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Tag Archives: Billie Eilish

One World: Together at Home, streamed live on 18 April, will support UN response fund

Lady Gaga is to curate One World: Together at Home, a live-streamed and televised benefit concert in support of the World Health Organizations Covid-19 solidarity response fund and in celebration of health workers around the world.

The lineup includes Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, Lizzo, J Balvin, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Alanis Morissette, Burna Boy, Andrea Bocelli, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Elton John, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban and Lang Lang.

The US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert will host the event, which broadcasts live across the US television networks ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as being streamed online, at 8pm EST on 18 April.

BBC One will show an adapted version of the concert on 19 April, including exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with frontline health workers. The details of the broadcast are yet to be announced.

Other celebrities expected to appear include David Beckham, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Kerry Washington, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Sesame Street cast members.

The WHO and the social action platform Global Citizen have partnered to produce the event. The latters Together at Home series, launched last month, has featured performances from artists in isolation including Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and Rufus Wainwright.

In a WHO press conference, Lady Gaga said she had helped to raise $35m (28m) for Global Citizen in the past week. She clarified that One World was not a fundraising telethon and would focus on entertainment and messages of solidarity, with philanthropists and businesses urged to donate to the Covid-19 solidarity response fund ahead of the event.

The WHOs general director, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said:We may have to be apart physically for a little while, but we can still come together virtually to enjoy great music. The One World: Together at Home concert represents a powerful show of solidarity against a common threat.

This article was amended on 6 April 2020. Lady Gaga stated that philanthropists and businesses were being urged to donate to the organisation, rather than fans as an earlier version said. This has been corrected.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/apr/06/lady-gaga-billie-eilish-and-paul-mccartney-to-play-coronavirus-benefit

Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and Camila Cabello have all appealed to their millions of followers to take coronavirus more seriously, as other artists are criticised for continuing tours

Billie Eilish, Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande are among the pop stars using their considerable clout with fans to appeal for behavioural change during the coronavirus outbreak.

Eilish delivered a five-minute Instagram story to her 57 million followers, saying: Ive seen a lot of young people out in the world, all over the place, going to the club or going to the beach or just going out and hanging out, and its really irresponsible. She highlighted that young fans could pass it to more vulnerable relatives, and added: Please take responsibility for your endurance of this.

Swift spoke to her 128.2m Instagram followers to say: I love you guys so much and need to express my concern that things arent being taken seriously enough right now Im seeing lots of get-togethers and hangs and parties still happening. This is the time to cancel plans. Dont assume that because you dont feel sick that you arent possibly passing something on to someone elderly or vulnerable to this.

On Sunday, Grande wrote to her 72m Twitter followers: I keep hearing from a surprising amount of people statements like This isnt a big deal it is incredibly selfish and dangerous to take this situation that lightly. The We will be fine because were young mindset is putting people who arent young and/or healthy in a lot of danger. You sound stupid and privileged and you need to care more about others. Like now.

Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande)

please pic.twitter.com/N9WkKyVNn1

March 15, 2020

US singer Camila Cabello said: Especially as young people, even if we are healthy, its important to practice compassion and help others that could be suffering. We are in this together, lets not be indifferent to others risk. She advised her 48m Instagram followers to practise meditation to help quell any anxiety.

Their appeals come as other music stars have been criticised for going ahead with concerts during the crisis. Welsh indie band Stereophonics played a series of arena concerts over the weekend, attracting tens of thousands of fans, and defended the decision by saying: The UK governments position was that at this phase there was no need for a ban on large public gatherings. Acting on this guidance, we continued with the last three shows of our UK tour on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as did many other events across the entertainment industry.

Lewis
Music stars including Lewis Capaldi, pictured performing in London last week, have been criticised for going ahead with concerts. Photograph: Burak ng/Redferns

Scottish pop singer Lewis Capaldi used the same reasoning for playing an arena concert after Scotland announced the cancellation of large-scale events but before the ban came into force.

A spokesperson said of the Scottish governments advisory document: The advice applies from Monday March 16, and is not expected to have a significant impact on the spread of Covid-19, and this is not its purpose, but that it aims to relieve pressure on public services, including emergency services. Security, first aid, medical and welfare teams were paid for by the organisers as normal and the venue had additional signage in place to highlight best practice on hygiene during the event.

Tens of major tours have been cancelled, including those by Elton John, Foo Fighters and Celine Dion.

Stars are now looking to livestreaming as an alternative. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin took to Instagram Live yesterday to perform his bands songs as well as a cover of David Bowies Life on Mars. Maybe 9/11 was the last time I felt like we were all together, he said.

The performance was part of a new initiative from the World Health Organization and Global Citizen called Together, at Home. John Legend is the next performer lined up for the series.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/mar/17/pop-stars-criticise-fans-over-coronavirus-inaction-billie-eilish-taylor-swift-ariana-grande-camila-cabello

BTW

Finneas, Billie Eilishs producer and brother, apologized on Twitter after he received backlash for the, er, advice he gave to young creatives.

Over the weekend, the 22-year-old said on Twitter that, shooting your shot is promoted widely and I think honestly, its a little underrated.

Work super hard alone or with your closest friends, he continued. Make shit so good it speaks for itself. Dont pester people to work with you, let them come to you.

Of course, people on Twitter flamed Finneas for being oblivious to the benefits of his own privilege. Many noted that he and his sister have a mom who works in the music industry and is also a professional actor.

Kinda privileged, the idea that people will come to you, one user wrote under the since-deleted tweet.

As MTV reports, Finneas initially tried to defend his remarks.

During my life time, our parents were never able to fully financially support us off their work as actors, he wrote in another now-deleted tweet. Our dad worked 12 hour days 7 days a week as a construction worker for Mattel and our mom was a teacher. Our parents gave us love but knew no one in the record industry.

Now it appears Finneas is fully walking back on his initial claims.

Deleted that tweet because it became clear to me that it came from a place of privilege and arrogance on my part, Finneas tweeted. Im sorry to anyone I disappointed or offended. I appreciate those who called me out on it, thank you for holding me accountable.

The siblings have been the talk of the music industry after Eilish swept the Big Four categories at this years Grammy Awards. Finneas has become a star in his own right; he has a burgeoning solo career and has written songs for singers including Hasley and Camilla Cabello, MTV reports.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/finneas-apologizes-advice-young-creatives/

Brad Pitt got political, the Cats cast got their claws out and Eminems appearance left everyone confused

Joaquin Phoenix went full vegan

After Phoenixs speech at the Baftas, in which he said that it was incumbent on the dominant culture to increase representation of minorities in the film industry, many were expecting something on a similar theme. But his Oscars speech went much further. Beginning with the uncontroversial view that people like him should use our voice for the voiceless, Phoenix went on to say that humans disconnection from the natural world makes us feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk thats intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. It must be one of the most high-profile avowals of veganism there has ever been.

Bong Joon-ho ruled the night

The South Korean director ran an Oscars campaign based on gently poking voters about their US-centric worldview. The Oscars are not an international film festival, he ribbed at one point. Theyre very local. His other tactic was a full-on charm offensive, with his interpreter Sharon Choi becoming a star in her own right as she helped Bong navigate the late-night talkshow circuit. On Oscars night, his fanbase the Bong Hive were busy on Twitter and the man himself roused the audience with his tribute to Americas finest: When I was young and starting in cinema there was a saying that I carved deep into my heart which is, The most personal is the most creative. That quote was from our great Martin Scorsese.

Parasite, which has taken $40m at the US box office could be a bellwether for a more-outward looking Academy although this is the same voting body that picked Green Book last year, so its anyones guess what will happen in 12 months time.

James Corden and Rebel Wilson put the boot into Cats

The pair awarded the prize for best special effects dressed in Cats costumes and announcing: As cast members of the motion picture Cats, nobody more than us understands the importance of good visual effects. It got a big laugh although probably not in the home of Tom Hooper, the films director.

The In Memoriam section still cant get it right

There was no mention of Cameron Boyce, the Disney star who died aged 20 after suffering a seizure due to epilepsy in June and who played one of Adam Sandlers sons in the film Grown Ups. Luke Perry was another notable omission. The former star of Beverly Hills 90210 died in March aged 52, and even appeared in one of the nights nominated films, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.

Eminems surprise guest slot was baffling

As if to confirm that the numbers up for best original song werent up to much this year, Eminem appeared for no apparent reason and blasted through Lose Yourself, his Oscar-winning song from 8 Mile back in 2003. He hadnt performed it, or even turned up, that year but this time he performed the tune sporting an alarming black beard as the audience nodded their heads with the exception of Scorsese, who merely seemed to be nodding off.

MTV NEWS (@MTVNEWS)

Martin Scorsese reacts to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” performance #Oscars pic.twitter.com/ic1XeJPmSf

February 10, 2020

Taika Waititi has broken new ground

First of all, hes the first Mori film-maker to win an Oscar a fact he nodded to when he dedicated his awards to all the indigenous kids all over the world who want to do art and dance and write stories we are the original storytellers and we can make it here as well. Second, he gave the first land acknowledgment speech the ceremony has ever seen, saying: The Academy would like to acknowledge that tonight we have gathered on the ancestral lands of the Tongva, the Tataviam and the Chumash. We acknowledge them as the first peoples of this land on which the motion pictures community lives and works.

cherrywaves (@heather28df)

Yes @TaikaWaititi!!!! #Oscars2020 pic.twitter.com/X8vp4ydgHG

February 10, 2020

Chris Rock is in no doubt on the question of Ford v Ferrari

Ive got both and it aint even close, said the comic at the top of the awards. Its like Halle Berry versus gum disease.

Brad Pitt can do politics

He has been acclaimed all awards season for his witty and charming speeches, but Pitt added some political bite at the Oscars with a nod to the thwarted impeachment of Trump. They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, he said. Which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week.

Billie Eilish made everyone feel old

When asked on the red carpet about the films shed grown up with, Eilish mentioned The Babadook released in 2014. And when Eminem came out to perform a song released when she wasnt even a year old, she could not have looked more bemused.

Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod)

What a reaction to Eminem from Billie Eilish. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/h0eS0ZgflR

February 10, 2020

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/feb/10/like-halle-berry-versus-gum-disease-things-we-learned-at-the-2020-oscars

Dave wins album of the year and fellow rappers Stormzy and Tyler, the Creator win best male categories as Capaldi crowns breakthrough year

Scottish singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi has topped the winners at the 2020 Brit awards, though a strong year for rap music prevented a clean sweep of his four nominations.

Capaldi picked up best new artist and best song for Someone You Loved, which spent seven weeks at No 1 in spring 2019, later topping the US charts and earning a Grammy nomination.

His debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent its title typical of the dry self-deprecation that has won him millions of fans on social media was the biggest seller in the UK in 2019, but it lost the top prize of album of the year to south London rapper Dave and his emotionally fraught Psychodrama.

Dave, who in his performance earlier in the evening called Boris Johnson racist, decried the lack of support for survivors of the Grenfell tragedy and called attention to the disparity in the media treatment of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, used his acceptance speech to celebrate his fellow south Londoners, and to acknowledge incarcerated Britons including his brother, Christopher.

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Dave calls Boris Johnson ‘real racist’ in politically charged Brits performance video

In September 2019, Psychodrama won the other top album award in British pop music, the Mercury prize. Dave is only the second ever artist to win both, following the Arctic Monkeys wins for their 2006 debut Whatever People Say I Am, Thats What Im Not. Dave had been this years joint top Brits nominee with Capaldi on four.

Continuing a successful year for rap music, Stormzy beat a strong field Dave and Capaldi, plus Harry Styles and Michael Kiwanuka to be named best British male. His win follows a triumphant year in which he topped the UK singles chart three times, began a five-continent world tour, and played a headline set at Glastonbury that is already regarded as one of the greatest in the festivals 50-year history.

LA rapper Tyler, the Creator added to his best rap album Grammy award with a Brit for best international male, beating Bruce Springsteen and others. In his speech, he taunted former prime minister Theresa May, who as home secretary banned him from coming to the UK for five years. The restriction ended last year.

The rap wins show not only the current depth and breadth of the genre, but also that the Brit awards have adapted following accusations of under-promoting black talent. Following the #BritsSoWhite outcry of 2016, the Academy of voters was diversified to bring in more people of colour, and black British stars including Skepta, J Hus, Kano and Jorja Smith have all since appeared on shortlists.

Those Academy changes also brought in more women to move the gender balance of voters close to parity, but the awards have been criticised this year for not featuring enough women on its shortlists, as well as the longlists from which voters select nominees. Mabel was the only British woman to be shortlisted across 25 slots in the mixed British categories of best song, album, group and new artist. Voters could choose from 86 male artists for best British male, but only 26 women for best British female, while there were only 36 albums featuring women out of the 198 longlisted.

Mabels
Mabels opening performance at the 2020 Brits. Photograph: JM Enternational/Rex/Shutterstock

The lack of female nominees was a theme of the evening, with host Jack Whitehall skewering the Brits for failing to recognise women, and Foals, winners of best British group an exclusively male category expressing their desire to see more female artists in the category next year.

Joy Crookes, nominated for the rising star Brit award, was among those criticising the ceremony, telling the BBC: You take one look at that list to go theres not enough women on it. Its as simple as that you can tick all the boxes, but [diversity] just isnt there yet.

In the end, Mabel lost out to Capaldi in the best song category, but won best British female. Scoring a UK No 3 single and album last year as well as reaching the US charts for the first time, she is the daughter of another pop singer, Neneh Cherry, who won two awards at the 1990 Brit awards. Billie Eilish won best international female, adding to the five Grammy awards she won earlier this year.

The rising star award formerly the critics choice award had previously been announced, and was won by soul singer Celeste.

Two award categories from previous years, best international group and best video, were cut to make way for more performances at the ceremony a sign that the Brits is attempting to remain a vibrant TV fixture in an increasingly fragmented media landscape, and intent on creating potentially viral performances to be shared online. Other changes include the introduction of three performance stages around Londons O2 Arena where the awards are held, reducing the number of industry tables by 50%.

Performers at the ceremony, hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall, included award winners Capaldi, Dave, Eilish, Mabel, Stormzy and Celeste, plus Harry Styles and US rapper, singer and sometime flautist Lizzo. Rod Stewart reunited with Faces bandmates Ron Wood and Kenney Jones to close the show.

Brit awards 2020 winners in full

Male solo artist: Stormzy
Female solo artist: Mabel
Group of the year: Foals
Rising star: Celeste
New artist: Lewis Capaldi
Song of the year: Lewis Capaldi Someone You Loved
Album of the year: Dave Psychodrama
International solo male: Tyler, the Creator
International solo female: Billie Eilish

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/feb/18/brit-awards-2020-lewis-capaldi-winners-dave-stormzy-tyler

Billie Eilish likes to buck conventions and so do her fans. Even though the 18-year-old singer has been a in music for over two years now (depending on what you define as recognizable), her considerable fanbase still doesnt have a unified name by which they refer to themselves.

Over the years, weve seen a wide and creative array of fandom names for musical artistsDirectioners (One Direction), Swifties (), the Beyhive (Beyonc), Little Monsters (Lady Gaga), the list goes on. But there hasnt even been too much public debate as to what Eilish fans are called. Theyre just Billie Eilish fans, right?

A tweet from Billie Eilish stan account @ccharteilish sparked a discussion last week with a tweet in which they referred to Eilish fans as Avocados.

Avocados! Lets help @selenagomez get #1 on Billboard Hot 200! Buy and Stream #RARE! they tweeted.

The reference was quickly picked up on by another Twitter user, who asked the question on everyones mind: Are billie fans called avocados???

The connection between the Bad Guy singer and millennials fave toast topping is a random and somewhat outdated one, but it wasnt just pulled out of thin air.

Before Eilish began topping Billboard charts, she went through a series of different usernames on social mediaold school style, aka random descriptors rather than just first and last name. The most prominent one was @wherearetheavocados, which was her Instagram name for a time.

I made this grilled cheese once, I was in the kitchen and I wanted some avocado, I was home alone, so I just screamed where are the avocados and I decided to make that my username and here we are, Eilish explained in a 2017 interview. Now there are fan accounts like billiesavocados, herearetheavocados, therearetheavocados and its just this random thing I thought of four years ago.

But Eilish fans dont seem interested in Avocados being their defining term. If Eilish ditched the account, avocados are basically dead to them.

That was a long time ago, Twitter user @bilfavor wrote. Even billie cringes at the mention of them now.

No Time to Die will be the 25th film in the franchise and Daniel Craigs final role as 007

Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr will join composer Hans Zimmer to score the upcoming James Bond movie No Time to Die.

Zimmer, widely celebrated for his scores for films such as Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code and the Pirates of the Caribbean series, was drafted in as a last-minute replacement earlier this month.

No Time to Die, which is the 25th James Bond film in the franchise and Daniel Craigs final fling in the role, will be released in April 2020.

Marr told NME: Part of the legacy of the Bond films is iconic music, so Im very happy to be bringing my guitar to No Time To Die.

The pair had previously collaborated together to score a number of projects, including Inception and The Amazing Spider-Man.

Zimmer replaces Dan Romer, who reportedly departed due to creative differences. It was Zimmers close friendship with Bond producer Barbara Broccoli that led to his initial involvement with the film. I never thought I would do this. I honestly never thought about it other than that Barbara Broccoli is a really dear friend, I just love her as a human being, very much, he said.

Zimmer is one of Hollywoods most high-profile composers, winning an Oscar for his 1994 theme for The Lion King. He is best known for his collaborations with Christoper Nolan on Inception, Interstellar and the Dark Knight movies.

Earlier this week, Billie Eilish announced she would be writing and singing the theme song to No Time to Die. The 18-year-old musician is youngest artist to provide the soundtrack to a Bond film, which has over the years morphed into an highly anticipated music event.

Eilish said: It feels crazy to be a part of this in every way. To be able to score the theme song to a film that is part of such a legendary series is a huge honour. James Bond is the coolest film franchise ever to exist. Im still in shock.

She follows some of the industrys biggest names in creating a song for the franchise, including Shirley Bassey, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, Madonna, Sam Smith and Adele. The UKs Official Charts, which described Bonds theme songs as an integral part of British music and film legacy, notes that Smiths theme song for 2015s Writings On The Wall is the only one in the franchise to reach number one, while Duran Durans A View To A Kill and Adeles Skyfall each peaked at number two in 1985 and 2012 respectively.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2020/jan/18/johnny-marr-joins-hans-zimmer-to-score-next-james-bond-film

Billie Eilish and Lizzo are competing for a string of the top prizes, but could the likes of Ariana Grande, Lana Del Rey and Rosala cause upsets?

Noise threatens to drown out the music at the 2020 Grammy awards. A line had been drawn under the tone-deaf leadership of Neil Portnow, who had presided over the ceremony since 2002 between 2013 and 2018, Grammy winners were 91% male, but, after a 2018 ceremony where men swept the board again, Portnow said it was on women to step up and create opportunities for themselves.

A woman, Deborah Dugan, replaced him; a taskforce was appointed, and in December they published their report, calling for greater diversity in the Academy voters. Any hopes that they had moved on, though, were scotched last week by Dugan being suspended for alleged misconduct; Dugan countered by saying she had been sexually harassed, that the Academy had covered up an alleged rape by Portnow, and that the voting was corrupt.

So we go into this years ceremony more jaded than ever, but the irony is that, no matter how poisonous the Academy is and regardless of whether it is rigged or not, we ended up with a much more diverse range of nominees this year. Leading the pack are Lizzo with eight noms and Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X with six each a vibrantly youthful and non-conformist trio. But will the Academy members shake off the past and vote for the future?

Record of the year

Bon Iver Hey, Ma
Billie Eilish Bad Guy
Ariana Grande 7 Rings
HER Hard Place
Khalid Talk
Lil Nas X ft Billy Ray Cyrus Old Town Road
Lizzo Truth Hurts
Post Malone & Swae Lee Sunflower

Aside from the merely pleasant HER and Khalid tracks, this is a strong field. While lots of eyes are on Lizzo and Eilish, this could perhaps be Ariana Grandes year. Its her first time with nominations in the big four categories rather than being patronised in the pop awards and, with its My Favourite Things melody, doddering Academy voters might listen to 7 Rings and say: Hey, its one I know! Triumphant earworm Old Town Road is the longest-running No 1 in US history; Bad Guy is a showcase of the kind of fiendish genius usually employed by Hollywood horror movies to construct elaborate ways for teenagers to get killed. But an Academy eager to telegraph its modernity might go for Lizzo: Truth Hurts is a great underdog story, reaching No 1 two years after release, and her charisma is near universally infectious.

Will win: Lizzo Truth Hurts
Should win: Billie Eilish Bad Guy

Album of the year

Bon Iver i, i
Lana Del Rey Norman Fucking Rockwell!
Billie Eilish When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Ariana Grande Thank U, Next
HER I Used to Know Her
Lil Nas X 7
Lizzo Cuz I Love You (Deluxe)
Vampire Weekend Father of the Bride

This is Grandes best chance of a big win. Thank U, Next is a superbly realised almost-concept album about heartache, grief and moving on that can be witty, even caustic, but never cruel it sealed her as one of the three or four definitive pop stars of our time. Lizzo, HER and Lil Nas X are hampered with too much 6/10 material across their albums; Lana Del Rey was the critical hit of the year and will certainly beat out fellow Pitchfork darlings Bon Iver and Vampire Weekend, but may not cut through to the more august and mainstream Academy members. Eilish was the inescapable pop-cultural breakthrough of the year, and her album has such terrific range and invention. She will, hopefully, squeak this.

Will win: Billie Eilish
Should win: Billie Eilish

Song of the year

Lady Gaga Always Remember Us This Way
Billie Eilish Bad Guy
Tanya Tucker Bring My Flowers Now
HER Hard Place
Taylor Swift Lover
Lana Del Rey Norman Fucking Rockwell
Lewis Capaldi Someone You Loved
Lizzo Truth Hurts

Piano-driven ballads dominate the songwriting category, including Taylor Swifts only big nomination. Lover is such classic American songcraft, though Lewis Capaldis powerful Someone Like You is the best of these ballads and it would be a British win to remember. Eilish is streets ahead in terms of songwriting innovation and should win for that Duh! alone. But, while Truth Hurts most famous lyric (I just took a DNA test, turns out Im 100% that bitch) may have been plagiarised and its British author later added to the credits, Lizzo has this sewn up. The lyrics are hilarious, and it is a massively successful example of that new school of songwriting where a single melody is repeated over and over until the brainwashed public is involuntarily chanting it and then clawing hopelessly at their faces.

Will win: Lizzo Truth Hurts
Should win: Billie Eilish Bad Guy

New artist

Black Pumas
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Maggie Rogers
Rosala
Tank and the Bangas
Yola

Nice to see some country-soul curveballs here in the excellent Black Pumas and Yola, though the less said the better about the tune-free Tank and the Bangas at any rate, theyre all making up the numbers. Maggie Rogers didnt really break beyond her fanbase with her underrated debut album, and Im sure the Academy will see Lil Nas X merely as a two-hit wonder. Lizzos debut album came out in 2013, whereas Eilish has only just turned 18 and feels like the rightful owner of this award. But you can bet than every Latinx voter is going to be going for the astoundingly talented Rosala, who won big at the Latin Grammys and could cause an upset here.

Will win: Billie Eilish
Should win: Billie Eilish

Pop solo performance

Beyonc Spirit
Billie Eilish Bad Guy
Ariana Grande 7 Rings
Lizzo Truth Hurts
Taylor Swift You Need to Calm Down

Just as performances where you cry, shout and climb inside the carcass of a bear win you Oscars, the leading pop award rather behoves you to give it some welly not for nothing has Adele won it three times. Eilish and Grandes variously murmured and chatted performances will appear to the Academy like weirdo arthouse choices here, and even Swift is in a relatively conversational mode. Beyoncs ponderous Spirit was the lame old wildebeest eaten by the younger jackals on the Lion King soundtrack, so this is Lizzos to lose.

Will win: Lizzo
Should win: Billie Eilish

Rock performance

Bones UK Pretty Waste
Gary Clark Jr This Land
Brittany Howard History Repeats
Karen O & Danger Mouse Woman
Rival Sons Too Bad

Anyone looking for evidence of backroom dealing in the Academy might well make Bones UK their exhibit A: Pretty Waste is the kind of creative vacuum beloved only of nihilistically cocaine-addicted LA music industry execs looking for something to soundtrack rock bottom. The rest is pretty good. Rival Sons riffs and hollering make them the most tangibly rock thing here Karen O essays 60s pop, and Brittany Howards History Repeats is a kind of bluesy funk tune, but with mainstream rock stranded out on a sandbar while rappers and pop stars taunt it on jetskis, they need to blur the genre lines. Gary Clark Jr could edge this with his politically charged This Land, half-rapped over a heavily skanking backing.

Will win: Gary Clark Jr
Should win: Rival Sons

Rap performance

J Cole Middle Child
DaBaby Suge
Dreamville feat JID, Bas, J Cole, Earthgang & Young Nudy Down Bad
Nipsey Hussle feat Roddy Ricch & Hit-Boy Racks in the Middle
Offset feat Cardi B Clout

Many voters hearts will go with Nipsey Hussle, whose murder last year robbed the world of a skilful, soulful MC who united backpacker hip-hoppers and mainstream rap fans. Racks in the Middle also features Roddy Rich, who has broken through spectacularly over the last year. But the track pales next to two others here: DaBabys Suge is a slowly prowling piece of minimalism that makes Offset sound fussily overworked in comparison; its ridiculous that DaBaby isnt up for best new artist. He is rather damaged goods after a series of run-ins with the law, however. That could hand Middle Child the win, on which J Cole raps as if hes high-stepping across the surface of a lake, his triplet time full of balletic grace.

Will win: J Cole
Should win: DaBaby

Country solo performance

Tyler Childers All Yourn
Ashley McBryde Girl Goin Nowhere
Willie Nelson Ride Me Back Home
Blake Shelton Gods Country
Tanya Tucker Bring My Flowers Now

If you scoff at country, youll probably always scoff at country, but this spread of songs shows off the admirable breadth of the genre and may pique your interest yet. Willie Nelsons song is a bit something-and-nothing; Tanya Tuckers Bring My Flowers Now is nominated in the song of the year category, and its live-for-today message and simple piano backing will appeal across the Academy, but its rather workmanlike. Ashley McBryde outdoes her in the ballad stakes, but its Tyler Childers and Blake Shelton both strongly channelling the gospel and soul music that not so secretly underpins country who are the strongest here. Childers song would make for a classy first wedding dance, while Sheltons stirring ode to proud Christian labour, while deeply unfashionable, will have you gazing soulfully across a cornfield.

Will win: Tanya Tucker
Should win: Tyler Childers

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/24/grammys-2020-who-will-who-should-win-lizzo-billie-eilish-ariana-grande-lana-del-rey-rosalia

With her radical style and songs of self-loathing, the singer has swept the board at this years biggest music awards and inspired devotion from her fellow teenagers

Just before Billie Eilish won album of the year at the Grammys on Sunday night, she was caught on camera. Please dont be me, please, she appeared to be saying, as if appalled by her own success.

It had been an extraordinary evening. The 18-year-old whispery pop innovator swept all of the big four categories album of the year, record of the year, song of the year and best new artist with her debut album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. She became only the second person in history to do so and the first woman and youngest person (the first person to win all four of these awards in one go was Christopher Cross, in 1981). She also broke a record previously held by Taylor Swift. A decade ago, Swift became the youngest person to win album of the year, aged 20. Eilish unseated her, with an offering that would never have seemed likely to seduce the mainstream. As her brother and collaborator Finneas explained in their acceptance speech: We wrote an album about depression and suicidal thoughts and climate change We stand up here confused and grateful.

Back when Swift was the one sweeping awards ceremonies with country-tinged love songs, no one would have predicted that her successor would look and sound like Eilish: a deadpan goth who was once described by rapper Tyler, the Creator as a 17-year-old girl who dresses like a quarterback. But for anyone who has been paying attention, Eilishs Grammys dominance shouldnt come as a surprise. After all, she is the quintessential Generation Z pop star (and the first true global star to be born in this millennium), with a teenage fanbase clamouring around her just as intensely as one did around Swift a decade ago.

The singer has been making music since the age of 13, when she and Finneas (then 17) created Ocean Eyes, a gentle swarm of an electronic pop song, in his bedroom. They uploaded it to SoundCloud and the song went viral thanks to Eilishs fragile falsetto vocal and the pairs talent for a sweeping, evocative hook. But as they kept writing together helped by their actor/artist parents, who homeschooled them in music theory and slept in the living room of their Los Angeles home to give them the room to create Eilishs appeal deepened.

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Eilish with her five Grammy trophies. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Weaving in snippets of field recordings, including a dental drill, and samples from the US version of The Office, the pair developed a strange, experimental kind of pop music that borrows from the world of ASMR YouTube videos (in which closeup recordings of whispers and hair-brushing are used to trigger a tingling response). The dark, depressive themes of Eilishs lyrics (I wanna end me, goes one of her catchiest refrains), her low-key vocal style and her androgynous fashion sense may have held her back from mainstream pop fame in the past. But to Gen Z, those are all the things that make her beloved: shes a nonchalant, nihilistic figure who rejects everything that pop girls have historically been told they have to be in order to be successful. Where peoples idea of a pop star has traditionally been upbeat, bombastic and focused on performance, Eilish is moody and quiet, made for streaming in the background or playing on your headphones. In some ways, you might say Taylor Swift has been succeeded by the anti-Taylor Swift.

Her style is the first thing many notice about her and the biggest signal that she refuses to be boxed into gendered expectations of pop stars. At the Grammys on Sunday, she wore a black and green customised Gucci suit that covered her body entirely covered, the loosely cut trousers trailing over her sneaker-clad feet. In a Calvin Klein campaign last year, she explained that the reason she dresses in baggy clothes is that nobody can have an opinion because they havent seen whats underneath. Nobody can be like: Shes slim-thick, Shes not slim-thick, Shes got a flat ass, Shes got a fat ass. No one can say any of that because they dont know.

She knows all too well the scrutiny that the bodies of female stars are subject to and, in true Gen Z fashion, she has chosen to opt out of all that noise. Her stylist, Samantha Burkhart, once told Vogue Australia that Eilish lives in this place of genderlessness and ambivalence towards clothing, which I think is very freeing in a lot of ways. She is not buying into the hypersexualised idea of what femininity is.

If pop music under the reign of Swift, Katy Perry and Lady Gaga in the 00s was about choruses you could scream, Eilishs is pop music to weep into your pillow. Her latest single, Everything I Wanted, is an aching, gentle meditation on how her sudden rise to fame made her suicidal; an older cut, the creepy Idontwannabeyouanymore, is a bitter expression of low self-esteem and negative self-talk. For kids who feel as if they are battling these same issues, Eilishs self-loathing can sound like catharsis.

And there are a lot of them. In the UK, there has been a 48% rise in anxiety and depression among teenagers in the past 15 years. This is a generation who have been contending with austerity, fear of the climate crisis, ever-growing exam pressures and social media scrutiny as they have grown up and a generation who are constantly failed by a lack of access to mental health services. Yet it is also a generation who are more acutely aware of theirmental illness than others one American survey found that Gen Zers were 27% more likely to report their mental health as poor than adults.

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Eilish on stage in Inglewood, California. Photograph: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

This isnt to say Eilishs introspective style is unprecedented rather, it harks back to the emos who ruled the early 00s a genre that is currently experiencing a revival of its own. My Chemical Romance, who captured a generation of misfits with their breakout single Im Not Okay (I Promise) in 2004, recently sold out their two UK comeback shows in minutes. Eilish, along with eyelinered contemporaries including Lauv and Yungblud, is their spiritual successor without the thrashing guitars. If you removed the hushed ballad audio from the video of her hit When the Partys Over, in which she wears thick chains and bleeds black liquid from her eyes, it could easily pass for a 00s emo classic.

One thing, of course, that sets her apart is her gender. The emo mould of the 00s was undoubtedly male. Hannah Ewens, a music journalist and the author of Fangirls: Scenes from Modern Music Culture, notes that: Shes not singing like, say, Britney did about being a girl and teen heartbreaks, shes leaning into the darkness in her whole vibe as an artist, in a way that iconic male artists like Slipknot and Marilyn Manson did. Shes doing what iconic rock artists did before her exploring themes like darkness, mental health and being aggressively yourself whatever the consequence, with a very strong visual element and aesthetic, but its authentically updated for a Gen Z audience.

This blurring of genre and gender is what Ewens believes has won Eilish a fanbase across demographics and, unusually, the approval of critics and the Grammys committee, too. Its quite rare for someone with a teen-girl-heavy fanbase to be accepted in this way critically, Ewens says. Possibly it has something to do with the fact that shes encapsulating something thats zeitgeist-y, new and ultimately fairly genderless.

A pop star shouldnt have to deny or cloak her femininity in order to be taken seriously and that is a battle that Swift has recently taken on, with songs such as The Man that address stark differences in the way male and female musicians are talked about. Eilish herself says she owes a debt to Swift who seemed to foresee Eilishs success In a speech she gave at the Billboard Women in Music event in 2014. While accepting her woman of the year gong, Swift said: Right now, your future woman of the year is somewhere in a piano lesson, in a choir, and we need to take care of her. In 2019, Eilish won the same award and remembered that when Swift won: I was 11 at the time, and I was in a choir and learning to play piano, and you took care of me.

But even so, the new pop-girl archetype that Eilish is creating is a radical departure from what we have expected of pop heroines in the past. It is impossible to say what the next star to break Eilishs record for Grammy wins will look or sound like she appears to be one of those rare artists whose unlikely breakthrough signals a turning point for the whole industry. Her totally untested route to fame indicates that, for this generation, the unspoken rules that 00s female pop stars had to follow may finally be starting to fall away.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/27/billie-eilish-gen-z-grammys

Eighteen-year-old Billie Eilish took home the Grammys biggest awards on a night marked by tributes to Kobe Bryant, Nipsey Hussle and more

Billie Eilish reigned supreme at the Grammys on Sunday night, winning five awards including best new artist, album of the year and song of the year for Bad Guy a high point for Generation Z on a night otherwise defined by solemnity for those who have passed too soon.

The shadow of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others mere hours before the show, loomed large over a ceremony held at the Staples Center in which he played for the Los Angeles Lakers for over 20 years. Were all feeling crazy sadness right now, said returning host Alicia Keys to a room in which Bryants retired jersey numbers shone brightly overhead. Were literally standing here heartbroken in the house that Kobe Bryant built.

Bryants death marred a ceremony already jaded by controversy surrounding the awards governing Recording Academy. The Academys president, Deborah Dugan, was recently ousted following allegations of sexual misconduct; Dugan countered with a legal filing last week in which she alleged sexual harassment and voting corruption in the company, and that her predecessor Neil Portnow raped an unnamed female recording artist. Its only been two years since Portnow said female artists needed to step up in order to be recognized, a comment which spiked long-simmering frustration with the Grammys diversity of voting and awards.

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Alicia Keys and Lizzo lead tributes to Kobe Bryant at Grammy awards video

But while last years ceremony showcased feisty defiance and shout-outs to female empowerment, this years event mostly sidestepped any swipes at the recording academy in favor of vulnerability and remembrance. Tributes to Bryant rained throughout the show, from opening performer and pop solo performance winner (for Truth Hurts) Lizzo to DJ Khaled to a strategically placed jersey in Lil Nas Xs staging of Old Town Road. DJ Khaled and John Legend sang Higher, a rousing tribute to the late rapper Nipsey Hussle, who was shot and killed in Los Angeles at 33 last April. Demi Lovato returned to the stage for the first time since she nearly died of a drug overdose in July 2018, to belt Anyone, a song she wrote four days before the hospitalization; choked by tears, she stopped and started the song over. Best country album and song winner Tanya Tucker, accompanied by Brandi Carlile on piano, silenced the room with Bring My Flowers Now, a chastened song on cherishing your loved ones while you can. We all think we got the time until we dont, she sang.

Still, there were plenty of the usual and much-hyped Grammy moments collaborations meant to hype audiences across genres and age, such as Aerosmith re-teaming with Run DMC for a chaotic rendition of their 1985 crossover hit Walk This Way. Tyler, The Creator brought in Boyz II Men for a concept piece from his best rap album winner Igor, and Usher slickly saluted Prince with help from a pole-dancing FKA Twigs.

Ariana
Ariana Grande performs 7 Rings. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Along with Eilish, who performed her hit When The Partys Over with brother Finneas, the ascendant generation of performers represented high points for the stage. Spanish sensation Rosala flamenco-danced her way through Malamente, Lil Nas X remixed Old Town Road again with assists from Billy Ray Cyrus (with whom he won best pop duo performance), K-pop band BTS, Mason Ramsay and a banjo-slinging Diplo. The Jonas Brothers returned to the Grammy stage in triumphant black and gold suits and Ariana Grande re-enacted her music video for 7 Rings, complete with returning an engagement ring to its box.

The big winner, however, was Eilish, who won the nights three biggest awards in the last half hour of the telecast, leaving her seemingly both bowled over and exasperated. I think Ariana deserves this, she said of her win for album of the year for her debut, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Im not going to waste your time thank you very much.

We wrote an album about depression and suicidal thoughts and climate change and being a bad guy, whatever that means, added her brother and collaborator Finneas, who also won for producer of the year, non-classical. We stand up here confused and grateful.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jan/26/grammy-awards-2020-billie-eilish-wins-big-kobe-bryant-tributes-pour-in