Hear Taylor Swift’s New Re-Recorded Version Of ‘Love Story’

Taylor Swift‘s been hard at work. After releasing a new Folklore performance film on Disney+ last week, she headed into the Thanksgiving holiday with an impressive six Grammy nominations — including in the key Album of the Year and Song of the Year categories. But as we know from a note she posted to social media last month, she’s also been spending a lot of time in the studio.

Due to Scooter Braun’s purchase (and subsequent sale) of Swift’s back catalog, she’s taken it upon herself to re-record those old songs — the ones from her first six albums — so she can retain control over (and make money from) them. “I have recently begun re-recording my older music and it has already proven to be both exciting and creatively fulfilling,” she wrote in November. “I have plenty of surprises in store.”

Thanks to her pal Ryan Reynolds, one of those surprises is now here: Swift’s updated version of her 2008 song “Love Story,” as featured in a twisted new commercial for Match.com.

The premise of the spot is simple — Satan is having bum luck dating, until he meets his match in the year 2020, personified. (Because 2020 has been a shit year, you see, and the only being who could actually like — or even love! — it is the actual Prince of Darkness.)

Swift’s new take on “Love Story” soundtracks this, uh, love story, and though we only hear snippets, it sounds good! “Okay so while my new re-records are NOT done, my friend @VancityReynolds asked me if he could use a snippet of one for a LOLsome commercial he wrote so…here’s a sneak peak of Love Story!” Swift tweeted with the clip. “Working hard to get the music to you soon!!”

How soon? That remains a mystery. But remember: December 13 — Swift’s 31st birthday — is only 11 days away. And then it’s Christmas after that. It’s the season of giving, is all I’m saying.

Listen to Swift’s new take on “Love Story” in the ad above.

Sia, Steve Aoki, And Travis Barker Will Perform At Movie & TV Awards: Greatest Of All Time

Get your gigantic bows ready: Sia is coming to the Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time, along with Steve Aoki and Travis Barker. The three pop talents will be performing at the 90-minute special, airing Sunday, December 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

“I’m stoked to be performing with one of my good friends at the MTV Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time,” Aoki said. “Not only will we be celebrating the best of the best pictures with the iconic music that pushed them forward, but we have some surprises for you all as well. Make sure to tune in, and celebrate these epic films with us.”

Sia has spent 2020 releasing songs she collaborated on with Dua Lipa and Jack Antonoff for the upcoming film Music, while Aoki released new tunes this year with Maluma, Monsta X, Mike Shinoda, and many more. Barker, meanwhile, has kept busy, working with Machine Gun Kelly, Post Malone, Run the Jewels, and of course, Aoki himself.

As the performers take the stage, the show will honor the GOATs in the categories of Scream Queen, Legendary Lip Lock, Dance Your Ass Off, Heartbreaking Break-Up, Comedy Giant, Zero to Hero, She-Ro, and Dynamic Duo.

The show is set to be hosted by Vanessa Hudgens. “At this point, you’ve pretty much watched all the movies and TV shows you can handle,” she said. “So now, it’s time for us to decide the greatest movie and TV moments of all time.”

Which one of your faves will be honored? Find out on December 6.

In the meantime, stay tuned for more info on MTV Movie & TV Awards: Greatest of All Time.

Miley Cyrus’s Plastic Hearts Has A Song For Every Mood

By Ashley Oken

Miley Cyrus’s long awaited seventh studio album, Plastic Hearts, dropped on Friday (November 27) and sees Cyrus embracing a throwback rock sound, reinventing herself yet again and unapologetically reflecting on her journey from Disney child star to mature artist exploring herself. She spent her immediate post-Disney career trying to shed the clean-cut image that comes with child stardom, and since then, Cyrus has tried embracing many sounds, from pop to country to psychedelic, in order to break away. Now, she seems to have found a bold, fitting path in rock.

The track “Gimme What I Want” has Cyrus drawing deeply from Nine Inch Nails and her penchant for covers of ‘80s tunes, while “Prisoner” melds a Runaways-style glam-rock vibe and Dua Lipa’s dance-pop sound with bits of Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.” Cyrus gets personal on “Never Be Me” and “Golden G String,” in which she discusses her flaws and her evolution as depicted by the media. All this adds up to a robust new sound to work with.

She originally planned to release a series of EPs, starting with 2019’s She Is Coming, but the 2018 Malibu wildfires — in which she lost her home — changed those plans. Though most of the old material survived the natural disaster, the event altered her perspective on her life. That renewal is there on Plastic Hearts, which also has seen videos allowing her to transform into rock and roll vampire and even eat a spider. Along with collaborations with Mark Ronson, ‘80s icon Billy Idol, and rock forebear Joan Jett, Cyrus treats fans to her personal rebirth and a look into her true musical self.

Below, we break down this rock-fueled album track by track and mood by mood.

  1. “WTF Do I Know”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: rebellious

    Key lyric: “Thought it’d be you until I die / But then I let it go”

    Serving as a more savage version of “7 Things” and a nod to early aughts alt-pop, this kickoff track is an upbeat, rebel punk song that seemingly dives right into Cyrus’s divorce from Liam Hemsworth as well as her image in the media. Play this when you want to thrash around your childhood bedroom and set your own rules.

  2. “Plastic Hearts”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: thoughtful

    Key lyric: “I just wanna feel something / But I keep feeling nothing all night long”

    Slyly referencing Rolling Stones’s “Sympathy for the Devil” in its intro and Bruno Mars’s “Locked Out of Heaven” in its outro, Cyrus sings of wanting to feel deeply connected to someone or something, but only being able to for a short time. This song will have you thinking about your last IRL hookup or virtual date.

  3. “Angels Like You”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: reflective

    Key lyric: “I know that you’re wrong for me / Gonna wish we never met on the day I leave”

    On this vulnerable mid-tempo track, Cyrus reflects on a relationship that wasn’t meant to be and learns to let go. Listen to this the next time you’re stuck on that person you thought was your forever.

  4. “Prisoner” (ft. Dua Lipa)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: freewheeling

    Key lyric: “Can’t get you off my mind / Why can’t you just let me go?”

    A mashup of neo-disco samples and early ‘70s/’80s rock, Cyrus and Lipa sing of feeling trapped in their emotions and pair it with an equally retro and sensual video. This song will provide you with a dance-tinged escape from those 3 a.m. thoughts you’re having during quarantine.

  5. “Gimme What I Want”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: lustful

    Key lyric: “I don’t need a future, I don’t need your past / I just need a lover”

    Over ’80s synths, Cyrus sings of giving a potential lover the choice to pursue a relationship and being OK if they turn her down. This song serves as a reminder that you can be alright on your own amid the flurry of Instagram engagement announcements.

  6. “Night Crawling” (ft. Billy Idol)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: sexy

    Key lyric: “Sometimes I’m the best you’ve ever had / Sometimes I need your loving”

    With throaty vocals and thoughts about light, violence, and silence from Idol, this track marries rebellion with sex. A rocker version of Teddy Pendergrass’s “Turn Off the Lights,” this song will have you thinking of your beau in the wee hours.

  7. “Midnight Sky”

    Listen to when you’re feeling: free

    Key lyric: “Lotta years went by with my hands tied up in your ropes / Forever and ever, no more”

    Wielding her weathered vocal style and a disco-pop sound expertly, Cyrus channels Stevie Nicks and samples her hit “Edge of Seventeen” while singing this LGBTQ+ anthem of being a free spirit who embraces all that she is and doesn’t live with expectations of forever. Whether you need a pick-me-up or want to dance in your room in the middle of the night, this song will provide the right soundtrack.

  8. “High” (ft. Mark Ronson)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: nostalgic

    Key lyric: “And I don’t miss you but I think of you and don’t know why”

    With a country feel and powerful vocals, Cyrus explores missing someone that you shouldn’t and not being able to shake them. Listen when you still feel warmth while thinking of a past friendship or relationship and want to understand it.

  9. “Hate Me”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: angry

    Key lyric: “I hope that it’s enough to make you cry / Maybe that day you won’t hate me”

    After a near-fatal experience during a flight to the Glastonbury Festival and recent discussion about not wanting to join the 27 Club, Cyrus discusses how the media would shed positive light on her if she was to die after years of negativity. If you’re feeling angry at the state of your life and being left on read during the pandemic, this song understands those feelings.

  10. “Bad Karma” (ft. Joan Jett)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: naughty

    Key lyric: “You may think I’m ghosting, but the truth is I’m a liar”

    Leaked online a year ago, this defiant song sees Cyrus and rock legend Joan Jett crooning about cheating and not caring about the consequences, with Cyrus noting that she’d “think about it later.” Miley’s got you covered the next time an ex pops up in your DMs.

  11. “Never Be Me”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: emotional

    Key lyric: “If you’re looking for someone to be all that you need / That’ll never be me”

    With vibes of “It Ain’t Me Babe” by Bob Dylan, this gutting power ballad sees Cyrus sing of not being who a partner would need her to be. This song is great for processing breakups and realizing that there is life afterwards.

  12. “Golden G String”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: powerful

    Key lyric: “The old boys hold all the cards and they ain’t playing gin”

    This personal track inspired by the Trump era sees Cyrus doing two things: owning her persona over the years (“I was trying to own my power / Still I’m trying to work it out”) and discussing how men can still act as the gatekeepers to the fate of women. If you wanna feel like a boss, here’s your soundtrack.

  13. “Edge of Midnight” (“Midnight Sky” remix ft. Stevie Nicks)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: wistful

    Key lyric: “Sings a song sounds like she’s singing / Ooh, baby, ooh, said, ooh”

    This remix to lead single “Midnight Sky” transports you to the past with its clear references to Stevie Nicks’s 1972 hit “Edge of Seventeen” and even has Nicks singing the chorus, something we never knew that we needed. Bookmark this for whenever you need a song to dance to in between Zoom meetings.

  14. “Heart of Glass” (Live from the iHeart Music Festival)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: romantic

    Key lyric: “In between what I find is pleasing and I’m feeling fine / Love is so confusing, there’s no peace of mind”

    A cover of the 1979 original by Blondie, Cyrus’s 2020 cover garnered praise and was an introduction to her robust, rock-infused new sound. Importantly, it’s also Debbie Harry-approved.

  15. “Zombie” (Live from the NIVA Save Our Stages Festival)

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: sentimental

    Key lyric: “It’s the same old theme since 1976 / In your head, in your head, they’re still fighting”

    On this cover of the 1993 original by The Cranberries, Cyrus channels a powerful sound in line with its anti-violence message. Save this for the next time you need to be reminded that musical taste and Cyrus’s vocal abilities transcend genre.

King Princess Goes Galactic, Iann Dior’s Latest Mood, And More Songs We Love

“Has the feeling come to pass?” singer Adrianne Lenker questions over patient guitar. “Has the feeling come to stay?” Toward the end of Big Thief’s excellent indie album Two Hands sits this apprehensive little song about being in the calm, quiet breath of a new beginning, with no idea whether fortune or danger comes next. In the song, the titular animal plays both safe-keeper and beast, at one point rescuing its drowning prey by the mouth, blood dripping from its jaws. Like the song proves, love can be both soft and brutal. —Terron Moore

Grammy Chief Responds To Backlash From The Weeknd, Justin Bieber

In spite of every curveball 2020 has thrown — one particularly tumultuous presidential election season, a disastrous pandemic of near-biblical proportions — the year has yielded some truly spectacular music. From Taylor Swift’s new indie-folk sound on her surprise album, Folklore, to the first English-language drop from the global sensation BTS, musicians continued to do what they do best: filter the universal joy and pain, and the need for connection through it all, into sublime works of sound. Perhaps that’s why, when the Recording Academy announced the nominations for the 2021 Grammys on Tuesday (November 24), the list sent fans and artists reeling.

Many were quick to point out surprising, if not altogether glaring, holes in the nominations; one headline even described the list as “a total disaster.” Notably absent from Album of the Year was Fetch the Bolt Cutters, the first to receive a perfect Pitchfork rating in almost a decade, as well as anything from The Weeknd, who had a banner 2020. The Academy’s selection in this category has been widely scrutinized throughout the years. In 1985, for example, Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down beat out Prince’s Purple Rain; in 2000, Outkast’s Stankonia lost to the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack.

Elsewhere, Justin Bieber expressed a mix of gratitude and confusion over Changes‘s nomination in the Best Pop Vocal Album category over R&B. “I am very meticulous and intentional about my music,” he wrote on Instagram. “With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Changes was and is an R&B album. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me. I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make a project that would embody that sound. For this not to be put into that category feels weird considering from the chords to the melodies to the vocal style all the way down to the hip hop drums that were chosen it is undeniably, unmistakably an R&B album!”

Arguably most puzzling, and certainly the most widely publicized, was the case of The Weeknd. His chart-topping hit, “Blinding Lights,” for which he won Best Video and Best R&B at the VMAs in August, was eligible, as well as his latest album, After Hours. Yet neither received a single nod, leading to speculation that the artist was intentionally snubbed over a rumored ultimatum given between performing at the Super Bowl or the awards themselves; he will headline the halftime show on February 7, just a week following the Grammys on January 31.

“The Grammys remain corrupt,” The Weeknd tweeted a few hours after the nominations were announced. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency.” In a subsequent tweet shared on Wednesday (November 25), he alluded to talks of a performance on the award show stage, writing, “Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!”

The backlash to the nominations arrived on the tail end of a particularly rocky year for the Recording Academy. In January, its former president and CEO Deborah Dugan, was placed on administrative leave five months after taking over for Neil Portnow in August 2019, and 10 days ahead of the 2020 Grammys; in March, she was fired. In her place, Recording Academy Chair Harvey Mason, Jr., became interim CEO on a volunteer basis, but the search for a new head was slowed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In a statement following the release of the list, Mason responded to the backlash, and to The Weeknd’s criticism in particular.

“We understand that The Weeknd is disappointed at not being nominated. I was surprised and can empathize with what he’s feeling. His music this year was excellent, and his contributions to the music community and broader world are worthy of everyone’s admiration,” he wrote in a statement shared with Variety. He also addressed the rumor of the Super Bowl ultimatum. “To be clear, voting in all categories ended well before the Weeknd’s performance at the Super Bowl was announced, so in no way could it have affected the nomination process. All Grammy nominees are recognized by the voting body for their excellence, and we congratulate them all.”

In an interview with Pitchfork published the following day, Mason also responded to Bieber’s qualms. “We always want to respect the artist’s wishes. Art’s a funny thing because it’s so subjective, and at the Academy our goal is to honor excellence,” he said. “If he felt that was that type of a record, then, you know… I’ll just leave it at that. We try really hard to make sure people’s art is respected and evaluated in the right category.”

Though the nominations have left many sour, there have also been some highlights. This will be the first Grammys since the word “urban” was dropped from many category titles, following widespread criticism for its lack of diversity. Megan Thee Stallion’s star continues to rise in spite of the traumatic assault she suffered earlier this year, earning a nomination for Best New Artist. And leading the nominations, Beyoncé became the most-nominated female artist in the award ceremony’s history with 62 overall.

Juicy J’s Hustle Continues

By Candace McDuffie

After 30 years in the music industry, Juicy J is happier than ever. The legendary emcee and anchor of the rap group Three 6 Mafia is still going, celebrating the imminent release of his fifth studio album, The Hustle Continues, which features a slew of cameos from younger artists working within an industry that he shaped: Megan Thee Stallion, Rico Nasty, Lil Baby, Young Dolph, and more. He is also a shrewd businessman, with investments in Core Hydration, cannabis company Asterisk*, and Epic Games (maker of Fortnite). But perhaps his greatest personal achievement is becoming a doting husband and father, an experience he calls life-changing. “It’s great, man. It’s the best feeling in the world,” he tells MTV News. “But I ain’t gonna lie to you… it’s real-life shit. It ain’t no studio.”

His sojourns with Three 6 Mafia solidified the rapper as a hip-hop icon. The Memphis group made history in 2006 when they became the first rap act to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song for Hustle & Flow’s “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” That recognition and acclaim garnered the crew significant attention and opportunity; Juicy J used the newfound momentum to continue pursuing a highly successful solo career.

His versatility and signature syrupy flow play a vital role in how he approaches music-making. “I mean, I’m a producer. I know about everything from the beat to the kick to the bass. I know how to write a punchline verse and I still kill it every time,” Juicy J explains. “It’s hard to do, but you know what? Look, I ain’t bragging, but I gotta keep it 100: I’m a genius. I got the favor of God on my back. Just like everybody else, I put in the hard work, and I got the bruises to prove it.”

Ahead of The Hustle Continues (out Friday, November 27), Juicy J sat down with MTV News to discuss the secret to his longevity, penning pop hits, and why he deserves to be recognized as one of the greatest emcees of all time.

MTV News: In a recent interview, you referred to yourself as the Michael Jordan of rap. Do you think hip-hop appreciates your legacy as a lyricist and solo artist?

Juicy J: I would say yes… sometimes no. And sometimes on the low. It’s kinda mixed. When they mention great people, my name don’t come up. But when they mention who’s been around for 30 years and still killing the game, then my name comes up. That’s kind of weird, but this game is so competitive, and you know, a lot of people don’t want to give people props. I don’t really care about all that. But I tell everybody, when you mention Jay-Z, Nas, and Biggie Smalls, you gotta mention Juicy J — you know what I’m saying?

MTV News: When people discuss horrorcore and rap, they bring up Geto Boys or Gravediggaz, but I feel like Three 6 Mafia’s [1995 debut] Mystic Stylez was also really influential in that way. What was the mindset behind making the album?

Juicy J: Man, we just did our thing. We just went in the studio and did it. I can’t even say what the mindset was but I’ll tell you this much. All of our other albums were on mixtapes and stuff like that, but Mystic Stylez was Three 6 Mafia’s first real album that was in stores. Our other stuff was sold out the back of our truck, so we were excited about [Mystic Stylez]. And we had our own distribution deal, we owned 100 percent of the masters. We produced the whole project, we promoted the whole project, no features. It was all in-house.

MTV News: That is incredibly important, especially for Black hip-hop artists who may get stuck with exploitative contracts and record practices.

Juicy J: For that album, I sold my car to pay for studio time. Me and [DJ] Paul went half and half. I sold my car to pay for my half. And I had a nice car, too, so I had to get a lesser car for a lesser price. And my beautiful car had the rims on it, with the candy paint… I knew I had to use it to pay for studio time. But I just saw myself at the craps table and rolled the dice. I took that chance. And I’m still out here in the game. I got a lot of big records coming. I can’t even tell you what’s about to happen.

MTV News: You’ve always been open and honest about how excessive you were after Three 6 Mafia’s Academy Award win in 2006. Did you realize the impact it would have on hip-hop years later?

Juicy J: I realized it put a stamp on everything. We didn’t think that we were going to win anything. At that point, it showed everybody that these guys are here to stay… these guys ain’t going nowhere no time soon. That these guys are pretty much the blueprint of hip-hop, you know what I’m saying? Like every song right now — every snare, every lyric is Three 6 Mafia. Every verse and pretty much everything in music right now is Three 6 Mafia. People can sit and try to deny, but they lying to themselves. They lying to themselves. It’s cool, and I ain’t got a problem with it. I actually love it. We never thought that a small rap group from Memphis, Tennessee, would have such a big impact on music in 2020.

MTV News: Since this is an interview for MTV, I have to ask about your show for the network, Adventures in Hollyhood. It looked like one hell of a party.

Juicy J: I mean, we had just won the Academy Award, so we were just partying. Every day was a party, party, party. But there’s so much stuff they couldn’t show. I mean, we had a lot of drinking, a lot of crazy orgies. It was just a mess, a beautiful mess. And we put the whole show together. When we sat down with MTV, we already had the show edited and everything. We bought a camera for like $7,000 and we went around filming ourselves. When they looked at it, they were like, “This is fucking amazing.” We were some of the first rappers to do reality television.

MTV News: I feel like almost everything you see on television now is some variation of a reality show.

Juicy J: Everybody was like, “So now y’all going to Hollywood? Don’t do a reality show!” We didn’t care, man. We did what we wanted to do. You gotta make your own destiny. You gotta go with what you believe in your heart. And in my heart, that’s how we felt. I was sitting in meetings with these big head executives and I’m talking to these people at 22, 23 years old. Sometimes I think, what the hell was I doing? But we were smart. We didn’t go for the dumb, bullshit deals they were trying to give us.

MTV News: Something that stood out to me in your solo career was Katy Perry handpicking you for the feature on “Dark Horse.” How does your songwriting process change for a pop, radio-friendly song?

Juicy J: If you listen to my verse, it’s still me. Sometimes you listen to people’s verses on a certain song and say, why that don’t sound like them? But that sounds like Juicy J. You listen to “Bandz a Make Her Dance” and you listen to the Katy Perry record — it’s the same guy. It’s the same guy from Three 6 Mafia, same stuff. I’m still giving you raunchy, I’m still giving you ratchet. I couldn’t really cuss in that one, but I did my best — and everything flowed like it was supposed to.

MTV News: Speaking of pop music, you were also on the song “23” with Mike Will Made-It, Wiz Khalifa, and Miley Cyrus. Were you trying to help make Miley edgier at that time? How do you feel about that record now?

Juicy J: I love that record. Every time I perform that record, people go crazy. If I had to do it again, I’d do it again. We did our thing on that. I had a great time working with Miley Cyrus, man. She has a lot of energy. I just felt that at the time she was just growing up. Everybody was so used to seeing her on Disney. She’s a grown woman now, you know what I’m saying? People were shocked because they were so used to seeing her as Hannah Montana, but people grow up.

MTV News: You are the go-to artist for features and young rappers today — A$AP Ferg, Rae Sremmurd, and G-Eazy have sampled your songs. Why do you think your catalog has such strong staying power?

Juicy J: It’s a blessing from God. It’s just good music — and you can’t deny good music. I wrote “Slob On My Knob” when I was in 11th grade. That was years and years and years ago. That was before Three 6 Mafia. I just did it over and put it on a Three 6 Mafia album. Good music don’t really die — it just keeps going. It keeps going. I think everybody enjoys the party lyrics in the song and the turn up in the song and the beat. It’s just fun. “Slob On My Knob” was a huge club record when I first did it in Memphis, and it’s still a huge club record. If you went in a club right now and they played it, everyone would still go crazy.

MTV News: The Hustle Continues is your fifth solo album and is really a testament to your evolution. What keeps you motivated?

Juicy J: When I go into a verse, when I go do something, I’m going to try to murder it. I’m going to give it my all, you know, just like when I did growing up. I’m a go-getter — nobody’s going to stop the bag at all. I’ve been doing this for a long time and it’s such a blessing just to be on the phone and being interviewed about what I’ve done. And I’m gonna keep going. My kids’ kids will be listening to Juicy J. I’m gonna be like Tony Bennett around here: 80 years old and still getting Grammys and shit. This is what I love to do and I’m a genius at it — so give me my flowers, man.

Beyoncé Leads The 2021 Grammy Nominations — See The Full List Here

Grammy season is here — and Beyoncé is already leading the pack.

The artist garnered a total of nine nod as the 2021 Grammys nominees were announced on Tuesday (November 24), making her the most-nominated artist this year. Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift, and Roddy Ricch follow behind Bey with six each.

Swift and Lipa are up for Album of the Year, along with Jhené Aiko, Black Pumas, Coldplay, Jacob Collier, Haim, and Post Malone. Megan Thee Stallion, who saw her star massively rise in 2020, also racked up a handful, including in the Record of the Year and Best Rap Song categories; she’s also up for Best New Artist alongside Doja Cat, Noah Cyrus, Phoebe Bridgers, D Smoke, and more.

Harry Styles, meanwhile, nabbed his first-ever Grammy noms in the Best Music Video, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album categories.

Notably, the Recording Academy — often criticized for its lack of diversity and inclusive, and still reeling a bit from former chairman Neil Portnow’s 2018 comment that women needed to “step up” — celebrated five women acts in the Best Rock Performance category, including Fiona Apple, Big Thief, Phoebe Bridgers, Haim, Brittany Howard, and Grace Potter.

The 2021 show likely won’t look like last year’s broadcast, TK details. But this year, awards shows as diverse as the BET Awards, the MTV VMAs and EMA, and most recently the American Music Awards learned how to go virtual — or just virtual enough (while adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols) — to make it work. The Grammys will be the first of the major awards seasons shows to pull off a broadcast during the pandemic.

This will also be the first Grammys ceremony since the Recording Academy dropped the word “urban” from some of its categories in June, following Tyler, the Creator’s comments at last year’s show (“I don’t like that urban word. It’s just politically correct way to say the N-word, to me.”) as well as internal upheaval within the Academy itself.

The broadcast will be hosted by The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah, who take over from the host of the 2019 and 2020 ceremonies, Alicia Keys. “I think as a one-time Grammy nominee, I am the best person to provide a shoulder to all the amazing artists who do not win on the night because I too know the pain of not winning the award!” he said in a press release.

The 2021 Grammys will air Sunday, January 21, 2021 on CBS. Find the nominees below.

Record Of The Year

Beyoncé: “Black Parade”

Black Pumas: “Colors”

DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch: “Rockstar”

Doja Cat: “Say So”

Billie Eilish: “Everything I Wanted”

Dua Lipa: “Don’t Start Now”

Post Malone: “Circles”

Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé: “Savage”

Album Of The Year

Jhené Aiko: Chilombo

Black Pumas: Black Pumas (Deluxe Edition)

Coldplay: Everyday Life

Jacob Collier: Djesse Vol.3

HAIM: Women in Music Pt. III

Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia

Post Malone: Hollywood’s Bleeding

Taylor Swift: Folklore

Song Of The Year

Beyoncé: “Black Parade”

Roddy Ricch: “The Box”

Taylor Swift: “Cardigan”

Post Malone: “Circles”

Dua Lipa: “Don’t Start Now”

Billie Eilish: “Everything I Wanted”

H.E.R.: “I Can’t Breathe”

JP Saxe ft. Julia Michaels: “If the World Was Ending”

Best New Artist

Ingrid Andress

Phoebe Bridgers

Chika

Noah Cyrus

D Smoke

Doja Cat

Kaytranada

Megan Thee Stallion

Best Pop Solo Performance

Justin Bieber: “Yummy”

Doja Cat: “Say So”

Billie Eilish: “Everything I Wanted”

Dua Lipa: “Don’t Start Now”

Harry Styles: “Watermelon Sugar”

Taylor Swift: “Cardigan”

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance

J Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy: “Un Día (One Day)”

Justin Bieber ft. Quavo: “Intentions”

BTS: “Dynamite”

Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande: “Rain on Me”

Taylor Swift ft. Bon Iver: “Exile”

Best Pop Vocal Album

Justin Bieber: Changes

Lady Gaga: Chromatic

Dua Lipa: Future Nostalgia

Harry Styles: Fine Line

Taylor Swift: Folklore

Best R&B Performance

Jhené Aiko ft. John Legend: “Lightning and Thunder”

Beyoncé: “Black Parade”

Jacob Collier: “All I Need”

Brittany Howard: “Goat Head”

Emily King: “See Me”

Best R&B Song

Robert Glasper Featuring H.E.R. & Meshell Ndegeocello: “Better Than I Imagine”

Beyoncé: “Black Parade”

Tiana Major9 & EARTHGANG: “Collide”

Chloe x Halle: “Do It”

Skip Marley & H.E.R.: “Slow Down”

Best Progressive R&B Album

Jhené Aiko: Chilombo

Chloe x Halle: Ungodly Hour

The Free Nationals: Free Nationals

F your feelings

Thundercat: It Is What It Is

Best Rap Performance

Big Sean: “Deep Reverence”

DaBaby: “Bop”

Jack Harlow: “What’s Poppin”

Lil Baby: “The Bigger Picture”

Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé: “Savage”

Pop Smoke: “Dior”

Best Melodic Rap Performance

DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch: “Rockstar”

Drake ft. Lil Durk: “Laugh Now Cry Later”

Anderson .Paak: “Lockdown”

Roddy Ricch: “The Box”

Travis Scott: “Highest in the Room”

Best Rap Song

Lil Baby: “The Bigger Picture”

Roddy Ricch: “The Box”

Drake ft. Lil Durk: “Laugh Now Cry Later”

DaBaby ft. Roddy Ricch: “Rockstar”

Megan Thee Stallion ft. Beyoncé: “Savage”

Best Rap Album

D Smoke: Black Habits

Freddie Gibbs and The Alchemist: Alfredo

Jay Electronica: A Written Testimony

Nas: King’s Disease

Royce da 5’9″: The Allegory

Best Alternative Music Album

Fiona Apple: Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Beck: Hyperspace

Phoebe Bridgers: Punisher

Brittany Howard: Jaime

Tame impala: The Slow Rush

Best Latin Pop Or Urban Album

Bad Bunny: YHLQMDLG

Camilo: Por Primera Vez

Kany García: Mesa Para Dos

Ricky Martin: Pausa

Debi Nova: 3:33

Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

Jack Antonoff

Dan Auerbach

Dave Cobb

Flying Lotus

Andrew Watt

Catch the full list at Grammy.com.

Taylor Swift Goes Back Into The Studio For Intimate Folklore Film

Since the surprise July release of her eighth studio album, Folklore, the project has earned Taylor Swift a growing number of accolades. She became the first artist in history to debut at the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and the Billboard 200 albums chart. A few months later, in September, the singer broke Whitney Houston’s record as the female artist with the most consecutive weeks at No. 1 across all of her albums. Now, Swift is taking fans behind the curtain and back into the studio with an intimate documentary.

On Tuesday (November 24), the singer announced that a new concert documentary, Folkore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, will release November 25 for streaming on Disney+. Swift took to social media to break the news, sharing a brief trailer that shows footage of her performing at Long Pond Studio in Hudson Valley, New York, with the collaborators that imbued Folkflore with its distinct indie-folk sound. Co-producers Aaron Dressner, of the National, and Jack Antonoff joined Swift at the cabin-like recording space to discuss the collection, which was completed during the coronavirus pandemic by sending tracks back and forth. Bon Iver‘s Justin Vernon, with whom she collaborated on “Exile,” also makes an appearance.

The trailer went wide just hours before it was announced that Folklore was nominated for the 2021 Grammys in the Album of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Album categories. Directed by Swift, The Long Pond Studio Sessions will showcase her first performance with Antonoff and Dressner. It premieres at 12 a.m. PST. “There’s something about the complete and total uncertainty of life,” Swift said in the trailer. “If we’re going to have to recalibrate everything, we should start with what we love the most, first.”

My Chemical Romance’s Danger Days Was The Perfect Unintentional Goodbye Letter

By Grant Sharples

On December 20, 2019, beloved emo outfit My Chemical Romance made their grand, highly anticipated return at The Shrine in Los Angeles. After temporarily disbanding in 2013, Gerard Way, Mikey Way, Ray Toro, and Frank Iero played a reunion show that sold out in mere minutes and consisted of both fan favorites, such as “Helena” and “Teenagers,” and deep cuts, like “Our Lady of Sorrows” and “Give ‘Em Hell, Kid.” The fictitious Dr. Death Defying introduced the quartet via an audio intro, just as he opened their fourth and final record, 2010’s Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

Despite the fact that the Jonas Brothers spilled the beans on the MCR reunion, their official return in 2019 was an important one: The year also serves as the post-apocalyptic setting for Danger Days, a concept album that follows protagonists the Killjoys as they traverse the Californian deserts of Battery City to take out the evil Better Living Industries. Each band member has a Killjoy alter ego, with Gerard Way as Party Poison, Mikey as Kobra Kid, Toro as Jet-Star, and Iero as Fun Ghoul, all futuristic warriors wielding laser guns against the Draculoids, the company’s evil minions. Their whole adventure is narrated by Dr. Death Defying, a pirate-radio DJ who provides music and intel. Although an end-of-the-world sci-fi narrative felt alien in the actual 2019, it turns out MCR was just a year off, given 2020’s upending of society via a raging pandemic, ongoing racial-justice protests, a threatened peaceful transfer of government power, and more.

Given the record’s ambitious concept, it’s no surprise that Gerard Way eventually developed it into a full-fledged comic book series. But as he told The Village Voice, the comic idea actually came first. Gerard and Shaun Simon, who sold the band’s merch and co-wrote the six-part series, “had the idea for this comic that really was in a weird way semi-autobiographical, although had nothing to do with [the band], and [they] weren’t in it.” That much eventually changed; the band members perform as their respective Killjoy characters in the music videos for “Na Na Na” and “Sing.” Both see the band taking down Draculoids and driving a car adorned with the Killjoys logo, a spider with eight legs, cut through the middle with a lightning bolt, which also adorns the album cover. Danger Days was the catalyst that set off Way’s comics career — a fruitful second life that’s also seen him launch The Umbrella Academy, now a popular Netflix series. But in 2008, it wasn’t exactly clear what shape Way’s latest creative endeavor would take.

Following the massive commercial success of 2006’s The Black Parade — a theatrical concept in its own right — Way told NME, “I think [the next album] will definitely be more stripped down.” There was reason to believe his next project would discard the dramatics: MCR had begun abandoning the theatricality and pyrotechnics toward the end of The Black Parade’s tour.  You could say that they gave up the gothic outfits and eyeliner, but Danger Days still shows the quartet at a theatrical zenith. The sheer ambition of its plot line, characters, and music videos showed that My Chemical Romance still had plenty of bombast left. Simply put, this band is a lot. But it’s also what makes them so enduringly intriguing.

On The Black Parade, they popularized the marriage of horror-punk aesthetics and Broadway-esque histrionics, and it’s why “Welcome to the Black Parade” is one of the highest-charting emo songs ever written (it peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100). They even worked with producer Rob Cavallo again for Danger Days, who produced not only The Black Parade, but also Green Day’s rock opera American Idiot and the soundtrack of the Broadway musical Rent’s film adaptation. However, My Chemical Romance changed both their music and aesthetic substantially with the release of Danger Days. As many emo fans know, when the ringleader changes their hair color, a seismic shift is likely to follow.

Danger Days is a monumental departure from the violent catharsis the band had come to be known for. This album drew from influences such as MC5’s 1969 live record Kick Out the Jams, The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and David Bowie’s eighth LP Diamond Dogs. Consequently, Danger Days is more akin to psych-rock than, say, pop-punk. My Chemical Romance also imbued their sound with eclectic, pop-forward songwriting, particularly on songs like “Sing” and “Planetary (Go!).” The band even made their momentous Glee debut with the former. Although the songs are much poppier than what the band had typically written, they’re also more reminiscent of pure rock music in the vein of Smashing Pumpkins, one of the band’s clearest influences. “Destroya” mixes a Jimmy Chamberlin-esque drum pattern with a driving guitar hook. Closer “Vampire Money” is a thrash-rock take on a I-IV-V chord progression, and the call-and-response intro pays homage to Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz.”

On a lyrical note, it could seem like Danger Days is complete fiction at first glance. But in a track-by-track breakdown with Billboard, Way mentions that some of these tracks are at least somewhat autobiographical. “Summertime,” specifically, is “one of the lyrically personal songs” and is simply Gerard “talking about [his] worldview,” strongly suggested to be about his wife, Lyn-Z. The chorus features the line, “You can run away with me anytime you want,” and it contains two phrases that the couple would write on each other before each of them performed. “Bulletproof Heart” is similarly emotionally vulnerable (“I got a bulletproof heart / You got a hollow-point smile”), as is “The Only Hope for Me Is You” (If there’s a place that I could be / Then I’d be another memory / Can I be the only hope for you? / Because you’re the only hope for me”). You could say that these songs follow the escapades of the evil-fighting, anti-corporate Killjoys, but these songs are as personal as the lyrics found on 2004 breakthrough Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge or The Black Parade.

Then there’s “The Kids from Yesterday,” the song that foreshadowed the group’s hiatus from its opening line: “Well, now, this could be the last of all the rides we take.” As if there wasn’t already a hint of unintentional finality to the apocalyptic Danger Days, “The Kids from Yesterday” was the final song the band wrote for the record. They didn’t exactly plan on it having the conclusiveness that it did. They were even reportedly working on their fifth album in 2012, but that didn’t stop the track from serving as a (short-term) goodbye letter. This song was even the final one in the main set at their reunion show.

Danger Days hasn’t gone on to occupy the same cultural throne as The Black Parade or Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, but it’s still an integral part of the group’s history. It’s certainly not My Chemical Romance’s most popular album, but it’s a milestone in their oeuvre, providing fans with an odyssey-like storyline, wide-ranging musical influences, and a return — after nine years — to a world about to be plunged into a similar madness tackled by the album’s bold concept. “We’re gonna continue to punish you,” Way said to The Shrine’s audience after performing “House of Wolves.” The world didn’t want to be punished by a pandemic, but it’ll take the punishment of an MCR show any day.

BTS’s Be Has A Song For Every Mood

By Emma Saletta

After being forced to postpone the Map of the Soul world tour earlier this year due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, BTS forged ahead with a fire inside, all seven members coming together to write and record new songs. Enter Be (styled all-uppercase), the group’s fifth Korean-language album, which was first announced in April via the group’s YouTube account shortly after the release of February’s Map of the Soul 7. Fans clamored to social media to express their excitement, and with the drop of the Bangtan Boys’ first English-language single just a few months later, the dreamy disco cut “Dynamite,” everything exploded in technicolor.

While many fans around the world remained isolated to curb the spread of the virus, and felt the complex, sometimes harsh emotions that come with that separation, BTS united them in livestreamed performances, a virtual Festa, and the promise of new tunes. “We hope this song can be your energy,” RM told MTV News of “Dynamite” in August, prior to their history-making performance at the 2020 Video Music Awards. That intention rings throughout Be, which is out today (November 20) in full. Across eight tracks, BTS blend danceable pop, hip-hop flow, and EDM thuds with powerful lyrics that channel the members’ own fears and anxieties (“Blue & Grey”), as well as a steadfast determination to overcome (“Life Goes On”).

Ultimately, what comes through is a profound beacon of hope for the future and, perhaps, the sense that BTS needs their fans to work through this difficult time as much as the Army needs them. Below, we break down “Be,” with all its shiny funk and sentimental strings, track by track and mood by mood.

  1. “Life Goes On”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: optimistic.

    Key lyric: “Yeah, life goes on / Like an arrow in the blue sky”

    “Life Goes On” is a song that reminds listeners, no matter what happens in life, we will find a way to get through it. With catchy beats and an overall mellow vibe, BTS begins their album with a song that brings us hope for something better.

  2. “Fly to My Room”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: better after a breakup.

    Key lyric: “Sometimes we get to know / Broken is beautiful”

    Ending relationships is easier for some more than others. “Fly to My Room,” with its triumphant synth-pop flourishes, will help you remember that you deserve to be happy, and the pain of heartbreak will soon be non-existent.

  3. “Blue & Grey”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: vulnerable.

    Key lyric: “Oh this ground feels so heavier / I am singing by myself”

    “Blue & Grey” is a fresh spin on a ballad, and the combination of their voices with the acoustic guitar will bring tears to your eyes. Jimin and V bare it all when they let their walls down and cry, “Don’t say it’s OK / ’Cause it’s not OK.” It’s a positive message that expressing your feelings honestly and openly is always worthwhile.

  4. “Skit”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you need to be around laughter.

    Key lyric: “But it’s really amazing… Everyone is really amazing.”

    This is not a song at all but a recording that was made the day BTS found out they hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first time. “Skit” lifts the curtain to let fans see who BTS are beyond the music, and their laughter is absolutely infectious. It shows they’re more than one of the most popular boy bands in the world; they’re friends.

  5. “Telepathy”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: nostalgic.

    Key lyric: “Even though we’re far away now / Our hearts are still the same”

    The warm funk of “Telepathy” will return you to the good times you’ve had. At the end, BTS sings “Every time, even in a different everyday life / You’re the most special person to me.” Your next best memory is just around the corner.

  6. “Dis-ease”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: like you need a jolt of confidence.

    Key lyric: “One for the laugh, two for the show / Just like I’m so fine”

    After listening to the catchy, hip-hop-led “Dis-ease,” you’ll feel all-powerful, a force to be reckoned with. Try streaming before a job interview or a first date, and you’ll walk into the room without a care in the world, because you’re the shit — you’re incredible.

  7. “Stay”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: loved and energetic.

    Key lyric: “Wherever you are / I know you always stay”

    Jin and Jungkook’s unit track is a blissed-out dance bop that will have you jamming like nobody’s watching. Meanwhile, the lyrics are a soft reminder that there’s always someone there for you. It’s joyful, and it will always have you smiling ear to ear.

  8. “Dynamite”

    Listen to it when you’re feeling: happy and upbeat.

    Key lyric: “’Cause I-I-I’m in the stars tonight / So watch me bring the fire and set the night alight”

    BTS end their album with the smash hit that started it all. Transposing nostalgic vibrations and an earworm of a refrain, “Dynamite” has proven to be a favorite among Army and beyond. After listening to the entire collection, this song is a welcome return and a reminder that “life is sweet as honey.”