The other most popular podcasts from this year included TED Talks Daily, The Daily, The Michelle Obama Podcast and Call Her Daddy. Of those shows, only The Michelle Obama Podcast is a Spotify original. It debuted exclusively on Spotify in July before rolling out onto other platforms in September.
In the U.S., the top podcast was NPR News Now followed by The Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily, Call Her Daddy and The Michelle Obama Podcast.
As part of its annual Wrapped year-in-review programming, Spotify also revealed the top musicians, songs and albums on its global platform in 2020. With 8.3 billion streams this year, Bad Bunny took the crown for most streamed artist followed by Drake, J Balvin, Juice WRLD and The Weeknd. For the second year in a row, Billie Eilish was the top female artist on Spotify. Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Halsey rounded out the top five.
The most streamed song of 2020 was The Weeknd’s TikTok sensation “Blinding Lights,” which had nearly 1.6 billion streams, and the most streamed album was Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG, which was streamed 3.3 billion times.
In the U.S., Juice WRLD was the most streamed artist and Swift was the most streamed female artist, coming in at No. 5 on the overall U.S. artists list. The most streamed song was Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” and the most streamed album was Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die.
U.S. Girls have released a new Christmas song called “Santa Stay Home,” which bandleader Meg Remy co-wrote with Rich Morel. Remy recommends that Santa stay home this year because of climate change, the environmental impact of Christmas trees, and the consumerism-driven gift giving. Check it out below.
In a statement, Meg Remy explained, “When one stops to really think about it, Santa is creepy and Christmas makes no damn sense.”
Kelly Clarkson has been granted primary custody of her two children with her estranged husband Brandon Blackstock.
The Breakaway hitmaker shocked fans in June when she filed for divorce from music manager Blackstock, and now a Los Angeles judge has agreed the pop star should serve as the primary guardian for daughter River, six, and four-year-old Remington.
The exes will still share joint physical and legal custody, but the kids will be based with their mum in Los Angeles, where Clarkson films her eponymous daytime talk show, and they will have daily video calls with their dad, who has chosen to live in Montana, “at a mutually agreed upon time”.
Blackstock will have custody of the children on alternating weekends, but they will only be allowed to travel to Montana on the third weekend of the month, with the rest of their time spent together in L.A.
Legal papers obtained by People.com read: “The Court finds that under the circumstances present in this case, the interest in providing stability and continuity for the minor children weighs in favor of Petitioner (Clarkson) having primary custody.”
In the ruling, which was made in late October but has only surfaced now, the judge also noted how the former couple’s relationship has deteriorated since the divorce filing.
“The level of conflict between the parents has increased,” the documents observed.
“The parties have a difficult time co-parenting due to issues of trust between them,” they added.
The paperwork additionally detailed the exes’ holiday plans, with Blackstock granted America’s Thanksgiving holiday last week with the kids, while they will also stay with him from 19 December until the early afternoon on Christmas Day, when Clarkson would then have them until the end of the New Year’s period.
There will also be strict rules in place while the children are in each parent’s custody, banning Clarkson and Blackstock from speaking negatively of the other to the youngsters, and ordering them to abstain from alcohol and marijuana within eight hours of driving a car with the kids inside, reported TMZ.
Tim “Ripper” Owens has once again defended the “Dio Returns” tour, which features a hologram of legendary metal singer Ronnie James Dio performing alongside a living backing group consisting, in large part, of Ronnie‘s onetime DIO bandmates.
The Dio hologram was created by a company called Eyellusion and made its debut at the Wacken Open Air festival in August 2016 in front of more than 75,000 fans.
The Dio hologram production uses audio of Ronnie‘s live performances from throughout his career, with the DIO band playing live, consisting of Craig Goldy on guitar, Simon Wright on drums and Scott Warren on keyboards, along with Bjorn Englen on bass. Also appearing with them are Owens and LYNCH MOB frontman Oni Logan.
In an interview with “That Jamieson Show” which originally aired last February, Owens stated about “Dio Returns” (see video below): “I like it. It’s so amazing every night just to hear Ronnie‘s voice. And it’s one of the most amazing shows ever. I’m up there singing a little bit less songs, but it’s always pressure, ’cause every time I get up there, if I don’t sing [well], I know Ronnie‘s looking down on me, going, ‘You son of a bitch.’ ‘Cause he was like that. I feel like he would be yelling at me or something, like, ‘That’s not right.’ But it’s great to do it. And I love hanging out with Simon and the guys.”
The former JUDAS PRIEST frontman also defended Ronnie‘s widow/manager Wendy Dio, who is a member of the Eyellusion team, against “cash-grab” accusations, with some fans thinking she and the ex-DIO members are taking advantage of Ronnie‘s legacy by going out and performing his classic songs.
“The thing is Wendy Dio, she’s just one of the most amazing people,” Tim said. “She does so much for charity. She loses money doing this tour. People say, ‘Really?’ And I’m, like, ‘Well, listen, if she didn’t lose money, we’d be touring all the time.’ She doesn’t want to [lose money] — the goal is not to — but she’s just trying to do something to make fans happy, just like Ronnie did. You know how cool Ronnie was — one of the most amazing guys ever — and Wendy does the same thing.”
Two former DIO guitarists have publicly expressed their doubts about the Ronnie James Dio hologram. Last December, Tracy “G” Grijalva, who played for DIO from 1993 through 1999, said that the hologram “looks creepy” and resembles “a puppet.” Nine months earlier, Doug Aldrich, who was in DIO between 2002 and 2006, told XS Rock that “Ronnie would probably not” like the hologram. “He would probably be, like, ‘This is not what I signed up for.’ A hologram? It’s not really what he would want to be. I’m just guessing, you know, that it’s something that Wendy thought about and she decided that Ronnie would be fine with it. But I knew Ronnie well enough to know that he was very particular and he would prefer for them to let him just die and be in peace.”
After the tour’s initial seven-date run was completed in December 2017, Ronnie‘s hologram underwent some changes before the launch of the 2019 leg of the “Dio Returns”, which took place in May and June of last year.
The “Dio Returns” 17-song set consists of seven tunes sung by the Dio hologram — the rest feature Owens and Logan separately or together — and encompasses material from Dio‘s lengthy career, including his earlier days in RAINBOW and BLACK SABBATH.
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In the fourth edition of her annual retrospective interview with Vanity Fair, Eilish, now 18, opened up about identity, using her platform for good, the tumultuous year that’s been 2020, and how she’s been filling the time – working on new music.
“Right now I have 16,” the singer responded when asked how many songs she was currently working on. “We’ve been working. And I love them all.”
Eilish also discussed feeling more confident in her songwriting abilities, advocating for herself and communicating her ideas.
“I think Finneas and I have just seriously really gotten in the groove. We do it so fast,” she explained.
“There was a period of time, a month ago or something, we were just texting the label like, ‘Song done, another song done, another song done.’ So, I’m so much better at it. I love it so much more. I actually really do enjoy it now and I do feel like I’m pretty good at it now.”
Watch the full interview below:
Elsewhere in the interview, Eilish discussed her favourite artists at the moment – Arlo Parks, Ashnikko, and The Strokes’ latest album ‘The New Abnormal’.
“It’s just like, you forget, I’m literally 18. It’s funny that I’m expected to have found myself and stick with it. It’s like, I don’t know, I’m trying different things out, I’m trying different ways of living and styles and personalities, hairstyles and clothing and shoes, I’m just trying it all out, because I’m a growing fucking girl.”
The stark beauty found on the cover of the Beatles‘ 1968 self-titled album has captivated many fans, but artist Rutherford Chang likes it when the LP’s famous all-white design takes on some wear and tear.
Chang has been acquiring copies of the White Album from all over the world, in any condition, for years. He prefers first-edition copies – later pressings removed the serial number and the embossed “The Beatles” on the cover – and those that aren’t in mint condition. For Chang, the more owners have decorated the bare white cover with their own artwork, the better. Various stains are okay, too.
“I was interested in the different ways that the covers aged,” he told The New York Times. “Being an all-white cover, the changes are apparent. The serial numbers made collecting them seem natural, and the more I got, the more interesting it became. As you see, many of them are written on, and each has a story. The accumulation of the stories is part of it. But it’s also about how the physical object — the record — just doesn’t exist anymore.”
In 2013, Chang displayed his collection, then at almost 700 copies, at the Recess Gallery in New York’s Soho neighborhood. It was set up as a record store, with the divider cards organizing the records by serial number. But the artist used the space to buy more copies rather than sell what he’d already acquired.
While the exhibit, called “We Buy White Albums” ran only a few months, the inventory can be viewed online at his Instagram account. Chang updates it regularly and currently has more than 2,700 posts.
The White Album’s cover was created by Richard Hamilton, with instructions from Paul McCartney to go for a minimalist approach after the colorful barrage of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Hamilton went with an all-white cover, with only a raised “The Beatles” on a slight angle and a serial number located in the lower-right corner. The idea of individually numbering the records, Hamilton said, was “to create the ironic situation of a numbered edition of something like 5 million copies.”
Between the loss of his father — the great Eddie Van Halen — in early October and the release of his debut song “Distance” shortly after, it’s been an emotional time for Wolfgang Van Halen. With the anticipation that live shows will soon be on the horizon, the rocker expects to have a difficult time performing the song.
“I think what’s so important to me, from what everyone’s been saying, is how much they can relate to it,” he continued. “With how awful 2020 has been of a year and how many people have lost someone important to them, I think the message of the song is really resonating with a lot of people. And I think that’s what’s kind of touched me the most out of the whole process.”
That being said, it’s completely understandable that Van Halen is anticipating it being very difficult to perform the song when he’s able to take the stage with his band next year.
“In order to play it, I kind of have to get into that space. I still haven’t really been able to fully play it on my own, just by myself,” he explained. “Playing it certainly is going to take some separation in my head in order to play it properly.”
Ice-T followed up by replying to a fan who insisted that “some of us gotta learn the hard way,” writing, “Some people think a Mask is a sign of weakness.. My homie @BrotherMob who had it, told me.. ‘Ice, your Gangster can’t fight this s—…..’ I heard him loud and clear!”
“Honestly.. A lot of no maskers only do it because they’re listening to the President.. Just sayin,” he replied to another fan, before adding, “I would NEVER wish ANYONE sickness… I don’t need that Karma.”
Proceeds from Simply Having a Wonderful Compilation will benefit Feeding America. Below, listen to Pom Pom Squad’s cover of Wham!’s “Last Christmas.” Plus, watch the labels’ trailer for the compilation.
Marilyn Manson will no longer appear in the forthcoming TV adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand.
It was previously revealed that the rocker would appear in the forthcoming TV adaptation of King’s post-apocalyptic novel, but ahead of the show’s premiere on 17 December, director Josh Boone has confirmed that Manson’s role as The Kid has been cut.
“Just to clarify, Marilyn Manson and I had long-discussed him taking on the role of The Kid in The Stand,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “He and the great Shooter Jennings even recorded a killer cover of The Doors’ song The End that ultimately proved too expensive to use.
“The show was made on a very tight budget and some of the dreams we had went to the wayside. The Kid was another casualty.”
He added: “When Manson wasn’t able to make it work schedule-wise, the storyline was ultimately excised and never shot, which is for the best, as no one could have slayed that role like Manson would have. Hope to work with him in the future.”
The Stand was published in 1978 and is set in an “apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil,” according to a synopsis.
“The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.”
James Marsden, Amber Heard, Greg Kinnear, Whoopi Goldberg, and Ezra Miller also star in the CBS All Access series.