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Stars come together for virtual LGBTQ+ benefit

Demi Lovato, Lil Nas X, Ricky Martin and Pink are among the artists who will appear at ‘Can’t Cancel Pride,’ a virtual relief benefit for the LGBTQ+ community

The organisers, consumer goods corporation P&G and media company iHeartMedia, say: “Covid-19 has not only led to the disruption of many national Pride events but has also had a damaging effect on fundraising efforts LGBTQ+ organisations rely on to survive.

“The second annual event will demonstrate that nothing can cancel the heart of Pride and the spirit that the LGBTQ+ equality movement embodies while focusing on the issues that continue to impact the LGBTQ+ community in 2021, including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.”

Brothers Osborne, Hayley Kiyoko, Jennifer Hudson, JoJo Siwa, Marshmello and Troye Sivan, among others, are also set to perform.

The hour-long concert will stream on 4 June at 9 pm via a number of iHeartRadio channels and stations and will be available to watch back on-demand throughout June.

“This amazing night of music will honour the communities’ fight for equal rights, while benefitting six remarkable nonprofits”

The event is once again teaming up with Greater Cincinnati Foundation to distribute the money raised by the event to LGBTQ+ organizations including GLAAD, SAGE, The Trevor Project, The National Black Justice Coalition, CenterLink, and OutRight Action International.

Last year’s event raised over $4 million to benefit LGBTQ+ communities impacted by the global pandemic.

“As the country is returning back to normal and we are slowly starting to gather again, LGBTQ+ communities around the world are still feeling the devastating effects of Covid-19,” said Gayle Troberman, chief marketing officer for iHeartMedia.

“We look forward to once again celebrating the incredible voices and allies of the LGBTQ+ community with an amazing night of music that will honour Pride and the communities’ fight for equal rights, all while benefitting six remarkable nonprofits that make an everyday positive impact.”

To support this year’s participating nonprofits, visit www.cantcancelpride.com or text “Rainbow” to 56512.

 


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Roblox files for $1bn stock market launch

The company behind tween-friendly social gaming platform, Roblox, is filing for a $1 billion initial public offering (IPO) after its popularity soared during the pandemic.

According to the company’s prospectus, the platform now has 31.1 million daily users who have spent an average of 2.6 hours per day in the game this year.

The platform, which launched in 2004, hosts a collection of more than 50 million user-created video games (sometimes compared to YouTube, but for games rather than videos).

The company makes money when these games offer in-app purchases, and it gets a cut of sales of the in-app currency Robux.

The platform stepped up its interest in music in August 2019 with the appointment of a global head of music, Jon Vlassopulos, a former director of business development at BMG and founder of Tinder-style swiping music discovery app Fab.fm.

Earlier this year, Roblox created a virtual concert venue, hosting an in-game live stream of the Lady Gaga-curated benefit concert One World: Together at Home.

The platform now has 31.1 million daily users who have spent an average of 2.6 hours per day in the game this year

Roblox has also joined social virtual-reality platform Sansar and video game developer Psyonix in partnering with Canadian indie label Monstercat, which also has its own licensing subscription service to allow game streamers to use its music on YouTube and Twitch.

The partnership gives Roblox developers access to a new library of music content to use when making games for the platform, which is comprised of millions of games built by professional developers and the Roblox user community.

Roblox’s involvement in music hit its peak this month, however, when the platform delivered its first in-game concert with Lil Nas X.

The double Grammy award-winning rapper behind worldwide smash ‘Old Town Road’ delivered a free-to-access concert experience which garnered 35 million visits, rivalling Travis Scott’s record-breaking Fortnite concert.

The show, which took place in partnership with Nas’s label, Columbia Records, featured a set of stages inspired by Lil Nas X’s songs and videos and aired three times across 14 and 15 November.

Roblox also recently hosted an album release party for singer Ava Max which was attended by 1.2m players.

 


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Lil Nas X delivers one of the most viewed in-game concerts

Lil Nas X has garnered over 35 million visits for his in-game performance in Roblox, marking a hugely successful debut concert for the online gaming platform.

The double Grammy award-winning rapper behind worldwide smash ‘Old Town Road’ delivered a free-to-access concert experience which was aired three times across the weekend (14 and 15 November).

The in-game performance featured a set of stages inspired by Lil Nas X’s songs and videos – created using the latest shadowing, lighting and physically based rendering (PBR) facial recognition technologies available on the Roblox platform – and was preceded by a Q&A with fans.

The show, which took place in partnership with Nas’s label, Columbia Records, rivalled Travis Scott’s record-breaking in-game concert in Fortnite in April.

The in-game performance featured a set of stages inspired by Lil Nas X’s songs and videos and was preceded by a Q&A

According to developer Epic Games, the premiere of Astronomical drew more than 12 million players and across five shows and two encores – four more showings than Nas’s Roblox concert – is believed to have attracted around 45.8 million viewers.

Scott’s record-breaking feat trumped Marshmello’s 2019 Fortnite concert which saw 10 million players tune in to watch the electronic music star’s in-game performance. Both Fortnite concerts were free to access.

Other notable videogame shows this year include J Balvin in Fortnite, Gorillaz and Beck in Animal Crossing and several festivals in Minecraft, while 2019 saw Korn play AdventureQuest and the Offspring World of Tanks, among others.

While Nas’s concert was Roblox’s first, the platform’s existing moves in the music space include a partnership with dance music label Monstercat and a recent album release party for singer Ava Max which was attended by 1.2m players.

Roblox is a collection of more than 50 million user-created video games (sometimes compared to YouTube, but for games rather than videos). The platform’s popularity has exploded this year, particularly among children, and now boasts more than 150m monthly users.

 


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Lil Nas X to perform first-ever Roblox concert

Lil Nas X, the double Grammy award-winning rapper behind worldwide smash ‘Old Town Road’, will perform live in Roblox this weekend, marking the first in-game concert for the popular online gaming platform.

The show, in partnership with Nas’s label, Columbia Records, will see the star perform his upcoming single, ‘Holiday’, live for the first time. The free-to-access concert experience will air three times: at 1pm PST on Saturday 14 November (for North America), 10pm PST later the same day (for Asia), and at 9am PST on 15 November (5pm GMT on 14 November) for European viewers.

According to Roblox, the concert will feature a set of stages inspired by Lil Nas X’s songs and videos, created using the latest shadowing, lighting and physically based rendering (PBR) facial recognition technologies available on the Roblox platform.

The shows will be preceded by an artist Q&A at 4pm PST on Friday 13 November, with Lil Nas X fielding fan questions from inside the virtual concert venue.

Rather than a single game, Roblox is a collection of more than 50 million user-created video games (sometimes compared to YouTube, but for games rather than videos). The platform’s popularity has exploded this year, particularly among children, and now boasts more than 150m monthly users.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to share Lil Nas X’s new music with over 150 million kids and teens globally”

Roblox’s existing moves in the music space include a partnership with dance music label Monstercat and a recent album release party for singer Ava Max which was attended by 1.2m players.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Columbia Records to bring Lil Nas X fans and the Roblox community together in an entirely new way,” says Jon Vlassopulos, global head of music at Roblox. “This concert with Lil Nas X will transport players and their friends into the metaverse, and bring to life the future of what immersive, social experiences can look like.”

Ryan Ruden, SVP of experiential marketing and business development for Columbia Records, adds: “Columbia Records is always driven to find new and innovative ways for our storied artists to share their creative vision. This partnership is an exciting opportunity to share Lil Nas X’s new music with over 150 million kids and teens globally through this first-ever high-fidelity concert experience on Roblox.”

With the show, Roblox becomes the latest online videogame platform to host an in-world concert, following in the footsteps of Fortnite, Animal Crossing, Minecraft and others.

New Roblox users will need to create an account to access the concert venue, which also features mini-games and other activities ahead of the first pre-show event on Friday, as well as a virtual merch store.

 


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Take a Daytrip lead February’s Radar Station

New York-based DJ/producer duo Take a Daytrip head up the latest Radar Station charts, followed by Detroit rapper Baby Smoove and TikTok sensation LoveLeo.

Take a Daytrip, consisting of David Biral and Denzel Baptiste, have climbed a huge 75 places to take first place on February’s Radar Station.

The pair, who are represented by Tom Schroeder and Cris Hearn at Paradigm, produced country trap song ‘Rodeo’, by Lil Nas X and Cardi B. A re-released version of the song, featuring rapper Nas, was performed live at the Grammys in January.

The pair also worked on Lil Nas X’s ‘Panini’ and have collaborated with the likes of Octavian, Vince Staples, former radar Station topper Sheck Wes and Juice Wrld.

In at second is Detroit rapper Baby Smoove, who released new single ‘Hawaiian Runtz’ just this week (2 March).

Take a Daytrip, consisting of David Biral and Denzel Baptiste, have climbed a huge 75 places to take first place

Baby Smoove is appearing at Rolling Loud Festival in Miami this May, alongside artists including Travis Scott, Asap Rocky and Post Malone.

Number three on the chart is LoveLeo, the latest artist to find fame through short-form mobile video platform TikTok.

Leo Reilly, aka LoveLeo, released his debut single ‘Boyfren’, which was recorded in his bedroom, late last year. The song went viral on TikTok and has currently clocked up 17.7 million streams on Spotify. The son of actor John C Reilly, LoveLeo is signed to Godmode record label.

The Radar Station algorithm calculates the fastest-growing new artists by combining data across a number of online platforms, including Spotify, Facebook, Songkick and Last.fm. Last month’s No1 was fast-rising R&B singer Kaash Paige.

See below for a Spotify playlist of last month’s top 20, plus the full chart with links to artists’ social media pages.

This monthLast monthArtistCountry
176Take A DaytripUS
239Baby SmooveUS
35LoveLeoUS
4752Sophie RoseUS
558Nitti GrittiUS
6208TashAU
722Gracie AbramsUS
8164Lil NoodleUS
9269Kevin GeorgeUS
1046Youngn LipzAU
118Yung MalUS
1215Renni RucciUS
1324Yussef DayesUK
147Lil PoppaUS
1519Rei AmiUS
1634Chase BUS
17707DuckyUS
18108UpsahlUS
19130Lexie LiuChina
20819Benjamin KenUS

 


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Miley Cyrus to headline World Tour Bushfire Relief

Miley Cyrus is headlining a bushfire benefit concert in Melbourne on Friday 13 March, as part of new global concert series World Tour.

Promoted by Apollo World Touring, TEG Dainty and Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Westbrook Inc., World Tour Bushfire Relief is a one-night only event taking place at Melbourne’s Lakeside Stadium, featuring performances from Lil Nas X, the Veronicas and DJ Seb Fontaine.

The concert is taking place the night before the previously announced Robbie Williams-headlined World Tour show at Lakeside Stadium and alongside the Australian Grand Prix.

Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the WWF Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund and the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal, two Australian-based nonprofits working to rebuild communities affected by the country’s wildfires and restore forests and wildlife.

The benefit concert follows Fire Fight Australia, the Queen-headlined event organised by TEG, TEG Dainty and TEG Live that has so far raised almost AU$10 million (US$6.6m) for bushfire relief.

“The partnership that AgBioEn has developed with World Tour is all about inspiring music fans to become a part of the exciting transition to a net-zero, climate-friendly future”

World Tour recently announced a multi-year, multi-territory partnership with AgBioEn, an Australia-based renewable energy company. The partnership will see the concert series visit cities in Canada, Italy, Taiwan, the US, Germany, South Korea and Japan.

“As an Australian company, AgBioEn are devastated by the impacts of the recent bushfires, and we are proud to have been able to work with World Tour, TEG Dainty and The Australian Grand Prix Corporation to rapidly pull together this exciting event with Miley,” comments AgBioEn chairman Charles Hunting.

“The partnership that AgBioEn has developed with World Tour is all about inspiring music fans to become a part of the exciting transition to a net-zero, climate-friendly future.”

Tickets for World Tour Bushfire Relief go on sale on Tuesday 25 February at 2 p.m. AEDT here. Tickets for the Robbie Williams concert are available here from AU$99 ($65).

 


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Lizzo, Billie, Lil Nas X to make Grammys debut

The 62nd annual Grammy Awards are taking place on Sunday (26 January) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, celebrating artists across 33 categories.

Live performances on the night will come from record of the year nominees Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus, as well as K-pop stars BTS, EDM DJ Diplo and singer Mason Ramsey.

Other nominees including Lizzo, Billie Eilish, Bon Iver, Ariana Grande, H.E.R. and Tyler the Creator will also perform on the night.

Over 173 nominations have been put forward for this year’s awards, which has seen its fair share of controversy this year due to allegations levelled by suspended CEO Deborah Dugan. Using data from Rostr, IQ takes a look at the major trends this year’s Grammys.

 


There are some usual suspects among the nominees for a few of the biggest categories. Last year’s best pop vocal album winner Ariana Grande is up for the prize for a fourth time, going up against Taylor Swift, who is on the lookout for her first win in the category after three nominations.

In the best dance album category, the Chemical Brothers are nominated for the sixth time – including two wins – for No Geography, whereas Flume sees his second nomination, following a win in 2017.

Lizzo is the artist with the highest number of nominations, appearing in eight categories, including best new artist, song of the year, album of the year and record of the year. Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X have also fared well, receiving six nominations apiece. Of the top eight most nominated artists, five are women, with H.E.R, Ariana Grande and Yola also appearing in multiple categories.

Overall, however, fewer than one in three nominated artists are women

Overall, however, fewer than one in three nominated artists are women, with male artists making up almost 60% of nominees and 10% comprising acts with a mix of male and female artists. Two award categories – best rap album and best electronic album – consist of purely male artists.

The best pop vocal album and best new artist categories feature predominantly female nominees, 80% and 70% respectively, with best country album (60%) and album of the year (57%) also weighted towards female artists.

Over the past 20 years, more than twice as many nominations have been for male artists than female, with women outnumbering men in just two categories this century – best new artist and best pop vocal album.

Last year’s Grammy Awards, which saw artificial intelligence correctly predict Childish Gambino’s ‘This is America’ song of the year win, with Kacey Musgraves picking up album of the year, Dua Lipa winning best new artist and Ariana Grande taking best pop vocal album.

Photo: Andy Witchger/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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