There are very few singers who can tackle Whitney Houston and do an admirable job. Now, you can count Sam Smith one of them. He's previously cited the legendary powerhouse as one of his influences, and you can certainly hear that on his new album In The Lonely Hour. In a Sirius XM exclusive performance, Smith exercises his chops on a tender, piano-driven rendition of Houston's classic "How Will I Know," typically a dance-club jam.
Smith's re-imagined version, which he's performed on Grey's Anatomy, is breathtaking. You can witness the pain in his voice and gain a new appreciation for the lyrics. It's his subtle delivery that makes this particular performance one of the cream-of-the-crop. He doesn't exaggerate the runs or add anything unnecessary. Needless to say, Houston would be mighty proud.
New Billboard predictions have Smith's Hour set for a No. 2 debut on the Billboard 200 tally. He could sell 150-160,000 copies by the end of the tracking week on Sunday, June 22. Lana Del Rey's latest Ultraviolence disc is projected to move over 180,000 units.
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The Canadian crooner returns with a buzzing new single
Canadian crooner Lil Truth just wants to get back to summer.
On their bouncy new single fittingly titled "The Summer," Lil Truth yearns for a time when summer meant coming together rather than staying apart. Premiering exclusively on Popdust, the track's melodic flow loosely toys with the harmonies of "Closer" by the Chainsmokers–another signature summer anthem that carries a good amount of nostalgic weight in 2020.
Truth brings slick melodies and the same dynamic energy to the catchy rework. "I made this song to reignite the feeling of energetic summer love amidst the coldness of the fall," the artist said of his new single. "It's about the hidden adoration I have for a girl that currently doesn't know how I feel about her."
How a cosmetics company representing African culture, vitality, and pride was "canceled" because of a known racist influencer.
As we're (finally) making more efforts to support Black-owned businesses, we should inevitably be wondering why there have been so few of them visible to mainstream consumers.
Within the astoundingly white-washed beauty industry, Black-owned brands account for a shamefully small fraction of the industry. This is especially egregious considering that, on average, Black women spend nine times more on beauty and hair care than white women. In 2017 Rihanna's Fenty Beauty released an inclusive range of 40 shades of foundation to wild acclaim, and the industry began to reckon with its lack of diversity.
Major brands like Dior, Rimmel, and CoverGirl have attempted to release more diverse shades, but their tactic of "diverse" advertising often commodifies and objectifies non-white skin tones. As writer Niellah Arboine critiques, "There is something really dehumanizing about calling [products] chocolate, caramel, mocha and coffee while all the lighter shades are porcelain or ivory."
Every year, Spotify listeners win out over devotees to other streaming platforms when they unveil their Spotify Wrapped playlists — a data driven analysis of what the year sounded like.
And while this year's personal Spotify Wrapped summaries are still loading, Spotify just released their data for their most streamed global music and podcasts of the year.
Announced the week following the Grammy nominations, Spotify Wrapped feels like vindication for artists who were snubbed by the awards committee, like The Weeknd and Halsey.
The summary also analyzed trends of when and how people were listening to content, noting increased popularity in nostalgia-themed playlists and work-from-home-themed playlists. Spotify users were understandably playing music from home more, which even caused an uptick in streaming music from gaming consoles. Listeners also tuned obsessively into wellness podcasts like never before.
After months of on and off again speculation, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky seem to be dating.
Obviously, this is good news if it's true. Can you imagine? For the coordinating outfits alone, I need it.
There have been a ton of icky white rappers over the years, but these take the cake.
On this day in 1990, Vanilla Ice's "Under Pressure" reboot "Ice, Ice Baby" debuted at No. 1 in the UK, kickstarting a Billboard run that would soon carry over to the states and invigorate a fleeting love for Vanilla Ice and his whole...vibe.
Of course, we all know how it ends. Vanilla Ice's credibility and career unraveled as quickly as it began. "Ice Ice Baby" took on a satirical identity larger than its creator, all while Robert Van Wrinkle refused to pay royalties (or even give a shout-out) to Freddie Mercury and David Bowie despite liberally sampling the track's true creators. Ice instead tried to cultivate a hollow rap identity, one where he was a hardened former-gang member from Miami and not a middle-class teen from a Texas suburb. The chorus of the song then came under fire by a black fraternity, who accused Vanilla Ice of ripping off their fraternal chant ("ice ice baby/ too cold, too cold.")