Back to Top

Monthly Archives: December 2021

Half of Astroworld victims’ families reject Travis Scott’s offer to cover funeral costs

Families of half the victims who died at Travis Scott‘s Astroworld festival last month have rejected the rapper’s offer to pay for funeral expenses.

In the days following the tragic crowd surge at the Houston festival on November 5 that left 10 people dead and hundreds more injured, Scott offered to cover the cost of all victims’ funerals. However, Rolling Stone is reporting that the families of five victims have rejected his offer.

Earlier this week, the family of nine-year-old Ezra Blount said they wouldn’t be accepting the rapper’s offer, with the family’s attorney Bob Hilliard writing that he has “no doubt Mr. Scott feels remorse” over the incident.

“His journey ahead will be painful,” Hilliard continued. “He must face and hopefully see that he bears some of the responsibility for this tragedy.”

Now, more lawyers are speaking on the decision to refuse Scott’s offer. Richard Mithoff, attorney for the family of 14-year-old victim John Hilgert who recently filed a lawsuit against the rapper over the tragedy, said the offer was “demeaning and really inappropriate”.

“It was not an offer [the Hilgerts] were going to seriously consider,” Mithoff told Rolling Stone.

“Of all the things this case is about, that’s the least of any concern. This family is set on making change, and ensuring this never happens at a concert again.”

Philip Corboy, attorney for families of both Jacob Jurinek and Franco Patino, said that Scott’s method of reaching out – through legal teams – made the families realise “that all he was trying to do was trying to lessen the public outcry on his case.”

“If he’s trying to impress upon the families that he’s sincere and has concern for them and realize that funerals can be expensive, what Scott’s team did is not the way to do it,” Corboy continued.

“You don’t get a piece of paper in the mail from a lawyer in Beverly Hills who says he represents Travis Scott. These families are raw right now; that lacks any personal touch.”

Tony Buzbee, representing the family of Axel Acosta, had more frank words for Scott, calling the offer “bullshit.”

“If you gave a shit about these families, you wouldn’t have to put out a press release for everyone to see saying he’s willing to pay for a funeral,” Buzbee continued.

“He says he feels sorry for them but he’s quick to say it wasn’t his fault. He’s no different than any defendant pointing fingers to someone else. They don’t want funeral expenses from him. Whatever we get from him, we’re going to get through the court system.”

Buzbee previously filed a $750million (£555m) lawsuit on behalf of 125 attendees of the festival, with the suit reading “No amount of money will ever make these Plaintiffs whole; no amount of money can restore human life.

“But, the damages sought in this case attempts to fix, help, or make up for the harms and losses suffered by these Plaintiffs-nothing more and nothing less.”

That lawsuit is just one of many filed against Travis Scott, Live Nation and other parties involved in the festival. A negligence lawsuit, filed by Blount’s family and attorney Thomas J. Henry, filed a $2billion lawsuit on behalf of 282 people who hired him for legal representation.

The post Half of Astroworld victims’ families reject Travis Scott’s offer to cover funeral costs appeared first on NME.

Posted in News | Leave a reply

Final Eight Contestants Unveiled for ‘The Voice’: Watch

Want drama? An Instant Save on NBC’s The Voice has it all.

Following the Top 10 Live Performances on Monday (Nov. 29), three contestants found themselves facing the exit, with only one given a pass to stay.

Cue the drama. Team Kelly’s Jeremy Rosado hit Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts the Most,” popular hopeful Holly Forbes (Team Ariana) performed Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You,” and Team Legend’s Jershika Maple tackled the Empire cast’s “What Is Love”.

It all came down to America’s vote. Only one person could be saved, and, after some deep breaths and sweaty palms, Maple’s name was called.

A 24-year-old based in Killeen, Texas, Maple grew up in Louisiana, singing in church. Now she gets to sing to the nation as she goes through to the Live Top 8 semifinals.

Maple will compete in the next round with Paris Winningham (Team Blake); Jim and Sasha Allen (Team Ariana); Girl Named Tom (Team Kelly); Wendy Moten (Team Blake); Joshua Vacanti (Team Legend); Lana Scott (Team Blake); and Hailey Mia (Team Kelly).

Watch the Instant Save drama unfold below.

Posted in News | Leave a reply

BTS Had the Most Streamed Song on Apple Music In 2021

BTS’ “Dynamite” blew up on Apple Music in a big way this year.

The K-pop superstars had 2021’s most-played song around the world on Apple Music, with “Dynamite.”

The septet’s single comes in at No. 1 on the Top 100 Streamed Songs chart, published today as the streaming giant handed out honors at its third annual Apple Music Awards.

“Dynamite” was explosive, in many ways. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 2020, for the boy band’s first leader on that chart.  The single went on to detonate the record for the most weeks leading Billboard’s Digital Songs Sales Chart, and set a new mark for simultaneous weeks atop Billboard’s Global 200 charts.

Just last month, “Dynamite” became the first BTS song to earn RIAA triple-platinum status, and it’s the band’s equal highest-charting release in the U.K., with a No. 3 peak.

The Apple Music tally compiles the most-streamed songs around the globe on the platform from Oct. 16, 2020 to Oct. 15, 2021.

If 2020 was the period when “the world’s population was trapped in their homes,” reads a statement from Apple Music, “2021 was all about having one foot out the door.

It was also a year when subscribers were hunting for details behind Masked Wolf’s hit “Astronaut In The Ocean,” and the lyrics to sing along with Olivia Rodrigo’s “drivers license.”

“Astronaut In The Ocean,” the Australian rapper’s breakout hit, was the Top Shazamed Song for the year, with 11.7 million users tagging the song with the audio-identifying app.

That’s well ahead of it nearest rivals, The Weeknd‘s “Save Your Tears” with 8.5 million Shazams; and Ed Sheeran’s “Bad Habits” with 8.1 million.

The Australian hip-hop artist’s sleeper hit was released in 2019 via Teamwrk Records, and caught fire on TikTok in 2020. Earlier this year, the single was picked up by Elektra Records for the world (Teamwrk Records retains rights for Australia and New Zealand), and went Top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic and in Wolf’s homeland.

The artist (real name Harry Michael) and producer/songwriter Tyron Hapi were recently inducted into APRA AMCOS’s The 1,000,000,000 List, with the song accumulating more than one billion streams across streaming services.

Another Aussie act leads the tally of all-time Shazamed songs, Tones And I with “Dance Monkey.”

Meanwhile, The Weeknd was named Apple Music global artist of the year, after the Canadian R&B artist’s 2020 album After Hours surpassed 1 million pre-adds, the most for an album by a male artist on the platform, and its hit single “Blinding Lights” peaked at No. 1 on Apple Music’s Daily Top 100: Global chart.

As previously reported, Olivia Rodrigo’s speeding breakthrough hit “drivers license” was a singalong standout, coming in at No. 1 on Apple Music’s Top 100 Most-Read Lyrics.

The California teen phenom snagged Apple Music’s breakthrough artist of the year, album of the year (for Sour) and song of the year. “I did my first interview for ‘drivers license’ with Apple Music, and so much has happened since then,” Rodrigo comments. “It’s truly surreal. Thank you to Apple Music for these amazing awards.”

Rodrigo has a good chance of adding to her collection of trophies. She’s in the hunt for seven Grammy Awards awards, four of those in the Big Four categories.

Posted in News | Leave a reply

Foo Fighters drop Minneapolis stadium from US tour over venue’s COVID-19 policies

Hours after announcing their 2022 US tour, the Foo Fighters said they will not play Minneapolis’ Huntington Bank Arena due to the venue’s “refusal to agree to the band’s COVID-19 safety measures”.

READ MORE: Here’s what went down at Foo Fighters’ huge, fully vaccinated New York show

Dave Grohl and co. just announced details of a 2022 stadium tour of North America, hitting 16 dates throughout the continent from May to August next year. The tour will kick off in Pennsylvania and wrap up in Los Angeles.

However, in a new update, the band have revealed their Minneapolis show on August 3 will not go ahead at Huntington Bank Stadium. In a new tweet, the band said the cancellation is due to the venue’s refusal to comply with Foo Fighters’ proposed COVID-19 safety measures, and they are looking for a replacement venue that will abide by them.

“Due to Huntington Bank Stadium’s refusal to agree to the band’s COVID safety measures, Foo Fighters are unable to perform at that venue,” a statement from the band read.

“We apologize for any inconvenience and are working on finding a suitable replacement one that will prioritize the health and safety of everyone working and attending the show.”

Updates: Minneapolis, please see below – we hope to see you soon! Maryland/D.C., info on your show is coming shortly!

— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) November 30, 2021

The Star Tribune, via Stereogum, reports that Huntington Bank Stadium doesn’t mandate masks, proof of vaccine or negative test results for event attendance.

In a statement, a representative for the stadium told The Star Tribune that the University of Minnesota, where the stadium resides, “declined to change its existing protocols for large events, which have been effective.

“We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, wear a mask when in large crowds, and take appropriate steps to protect public and personal health,” it continued.

Since the return of in-person concerts, Foo Fighters have come under fire for their previous requirement that punters be vaccinated to attend their concerts. Protests were staged outside the band’s California and New York shows that took place in June.

Cro-Mags frontman John Joseph previously criticised the band’s stance, dubbing them ‘Flu Pfizers’ and ‘Flu Fighters’, saying: “What kind of bullshit is that? What kind of fucking bullshit are you fucking dealing with in your fucking head that you would play a vaccinated-only fucking show?”

The post Foo Fighters drop Minneapolis stadium from US tour over venue’s COVID-19 policies appeared first on NME.

Posted in News | Leave a reply

Britney Spears’ 40 Best Songs: Staff Picks

Since catapulting to the forefront of pop culture when she was just a teen in the late ’90s, Britney Spears has earned five No. 1s and 13 top 10s on the Billboard Hot 100 – not to mention selling 34 million albums in the U.S., per MRC Data.

But Britney isn’t just one of the biggest artists of the 20th century. She’s also one of the most defining cultural touchstones of our time, having symbolized everything from suburban schoolgirl innocence to bold sexual confidence to resilience and hard-fought freedom.

In honor of Britney Spears’ 40th birthday (Dec. 2), Billboard revisited her extensive catalog of pop classics and came up with our staff picks for Britney Spears’ 40 best songs.

Posted in News | Leave a reply

The Biggest & Best Holiday Songs of All Time: Breaking Down Billboard’s Christmas Lists

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it’s  officially time to listen to — and debate about — Christmas music.

In the past week, Billboard has published two major lists of festive music: The Greatest of All Time Holiday 100 Songs chart, based on the first 10 years of our Holiday 100 tally, plus the 100 Best Christmas Songs of All Time: Staff List, based on a staffwide vote from Billboard editors. On the new Billboard Pop Shop Podcast, Katie & Keith are taking a closer look at these two lists — specifically, we’re comparing the top 10s of each list.

Listen below, and you might be surprised by what the top tiers of each list has in common — or what they don’t.

Also on the show, we’ve got chart news on how Adele’s 30 debuts atop the Billboard 200 albums chart with the biggest week of the year for any album — and has immediately become the biggest-selling album of 2021 — plus how the British singer/songwriter doubles up in the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, as “Easy on Me” returns to No. 1 and album cut “Oh My God” debuts in the top five. Plus, it’s starting to get Christmasy on the charts, as a flurry of holiday favorites re-enter — or climb — the Hot 100. Could Mariah Carey’s evergreen classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” return to No. 1 again this year?

The Billboard Pop Shop Podcast is your one-stop shop for all things pop on Billboard‘s weekly charts. You can always count on a lively discussion about the latest pop news, fun chart stats and stories, new music, and guest interviews with music stars and folks from the world of pop. Casual pop fans and chart junkies can hear Billboard’s executive digital director, West Coast, Katie Atkinson and senior director of Billboard charts Keith Caulfield every week on the podcast, which can be streamed on or downloaded in Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcast provider. (Click here to listen to the previous edition of the show on

Posted in News | Leave a reply

Billie Eilish Does the Same ‘Vanity Fair’ Interview for a Fifth Year in a Row: Watch

Billie Eilish was almost certainly feeling deja vu as she sat for her yearly video interview with Vanity Fair on Oct. 18. While the questions remain the same in the video, which was released Tuesday (Nov. 30), the superstar’s answers (and hair color!) showed her growth over the last half-decade.

The annual tradition started when the teenage pop sensation was just a 15-year-old newcomer, back in the simpler days when she only had a mere 257,000 Instagram followers. (Four years later, she now boasts upward of 94.1 million — including Kylie Jenner, the third most-followed person on the platform.)

Reflecting on her pandemic-era answers from 2020, Eilish couldn’t help but laugh at herself. “Gosh, that girl was going through an identity crisis. Oh my gosh!” she said. “You can see it in my eyes. I mean, really. The low bun? Please. What’s going on?”

Looking back at how her confidence had grown from 2017 to 2019, the singer claimed that “nothing will ever top that 2019 ego.” But, she was quick to explain, there’s a reason. “I was feelin’ myself, that is for sure,” she said. “It’s because I had been so miserable for so long, that I finally wasn’t and I just never shut up about it. But I’ve been…I’ve been good. I mean, I’m starting to have, like, an adulthood. Which is new for me and very exciting, and I have had new experiences and new people and lots of love.”

Eilish also said this year that her perspective on meeting the world’s expectations have changed as she’s entered into adulthood. “I feel a lot of pressure, but I would also say, like, back then…I was pretty overall  loved, I would say. To be honest. So I was, like, scared ’cause I really wanted to keep that love. And now, like, tons of people hate me,” she said with a laugh. “So I’m not worried anymore. I’m like, ‘Oh, OK well, if you like me, you like me; if you don’t, you don’t. So…”

For more, including Eilish’s biggest regret, advice she would give herself for the next year and more, watch the full interview below.

Posted in News | Leave a reply

Japanese Star Masaki Suda Drops Dreamy Blue-Tinged ‘Last Scene’ Music Video: Watch

Japanese movie star and singer Masaki Suda shared the new music video accompanying his latest single called “Last Scene.” The CD for the track written by Huwie Ishizaki, Suda’s collaborator on such hits as “Sayonara Elegy” and “Niji,” was released on Wednesday (Nov. 24).

“Last Scene” is the theme song for the ongoing TBS drama series Japan Sinks: People of Hope, based on the classic 1973 disaster novel by Japanese author Sakyo Komatsu. The track is about finding hope in the midst of an unseen crisis and continuing to believe without giving up.

The video was directed by Kyotaro Hayashi, the visual artist responsible for distinctive music videos by numerous J-pop acts including Suda’s “Machigaisagashi,” Gen Hoshino’s “Fushigi,” and Mr.Children’s “here comes my love.”

The single-toned visuals for “Last Scene” captures Suda performing the track outdoors in what the artist and director both admit were terrible weather conditions, depicting the theme of the song in a pensive deep blue color.

“The song ‘Last Scene’ is about hope and the ideal leader,” shares Suda. “The video is like a photograph, like a painting, like the future, like the past, dreamy, raw, and mysterious.”

Hayashi says that he was inspired by old-fashioned blueprints for the clip. “Masaki said he wanted it to be a beautiful blue fantasy,” the director recalls. “The blueprint is one of the oldest forms of copying and has been used in a variety of situations. I thought that the beautiful texture of the indigo color and the duplicated Masaki Suda looking at us and facing forward would be enough to convey the fantasy he described and the emotion behind the lyrics.”

Posted in News | Leave a reply

‘Baby Shark’ NFTs Are On Their Way

To date, Pinkfong’s viral hit “Baby Shark” has spawned an animated TV series, a children’s book and even a Kellogg’s breakfast cereal. Now, the brand is expanding into the NFT space with a new collection on the digital art platform MakersPlace.

Slated to debut Thursday at 3:30 p.m. PST, the first-ever Baby Shark NFT collection is a collaboration between Pinkfong’s parent company SmartStudy and Pinkfong’s global music partner Sony Music Entertainment/Relentless Records.

The six-piece collection, now available to preview on MakersPlace, includes one unique (1/1) piece and five limited edition pieces that feature Baby Shark and his family in original, loop-able animations inspired by holographic collectors’ playing cards. Each piece is accompanied by audio referencing the “Baby Shark” song.

The unique piece, titled “Baby Shark No. 1,” is a one-minute long digital NFT that shows Baby Shark journeying “through a newly reimagined dream-like underwater world, seen through a lens that portrays Baby Shark in a captivating new light,” according to a press release. The music that plays over the visual is described as “a classically composed, bespoke, electronic movement built around” the original song. The winner of the piece will receive a custom vinyl, created by Pinkfong to accompany the NFT, that will feature music from the digital piece along with accompanying artwork.

In August, Sony Music joined the $30 million Series A funding round for MakersPlace alongside Eminem, former Def Jam CEO Paul Rosenberg and DJ 3LAU. The following month, Sony Music announced a strategic partnership with MakersPlace that saw Sony artists like Shakira, T-Pain and Tom Morello offering audio-visual NFTs on the platform.

Since debuting on YouTube in June 2016, “Baby Shark” has received a Diamond certification from the RIAA based on sales of more than 11 million copies; the song also reached a peak of No. 32 on Billboard’s Hot 100. It’s currently the most-watched YouTube video of all time with over 9.7 billion views to date.

“This marks the beginning of our venture into the world of NFT, an important next chapter of Baby Shark’s journey,” said Pinkfong USA CEO Bin Jeong in a statement. “As a sensation born on the internet, it is a natural progression for Baby Shark to embrace NFTs and we are thrilled to share the experience with the community.”

MakersPlace co-founder and CEO Dannie Chu added, “Over the last year we have seen strong demand from our community for music-inspired NFTs. We want to expand our offerings in this space by providing the platform, tools and curatorial support to help bring great audio-visual works to life on the blockchain. We are thrilled to partner with Pinkfong to bring the world of Baby Shark to the digital arts space.”

Posted in News | Leave a reply