe. The music video — an aesthetically pleasing mash-up of neon lights, plants, and geometric objects (a C-pop twist on the iconic “SM box“) — is an entrancing experience.

Other notable projects from Idol Producer are Awaken-F, MR-X, and Tangram. Produce 101 hasn’t produced as many debuts, but some existing groups from the contestants are worth checking out, including S.I.N.G (Sing Girls), MERA, and KOGIGIRLS.

Of course, it’s impossible to talk about idol groups in China and not mention the long-standing popularity of TFBoys. Karry Wang, Roy Wang, and Jackson Yee debuted in 2013 when they were only 12 and 13 years old, and their first hit, “青春少年手册 Manual of Youth,” propelled them to widespread fame thanks to their wholesome image and patriotic message. They’re still considered one of the most popular acts in China, with over 200 million followers combined on Weibo and staggering yearly profits.

On the soloist-dominated Chinese charts, TFBoys are still one of the few exceptions, but there’s room for change as the idol industry places its bets on China. The development of their own music shows and other events create exposure to idol groups and foster fan culture, in a model inspired by the Japanese and Korean markets. With loyal and engaged fandoms of their own, Chinese groups can finally find sustainability and profit beyond one-hit wonders.

We’re only halfway through January, but WayV’s anticipated debut — in addition to the second season of Idol Producer and Youku’s rookie idol survival show, All For One (where WayV are scheduled to guest), premiering on Friday (January 18) — prove that C-pop could be the next wave to take hold of global culture.

Camila Cabello Will Take The Grammys Stage For The First Time Ever In 2019

Given the thorough roasting the Recording Academy (rightfully) received for its dude-dominated Grammys ceremony last year — as well as outgoing president Neil Portnow’s much-derided “step up” comment — 2019 is shaping up to be a brand-new year for the awards show. And it’s about time.

Not only was the list of this year’s nominees, announced in December, much more diverse and representative of female artists, but it looks like the performers will be, too. The Recording Academy announced 2019’s first slate on Thursday (January 17), and it’s led by Camila Cabello, Cardi B, Kacey Musgraves, and Janelle Monae — along with Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, and Dan + Shay.

Kacey, Post, Janelle, and Cardi are all up for Album of the Year (among others), BFFs Shawn and Camila both have two nods in the Pop categories — this will be their respective first times hitting the Grammys stage, too — and Dan + Shay are nominated for Best Country Duo/Group Performance.

Notably missing, however, are this year’s top-nominated stars: Kendrick Lamar, who’s got the most nods with eight, and Drake, who’s right behind with him seven. News of their performances may be forthcoming; the Recording Academy packaged Thursday’s announcement as “the first group of artists” set for the 2019 ceremony. And given how the show is primarily three hours of short sets (sometimes wild as hell), there’s surely more to come.

In the meantime, Alicia Keys has been announced as the show’s host, and this week, the parents of Mac Miller said they’d attend the ceremony and be there to accept the statue for Best Rap Album, should his Swimming ultimately nab the award.

See how it all goes down on Sunday, February 10, when the 61st Annual Grammy Awards hit L.A.’s Staples Center. Catch the show on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.

City Girls And Cardi B’s ‘Twerk’ Video Is Really, Really NSFW— You’ve Been Warned

Last November, City Girls set out to find the world’s greatest twerker, recruiting the best and most bodacious to be “flewed out” to Miami and compete for a $25,000 prize. (Why not?!) Today (January 16), we get to see the final result in the South Florida rap duo’s “Twerk” video, directed by Daps and co-starring the one and only Cardi B.

I cannot stress how NSFW this thing is — you’ve never seen so many butts in your life. They twerk on a beach, they twerk on a yacht, and they twerk in what looks like an industrial twerk warehouse. Naturally, Cardi and Yung Miami lord over the festivities by trading bars about their butts while covered in striped body paint (Cardi’s a twerk tiger and Miami’s a twerk zebra).

The titillating video reaches its climax when the finalists hit the dirt and show off some seriously mind-bending moves — the (very flexible) winner literally lights up a joint while twerking upside down. If that’s not worthy of $25,000, then I don’t know what is.

“Twerk” follows an exciting few months for City Girls, who appeared on Drake’s smash “In My Feelings” last year and released their first studio album, Girl Code, in November. Cardi, meanwhile, has been teasing a new album — the follow-up to last year’s Grammy-nominated Invasion of Privacy — that’s expected to arrive this year.

Kelsea Ballerini Adds A Silky Country Touch To Shawn Mendes’s ‘Lost In Japan’

Do you got plans tonight? Because Kelsea Ballerini covered Shawn Mendes‘s lovesick bop “Lost In Japan,” and it’s all you’re going to want to listen to for the rest of the day (or week or month or year).

Recorded in Nashville for Spotify Singles, Ballerini’s cover doesn’t stray too far from Mendes’s funky original, though there are a couple key differences. For one, she replaces that dramatic piano intro with some romantic strings that make the prospect of a casual international hang even more enticing. The whole thing has a subtle country vibe, though Ballerini makes a case for herself as a potential crossover queen by leaning into the breezy pop beat and flaunting her gorgeous falsetto on the “let’s get lost tonight” bridge. Mendes hasn’t publicly commented on the cover yet, but we’ve gotta think he’d approve.

Speaking about her cover choice, Ballerini gushed, “When Shawn’s record came out, ‘Lost In Japan’ immediately was my favorite. I love the soft, flirty nature of the lyrics and thought it would be fun to put a stripped, country feel to it.”

Along with that tune, Ballerini’s Spotify Singles session included a re-recorded version of “Miss You More,” from her Grammy-nominated second album, Unapologetically. Give that a listen here.

Migos’ First Move Of 2019 Is An Unfiltered Collaboration With Mustard

Never ones to sit for too long, Migos are back and reloaded for 2019. For their first move of the new year, the Atlanta superstars joined forces with Mustard (the super-producer formerly known as DJ Mustard) for a new banger called “Pure Water.”

The bouncy, upbeat track features a Quavo hook and verses from all three Migos, which is refreshing to hear after so many months of solo tracks from the trio. Offset in particular fires off some memorable bars, referencing Talladega Nights by boasting, “I’m Ricky Bobby with your bitch.”

“It sounds like a party,” Mustard said of the collab while premiering it on Beats 1 on Wednesday (January 16). “And I’m not saying like a down-south party or a trap party. It’s like Migos coming to L.A. and having a house party here.”

Speaking more about the track on Beats 1, Mustard explained that it was always intended for Migos. “At first it was just a song me and Quavo came up with, and then I was like, ‘Man, I gotta get the whole gang on here,'” he said. “With me and Quavo, it was just tag-teaming, getting everybody involved, but once it came together, it was like a match made in heaven type thing.”

“Pure Water” is the first new track from Migos since their album Culture II was released last January. Since then, they’ve made some serious solo moves — Offset’s album remains outstanding, while Quavo and Takeoff’s solo debuts dropped late last year.

As for Mustard, he said on Beats 1 that “Pure Water” is just the latest in a string of upcoming big-name features — he said he’s been in the studio with Future, Meek Mill, 21 Savage, and more. “We call them nuclear bombs, ’cause we gonna shake the whole world up. I got records, and I got a lot of them,” he said. You’ve been warned.

Bad Bunny’s Latest ‘Mía’ Performance Was A Celebratory Street Parade In Puerto Rico

As one of 2018’s breakout stars, Bad Bunny closed out the year with two staggering hits: his Cardi B/J Balvin collab “I Like It” and “Mía,” the one he linked up with Drake for. To kick off 2019, he’s keeping things going by heading down to Puerto Rico with none other than Jimmy Fallon to deliver “Mía” on the streets of Old San Juan.

To back up, Fallon brought his Tonight Show crew to Puerto Rico — still recovering from 2017’s Hurricane Maria and a lack of sufficient help from the American government — to film the entire episode, including a segment where he joins Lin-Manuel Miranda in costume as Alexander Hamilton to perform “The Story of Tonight” from Hamilton. Another segment? The street video for “Mía,” anchored by Bad Bunny’s insatiable coolness.

Fallon often invites musical guests to perform their hit songs using classroom instruments (or paper ones), and the results are usually pretty neat. But filming a street-performance music video of a song and incorporating dozens of local folks to help execute it? That’s next-level joy, even for Fallon, a guy who often falls out of his chair laughing at his guests’s remarks.

It’s all Bad Bunny’s doing, as he struts in a yellow ensemble, chewing an apple and leading the pack in front of Fallon, Black Thought, and Questlove. Pretty much everyone in this video is smiling the entire time, and folks wave Puerto Rican flags and sing along before the parade brass marches in. It’s exultant and warm.

Watch the whole wonderful thing above. Find the rest of Fallon’s sojourn to Puerto Rico — including an interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda, an acoustic José Feliciano and Ozuna performance, and Fallon’s cries of fear while zip-lining — at The Tonight Show‘s YouTube channel.

How Camila, Lauren, and Jessie Taught Me to Break the Rules Around Bicultural Identity

By Kim Hoyos

I’m a first generation, fully American, fully Colombian woman, born in a cute New Jersey suburb. I’m a bicultural Latina who grew up separating my two cultures because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I wanted to make myself easier to understand for others. Growing up, my Latinx identity felt like something extra I didn’t know how to verbalize. At school, I had all of the same pop culture references, favorite foods, and language as my white peers. Yet my home was a beautiful blend of Spanglish, Colombian food, and Latinx music. My identity existed in silos. I compartmentalized my two identities for where they were most appropriate.

My feelings towards my identity were amplified by how “othered” Latinidad was in music and pop culture in the early 2000s. (Latin America is diverse, dynamic, and consists of a myriad of cultures, but “Latinidad” refers to the collective community of folks from Latin America.) It wasn’t like I couldn’t see parts of myself in music — by then, the careers of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira had already taken off. But even then, Latinx identity in music was not embraced as fully by the average American listener as it is now, the era of “Despacito,” one of the most-streamed songs of all time, and other Spanglish remixes on American airwaves. In fact, even though her hit 2001 record Laundry Service charted as high as No. 3 on the Billboard 200, Shakira’s writing and singing skills in English were chastised by critics. Genres had stricter divisions and cultural identities further separated Latinx and bicultural stars from their non-Latinx counterparts.

Billboard started to track the rankings of “Latin music” in 1985, just as Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine hit their stride with the indelible “Conga.” Selena Quintanilla, Marc Anthony, and Ricky Martin, and J.Lo soon followed as major bicultural power players for the so-called “Latin music” movement in the U.S. These artists created upbeat songs and love ballads occasionally sung in Spanish over Latinx-influenced instrumentals. But because of the identities of these performers, they were pooled into a singular bucket. They could have been included on the same Billboard charts, awards shows, and magazine covers of their pop peers — but they were othered. By that point, the Latinx population had grown by the millions since 1970 — and has continued to — and this changing population can also account for the shifting identity of the music fan and their tastes. But perhaps the industry wasn’t ready to critique music from other cultures or even acknowledge the power and influence these artists held over pop culture.

It would’ve been hard to fathom in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, particularly as a Latinx women, but being Latinx does not automatically assign you to an “othered” genre in which your accomplishments are specifically branded and geared toward one community. Latinx folks are not a single homogenous group. Our countries, foods, racial identities, specific cultures, slang, and interests are dynamic and diverse. So is our success.

Understanding the history of alienation of something as universally loved as music is difficult and confusing. A study of over 3,000 magazine covers across the U.S. and U.K. found that in 2017 only 6 percent of magazine covers surveyed from 2013-2017 featured a Latinx person. There hasn’t been a lack of talent, just a lack of inclusion. Thankfully, a new generation of pop stars have elevated the Latinx community in culture, helping each other along the way. Camila Cabello, Lauren Jauregui, and Jessie Reyez are just a portion of the new crop of bicultural Latina singers who have gained admiration and success not in spite of their dual identities but because of them. These young women speak candidly about their experiences growing up Latinx in the United States and are not seen as mere crossover artists: Their identity is the crossover.

As a child, Camila crossed the U.S. border with her mother, and she honors her roots by untangling memories and feelings to create art that unapologetically expresses her blended identity. Following her has made me feel confident that creating work surrounding my identity won’t alienate other audiences — it has the potential to grow past genre. The infectious “Havana,” for example, which Camila fought to release as a single, amassed a billion streams and earned her two Grammy nominations.

Her former Fifth Harmony bandmate Lauren won my heart and my allegiance when she came out as bisexual in a 2016 letter aimed at Donald Trump. I cried when I read it, as she broke down her sexuality and privilege as a white-passing Latina, something always on my own mind.

“I was born with a lighter complexion and green eyes (thanks genetics) so from that narrow-minded perspective, I’m white,” she explained. “I have experienced the privilege those genes have granted me, and I am grateful and will continue to speak on behalf of the women around the world and in our very own country who do not experience a fraction of that respect because of the color of their skin.”

Lauren has been able to organically embed activism into her public persona in a time where celebrities are either co-opting activism for good press or ignoring social issues altogether. From discussing BLM online to standing with immigrants rights organization United We Dream, she makes her voice heard.

Jessie, likewise, has used her platform to speak out, specifically against sexual misconduct in the music industry using her own experiences. Jessie’s decision to be outspoken about this experience, one that so many young singers on the rise could hide out of fear or embarrassment of backlash has actually allowed her to authentically be herself. The Canadian-born daughter of Colombian immigrants, didn’t learn English until she was five years old and has since featured on Eminem songs and racked up writing and singing creds on Calvin Harris bangers. Her music is defiant. When I listen to it, I feel like I run the world. Her music focuses on reclaiming sexuality, being true to yourself, and making your parents proud. On her first EP, she included a voicemail in Spanish left by grandparents on her birthday, a beautiful and relatable moment of a family missing milestones because of distance. But because of my own experiences, moments like these make me feel closer to her.

Compared to just 15 years ago, it is remarkable that all of these women are internationally-touring artists being given the same marketing pushes and stages as their white counterparts. They’ve all spoken openly about their backgrounds and have cultivated diverse fan bases, dissolving the boundaries that previously trapped Latinx artists in a silo. For a long time, I wanted to feel like I was following the rules, and to believe that, by compartmentalizing my own identity for the sake of others, I was doing the right thing. I thought it would make me more likeable or accepted by others to make myself smaller, more understandable. But I’ve realized that embracing all parts of my identity, especially in my career, is the only way I can truly be myself. Camila, Jessie, and Lauren are all women around my age who are breaking the rules as I learn how to do that as well. They’re blazing a path for more Latinx artists to rise in the U.S. music industry, for steps towards more diversity in pop culture, and for a better, broader understanding as to what being bicultural really means.

Ariana Grande Might Be Extending Her Season Of Festival Domination

2019 has barely begun, and yet Ariana Grande‘s year is already completely packed. The singer will drop her much-anticipated, heavily teased “7 Rings” music video this Friday, launch her ambitious, multi-continent Sweetener World Tour in March, and become the youngest-ever female Coachella headliner in April. Somehow amid all this, she’ll find time to release her new album, Thank U, Next, too.

Oh, and she might be headlining Lollapalooza, too. At least, that’s a what a new Variety report says.

Though the Chicago festival’s organizers typically don’t officially announce its headliners until March, “multiple sources” told Variety that Grande is already locked down as one of Lollapalooza’s 2019 marquee names. The fest hits Grant Park from August 1-4. And those same sources, the magazine reports, said Grande’s negotiations with Lolla predate her locking down a deal with Coachella. (The story goes that Grande reportedly got that invite only days before the announcement, after plans with Kanye West fell through due to an overly complicated stage setup.)

Grande also recently shuffled around some of her Sweetener World Tour dates in order to accommodate the Coachella gig, and it’s possible she could do the same if the Lolla news is true. We’ll likely have to wait until March to find out the news for sure.

In the meantime, we’ve got “7 Rings” to look forward to — and based on the teases she’s shared, including the delightful tale of its origin (“You know how when you’re waiting at Tiffany’s they give you lots of champagne? They got us very tipsy, so we bought seven engagement rings, and when I got back to the studio I gave everybody a friendship ring.”), it’s gonna be a wild ride.

Here’s Why Travis Scott Ended Up On The Super Bowl Halftime Show With Maroon 5

Travis Scott‘s upcoming Super Bowl halftime show performance — which he’s sharing with Maroon 5 and Big Boi — makes sense. He’s one of the biggest artists on the planet with one of the biggest albums (and songs) of the moment, and the Super Bowl is the Super Bowl.

But the Super Bowl is also the centerpiece of the NFL, an organization with no shortage of controversy, particularly surrounding racial matters. That’s why it also makes sense that Scott had some conditions regarding his involvement in the halftime show — namely that the NFL had to join in his own charitable donation to an organization advocating social justice.

“I back anyone who takes a stand for what they believe in,” Scott said in a statement (via Pitchfork). “I know being an artist that it’s in my power to inspire. So before confirming the Super Bowl Halftime performance, I made sure to partner with the NFL on this important donation. I am proud to support Dream Corps and the work they do that will hopefully inspire and promote change.”

The Dream Corps, in its own words, “works to close prison doors and open doors of opportunity.” Scott is making a $500,000 donation to the organization, which was founded by Van Jones, partnering with the NFL to do it.

Cardi B reportedly turned down the halftime show gig in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick, and a report from Variety from late 2018 said that Jay-Z had attempted to talk Scott out of taking the gig for the same reason.

Super Bowl LIII kicks off Sunday, February 3. I certainly hope Scott brings one of his Astroworld stage carnival loops and that Adam Levine rides it while singing “Girls Like You.”