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12 Post Malone Songs That Showcase His History-Making Vision, From "White Iverson" To "Mourning"
Post Malone wants you to know his name. As the rapper — born Austin Post — releases his latest album, 'AUSTIN,' dive into 12 essential Posty tracks.
Post Malone's stage name might have come from a randomized rap name generator, but his ascent to fame has been anything but spontaneous.
The 10-time GRAMMY nominee's very first single, 2015's "White Iverson," landed him a record deal with Republic Records and hinted at a star in the making. While his 2016 debut album, Stoney, spawned two other massive hits, it was 2018's beerbongs & bentleys that solidified Malone's place as one of the biggest rappers of his generation.
Debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, beerbongs & bentleys scored Post Malone his first chart-topping album as well as his first No. 1 hit with "rockstar"; the album also earned Malone his first four GRAMMY nominations in 2019, including Album Of The Year. The next year, "rockstar" became Malone's first diamond-certified single in November 2020 — and not even three years later, he's now the artist with the most RIAA diamond singles of all time.
Commercial success aside, Malone's artistry speaks for itself. Taking a closer look at Malone's discography reminds us of his versatility, whether he's leaning into hip hop's flashier side or letting down his guard for confessional introspection. As his creative prowess continues to expand, so does his creativity and vulnerability.
In honor of his new album, AUSTIN, dig into these 12 Post Malone essentials as a reminder of what makes the rapper so special.
"White Iverson," Stoney (2015)
For Malone, his saucin', swaggin', and ballin' all started with "White Iverson." The song introduced Malone's hazy, echoing sound that he's carried through all four of his albums — an inventive style that has made him stand out from the get-go.
It also quickly ushered him into the mainstream, peaking at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 after its casual 2015 SoundCloud release. And though the track is named after basketball star Allen Iverson, Malone's song predicts his own fame-filled future: "When I started ballin,' I was young/ You gon' think about me when I'm gone."
"Feeling Whitney," Stoney (2016)
Starting memorably with the click of a lighter, it might seem like "Feeling Whitney" would be a fitting album opener. But instead, the track gently brings Stoney to an earnest close. After a weighty hour of trap-pop, the guitar-led song offers a serene self-reflection on Malone attempting to find peace.
The falsetto-heavy track sees Malone lean into his country sensibilities wholeheartedly. But besides suiting the singer's gruff yet tender voice well, the genre shift exhibits his versatile ingenuity. Whether he's rapping over a booming 808 bass or sitting down for a smoke with his guitar, Malone knows what works, and "Feeling Whitney" shows off an especially sincere side of his enterprise.
"I Fall Apart," Stoney (2016)
Even though Malone's raw vocal delivery makes "I Fall Apart" a clear standout from his debut album, the track wasn't initially released as a single. But when a video of the song's performance went viral a year after Stoney's release, "I Fall Apart" signed on as the album's sixth and final single.
The song has rightfully become a staple of the rapper's setlists. Malone's impressive live performances of the track spotlight how he captivates best with outright intensity, as he meanders through melancholy before bursting with uncontrolled emotion at the chorus. Only Post Malone could unironically bellow "You was my shorty, I thought" in an opportune heartbreaking tone.
"Stay," beerbongs & bentleys (2018)
While Malone's voice folds into trap and R&B faultlessly, "Stay" gives the rapper more room to breathe. An acoustic, folky ballad might seem out of left field for Malone, but the essential track features some of his most vulnerable songwriting and vocals to date.
In many of his live performances, including at the 61st GRAMMY Awards, Malone sings "Stay" solo while playing guitar, and it's on his setlist for good reason. Whether it's performed live in venues or living in your headphones, the song offers up a moment of sad solace and reflection, and it spotlights Malone's ability to capture bittersweetness perfectly.
"Paranoid," beerbongs & bentleys (2018)
When Malone performed "Paranoid" live at Rolling Loud Miami in 2021, he shared with the crowd that the track was inspired by losing trust in his best friend in the music industry. While many of his songs discuss both challenges with fame or relationship betrayals, "Paranoid" merges the two subjects in an honest search for hard-to-find peace.
The beerbongs & bentleys track feels more down-to-earth than grumbling, even as Malone hides behind tinted glass. But "Paranoid" cracks open a window into Malone's world, and the sympathy-inspiring candor in his hunt for relief hits a sweet spot that makes this track an easy standout.
"rockstar" featuring 21 Savage, beerbongs & bentleys (2018)
Malone's "rockstar" chronicles the extravagance of a celebrity lifestyle as if the rapper already knew this track would be his first No. 1. The glossy song makes the most of predictable rap motifs ("I've been f— h— and poppin' pillies," Malone riffs at the chorus) and greets 21 Savage's characteristically hypnotic monotony with open arms.
Mastering the art of flexing, the track's leisurely pace helps round out the kaleidoscopic trends of beerbongs & bentleys. But "rockstar" also stands its ground alone, solidifying itself as a Posty essential not just with its chart position, but with its entrancing trap allure that lends itself well to 21's feature.
"Sunflower" featuring Swae Lee, Hollywood's Bleeding (2018)
Crowned as the ultimate summer jam back in 2018, "Sunflower" highlights Malone's effortless ability to glide across genres — and here, his pop prowess takes centerstage. The unexpected gem from Marvel's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse earned two GRAMMY nominations in 2020 for its balmy, casual radiance.
With Malone's candid verse complementing Swae Lee's brisk delivery, this inviting collaboration feels carefree in all the best ways. And their musical partnership clearly resonated: "Sunflower" is certified 18-times platinum, making it the all-time highest certified song by the RIAA.
"Take What You Want," featuring Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott, Hollywood's Bleeding (2019)
Hollywood's Bleeding<em></em> <em></em>boasts 10 features across its 17 tracks. But one of the album's most seamless comes halfway through the record, as Ozzy Osbourne and Travis Scott join Malone on the haunting "Take What You Want."
The track stands out in Malone's discography for the way it easily bends to each artist's distinct style (and for its last-minute electric guitar solo). It smoothly shifts between hip-hop, metal, and pop, lending itself to all three musicians in a cohesive manner. And, as it exemplifies Malone's big-picture adaptability, "Take What You Want" never loses its full-hearted intensity.
"Hollywood's Bleeding," Hollywood's Bleeding (2019)
"Everyone's gone, but no one's leavin'," Malone laments in his 2019's trap-pop title track of Hollywood's Bleeding. Spinning an ominous narrative with vampiric motifs, the album's opener reflects not just on Malone's personal tumultuous experience with fame, but others' broadly as well.
Capturing the feeling of being tethered to something inescapable, "Hollywood's Bleeding" lays the groundwork for the rest of Malone's album, presenting as one of his clearest thesis statements yet. The two-and-a-half minute song almost feels like the condensed narrative of a short horror film, and Malone's evocative storytelling and compelling delivery have us seated in theaters.
"Circles," Hollywood's Bleeding (2019)
"Circles" is somewhat of an outlier in Malone's discography — but, perhaps ironically, it's also one of his biggest songs. Set to an uncharacteristically soft melody, the beloved track features a gentler, more soulful Malone reflecting on letting go. The musician is still as frank as ever, but "Circles" stands out with its palatable universality — Malone is especially sharp with regret and downhearted nostalgia.
The sunny song was nominated for two GRAMMYs in 2021 (Record Of The Year and Song Of The Year), showing that Malone's lean into soft pop's accessibility with full emotional force suits him well.
"Reputation," Twelve Carat Toothache (2022)
Melodrama bleeds from Twelve Carat Toothache's regret-filled opener, "Reputation." Over slow, meandering piano, Malone moodily contemplates the price of fame, dissecting how his celebrity status has severely impacted his perception of himself.
The track is uncharacteristically minimal in terms of production, yet "Reputation" holds listeners' full attention thanks to Malone's stirring vocal and emotional performance. Its moments of pause incur self-reflection, and the song's stream-of-consciousness style makes it one of Malone's strongest shows of vulnerability. The singer doesn't hold back, even as he chokes on cigarettes: "I was born, what a shame."
"Mourning," AUSTIN (2023)
Malone is no stranger to discussing struggles with sobriety in his music, and his openness is what makes so much of his music compelling. Following Twelve Carat Toothache's "Love/Hate Letter to Alcohol," the second single off his upcoming album, AUSTIN, continues writing this deeply honest letter.
Malone's radio-ready "Mourning" showcases the singer's ability to break down more serious topics over sunnier tunes, making this song an unmistakable Posty essential. And, while the track plays on morning/mourning as facing the regret of a wild night out, the singer still presents an almost comedic self-awareness: "Got a lot of shit to say, couldn't fit it in the chorus" or "The way I gotta flex you'd think I did pilates." Even when Malone is tackling darker content, he always finds a way to tap into lightheartedness.
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15 Must-Hear Albums This July: Taylor Swift, Dominic Fike, Post Malone, NCT Dream & More
From the highly anticipated 'Barbie' soundtrack to a celebration of Joni Mitchell's iconic Newport Folk Festival return, check out 15 albums dropping this July.
The first half of 2023 is already behind us, but July gives us much to look forward to. The warm sun, tours and festivals abound, and a heap of exciting releases — from Colter Wall's country music to NCT DREAM's K-pop — will surely make this season even more special.
We start it off with Taylor Swift and her third re-recorded album, Speak Now (Taylor's Version) on July 7, the same day Pitbull returns with his twelfth studio album, Trackhouse. Post Malone will deliver his fourth LP, AUSTIN, and Blur returns with their first album in eight years. And for the classic music lovers, folk legend Joni Mitchell will release At Newport — a recording of her first live performance since 2015 — and rock maven Stevie Nicks will drop her Complete Studio Albums & Rarities box set.
To welcome the latter half of a year filled with great music so far, GRAMMY.com offers a guide to the 15 must-hear albums dropping July 2023.
Taylor Swift, Speak Now (Taylor's Version)
Release date: July 7
Taylor Swift fans are used to gathering clues and solving puzzles about the singer's intricate, ever-expanding discography. Therefore, in her hometown of Nashville concert last May, when she announced that Speak Now (Taylor's Version) would come out on July 7, it was not much of a surprise to the audience, but rather a gratifying confirmation that they had followed the right steps.
"It's my love language with you. I plot. I scheme. I plan. And then I get to tell you about it," Swift told them after breaking the news. "I think, rather than me speaking about it ... I'd rather just show you," she added, before performing an acoustic version of Speak Now's single, "Sparks Fly."
Shortly after, she took it to Instagram to share that "the songs that came from this time in my life were marked by their brutal honesty, unfiltered diaristic confessions and wild wistfulness. I love this album because it tells a tale of growing up, flailing, flying and crashing … and living to speak about it."
Speak Now (Taylor's Version) is Swift's third re-recorded album, following 2021's Red (Taylor's Version). It will feature 22 tracks, including six unreleased "From the Vault" songs and features with Paramore's Hayley Williams and Fall Out Boy. "Since Speak Now was all about my songwriting, I decided to go to the artists who I feel influenced me most powerfully as a lyricist at that time and ask them to sing on the album," she shared on Twitter. Swift is currently touring the U.S. with her acclaimed The Eras Tour, which will hit Latin America, Asia, Australia, UK, and Europe through August 2024.
ANOHNI and the Johnsons, My Back Was a Bridge For You To Cross
Release date: July 7
"I want the record to be useful," said ANOHNI about her upcoming sixth studio album, My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross. The English singer says she learned with her previous LP, 2016's HOPELESSNESS, that she "can provide a soundtrack that might fortify people in their work, in their activism, in their dreaming and decision-making," therefore aiming to make use of her talents to further help and inspire people.
Through 10 tracks that blend American soul, British folk, and experimental music, ANOHNI weaves her storytelling on inequality, alienation, privilege, and several other themes. According to a statement, the creative process was "painstaking, yet also inspired, joyful, and intimate, a renewal and a renaming of her response to the world as she sees it."
My Back Was A Bridge For You To Cross "demonstrates music's unique capacity to bring harmony to competing, sometimes contradictory, elements" — qualities that can be observed in the album's contemplative pre-releases "It Must Change" and "Sliver Of Ice."
Release date: July 7
GRAMMY-winning singer/rapper Pitbull has recently broadened his reach into an unexpected field: stock cars. Together with Trackhouse Entertainment Group founder Justin Marks, he formed Trackhouse Racing in 2021, an organization and team that participates in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Now, to unite both passions, the Miami-born singer is releasing Trackhouse, his twelfth studio album and first release since 2019's Libertad 548. "In no way, shape, or form is this some kind of publicity stunt," said Mr. Worldwide of the upcoming album during a teleconference in April. "This is real. This is all about our stories coming together, and that's why the fans love it. […] This right here is about making history, it's generational, it's about creating a legacy."
Preceded by singles "Me Pone Mal" with Omar Courtz and "Jumpin" with Lil Jon, it seems that Trackhouse, despite its innovative inception, will continue to further Pitbull's famed Latin pop brand. This fall, he will also join Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin on The Trilogy Tour across the U.S. and Canada.
Dominic Fike, Sunburn
Release date: July 7
Multitalented singer, songwriter and actor Dominic Fike also joins the roll of summer comebacks. His second studio album, Sunburn, comes out July 7, and follows 2020's acclaimed What Could Possibly Go Wrong.
In recent years, the Florida star found great exposure after landing a role in the HBO hit series "Euphoria" as well as the upcoming A24 drama Earth Mama, which is slated to release on the same day as Sunburn. The past three years were also marked by collaborations with a handful of artists, from Justin Bieber ("Die For You") to Paul McCartney ("The Kiss of Venus") to his Euphoria co-star Zendaya on "Elliot's Song" from the show's soundtrack.
Sunburn marks Fike's joyful return to music, aiming to portray "the aching and vulnerable revelations of a young artist still growing and putting their best foot forward," according to a press release. Through 15 tracks, including singles "Dancing in the Courthouse," "Ant Pile," and "Mama's Boy," Fike will explore themes of "heartbreak and regret, addiction, sex, and jealousy."
One week after Sunburn's arrival, Fike will embark on a tour across North America and Canada, starting July 13 in Indianapolis.
Lauren Spencer Smith, Mirror
Release date: July 14
Lauren Spencer Smith said on TikTok that she's been working on her debut album, Mirror, for years. "It has been with me through so much in my life, the highs and the lows, and it means more to me than I can put into words. It tells a story of reflection, healing and growth," she added.
The 19-year-old, British-born Canadian singer is unafraid to dive deep into heartbreak and sorrow — as she displayed on her breakthrough hit "Fingers Crossed" — but offers a way out by focusing on her growth. "I went through a hard breakup, and the album tells the story of that all, the journey of that and now being in a more happy relationship. The title comes from the one thing in my life that's seen me in every emotion through that journey — my bedroom and bathroom mirror."
Like a true Gen Zer, Smith has been teasing the 15-track collection and its upcoming world tour all over social media. On July 14, the day of the album release, she kicks off the North American leg of the tour in Chicago, before heading to the UK, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.
Colter Wall, Little Songs
Release date: July 14
"You might not see a soul for days on them high and lonesome plains/ You got to fill the big empty with little songs," sings Colter Wall on the titular track off his fourth studio album, Little Songs. The Canadian country star says in a press release that he wrote these songs over the last three years, and that "I penned most of them from home and I think the songs reflect that."
Born and raised in the prairies of Battle Creek, Saskatchewan, Wall found inspiration in the stillness of his surroundings. With this album, he bridges "the contemporary world to the values, hardships, and celebrations of rural life" while also opening "emotional turns as mature and heartening as the resonant baritone voice writing them," according to a press release.
Little Songs is composed of 10 tracks — eight originals and two covers (Hoyt Axton's "Evangelina," and Ian Tyson's "The Coyote & The Cowboy.") He'll celebrate the album's release with a performance at Montana's Under The Big Sky festival on the weekend of the LP's arrival.
Release date: July 14
British singer Mahalia celebrated her 25th birthday on May 1 by announcing IRL, her sophomore album. Out July 14, the R&B star claims the album to be "a real reflection of the journeys I've had, what actually happened, and a celebration of everyone who got me there."
The 13-track collection will feature names like Stormzy and JoJo, the latter of whom appears on the single "Cheat." Before the release, Mahalia also shared "Terms and Conditions," a self-possessed track that pairs her silky voice with delightful early-aughts R&B.
"I'm so proud of this album, and so proud of how much I challenged myself to just let those stories out," she said in a statement. "We're all fixated on how we can make ourselves better but I want people to also reminisce on lovely or painful situations they've lived through and how they've helped shape the people they are now."
IRL is Mahalia's follows 2019's highly-acclaimed Love and Compromise. In support of the release, she has announced UK and Europe tour dates from October through November.
NCT DREAM, ISTJ
Release date: July 17
The Myers-Briggs Personality Test (also known as MBTI) is a current craze in South Korea, therefore, it was only a matter of time until a K-pop group applied its insights on their music. Although none of NCT DREAM's seven members has the ISTJ personality type, that's what they decided to call their upcoming third studio album, out on July 17.
The 10-track collection comes in two physical versions: Introvert and Extrovert, the first letters and main differentiators in any MBTI personality. Spearheaded by the soaring "Broken Melodies," where they display an impressive set of vocals, their comeback announcement on Twitter promises "The impact NCT DREAM will bring to the music industry."
Since September, the NCT sub-group embarked on The Dream Show 2: In A Dream World Tour, which crossed Asia, Europe, North America. The group will wrap up July with four concerts in Latin America.
Blur, The Ballad of Darren
Release date: July 21
"The older and madder we get, it becomes more essential that what we play is loaded with the right emotion and intention," said Blur's guitarist Graham Coxon in a statement about The Ballad of Darren, the band's ninth studio album set to arrive on July 21.
Maybe that explains why The Ballad is their first release in eight years, and represents "an aftershock record, reflection and comment on where we find ourselves now," according to frontman Damon Albarn. During a press conference in May, bassist Alex James reinforced the positive moment that they find themselves in, stating that "there were moments of utter joy" while recording together.
Produced by James Ford, the album contains 10 tracks, including the wistful indie rock of lead single "The Narcissist." On July 8 and 9, Blur is set to play two reunion gigs at London's Wembley Stadium, followed by a slew of festivals across Europe, Japan and South America.
Barbie: The Album
Release date: July 21
The most-awaited summer flick of 2023 also comes with a staggering soundtrack. Scored by producers Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, Barbie: The Album features songs by hot stars like Dua Lipa, Lizzo, and Ice Spice, as well as some surprising additions, such as psychedelic star Tame Impala and K-pop rookie sensation Fifty Fifty.
As undecipherable and alluring as the actual movie plot, the album tracklist only increases expectations for Greta Gerwig's upcoming oeuvre. Is it all a satire? Is it a serious take on "life in plastic" and consumerism? Is it about nothing at all? You can try to find some clues through pre-release singles "Dance the Night" by Dua Lipa, "Watati" by Karol G, and "Angel" by PinkPantheress.
Greta Van Fleet, Starcatcher
Release date: July 21
Fans who attended the three final shows of Greta Van Fleet's Dreams in Gold Tour this March already got a sneak peek of the band's upcoming third studio album, Starcatcher. Among their most popular hits, the quartet played five new songs — or half of Starcatcher — including singles "Meeting the Master," "Sacred the Thread," and "Farewell for Now."
In a statement about the album, drummer Danny Wagner said that they "wanted to tell these stories to build a universe," and that they wanted to "introduce characters and motifs and these ideas that would come about here and there throughout our careers." Bassist Sam Kiszka adds: "When I imagine the world of Starcatcher, I think of the cosmos. It makes me ask a lot of questions, like 'Where did we come from?' or 'What are we doing here?' But it's also questions like, 'What is this consciousness that we have, and where did it come from?'"
Just a few days after release, Greta Van Fleet will embark on a world tour. Starting in Nashville, Tennessee on July 24, they will cross the U.S. and then head over to Europe and the UK in November.
Post Malone, AUSTIN
Release date: July 28
In a shirtless, casual Instagram Reel last May, hitmaker Post Malone announced his upcoming fourth studio album, AUSTIN, to be released on July 28. Titled after his birth name, the singer shared that "It's been some of the funnest music, some of the most challenging and rewarding music for me, at least" — a very different vibe from the more mellow, lofi sounds of 2022's Twelve Carat Toothache — and that the experience of playing the guitar on every song was "really fun."
Featuring 17 tracks (19 on the deluxe version), AUSTIN is preceded by the dreamy "Chemical" and the angsty "Mourning," and sees Malone pushing his boundaries in order to innovate on his well-established sound. The album will also be supported by a North American 24-date trek, the If Y'all Weren't Here, I'd Be Crying Tour, starting July 8 in Noblesville, Indiana and wrapping up on August 19 in San Bernardino, California.
Stevie Nicks: Complete Studio Albums & Rarities box set
Release date: July 28
To measure Stevie Nicks' contribution to music is an insurmountable task. The Fleetwood Mac singer and songwriter has composed dozens of the most influential, well-known rock classics of the past century ("Dreams," anyone?), also blooming on her own as a soloist since 1981, when she debuted with Bella Donna.
In the four decades since, seven more solo albums followed, along with a trove of rarities that rightfully deserve a moment in the spotlight. Enter: her upcoming vinyl box set, Stevie Nicks: Complete Studio Albums & Rarities. The 16xLP collection compiles all of her work so far, plus a new record with the aforementioned rarities, and is limited to 3,000 copies. It's also the first time that Trouble in Shangri-La, In Your Dreams, and Street Angel are released on vinyl. For those who can't secure the limited set, a version of Complete Studio Albums & Rarities with 10xCDs will be available digitally.
Joni Mitchell, At Newport
Release date: July 28
Last year's Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island was one to remember. During one evening of the fest, a surprise guest graced the "Brandi Carlile and Friends" stage: it was none less than legendary folk star, Joni Mitchell. And what's more? It was her first live appearance since 2015, when she suffered a debilitating aneurysm.
During that time, the 79-year-old singer quietly held "Joni Jams" at her home in Los Angeles — inviting musicians that ranged from Elton John to Harry Styles to participate — with organizational support offered by Carlile. With Mitchell's special appearance at Newport, the coveted experience of a Joni Jam was available for thousands of fans.
This month, the release of At Newport eternalizes the headlining-making moment, bringing her talents to an even bigger audience. Among the classics in the tracklist are "Carey," "A Case of You," and "The Circle Game," proving that Mitchell is still as magical as when she stepped on the Newport Folk Festival stage for the first time, in 1969.
Jennifer Lopez, This Is Me… Now
Release date: TBD
In 2002, J.Lo was everywhere. Her relationship with actor Ben Affleck ensued heavy attention from the media, and her This Is Me… Then album — which featured hits like "Jenny from the Block" — was a commercial success, with over 300,000 first-week sales in the U.S.
How funny is it that, 20 years later, the singer and actress finds herself in a similar situation. After rekindling with Affleck in 2021, she announced the sequel to her 2002 release, This Is Me… Now, and stated in an interview with Vogue that the album represents a "culmination" of who she is.
A press release also describes This Is Me… Now as an "emotional, spiritual and psychological journey" across all that Lopez has been through in the past decades. Fans can also expect more details on the new-and-improved Bennifer, as many of the titles among its 13 tracks suggest, especially "Dear Ben Pt. II."
Although an official release date has not yet been revealed, on June 29, Lopez posted a cryptic image on social media with the caption "album delivery day" — suggesting that the highly anticipated This Is Me update may not be far away.
Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Coachella
11 Electric Coachella Surprise Guest Moments From Weekend 1: Post Malone, Billie Eilish, Rauw Alejandro & More
Weekend 1 of Coachella 2023 has come and gone, but not without countless surprises and viral moments. Take a look at some of the most exhilarating surprise guests — from Billie Eilish and Rauw Alejandro — from one of the year's biggest music festivals.
As delightfully dizzying as its famous ferris wheel, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival fills Indio's Colorado Desert with never-ending fun.
This year, Coachella booked history-making headliners Bad Bunny, BLACKPINK, and Frank Ocean, along with more than 150 other artists to perform across six stages. But one of the festival's most exciting parts, however, is its surprise performers.
The first weekend of Coachella is traditionally known for its big surprises and busy crowds — and this year didn't disappoint, offering surprise performances from global superstars to underground darlings.
Metro Boomin Astonished With Not One, But 7 Star Guests
In perhaps the most star-studded performance of the weekend, Metro Boomin welcomed a slew of collaborators to color his already spectacular set at the Sahara Tent. Throughout the night, The Weeknd, Future, 21 Savage, Don Toliver, Diddy, John Legend, and Mike Dean all joined the producer on stage to perform highlights from Heroes & Villains, Savage Mode, and more. Metro Boomin ended the evening with a live debut of "Creepin" alongside 21 Savage and Diddy.
MUNA Brought Out boygenius For "Silk Chiffon"
Life's so fun, life's so fun. While many festival goers anticipated Phoebe Bridgers to join MUNA for their bubbly collaboration "Silk Chiffon," the band shocked their audience by bringing out not just Bridgers, but Julien Baker and Lucy Dacus as well — all members of the supergroup boygenius, who performed their own lively set at Coachella the next day.
Bad Bunny Tapped Post Malone, Jhayco & More Stars
Now a headliner four years after making his Coachella debut, Bad Bunny made sure to pull out all the stops for his highly-anticipated performance. The Puerto Rican superstar brought out Post Malone for guitar-driven renditions of “La Canción” and “Yonaguni"; Jhayco (and a jet ski) for “Dákiti”; and Ñengo Flow and Jowell & Randy for “Safaera.”
Among Many Guests, Gorillaz Brought Out De La Soul To Dedicate "Feel Good Inc." To Late David Jolicoeur
On the festival's main stage, Gorillaz brightened their already glowing set with many surprise stars. Thundercat appeared first for "Cracker Island," shortly followed by individual performers Peven Everett, Jamie Principle, Bootie Brown, and Slowthai.
De La Soul appeared for their collaboration "Feel Good Inc.," dedicating the song to their late member, David ‘Trugoy The Dove’ Jolicoeur. For the closer "Clint Eastwood," Del The Funky Homosapien returned to the stage, after assisting with "Rock The House" earlier in the set.
Becky G Enlisted Marca MP, Jesús Ortiz Paz, Peso Pluma & Natti Natasha
Becky G made her Coachella debut this year, and she made sure to fill her 45-minute set with several guest stars. Marca MP joined her for “Ya Acabó," and Jesús Ortiz Paz of Fuerza Regida sang “Te Quiero Besar" and "Bebe Dame" alongside the star. Fans went wild when Peso Pluma showed up to perform his collaboration “Chanel," and after an outfit change, Becky G welcomed Natti Natasha for their joint track “Sin Pijama.”
Kali Uchis Amazed With Tyler, The Creator, Omar Apollo & Don Toliver
Kali Uchis' performances are always magical, and her surprise guests helped enchant audiences during her Coachella set. Tyler, The Creator joined Uchis to perform their Flower Boy collaboration “See You Again,” and later, Omar Apollo and Don Toliver took the stage to perform "Worth the Wait" and “Fantasy" respectively, both duets from her hypnotic latest album Red Moon In Venus.
Charli XCX And Troye Sivan Took It Back To "1999"
For one of the last few explosive shows of her CRASH era, Charli XCX brought the lightning by inviting Troye Sivan on stage to perform their poppy joint song "1999." Donning shades and silver accessories, the close friends and collaborators wore all-black attire but still shined during their shared performance.
DOMi & JD Beck Welcomed Mac DeMarco & Thundercat
During their bouncy set on Friday, innovative jazz duo DOMi & JD Beck surprised with two high-profile guests: Mac DeMarco and Thundercat. At the Mojave Tent, the four celebrated DOMi & JD Beck's bright debut album NOT TIGHT.
Rosalía Shared Stage With Fiancé Rauw Alejandro
Partway through an already invigorating, dance-filled set, Rosalía took her show to a new level: her fiancé, Rauw Alejandro, joined her to perform "Beso" and "Vampiros" from their joint EP RR. The music video for the former song announced the global superstar couple's engagement last month, showing off Rosalía’s stunning diamond ring.
Ellie Goulding Was The "Miracle" Calvin Harris' Set Needed
With his set starting around midnight, Calvin Harris was just getting Coachella's party started on Saturday. After playing several high-profile collaboration mixes, Harris finally introduced his one guest of the evening — and a major one at that. Frequent collaborator Ellie Goulding appeared to perform "Miracle," the duo's single that dropped last month.
Labrinth Surprised Everyone With Billie Eilish
Loneliness didn't last long at Labrinth's Saturday set. The singer's massive crowd was pleased to see former Coachella headliner Billie Eilish stop by to perform the pair's latest collaboration, "Never Felt So Alone." The track originally premiered on HBO's Euphoria, and Labrinth and Eilish made its live debut at Eilish's headline show at California's Kia Forum back in December.
The Soundtrack Hit Makes A Comeback: How 'Encanto,' 'Top Gun' & ‘Black Panther’ Went From Chart-Toppers To GRAMMY Nominations
The once-golden bridge between Hollywood and Billboard has been quiet in recent years, perhaps due in part to the pandemic. But over the past 12 months, that trend has been truly broken.
It’s the kind of development even an animated fortune teller voiced by John Leguizamo couldn’t have predicted.
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 2021 animated film Encanto was all-conquering, and its success also touched the Billboard charts. The film's "We Don't Talk About Bruno" entered the first Hot 100 chart of 2022 at No. 50, quickly becoming a record-breaking, multi-million-selling phenomenon. It also led to the renaissance of a particular crossover: the soundtrack hit.
With the domestic box office now showing signs of returning to pre-COVID days, the soundtrack single has, once again, become a key marketing tool and chart staple. The nominees for Best Song Written For Visual Media at the 2023 GRAMMYs are proof: Four of the six nominated songs charted on the Billboard Hot 100, with "We Don't Talk About Bruno" sitting at No. 1 for five weeks — the highest tally for a soundtrack release in seven years. (Aladdin favorite "A Whole New World" is also in the exclusive club of Disney animation No. 1s.)
2022 spawned five Top 10 hits from film soundtracks — a feat last achieved in 2018 via Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther collabs with the Weeknd ("Pray for Me") and SZA ("All the Stars"), Swae Lee and Post Malone’s "Sunflower" (Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse), Khalid & Normani’s "Love Lies" (Love, Simon), and the A Star Is Born cut "Shallow." Yet the once-golden bridge between Hollywood and Billboard was quiet in the intervening years, perhaps due in part to the pandemic. Not one TV or movie tie-in graced the Top 10 in 2021 or 2020. And although Oscar-winning “Shallow” reached pole position in 2019, it began its chart trajectory the year previously.
Over the past 12 months, however, this drought has been well and truly broken. And for a while, single-handedly by Encanto.
The Encanto OST picked up three GRAMMY nominations — Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media, Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media and Best Song Written For Visual Media for "Bruno" — and spawned seven Hot 100 singles, including another Top 10 smash, "Surface Pressure." Not bad for an album which in its first week entered the charts at No. 197.
Unlike the inescapable "Let It Go" from 2013's Disney juggernaut Frozen, the success of "Bruno" happened more organically. Its chart and streaming dominance wasn't steered by record executives, but by the public who deemed it more stream-worthy than any other track from the film. The biggest soundtrack from a live-action film, Top Gun: Maverick, told a similar story.
Lady Gaga’s power ballad "Hold My Hand" was primed to replicate the chart-topping, Academy Award-winning success of Berlin’s "Take My Breath Away" from the 1986 original. But while Gaga's lead single received a Best Song Written For Visual Media nomination at the 65th GRAMMY Awards, its chart peak was overwhelmingly eclipsed by OneRepublic’s "I Ain’t Worried."
The uptempo Peter, Bjorn and John-sampling track played over key scene where Tom Cruise, Glen Powell and Miles Teller play football shirtless on the beach, and became Ryan Tedder and co.’s biggest hit since 2013’s "Counting Stars" (No. 6 on Hot 100, over 660 million streams). The synergy between moviegoers and OneRepublic fans caught the band's record label off guard; Interscope pulled promotion of then-current single "West Coast" to capitalize on all the buzz.
2022 also witnessed a return-to-form from pop music-savvy director Baz Luhrmann, whose expert curation helped Romeo and Juliet, Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby spawn radio hits. Luhrmann was never going to give his Elvis Presley biopic a traditional soundtrack; instead he favored a mix of nostalgia and anachronism.
Elvis is peppered with songs performed by The King himself, as well as covers sung by former teen idol/lead actor Austin Butler and a host of newcomers and established artists. Yet the film's sole Top 10 hit was contemporary: Doja Cat's "Hound Dog"-sampling "Vegas." For Luhrmann's vision, Elvis was nominated alongside Encanto, "Stranger Things," Top Gun: Maverick and West Side Story for Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media GRAMMY Award.
Even Rihanna came out of self-imposed musical retirement for a film soundtrack, releasing the lead single from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in late October. While the dramatic balladry of "Lift Me Up" might not have been the floor-filling banger many fans hoped for — the song is Rihanna's first solo single in six years — it still returned the Barbadian to the upper echelons of the hit parade, reaching No. 2.
No stranger to the film soundtrack, Taylor Swift’s contribution to haunting drama Where the Crawdads Sing, "Carolina," is also nominated in the Best Song Written for Visual Media category alongside "Nobody Like U" — Turning Red’s fictional boyband song co-penned by Billie Eilish. And while the monolithic state of the comic book universe has rarely translated to the singles chart, The Batman’s use of Nirvana’s "Something In The Way" catapulted 1992's Nevermind up the charts.
As movie hits were abundant, so were songs featured in big-time TV shows — bringing new songs and decades-old hits back into public consciousness. Chief among these small screen-to-chartoppers was Kate Bush's 1985 single "Running Up That Hill," which played over a significant moment in the mammoth fourth season of Netflix’s "Stranger Things."
The song was the British singer/songwriter's first Top 40 hit in the U.S., peaking at No. 30 on the Hot 100 in the '80s. Nearly 30 years later, without any label backing, the majestic synth-pop classic enjoyed a much-deserved second wind, shooting all the way up to No. 3 faster than you can say "flesh-eating Demogorgon."
The sci-fi nostalgia-fest also gave another, although much heavier, ‘80s gem a new lease of life when Joseph Quinn’s Eddie Munson shredded Metallica’s "Master of Puppets" in its season finale. The thrash metal favorite subsequently enjoyed a belated chart debut at No. 35, returning the headbangers to the Hot 100 for the first time in 14 years.
Elsewhere, video game adaptation "Arcane" spawned the first TV theme hit in eons with unlikely dream team Imagine Dragons and JID’s "Enemy," while "Euphoria" regular Labrinth scored a chart hit with "I’m Tired," a gospel-tinged song he performs in the second season's fourth episode as Zendaya's Rue imagines entering a church. The new golden age of television combined with the return to multiplexes ensured that 2022 was a banner year for the OST.
2023 looks promising, too: Dua Lipa is rumored to be contributing to Barbie’s long-awaited cinematic debut; Disney is set to give The Little Mermaid the live-action treatment featuring Chloe x Halle’s Halle Bailey; and several franchises that previously spawned No. 1 soundtrack songs have new installments on the way (The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, Fast X). Regardless, expect the soundtrack hit renaissance to continue growing like the "grapes that thrive on the vine."
Get To Know The 2022 Nominees For Best Pop Duo/Group Performance At The 2023 GRAMMYs
Revisit the songs by ABBA, Camila Cabello and Ed Sheeran, Coldplay and BTS, Post Malone and Doja Cat, and Sam Smith and Kim Petras that will compete for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 65th GRAMMY Awards.
From a group with decades of shared history to a pair of pop hitmakers, the 2022 Best Pop Duo/Group Performance category will see some tough competition at the 2023 GRAMMYs.
This year, the always-stacked category features two group performances (ABBA's "Don't Shut Me Down" and Coldplay & BTS' "My Universe") and three duets (Post Malone & Doja Cat's "I Like You (A Happier Song)," Sam Smith & Kim Petras' "Unholy" and Camila Cabello's "Bam Bam" featuring Ed Sheeran).
As fans eagerly await the reveal of the winner at the 65th GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 5, 2023, let's take a closer look at the pop duos and groups nominated in one of the night's many star-studded categories.
ABBA — "Don't Shut Me Down"
Few people could've predicted that 2021 would herald the return of ABBA. Though the beloved Swedish group's late '70s legacy has lived on through the ABBA Gold: Greatest Hits compilation and the Mamma Mia! stage musical and film series, ABBA decided there was a little more work to be done.
After nearly 40 years out of the limelight, the original quartet — Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson — returned last September with the dual single, "I Still Have Faith In You" and "Don't Shut Me Down." The latter is a joyous throwback to the glory days of ABBA, opening with Fältskog's unmistakable vocals over a gentle string section, then kicking into a disco strut, a la "Dancing Queen."
ABBA followed "Don't Shut Me Down" with a new album, Voyage, and an ambitious live show performed by the quartet's de-aged "digital avatars." The group has clearly stated no more new ABBA music is coming, which makes the joy of "Don't Shut Me Down" even more precious.
Camila Cabello featuring Ed Sheeran — "Bam Bam"
"Así es la vida, sí/ Yeah, that's just life, baby," Camila Cabello sings with breezy resolve on "Bam Bam," offering up an instant mantra for anyone bouncing back from a breakup.
As the untroubled chorus line suggests, Cabello used "Bam Bam" to reflect the cycles of falling in and out love in your 20s, likely drawing on her much-publicized 2021 split from fellow pop star Shawn Mendes as fuel. She recruited Ed Sheeran to give the song's narrative a male voice — a smart collaborator play, considering the two paired well on Sheeran's 2019 hit "South Of The Border" (which also features Cardi B).
The single, released ahead of Cabello's third album, Familia, sees the two vocalists trading verses over strumming guitar and salsa flourishes, finding a perfect balance between Sheeran's acoustic pop and Cabello's Latin flair. "I am really living the lesson in 'Bam Bam,'" Cabello told ET Online. "Which is keep dancing, 'cause I dance a lot."
Coldplay & BTS — "My Universe"
When Coldplay frontman Chris Martin first learned that South Korean superstars BTS were eager to collaborate on a song, he was both excited by the prospect and unsure if it would work. "The idea started to seem really attractive in its weirdness," he shared on The Ellen Show. "And then one day the right song just arrived."
That right song turned out to be "My Universe," the second single from Coldplay's ninth album, the Album Of The Year-nominated Music of the Spheres. Co-written by the two groups — with gleaming production from Swedish maestro Max Martin — the song successfully melds Coldplay's heartfelt synth-rock with BTS' dance-pop sensibilities.
Featuring a unique combination of English and Korean lyrics, the unlikely team-up debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 — definitive proof that the weirdness worked.
Post Malone & Doja Cat — "I Like You (A Happier Song)"
When Post Malone causally revealed on Instagram Live that he had a collaboration coming with Doja Cat, fans of both artists knew the vibes would be right. The third single from Posty's fourth album, Twelve Carat Toothache, "I Like You (A Happier Song)" undoubtedly met expectations, coasting along like a warm summer breeze.
Over crisp, light-footed production (from pop impresario Louis Bell and ascendant beatmaker Jasper Harris), the two singers sound relaxed and, well, happy to be rapping and singing about carefree romance. As the title hints, "I Like You (A Happier Song)" is a bright spot on an album with some darker themes, capturing Doja on a hot streak following her own celebrated album, Planet Her.
"Post Malone is extremely sweet and rad," Doja tweeted when the music video dropped. The feeling is clearly mutual.
Sam Smith & Kim Petras — "Unholy"
Released as a preview of their upcoming 2023 album, Gloria, "Unholy" represents a bold new era for Sam Smith. The singer, best known for soaring ballads like "Stay With Me" and "Lay Me Down," takes a lusty, after-hours turn on "Unholy," backed by German-born singer/songwriter Kim Petras.
"Mummy don't know daddy's getting hot/ At the body shop, doing something unholy," Smith lasciviously croons in the song's chorus. "Unholy" channels the same dance-pop energy Smith brought to 2019's "How Do You Sleep?" — but this time, with an X-rated edge fans have never seen from the singer.
In an interview with Zane Lowe on Radio 1, Smith revealed their team was initially confused by the raunchy sound of "Unholy," but soon came around. 'I can sing anything I want to," Smith told Lowe. "And I want to lean into that with my genres."
Their instinct was right: "Unholy" topped the Billboard Hot 100 in October, making Smith and Petras the first openly non-binary solo artist and first openly transgender solo artist, respectively, to reach No. 1. Now adding a GRAMMY nod, something unholy turned out to be quite the success.