meta-scriptMTV Confirms Performers For Spring Break Reboot: Zara Larsson, City Girls, Tyga & More |
Zara Larsson

Zara Larsson

Photo: Jo Hale/Getty Images


MTV Confirms Performers For Spring Break Reboot: Zara Larsson, City Girls, Tyga & More

Rae Sremmurd and Lil Baby have also been announced to perform at the network's first Spring Break party in five years

GRAMMYs/Mar 14, 2019 - 03:30 am

Last November, MTV announced they would be reviving their Spring Break TV special come March 2019. Now, things are finally starting to heat up; on March 11 the network revealed details about the forthcoming week-long party.

MTV Spring Break 2019 will bring the party to Cancún, Mex. one more time, with Swedish pop star Zara Larsson, GRAMMY-nominated rapper Tyga, brother rap team Rae Sremmurd, trap duo City Girls and their Quality Control label-mate, Atlanta rapper Lil Baby, all slated to perform.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"> <a href="">@CityGirls_QC</a> and <a href="">@lilbaby4PF</a> will be performing at <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MTVSpringBreak</a>.<a href=""></a></p>&mdash; MTV (@MTV) <a href="">March 12, 2019</a></blockquote>

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The party will take place at the beachside Grand Oasis hotel from March 23–28, airing live on MTV and The event will be hosted by two of MTV's boisterous personalities: "Wild N' Out" co-host and MC Justina Valentine and Vinny Guadagnino of "Jersey Shore" fame.

Guadagnino's former "Jersey Shore" cast-mate is also slated to join the festivities, joining the lineup of musical guests as DJ Pauly D.

There will also be special programming airing in conjunction with the week's festivities, which involve the stars of two of the network's current reality shows, "Siesta Key" and "The Challenge," joining in on the Cancún festivities. The former cast of "Ex on the Beach" will reunite to "hit the sand to talk to spring breakers about love and romance."

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The first-ever MTV Spring Break took place in 1986 in Daytona Beach, Fla., featuring lots of neon and GRAMMY winners the Beastie Boys as musical guests. The network continued the program for years as its popularity grew, featuring guests over the years that included GRAMMY winners Usher, Lil Wayne and *NSYNC.  

The program aired live on the main channel until 2005, after which it moved to the MTVU until 2014, the last time the event took place. The reboot is part of MTV's expansion in the music-centered live events space, along with their purchase of the annual Tahoe-based SnowGlobe Music Festival in 2018.

Spring Break 2019 will be airing live on MTV and from March 23 to 28. Or if you have your sights set on challenging Pauly D in an arm wrestling match, visit StudentCity's site, MTV's longtime Spring Break partner, for more info.

Ace of Base's "The Sign" Turns 25: How America Fell Back In Love With Swedish Pop

Justin Timberlake at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2024
Justin Timberlake at the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscars Party.

Photo: Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)


Justin Timberlake's Road To 'Everything I Thought It Was': How Revisiting & Accepting The Past Resulted In His Most Assured Album Yet

Revisit the journey that's led Justin Timberlake to his sixth album — both an homage to his past and a celebration of where he's going.

GRAMMYs/Mar 15, 2024 - 02:45 pm

When Justin Timberlake played his new material for close friends, they had one resounding reaction: "This sounds like everything we know you for, everything we thought we wanted from you."

Those words inspired the title of Timberlake's first album in six years, Everything I Thought It Was, which arrived March 15. The Memphis-born singer has described the release as "incredibly honest" but also as having "a lot of f—ng fun" — a statement that encapsulates how his music has evolved in the past three decades.

Since his beginnings as a child entertainer on shows like Star Search and Disney's Mickey Mouse Club, and later as a member of best-selling boy band *NSYNC, Timberlake proved that he belonged on the stage. His charisma and passion made him stand out effortlessly, and those experiences foreshadowed his star power and the brilliant solo career he was poised to have. 

When *NSYNC announced their hiatus in April 2002, it took Timberlake just six months to release Justified, his debut LP. For the first time in a decade, he was introducing himself as an artist with full agency over his work, and showing exactly the kind of music he wanted to create. 

"I felt like I had so much to prove to myself because I was coming from such a humongous group and a humongous movement of pop music," he reflected in a 2023 YouTube interview for Beatclub. "There was a real sound around what people were considering pop music before I went solo ... I knew I wanted to make a different type of album."

Justified promptly shifted Timberlake's good-boy image into a grown-up stunner. Through R&B, hip-hop and funk beats, he wears his heart on his sleeve; there's lust in lead single "Like I Love You," pain in "Cry Me A River," joy in "Rock Your Body." It resonated with the public — the album peaked at No.2 on the Billboard 200 and spawned two top five singles, proving that Timberlake was more than ready to shine on his own. In addition, the album won him his first GRAMMYs in 2004 for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Cry Me A River"; he had been nominated nine times with *NSYNC, and once for "Like I Love You" the year prior.

Largely produced by the Neptunes and Timbaland, Justified also marked the beginning of a vital partnership for the singer. Timbaland was essential in shaping Timberlake's musical DNA, and helped produce a majority of his discography — including credits on two tracks of EITIW. "We share the same perspective that we always want to make something that reminds us of music that we love, but at the same time is something we've never heard before," Timberlake told in 2014.

Following Justified, Timberlake ventured into acting — another one of his burgeoning skills — landing roles in films like 2006's Alpha Dog and Black Snake Moan. However, 2006 was best known as the year Timberlake brought sexy back with his sophomore album, FutureSex/LoveSounds.

Considered by many as peak JT, FS/LS shot his popularity into the stratosphere and solidified him as a superstar in his own right. An avant-garde pop masterpiece, its 12 tracks weave R&B and electronic music, sprinkling in guitar solos and interludes, Timberlake's flawless falsetto and distorted synths. Its experimentalism laid the groundwork for what became known as Timberlake's signature sound, and what he would explore in the future — including on Everything I Thought It Was singles "Selfish" and "Drown." The album also marked Timberlake's first solo No.1 on the Billboard 200, and produced three No.1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in a row.

According to Timberlake, those three singles — "SexyBack," "My Love," and "What Goes Around…Comes Around" — "started a sound that I feel like it went on for, humbly speaking, a whole decade." FutureSex/LoveSounds earned Timberlake four more GRAMMYs: Best Dance Recording for "SexyBack" and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "My Love" in 2007, and Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "What Goes Around…Comes Around" and Best Dance Recording for "LoveStoned/I Think She Knows" in 2008.

Following FS/LS, Timberlake started a six-year release pattern that he has continued through Everything I Thought It Was. During those down periods, he still managed to maintain his star prowess by landing successful acting spots and producing songs for artists such as Rihanna and Madonna. And the first six-year hiatus was clearly fruitful, as his third LP was a two-part beast: 2013'sThe 20/20 Experience.

Produced by Timbaland and J-Roc, the double album displayed the singer at his most sophisticated yet, and reflected his growth in the decade since Justified came out. The first half's 10 tracks are lofty, lengthy meanderings inspired by neo soul and Timberlake's lasting love of '60s music. 

"When we were making the record I said, 'If Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin can do 10-minute songs and Queen can do 10-minute songs, then why can't we?' We'll figure out the radio edits later," he told Capital FM at the time, according to NME. The album went straight to No.1 on the Billboard 200, spearheaded by the austere charm of "Suit & Tie," featuring Jay-Z, and the stirring emotions of "Mirrors."

Six months later, Timberlake dropped the second half of his project, The 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2, and the compilation of both albums, The 20/20 Experience – The Complete Experience. Comprising songs with a more accessible structure (though they still averaged 7 minutes), 2 of 2 also debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200, and "Pusher Love Girl" won Timberlake his first Best R&B Song GRAMMY in 2014. Furthermore, its sounds pushed Timberlake's versatility to new edges, and deeply impacted his future releases.

As he entered his thirties, Timberlake's priorities shifted; he married actress Jessica Biel in 2012, and welcomed his first son, Silas, in 2015. A break from music was only natural, but this time it was also transformational — and reflected in his artistry. In 2016, in the middle of an album hiatus, Timberlake landed one of the biggest and most unexpected hits in his career: "CAN'T STOP THE FEELING!."

The disco-infused single was part of the soundtrack for DreamWorks Animation's Trolls, where Timberlake voiced the character Branch and worked as executive music producer. Attesting his talent for making simple, feel-good hits, "CAN'T STOP" was Timberlake's first No.1 single in almost a decade, and earned him a GRAMMY for Best Song Written For Visual Media and an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song. It is also his biggest streaming song to date, with over 1 billion listens on both Spotify and YouTube.

Trolls brought Timberlake back into the limelight after years of focusing mostly on his personal life, and consequently created buzz around his upcoming releases. "I wouldn't say [my new material] is the antithesis of 20/20, but it does sound more singular," he teased in an interview with Variety in 2016. "If 20/20 sounded like it literally surrounds your entire head, this stuff feels more like it just punches you between the eyes."**

In 2018, Timberlake dropped his fifth studio album, Man Of The Woods, whose title derives from the meaning of Silas' name. The album itself was largely inspired by Timberlake's family and his Southern roots, and found him back with Timbaland and the Neptunes. The result is a record where Timberlake mixes his brand of funky pop while diving into the country and Americana sounds of his childhood. It's his most vulnerable work so far; in the album closer, "Young Man," for example, Timberlake takes the position of a doting father passing on his teachings, wrapping it up with vocal snippets from Biel and Silas.

Even though Man Of The Woods largely didn't have the same commercial impact as Timberlake's previous works, it still marked his fourth consecutive No. 1 album on the Billboard 200, and the release lined up with a headlining gig at the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show — a testament to his staying power.

In the years prior to Everything I Thought It Was, Timberlake kept busy by collaborating with artists like SZA ("The Other Side" from Trolls World Tour), Calvin Harris ("Stay with Me" with Halsey and Pharrell Williams), and Jack Harlow ("Parent Trap"). He also welcomed second son, Phineas, in 2020, and worked in several movies, including two Trolls sequels.

2023's Trolls Band Together, the latest installment of the franchise, also held a sweet, dreamlike surprise: Timberlake reunited with *NSYNC to release their first song together in 20 years. The heartwarming, funky "Better Place" was a reminder of the quintet's chemistry, and reignited hopes for further collaborations.

Luckily, fans wouldn't need to wait for too long. *NSYNC is among the three featured artists on  Everything I Thought It Was, on a breezy track called "Paradise." (And those who were in attendance at Timberlake's "one night only" show at The Wiltern in Los Angeles on March 13 got to see the group's first performance together in over a decade, when they premiered "Paradise" and sang four *NSYNC classics.)

This isn't the only callback to the past on the album, though. The chill beats and adoring message of lead single "Selfish" bring to mind a refresh of 20/20's "Not A Bad Thing"; second single "Drown" rides on the same wavelength of "Cry Me A River" and "What Goes Around…Comes Around," but tinged with more sadness than spite. Meanwhile, "Sanctified" is the pure ambition of FS/LS transmuted into a soul-opera-rock trip. Throughout the album's other 15 tracks, Timberlake also dabbles on heavy basslines ("No Angels"), disco melodies ("My Favorite Drug"), sweet R&B croons ("Love & War"), and sour, stingy ballads ("Flame").

As Timberlake declared himself on The Graham Norton Show, bits and pieces of all his previous works come together to form an updated version of himself on this album — one that is finally comfortable in being vulnerable, and thankful for everything he's been through. "I'm everything you thought I was/ I'm everything I thought I was/ It was everything I thought it was," he sings in the opening track, "Memphis."

"I'm having this moment in my life looking back on everything that has been, and accepting all of it. The good, the bad, the fast, the slow," he said on The Kelly Clarkson Show. "It's just about arriving at this place right now in my life, as an artist, as a husband, as a father, as a human. And I'm just really excited about what the future holds."

Justin Timberlake's Biggest Songs, From His Best *NSYNC Moments To The Solo Smashes

Sheryl Crow, Deryck Whibley, Tierra Whack, Justin Timberlake, Schoolboy Q, Kasey Musgraves, Kim Gordon, Tyla, Beyoncé, Dua Lipa
(Clockwise) Sheryl Crow, Deryck Whibley, Tierra Whack, Justin Timberlake, Schoolboy Q, Kasey Musgraves, Kim Gordon, Tyla, Beyoncé, Dua Lipa

Photos: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; RICHARD THIGPEN; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for WIRED; Owen Schatz; Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images; KELLY CHRISTINE SUTTON; Jason Squires/FilmMagic; JASON ARMOND / LOS ANGELES TIMES VIA GETTY IMAGES; KEVIN MAZUR/GETTY IMAGES FOR THE RECORDING ACADEMY; Araya Doheny/FilmMagic


15 Must-Hear Albums In March 2024: Beyoncé, Ariana Grande, Shakira & More

From the debuts of Tyla and rapper Tierra Whack, to a new salvo from Kim Gordon, women dominate the list of releases for March. While it may be Women's History Month, there are a few major releases from male artists, including Justin Timberlake.

GRAMMYs/Mar 1, 2024 - 04:02 pm

March is Women’s History Month, and women in music are more powerful than ever. 

The month begins with the comeback of several queens, starting with Kim Gordon’s The Collective and Ariana Grande’s Eternal Sunshine. Later, country darling Kacey Musgraves will unveil Deeper Well, and Shakira will drop the empowering Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran. Long-awaited debuts by GRAMMY-winning singer Tyla and singer/bassist Blu DeTiger will also join the lineup, with their respective Tyla and All I Ever Want Is Everything. Wrapping up March on a high note, Beyoncé will drop her highly-anticipated Act II on the 29th.

Men will release music in March as well: Expect new releases by Justin Timberlake, Bleachers, the last record from pop-punk band Sum 41, and (allegedly) Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s Vultures 2.

To make the most of this prolific time, compiled all the must-hear albums dropping March 2024.

Schoolboy Q - Blue Lips

Release date: March 1

On Feb. 1, Schoolboy Q’s website was updated with a mysterious countdown and a 37-second video. In it, the rapper finally unveiled the setlist and title of his much-awaited sixth studio album, Blue Lips, as well as its release date — March 1.

Blue Lips is Q’s first full record since 2019’s Crash Talk, although he had been teasing the album since 2020. Hopefully, it was worth the wait: Blue Lips holds 18 tracks and participations by Rico Nasty, Freddie Gibbs, and more. Q has also started a new vlog series on social media called "wHy not?," where he takes the viewers behind the scenes of making the album and previews snippets of the songs.

So far, the rapper shared tracks "Blueslides," "Back n Love" with Devin Malik, "Cooties" and "Love Birds" with Devin Malik and Lance Skiiwalker, as well as lead single "Yeern 101."

Bleachers - Bleachers

Release date: March 8

Fronted by 10-time GRAMMY winner and 2024 Producer Of The Year Jack Antonoff, rock band Bleachers will release its eponymous fourth studio album on March 8.

In a press release, Bleachers is described as Antonoff’s "distinctly New Jersey take on the bizarre sensory contradictions of modern life." The self-titled record will blend sadness and joy into "music for driving on the highway to, for crying to and for dancing to at weddings."

The band shared four singles so far: lead track "Modern Girl," "Alma Mater" featuring Lana del Rey, "Tiny Moves" and "Me Before You." Through serendipitous melodies and soulful writing, Bleachers commit to "exist in crazy times but remember what counts." 

Bleachers will tour the U.K. in March and the U.S. in May and June.

Kim Gordon - The Collective

Release date: March 8

Former Sonic Youth vocalist Kim Gordon will release her sophomore LP, The Collective, on March 8. The album is a follow-up to her 2019 debut No Home Record, and furthers her collaboration with producer Justin Raisen, as well as additional producing from Anthony Paul Lopez.

"On this record, I wanted to express the absolute craziness I feel around me right now," said Gordon in a press statement. "This is a moment when nobody really knows what truth is, when facts don’t necessarily sway people, when everyone has their own side, creating a general sense of paranoia. To soothe, to dream, escape with drugs, TV shows, shopping, the internet, everything is easy, smooth, convenient, branded. It made me want to disrupt, to follow something unknown, maybe even to fail."

Back in January, the singer unveiled the album’s moody first single, "Bye Bye," and a music video starring her daughter, Coco Gordon Moore. The second single, "I’m A Man," came out in February. Gordon will play six concerts in support of The Collective, starting March 21 in Burlington, Vermont.

Ariana Grande - Eternal Sunshine

Release date: March 8

It’s been almost four years since Ariana Grande’s last studio album, 2020’s Positions. The starlet spent the past few years filming Wicked, an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, and declared that she wouldn’t be releasing any new records until it was done.

The wait is finally over, as Grande announced her seventh studio album, Eternal Sunshine. The album’s first and only single, "Yes, And?," dropped in January, followed by an Instagram video of the soprano singer explaining the concept of the album to her Republic Records team. 

"It’s kind of a concept album ’cause it’s all different heightened pieces of the same story, of the same experience," she said. "Some of [the songs] are really vulnerable, some of them are like playing the part of what people kind of expect me to be sometimes and having fun with it."

"I think this one may be your favorite," Grande wrote of Eternal Sunshine on her Instagram Story. "It is mine." The 13-song collection will reportedly explore house and R&B, and will have only one feature: Grande’s grandmother, who appears on the last track, "Ordinary Things."

Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign -Vultures 2

Release date: March 8

After a series of delays, Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s first collaborative album, Vultures 1, ultimately dropped on Feb. 10, 2024. Set to be the first installment of a trilogy, the album was released independently through West’s YZY label, and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, with all of its 16 tracks also charting on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Billed as ¥$, the duo plans to release Vultures 2 on March 8, and follow up with Vultures 3 on April 5. Although any other info about the upcoming volumes is still unclear, Timbaland recently shared on X (formerly Twitter) that Vultures 2 is "OTW." (Timbaland produced Vultures 1’s "Keys to My Life" and "Fuk Sumn" with Playboi Carti and Travis Scott.)

In the past month, West and $ign held a few listening parties for the album in the U.S. and Europe, but additional schedules are yet to be revealed.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Glasgow Eyes

Release date: March 8

To celebrate their 40th anniversary, alt-rock band the Jesus and Mary Chain will release their eighth studio album, Glasgow Eyes, on March 8.

As it can be seen on lead single "Jamcod," the Scottish group still runs strong on the distorted synths and electrifying guitars that shaped their sound. "People should expect a Jesus and Mary Chain record, and that’s certainly what Glasgow Eyes is," vocalist Jim Reid said in a statement. "Our creative approach is remarkably the same as it was in 1984, just hit the studio and see what happens. We went in with a bunch of songs and let it take its course. There are no rules, you just do whatever it takes."

Glasgow Eyes also mends a six-year gap since the Jesus and Mary Chain’s latest album, 2017’s Damage and Joy. To further commemorate, the band will also release an autobiography and embark on a European tour throughout March and April.

Justin Timberlake - Everything I Thought It Was

Release date: March 15

Justin Timberlake is back with his first studio album since 2018’s Man of the Woods. The new record, Everything I Thought It Was,  is spearheaded by singles "Selfish" and "Drown."

"I worked for a long time on this album, and I ended up with 100 songs. So, narrowing them down to 18 was a thing," said Timberlake in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1. "I’m really excited about this album. I think every artist probably says this, but it is my best work." The Memphis singer also shared that there are "incredibly honest" moments in the album, but also "a lot of f—ng fun."

To celebrate his return, Timberlake announced his Forget Tomorrow World Tour. Set to kick off on April 29 in Vancouver, the tour will cross through North America and Europe until its final date on Dec. 16 in Indianapolis.

Kacey Musgraves - Deeper Well

Release date: March 15

Fresh off winning Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 2024 GRAMMYs for the Zach Bryan duet "I Remember Everything," Kacey Musgraves announced her fifth studio album, Deeper Well..

"My Saturn has returned/ When I turned 27/ Everything started to change," she sings in the contemplative title track, exploring how she changed over the last few years. The single sets the tone for the rest of the record, which was co-produced by longtime collaborators Ian Fitchuk and Daniel Tashian

Featuring 14 tracks, Deeper Well was mostly recorded at the legendary Electric Lady studios in New York City. "I was seeking some different environmental energy, and Electric Lady has the best mojo. Great ghosts," the country star noted in a press release.

On social media, Musgraves wrote: "it’s a collection of songs I hold very dear to my heart. I hope it makes a home in all of your hearts, too." Deeper Well follows 2021’s star-crossed

Tierra Whack - World Wide Whack

Release date: March 15

When rapper Tierra Whack released her first album, 2018’s Whack World, she quickly garnered the admiration of both critics and fans. Comprising 15 one-minute tracks and music videos for each, the release was a refreshing introduction to a groundbreaking artist.

In 2024, the Philadelphia-born star is preparing to release World Wide Whack, labeled her official debut album in a press release. The cover artwork, created by Alex Da Corte, was inspired by theater character Pierrot, fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and Donna Summer, and represents "the first reveal of the World Wide Whack character, an alter ego both untouchable and vulnerable, superhuman and painfully human, whose surprising story will unfold in images and video over the course of the album’s visual rollout."

The album follows Whack’s 2021 EP trilogy — Rap?, Pop? and R&B? — and is foreshadowed by the poignant "27 Club" and the eccentric "Shower Song."

Tyla - Tyla

Release date: March 22

After a glowing 2023 with viral hit "Water," South African newcomer Tyla started 2024 with a blast. Last month, she became the first person to win a GRAMMY for Best African Music Performance, and the youngest-ever African singer to win a GRAMMY Award at 22 years old.

Next month is poised to be even better: Tyla’s eponymous debut LP drops on March 22, featuring "Water" and other hits like  "Truth or Dare," "Butterflies" and "On and On," as well as a guest appearance by labelmate Travis Scott.

"African music is going global and I’m so blessed to be one of the artists pushing the culture," Tyla shared on Instagram. Her unique blend of amapiano, pop and R&B is making waves around the world, and the star will rightfully celebrate by touring Europe and North America throughout this spring.

Shakira - Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran

Release date: March 22

The title of Shakira’s new album, Las Mujeres Ya No Lloran, is a nod to her 2023 hit "Shakira: Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53" with Argentine DJ Bizarrap. In the lyrics, she states that "las mujeres ya no lloran, las mujeres facturan" — "women don’t cry anymore, they make money."

The single is a diss to Shakira’s ex-partner, footballer Gerard Piqué, and, like the rest of the record, served as a healing experience after their separation. "Making this body of work has been an alchemical process," the Colombian star said in a statement. "While writing each song I was rebuilding myself. While singing them, my tears transformed into diamonds, and my vulnerability into strength."

Las Mujeres will feature 16 songs, including her Bizarrap collaboration and singles "Te Felicito" with Rauw Alejandro, "Copa Vacía" with Manuel Turizo, "Acróstico," "Monotonía" with Ozuna, "El Jefe" with Mexican band Fuerza Regida, and "TQG" with fellow Colombian Karol G.

Sheryl Crow - Evolution

Release date: March 29

Back in 2018, Sheryl Crow said that the LP Threads would be her last — fortunately, she changed her mind. "I said I’d never make another record, though there was no point to it," the singer shared in a statement about her upcoming album, Evolution. "This music comes from my soul. And I hope whoever hears this record can feel that."

According to the same statement, "Evolution is Sheryl Crow at her most authentically human self," and its music and lyrics "came from sitting in the quiet and writing from a deep soul place." 

The entire album was written in a month, starting with the title track, which expresses Crow’s anxieties about artificial intelligence and the future of humans. From then on, Crow and producer Mike Elizondo found bliss. "The songs just kept flowing out of me, four songs turned into nine and it was pretty obvious this was an album," she said.

In addition to the album's title track, Crow also shared singles "Do It Again" and "Alarm Clock."

Sum 41 - Heaven :x: Hell

Release date: March 29

After nearly three decades together, punk-metal mavericks Sum 41 are parting ways. Their final release will be a double album. Heaven :x: Hell, set to drop on March 29.

Heaven is composed of 10 pop-punk tracks reminiscent of the band’s early years, while Hell is 10 tracks of pure heavy metal, reflecting the direction they took more recently. "Once I heard the music, I was confident enough to say, ‘This is the record I’d like to go out on,'" frontman Deryck Whibley said in a statement. "We’ve made a double album of pop punk and metal, and it makes sense. It took a long time for us to pave this lane for ourselves, but we did, and it’s unique to us."

The band shared singles "Landmines," "Rise Up" and "Waiting on a Twist of Fate," and proved that they’re leaving on top of their game. "I love Sum 41, what we’ve achieved, endured, and stuck together through, which is why I want to call it quits," Whibley added. "It’s the right time to walk away from it. I’m putting all of my energy into what’s ahead."

But before embarking on new ventures, Sum 41 will spend the rest of the year touring throughout Asia, North America, and Europe.

Blu DeTiger - All I Ever Want Is Everything

Release date: March 29

At only 26 years old, Blu DeTiger has already toured with Caroline Polachek, played bass for Jack Antonoff’s band Bleachers, partnered with Fender, and appeared on the 2023 Forbes 30 Under 30’s music list.

Now, she prepares to release her debut studio album, All I Ever Want Is Everything. "This album is about growing and becoming, settling into yourself and learning to love where you’re at through it all. It’s about learning how to be your own best friend," the bassist and singer wrote on Instagram.

"Dangerous Game," the lead single off the album, showcases DeTiger’s effervescent energy and potential for pop stardom. Starting April, she will also headline a U.S. tour across Boston, Washington D.C., New York, Toronto, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Beyoncé - Act II

Release date: March 29

What better event to announce a new album than the most-watched TV program ever? That’s what Beyoncé did during Super Bowl LVIII, on Feb. 11. At the end of a Verizon commercial, the singer declared "Okay, they ready. Drop the new music," while simultaneously releasing Act II’s lead singles, "16 Carriages" and "Texas Hold 'Em," on social media and streaming platforms.

Coming out March 29, Act II is the second part of Beyoncé’s ongoing trilogy, which was written and recorded during the COVID-19 pandemic. The album is preceded by 2022’s acclaimed Act I: Renaissance, but instead of house and disco, the singer will reportedly take a deep dive into country music.

This isn’t Queen Bey’s first foray into the genre — in 2016, she released Lemonade’s "Daddy Lessons," and her 2021 IVY PARK Rodeo collection was inspired by "the overlooked history of the American Black cowboy," as she told Harper’s Bazaar. It was just a question of time for Beyoncé to enter her country era, and it is finally upon us.

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Zara Larsson Press Photo 2024
Zara Larsson

Photo: Paul Edwards


How 'Venus' Helped Zara Larsson Find Joy In Her Journey: "I Have Cemented Myself As An Artist"

Nearly 10 years into her career, Zara Larsson feels like she's starting over with her fourth studio album, 'Venus' — and she's ready for the world to truly get to know her.

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2024 - 03:50 pm

For international artists, making it in America can feel like a pipe dream — something only reserved for a handful of pop stars every few years. For Swedish pop singer Zara Larsson, it's a dream that is coming true slowly but surely.

In 2015, Larsson released "Lush Life" and "Never Forget You," two singles that both hit No. 1 in her home country. A year later, and America eventually caught on: both singles hit the Billboard Hot 100 — with the latter reaching No. 13 — and helped make 2016 Larsson's breakthrough year. In 2017, her second album (and first to be released internationally), So Good, went platinum in America; since then, she's collaborated with a wide array of stars, from Kygo and Young Thug to BTS and David Guetta.

Yet, it feels as though Larsson has remained her fan's best kept secret. As she's continued to see massive success in Europe, headlined several tours, and opened for the likes of Clean Bandit and Ed Sheeran, she's also continued bubbling under the surface — landing a fair share of Top 40 hits on U.S. pop radio, but ultimately waiting for the stateside success to stick. 

One thing that's kept Larsson going, though, is knowing that she has always remained true to what matters most: her music and her artistry. Rather than succumbing to the pressure to hop on a music trend or create a viral sound, Larsson opts to look to the future, thinking positively that her moment will come. Venus, her fourth studio album, will hopefully help that moment come true.

The 12-track album is an ode to the various types of love Larsson has experienced over her life so far — the most prominent, of course, being the love for her music career. In the music videos for Venus tracks "On My Love" and "End of Time,"  Larsson revisits versions of herself from her past, which served as a visual representation that she's still following the right path. 

"Looking back at a lot of video material from when I was editing, I see who I was as a baby and a kid back then, and it's so clear that I was always meant to do this," Larsson tells "[Venus] is the essence of me and who I am and always have been." 

Venus is pop at its finest, with Larsson crafting an album that juxtaposes infectious floor-fillers like "Escape" with more introspective tracks like "Healing." The through line between her previous work and Venus is obvious: Larsson just wants to make people feel as deeply as possible. What's different is that now, she sounds confident and in control; she's not trying to chase anything except her own happiness and uses music to soundtrack those emotions.

In between a much-needed trip to Thailand and the release of Venus, Larsson chats with about staying true to her artistry, working with female producers, and more.

This year marks 10 years since your debut album. How would you describe the way you've grown and developed as an artist between then and now?

Ten years is a long time. I just turned 15 when I released my first song. It's hard to say what exactly grew in my music [or] in me as a person because I think they do intertwine. 

What's interesting about this album is that I feel like, in a lot of ways, it goes back to my very first album, 1. It wasn't released internationally and a lot of people think So Good is my first album. Venus has the essence of me — it's fun, not that serious, and a little sassy. 

I've been lucky enough to always have people around me who listened to what I wanted to do and say. It's tricky because you feel like you need to reinvent yourself but, at the same time, you want to stay true to yourself. I'm really excited to let the world hear Venus because I do feel like it reminds me of my very first album. 

You mention having a team around you that supports you. I read a previous interview you did and you essentially talked about how the industry was full of men and you scared them by being 15 years old and saying no. How has that mindset carried you over your career so far?

I've just always been a very opinionated person and determined in what I want to do. For me, it was so clear what I was feeling [when recording] — it was "No, I don't like this song" or "Yes, I like this song."

I have a lot of good people around me. At 15, I had a small team, and although they were men, I trusted them. They allowed me to release what I wanted to release. I wasn't signed to a major label at that point, but after I got signed to a major with lots of budget for styling and choreography, I have to ask myself if I like what I'm doing or making. 

I think that it is so important [to stick up for yourself] because I don't think it would feel good to release something that I don't like… even if it probably would feel great to have a hit. But, again, you can't guarantee a hit and when you release something that you really, really like, you can't lose. 

I've had to stand up for myself a lot of the time. I've never been truly alone in going up against the bigger dogs at the bigger company — I've either had my indie label, my manager, or my mom telling me that I know what I want. I think now, having my fourth album on the way, it feels like I have cemented myself as an artist. I don't feel the pressure of having to live up to other people's standards or expectations.

Touching on that, something that I love about your work is that you always stay true to who you are. Has ensuring your artistic integrity stays intact and keeping true to yourself rather than 'selling out' to try and get a huge hit always been a no-brainer for you?

I think so. It is hard because, at the end of the day, I can't lie — one of my biggest dreams is to have a sold-out stadium world tour. I would love to see lots of faces in the crowd and to have as many people as possible to connect with my music. But I don't [want to release] stuff that I don't like just because someone else thinks it's a good song. I don't want to hate the song when I perform it at shows. 

How did the creation of Venus differ from creating previous albums?

I wanted to make an album that felt like the first one I wrote [2014's 1]. The beauty of pop is that it's so broad, it allows you to dip your toe in anything. Venus is a step up in the quality of songs. The Goddess of love and beauty is Venus, so this album focuses on different types of love — platonic love, romantic love, healing from love, and just love from different perspectives. 

I think love rules my world, in a sense, and Venus captures where I am in life. I have so much love for my career and I'm in a very good place. I'm glad Venus is coming out in the first quarter of the year because everyone is excited and everyone has this new, refreshed energy. It feels inspiring.

In the "End of Time" video, we see you revisiting yourself as a kid. Did you feel like you were healing your inner child while creating that video?

Yeah. The story turned out exactly how I wanted it to. For me, it was about expressing a feeling of being a young girl and wanting so badly to be a singer and then being visited by an older version of myself. 

In the video, young Zara is going through a lot and she uses music as an escape into her own world. I feel like I have always done that. That's the beauty of pop and why putting on a fun song to dance to is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. You just enter a different world where no one can bother you. That was my childhood — me dancing in front of my mirror dreaming about one day being an artist. 

Arguably the most important love to ever feel is to believe in your dreams and your goals, so [the music video] was my way of saying to little Zara that we did it. 

Vulnerability is a thread that connects your songs together — do you see songwriting as a form of therapy, to get your thoughts and feelings out and make them tangible?

Yeah, definitely. The older I get and the more I do it, the better I get. It's just a really good way of putting your emotions into the world because the beauty of music and any type of art is to feel like people can relate to it. You feel like you're not alone and you feel understood. It's why we listen to happy songs when we are happy and sad songs when we are sad — we want to feel like we're not alone in what we are experiencing. 

Compared to your past albums, did the writing process for Venus change at all? 

For Venus, I worked with a small group of people. Sometimes, when you go from one session to another, it can be difficult to open up your soul. It does get easier when you've been working consistently with the same group of people, though. It's important for me to feel safe in a room and know that I can say whatever. 

I think a couple of years ago when I was in sessions, I would also be with nine people in the room or something, and they'd mostly be men, and that was really intimidating for me. I had to stand up for myself in those writing rooms. Now, I don't want to be the only girl in the room. I want other women in there. 

At the end of last year, I released an EP called Honor The Light and one of my favourite songs, "Memory Lane," was made with one of my favorite producers, Elvira Anderfjärd. 

With there being so many male producers, it's easy for them to lift each other and so much harder for women to get in the door. 

Exactly! I want to work more on having more women in these rooms in the future. Venus is my essence. Looking back at videos of me as a baby, it was so clear who I was even back then. That's the purest version of me. I want it to be very female-driven and empowering. So, now I have an all-female band because I want to play with other women. 

I loved "Memory Lane," by the way. What was it like working with Elvira Anderfjärd and Klara Söderberg from First Aid Kit on it?

We had a couple of days in the studio and we were reminiscing and talking about old memories. I felt like I'd reached a point where I was starting to be nostalgic about my childhood. 

For me, it's hard sometimes to talk about memories or personal stuff without being too cheesy about it. But I feel like this one turned out to be very personal and beautiful. I think it's also quite relatable even though you might not have been experiencing everything that I sing about, but you can look back at what you've been through and be thankful for it. 

I was reading comments about the song and so many people love it. I know reading commentary online can be difficult at times, but is it gratifying to know when people take your songs and apply them to their own lives?

It's crazy. It's honestly so weird because you can so easily search for things. It's so easy to read what everybody thinks of me or this new song. It's like being a fly on the wall.  

It makes me so happy when people feel like they connect to a song and it makes them feel seen or makes them feel better. There was a point where I was searching and scrolling for the negative stuff because I was waiting for it. Like we talked about earlier, when I release something I want to feel like I don't give a damn, respectfully, what other people think. But, at the same time, I'm an artist so I care very much about what other people think. It's a weird tightrope that you balance on. 

Lastly, where do you hope Venus takes you next on your artist journey?

The GRAMMYs, baby! I've been doing this for a long time, over 10 years. I'm really living my dream life, I truly am. I just want to take it to the next level in terms of production with my show. Let's upgrade the venues and have fun! 

I want to be able to keep making albums, create projects, and go into a visual world. I want to keep directing music videos and have a Billboard number one. I could see myself on top of the world. 

I'd love for Venus to bring me around the globe and back again. I just want people to realize who I am and what I do, because I have a lot of ambition and drive. I was born to do this, and I'm excited about where that and Venus are going to take me. 

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Justin Timberlake performing in Memphis
Justin Timberlake performs at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis on Jan. 19, 2024.

Photo: Owen Schatz


Justin Timberlake's Memphis Homecoming: 5 Best Moments

To kick off his next album era, Justin Timberlake returned home to Memphis for a special "One Night Only" show. Get an inside look at the superstars hit-filled homecoming, which also featured a first listen of new music.

GRAMMYs/Jan 22, 2024 - 06:28 pm

More than 30 years into his career, Justin Timberlake has played practically every famous stage in the world. Yet, on Jan. 19, the multi-hyphenate star performed on perhaps the most meaningful one so far: the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Tennessee.

"I've been dreaming for a long time to come back to my hometown and play the Orpheum," Timberlake, a born-and-raised Memphian, told the crowd. "My mother used to bring me here to see shows, and everything looks so much bigger. But this city and this venue is very, very special to me."

As much as the homecoming meant to Timberlake, the show was also equally exciting for fans: it means an album and a tour are on the way.

Two days before the concert — which was free for fans who won tickets through a Ticketmaster lottery — Timberlake teased the acronym "EITIW" in a cryptic Instagram post. (The letters also graced a T-shirt for sale at the venue.) Following the show, he revealed the letters to mean "Everything I Thought It Was," seemingly the title of his forthcoming sixth studio album. 

While the 90-minute set list was largely dedicated to JT classics, Timberlake's latest Memphis performance wasn't just a celebration of his discography — it was an indication that he's ready to get the next chapter started.

As Timberlake gears up for his latest "Saturday Night Live" appearance on Jan. 27, check out five of the most memorable moments from his Memphis homecoming. 

His Mom Was In The Crowd

It wouldn't be a hometown show without Mom there. But Timberlake's mom, Lynn, wasn't just in attendance — she was in the middle of the crowd, dancing and singing to every song.

"She's not proud at all," Timberlake joked after pointing her out. 

To top things off, her birthday was the next day, so the singer instructed the Orpheum audience to sing "Happy Birthday." "She's gonna start celebratin' at midnight, I just know it," he quipped. "So we gotta kick this off the right way."

His Hometown Love Was Palpable

As Timberlake displayed in his social media post announcing the Orpheum performance, he has been proclaiming his hometown pride since the beginning of his career. And throughout all 90 minutes of the show, there was no denying that his love for Memphis — which he kept fondly referring to as "M-town" — is still very much alive.

While cheers indicated that the majority of the Orpheum crowd were from the area, Timberlake had one message for those who traveled to the show: "Welcome to the greatest city on Earth."

After that, he "couldn't resist" paying tribute to one of the city's soul legends (and one of his biggest inspirations), Al Green, with a breezy cover of "Let's Stay Together."

He Did Every Ad Lib (And Then Some)

Those who have seen Timberlake live know that he doesn't shy away from his signature falsetto in concert. That was no different at the Orpheum, but it felt like he was on another level on a hometown stage. 

Along with hitting the high notes in "Like I Love You" and "Cry Me a River," he added little improvised moments to several songs. For "My Love" alone, he busted out a freestyle rap verse and some a cappella before diving into the full song.

One of the most stunning performances of the night was a stripped-down version of "What Goes Around… Comes Around." Though he's sung it acoustic a number of times, the dimly lit, harmony-driven rendition was mesmerizing the whole way through.

He Celebrated The Hits And The Deep Cuts

Timberlake's Memphis homecoming may have been a kickoff to "Everything I Thought It Was," but the set list was dedicated to everything fans knew.

From "Senõrita" to "Suit & Tie" to "Can't Stop the Feeling," the 17-song set list consisted of every chart-topping or beloved hit in Timberlake's catalog. He also showed love to some of his star-studded collabs, singing his verse of Jay-Z's "Holy Grail" and jamming to his Three 6 Mafia/Timbaland team-up "Chop Me Up" and his part of 50 Cent's "Ayo Technology" during a mid-show breakdown with the night's DJ, Andrew Hypes.

Even the *NSYNC fans in the crowd had a moment, as Timberlake pointed out that bandmate Chris Kirkpatrick was in attendance. And though the two didn't sing the group's frenzy-stirring new track, "Better Place," Timberlake did honor his boy band roots by dancing to snippets of "Gone" and "Girlfriend."

He Premiered Not One, But Two New Songs

As Timberlake hinted in his pre-show posts, new music is coming — and, of course, Memphis got the first taste. 

A clip of one track, an electro-pop jam titled "No Angels," was played by Hypes as Timberlake bounced along. "Y'all better dance!" the singer declared. 

He hopped back up on stage for the other new song, "Selfish," a heartfelt midtempo ballad reminiscent of his 20/20 Experience – 2 of 2 hit "Not a Bad Thing." ("Selfish" is seemingly the lead single from the new album, as it's the first song available to pre-save.) 

Both songs were more in line with the vibes of 2006's silky, techno-driven FutureSex/Love Sounds and 2013's neo soul-inspired The 20/20 Experience — and judging by the fact that Timberlake didn't play any songs from his most recent LP, 2018's more subdued Man of the Woods, this next project could be just what fans have been waiting for.

As for where Timberlake left things before signing off from Memphis? "I love you so much — we'll see you on tour."

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