This was a great week for Little Monsters, as Lady Gaga’s new Chromatica album roared in at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Gaga also appeared during YouTube’s star-studded “Dear Class of 2020” event, delivering an impassioned commencement speech: “There is much to be sad about, there’s also much to be celebrated… you are watching what is a pivotal moment in the country’s evolution. You’re watching society change in a deeply important way.”
Plus, BTS delivered new content for their ARMY all week, a major music festival cautiously announced its 2021 lineup, Billboard debuted its 2020 Pride Issue, and much more.
Take a look at some of the week’s biggest music happenings below.
Lady Gaga debuted at No. 1
Congratulations are in order for Lady Gaga! Following her Hot 100 No. 1 “Rain on Me” with Ariana Grande, Mother Monster’s Chromatica album also stormed onto the Billboard 200 chart at No. 1. “The set starts with 274,000 equivalent album units earned in the U.S. in the week ending June 4, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data — the biggest week for any album by a woman in 2020,” Billboard’s Keith Caufield reports. Here’s the full rundown, and here are five burning questions about Gaga’s big month, answered.
YouTube’s “Dear Class of 2020” event featured the Obamas, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, BTS and many more
Of course, graduation ceremonies across the country and worldwide have been canceled due to the pandemic, so YouTube stepped up to brighten graduates’ days with a virtual ceremony for the Class of 2020 this Sunday (June 7). Tons of pop stars, celebrities and public figures were all on deck to give commencement speeches, perform songs, and otherwise provide unique entertainment. From Lady Gaga and Beyonce’s powerful speeches to BTS’s blockbuster performance, “Dear Class of 2020” was definitely one for the books.
“Rockstar” rocketed to No. 1
DaBaby’s “Rockstar” featuring Roddy Ricch hit No. 1 (up from No. 3) on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, earning DaBaby his first Hot 100 topper. See everything you need to know about this week’s top 10 here, and check out DaBaby’s reaction to the accomplishment here.
Singer Johnny Manuel wowed the judges on The Voice Australia
Johnny Manuel went viral this week for his powerhouse take on Diana Ross’s “Home” on the Australian edition of The Voice, but he’s actually got quite a bit of experience with reality TV singing competitions already. Watch his Voice performance here, and learn about his career history — including stints on America’s Got Talent and in the Eurovision Song Contest — here.
BTS had tons of new content for fans
Apart from their “Dear Class of 2020” speech and performance, James Corden shared a never-before-seen clip from BTS’s “Carpool Karaoke” segment, and it was just what the doctor called for. We won’t spoil it, but the silly moment involves “Baby Shark” and LMFAO’s “Shots.”
Plus, the K-pop stars dropped an animated music video for “We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal” as part of Festa 2020, and announced that a new Japanese album, titled Map of the Soul: 7 ~ The Journey ~, is on the way! Check out the video and announcement here.
Primavera announced its 2021 lineup
Primavera Sound unveiled an ambitious lineup for its reboot, which is now slated to take place from June 2-6 in 2021. The 20th anniversary edition of the event is set to feature performances from The Jesus and Mary Chain, Tame Impala, Massive Attack, Pavement, The Strokes, The National, Beck, Tyler, the Creator, Gorillaz, Bad Bunny, Charli XCX, FKA Twigs, Young Thug, Kehlani, Doja Cat, Brockhampton, Earl Sweatshirt, Disclosure, Jorja Smith, King Crule, Freddie Gibbs and tons more. Check out the lineup here.
Billboard named the best 50 albums of 2020 (so far)
What do 5 Seconds of Summer, Lady Gaga, Bad Bunny Selena Gomez and BTS all have in common? They put out stellar albums in the first half of 2020, and we’ve never been more grateful for good music. Presented alphabetically, check out the Billboard staff’s 50 favorite albums of 2020 so far here, and see if your fave made it!
…And the best 50 songs
The top 10 of our list of the best songs of 2020 (so far) features some of our favorite ladies: Dixie Chicks’ “Gaslighter,” Dua Lipa’s “Physical,” Doja Cat’s “Say So” and more. Check out the full ranked list here, and let the accompanying playlist be your summer soundtrack.
Garth Brooks made a major concert announcement
On Thursday morning (June 11), the country superstar announced on Good Morning America that he’s going to put on a nationwide gig that will help bring everyone together. He’ll host a concert event at 300 drive-in theaters across America on June 27; tickets for the gig go on sale on June 19 and they’ll cost $100 per car/SUV. “We can have families jump in the car, come out on Saturday night and it’s pretty cool,” Brooks said. Learn more about the unique gig here.
Billboard profiled the women behind #TheShowMustBePaused
Billboard‘s Gail Mitchell spoke to music executives Brianna Agyemang and Jamila Thomas about their idea to push the pause button on the multibillion-dollar music industry during Blackout Tuesday on June 2.
“In an insular industry where white men still occupy most of the top corporate jobs, Thomas and Agyemang’s bold and wildly successful call to action suggests that up-and-coming executives like them have more power to change the business than their job titles might imply — and they say they’re prepared to keep using it,” Mitchell writes. Read the full co-cover story here.
…And entertainer/activist Todrick Hall
Pride isn’t canceled. Ahead of Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter’s Pride Summit and Pride Prom, our newest cover features singer, activist and Taylor Swift bestie Todrick Hall. “He has appeared on Broadway, gone viral with dazzling music videos and sashayed all over reality competition shows. But Todrick Hall is still fighting for his place in the industry, where he says racism and homophobia linger — while owning up to his past mistakes,” Billboard’s Taylor Mims writes. Read the full co-cover story from Billboard’s 2020 Pride Issue here.
A new week brought a new round of Billboard Live At-Home performances
Country singer-songwriter Cam, British electronic duo Honne and more performed for this week’s series. During her session, Cam shared some lessons about life and love, while Honne debuted a snippet of a then-unreleased song, “No Song Without You,” during theirs. In case you missed any of the performances, you can watch them here! And there’s still a bit more to come: Trixie Mattel will cap off the week with a performance today at 4:00 p.m. EST via Billboard‘s Facebook page.
New Music Friday was stacked
Rappers reigned this New Music Friday, with fresh cuts from Lil Baby, 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj, and DaBaby and Roddy Ricch. There were also can’t-miss releases from J Balvin, Maren Morris and Chloe x Halle this week — if it all seems overwhelming, get the TL;DR on everything you need to know about the best new music here!