by Nick Wilmer
On Monday, Billboard announced the nominees of their 24th annual Billboard Music Awards. Drake leads with 22 nods, followed by Twenty One Pilots with 17, Rihanna with 14, The Weeknd with 13, and Beyoncé with 8. The show will air on May 21 on ABC.
Tuesday brought two shocking announcements, with Kendrick Lamar and Lana Del Rey revealing the covers of their new albums. Del Rey’s Lust for Life is reminiscent of a ’70s Dolly Parton cover, with flowers in Del Rey’s hair as she smiled to the camera, a first for her regarding her artwork.
Lamar’s Damn cover art was the polar opposite, with him appearing seemingly irritated in both photos, and bowing his head in one. One photo also revealed the track listing; the album will feature his latest single “Humble”, which just debuted at #2 in the United States, and collaborations with Rihanna and U2.
Miley Cyrus’ last album Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz was also made available on iTunes and all streaming services on Tuesday, after nearly two years of being a Soundcloud exclusive. Cyrus was seen leaving Spotify headquarters last month, so many of her fans are speculating that this was a way to help anticipate an upcoming release.
Nearly three months after the release of Major Lazer’s “Run Up” featuring Nicki Minaj and PARTYNEXTDOOR, the music video for the single was finally put out.
On Thursday, former One Direction member Harry Styles revealed the title, release date, art work, and track listing of his upcoming debut solo album. It will be a self-titled record, set to be released on May 12th, and will feature his first solo single, the David Bowie and Queen inspired “Sign of the Times”, which reached number one in the United Kingdom in its first week. The album was made available for pre-order later that day.
Lamar’s highly anticipated fourth studio album Damn was released on Friday. His third, To Pimp a Butterfly, was one of 2015’s most acclaimed and best selling LPs, and fans have been waiting for new music since. Despite only being out less than two days, it has already received rave reviews from critics.
Last night, on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Styles performed for the first time as a solo artist.
This Week in Music History:
Tuesday marked the 17th anniversary of the release of Britney Spears’ music video for “Oops!… I Did It Again”, and the 12th anniversary of the release of Mariah Carey’s album The Emancipation of Mimi.