Review: ‘Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,’ starring Demi Lovato

March 17, 2021

by Carla Hay

Demi Lovato in “Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil” (Photo courtesy of OBB Media)

“Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil”

Directed by Michael D. Ratner

Culture Representation: The four-part docuseries “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” features a racially diverse group of people (Latino, white and African American) of mostly people in the entertainment industry, including Demi Lovato, discussing her life and career, particularly from 2018 to 2020.

Culture Clash: Lovato, who is a recovering drug addict, relapsed and had a near-fatal overdose in 2018, and she says that she no longer believes that complete drug abstinence is the best method of recovery for her.

Culture Audience: “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in stories about how celebrities cope with addiction and trauma.

Demi Lovato in “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” (Photo courtesy of YouTube Originals)

Singer/actress Demi Lovato is well-known for revealing a lot of painful and unflattering aspects of her life, so it should come as no surprise that her four-part YouTube docuseries “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” has a confessional tone to it. The docuseries had its world premiere at the 2021 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival. Among other things, Lovato goes into details about what she experienced before and after her near-fatal drug overdose at her Los Angeles home in July 2018. (She has since moved from that house because of the bad memories.) She also reveals publicly for the first time that she’s a rape survivor and how the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine led to her very quick and ultimately failed engagement to actor Max Ehrich.

Directed by Michael D. Ratner, “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” has much more disturbing revelations than Lovato’s 2017 YouTube documentary film “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated.” There’s a trigger warning at the beginning of “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” because it contains graphic talk of sexual assault, her drug use and eating disorders. She goes into details about what happened before and after her overdose of heroin laced with Fentanyl.

Lovato says that the drug dealer who supplied the drugs also sexually assaulted her and left her for dead. She also reveals that when she was 15, she lost her virginity by being raped by someone she worked with in her Disney Channel days. Lovato doesn’t name either of her alleged rapists, but she says that when she reported her underage rape to adults, nothing happened to her alleged rapist. And she claims that she’s managing her addiction problems by drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana. That’s not a good sign that she’s on the road to a healthy recovery.

It’s a big contrast to “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated,” where her most personal revelation was that she’s openly living her life as a member of the LGTBQ community. (The movie had scenes of her discussing her attempts to find love on online dating sites.) Lovato refuses to label her sexuality, and she will only describe herself as “queer” or “not straight.” “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” shows that although Lovato claims to be in a much better emotional place than she was in 2018, she’s still struggling with the idea that her recovery from addiction means that she has to completely abstain from drugs and alcohol.

She admits to drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana “in moderation,” even though she’s said in many interviews that she’s an alcoholic and drug addict. Although she talks a lot about the drugs that she’s used and/or been addicted to over the years, in “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” she leaves out any mention of her alcoholism. And that omission is probably because she keeps repeating in the documentary that she’s tired of other people controlling her life and telling her what she can and cannot put in her body.

Ever since former Disney Channel star Lovato first went to rehab in 2010, at the age 18, she has publicly talked about her recovery from a variety of issues, including drug addiction, alcoholism, eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia), self-harming (cutting) and bipolar disorder. In “Demi Lovato: Simply Complicated,” she repeated the claim that she was clean and sober since 2012. And in 2018, during her “Tell Me You Love Me” tour, she was filming another documentary about herself, until her drug overdose resulted in shutting down production of that untitled documentary, which was permanently shelved.

“Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” has some clips from that never-seen-before 2018 documentary that shows a seemingly happy Lovato on tour. But as is often the case with entertainers who are drug addicts, they are very skilled at hiding dark sides of their lives. In “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” Lovato says of her shelved 2018 biographical film: “In that documentary, I was allowing the cameras to see the tip of the iceberg.”

“Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” opens with Lovato backstage during that 2018 tour, in footage that was taken one month before her overdose. She’s on the phone with her mother, Dianna De La Garza. Her mother gushes, “Demi, that was the best show you’ve ever done! It’s only going to get better from here.” Lovato gives a small smile but there’s some sadness in her eyes.

There’s also a clip from a concert earlier on that 2018 tour, with the footage showing Demi being congratulated on stage by opening acts DJ Khaled and Kehlani for her sixth “sober birthday,” to celebrate her being clean and sober for the past six years. On the surface, Lovato looked healthy and happy. But in “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” she now confesses that she relapsed later that night.

Lovato says, “I picked up a bottle of red wine that night and it wasn’t even 30 minutes before I called someone that had drugs on them … I’m surprised that I didn’t OD that night. I ended up at a party and ran into my old drug dealer from six years before. That night I did drugs I had never done before.”

According to Lovato, she did a dangerous mix of methamphetamine, Ecstasy, alcohol and OxyContin. “That alone should’ve killed me,” Lovato adds. She also confesses that during this relapse that lasted for months, she tried crack cocaine and heroin for the first time.

The first time she went to rehab in 2010, Lovato says that she was addicted to cocaine and Xanax. Years later, when she turned to crack cocaine and heroin (which she usually smoked, not injected), Lovato says in the documentary that she was trying to get the same “upper/downer” combination feeling that she had with cocaine and Xanax. “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” includes a photo identified as Lovato on crack for the first time and a photo of her while she was smoking heroin.

Lovato says she quickly became addicted to crack and heroin, but she was able to hide these addictions from most of the people who were close to her. Her immediate family members are interviewed in the documentary: mother Dianna De La Garza; stepfather Eddie De La Garza; older sister Dallas Lovato; and younger half-sister Madison De LaGarza. All of them say some variation of how Lovato is very good at keeping secrets and pretending that everything is just fine. “There’s a lot that the public don’t know,” says her stepfather Eddie, who is interviewed while sitting on a couch with his wife Dianna.

Demi’s parents got divorced when she was 2 years old. For years, she has been open about how her biological father Patrick Lovato struggled with mental illness (bipolar disorder, schizophrenia) and drug addiction, and their relationship was fractured for a very long time. Patrick died of cancer in 2013.

In “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” she talks about how she still feels trauma over her troubled relationship with her father, whom she says abused her mother Dianna. Demi also says that she feels terrible about how her father died alone. His body, which wasn’t discovered for several days, was so decomposed that there couldn’t be an open casket at his funeral. Demi says that her biggest fear was that he would die alone, and she says she’s still haunted by guilt over it.

As for what led to her relapse and overdose in 2018, Demi comments: “Anytime you suppress a part of yourself, it’s going to overflow. Ultimately, that’s what happened to me in a lot of areas of my life. And it led to my overdose, for sure.” She adds later in the documentary: “I was miserable. I snapped.”

In addition to the issues of abandonment that she had with her father, Demi says she believes that the beauty pageants she entered as a child also had a negative effect on her: “My self-esteem was completely damaged by those beauty pageants.” Demi says that her eating disorders began as a direct result of the pressure she felt to be thin and pretty for the pageants.

Her mother Dianna says in the documentary about Demi’s childhood traumas: “I didn’t know that she needed to work with a professional to work through some of that.” In a separate interview, Demi says, “I crossed the line in the world of addiction. It’s interesting that it took a quarantine to work on this trauma stuff I’ve never really taken the time to dig deep and do the work on.”

To her credit, Demi doesn’t sugarcoat the very real and permanent health damage that her overdose caused: “I had three strokes. I had a heart attack. I suffered brain damage from the strokes. I can’t drive anymore. I have blind spots in my vision. When I pour a glass of water, I’ll totally miss the cup because I can’t see it anymore. I’ve also had pneumonia, because I asphyxiated, and multiple organ failure.”

What happened the night of the overdose has been reported in many media outlets, but the story in this documentary is told by Demi and some other people who were with her in the 24-hour period before and after her overdose. On the evening of July 23, 2018, Demi had been celebrating the birthday of Dani Vitale, who was Demi’s choreographer/creative director at the time.

Demi, Vitale and some other friends went out to nightclubs before heading back to Demi’s house. (The documentary includes phone footage of Vitale and Demi doing a choreographed dance routine on the rooftop.) Vitale, who is interviewed in the documentary, says that she didn’t know that Demi had been using drugs at that time.

That night, Demi begged Vitale to stay overnight at the house, but Vitale declined because she had to go home and feed her dogs and had to get up early the next morning. However, Vitale says as she was driving away from the house with a friend, she told the friend that she had a strange feeling that something wasn’t right. Ultimately, Vitale says that she didn’t stay because of her other obligations and she didn’t want to treat Demi like a child who needed a babysitter.

Demi says that when she was alone in the house, she called her drug dealer and spent the rest of the night doing drugs with him. The documentary includes blurry video surveillance footage of him leaving her house that morning, a few hours before Demi was found unconscious and the ambulance was called. Police later decided not to arrest him for his involvement in this overdose.

Jordan Jackson, a woman who was Demi’s assistant at the time, was the one who found Demi naked, unconscious and surrounded by vomit in Demi’s bed the next morning on July 24, 2018. “There was one point where she turned blue. Her whole body turned blue. I was like, ‘She’s dead for sure,'” Jackson says in the documentary. “It was the craziest thing I had ever seen.”

When Demi woke up at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, she was legally blind for a short period of time. She didn’t even recognize her younger sister Madison, who chokes up with emotion in the documentary when she remembers that moment: “She looked me dead in the eye and said, ‘Who is that?’ That’s something you never want to hear your sister say.”

Cedars-Sinai neurologist Dr. Shouri Lahiri, who sits next to Demi while he’s interviewed in the documentary, remembers that her oxygen levels were “dangerously low and trending down.” Demi also was put on dialysis to clean her blood, and the tubing had to be stuck through her neck. “It was like a horror movie,” as Dianna De La Garza describes it.

Demi is seated next to Dr. Lahiri when he talks about her hospital treatment. He says he didn’t know she why she was famous until about a week after he became her doctor, when he looked her up on the Internet. In the documentary, Dr. Lahiri mentions that he avoided looking up the information earlier because he didn’t want Demi’s celebrity status to affect his medical decisions about her. It’s kind of hard to believe that while she was in the hospital, he didn’t know for the first several days why she was famous, considering all the media coverage about her overdose.

Demi’s stepfather Eddie De La Garza gives a lot of praise to the hospital doctors who helped Demi with her recovery. But no one (not even Demi) is seen or heard in the documentary explicitly thanking Jackson, the person who found Demi and made the crucially important decision to call 911. Jackson admits in her documentary interview that she was afraid that calling 911 would bring a lot of negative publicity for Demi, but Jackson did the right thing and called anyway. Part of the 911 call is played in the documentary, and Jackson is heard asking the 911 operator if the ambulance could not turn on any sirens when it arrived at the house. However, the operator said that there would be ambulance sirens, and 911 operators have no control over that.

Demi says in the documentary, “I’m really lucky to be alive. My doctors said that I had five to 10 minutes [to live before I was found]. Had my assistant not come in, I wouldn’t be here today.” It would’ve been nice for Demi to directly and publicly thank Jackson in the documentary. If Demi did thank her while filming this documentary, it didn’t make it into the movie. And based on the “bare it all” tone of this film, a moment like that wouldn’t be edited out of the film if this thank you really happened while filming.

The documentary also shows that Vitale’s career and reputation were damaged by this overdose, because she was wrongfully blamed for it and wrongfully identified as being a drug buddy of Demi’s. Vitale says she doesn’t do drugs, but she was bullied and harassed by many of Demi’s fans who believed that Vitale was the one who supplied the drugs that Demi took that night. Vitale lost clients because of the overdose scandal. Demi says that her fans who harassed Vitale went too far.

In the documentary, while Vitale is getting her hair and makeup done for the interview, Demi is shown going into the room, hugging Vitale, and telling her that she’s sorry that she didn’t come forward sooner to clear Vitale’s name, but she was still in recovery at the time. Demi also says that she hopes that the documentary will help Vitale set the record straight that Vitale had nothing to do with Demi’s overdose. They seem to be friendly with each other, but it’s clear that Vitale doesn’t want to risk going through this experience with Demi again.

During her interview, Vitale tears up with emotion when she talks about the fallout from Demi’s overdose: “It was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with in my life. I just wanted [Demi] to live … I lost all my teaching jobs. No one wanted to bring their kid to an apparent heroin dealer teacher. I lost all the artists I was working with. No one wanted to deal with the drama … I had to rethink my whole future, all because of someone else’s decision.”

After recovering from her overdose, Demi says she decided she no longer wanted to have a team of people controlling what she ate or people checking up on her as if she would relapse at any moment. As an example, she says that for her birthdays, her previous management team would only allow her to have watermelon cake. After she fired that management team, Demi says one of the ways she celebrated her freedom from other people telling her what to eat was by having three cakes on her birthday.

After getting rid of her previous management, Demi asked Scooter Braun (who’s most famous for being Justin Bieber’s manager) to become her personal manager. Braun, who is an executive producer of “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil,” is interviewed in the documentary and says that he was skeptical about representing Demi until he met her in person and she won him over. During contract negotiations, Demi says she relapsed and was truthful about it to Braun. Demi says she was sure that after this confession, Braun wouldn’t want to represent her.

But the opposite happened. Braun says that rather than distancing himself from Demi because of the relapse, he wanted to help her. He says his reaction was, “As long as you tell me the truth, we’ll work through it.” Braun also says, “She didn’t need a manager. She needed a friend.”

Demi didn’t get rid of everyone on her business team after the overdose. She gives a lot of credit to her longtime business manager Glenn Nordlinger and head of security/chief of staff Max Lea for helping her through tough times. Nordlinger and Lea are both interviewed in the documentary. Nordlinger says it was his idea to get Demi checked into the Cirque Lodge addiction treatment center in Orem, Utah, for her post-overdose rehab. Demi is seated next to Lea and Nordlinger during some of her interviews, and she often keeps her head lowered, as if she’s still ashamed of what they know about her.

Two other people who’ve remained in Demi’s inner circle and are interviewed in the documentary are Sirah Mitchell (a hip-hop artist) and Matthew Scott Montgomery (an actor), who are each described in the documentary as Demi’s “best friend.” Mitchell is also described as Demi’s “former sober coach.” Mitchell and Montgomery, who were not with Demi on the night that she overdosed, profess unwavering loyalty to Demi. They both say that they knew that Demi was doing heroin and other drugs in the weeks leading up to the overdose, but they say that Demi ignored their concerns and there was nothing they could do about it.

Mitchell and Montgomery seem to be among Demi’s biggest cheerleaders, but they also come across as enablers who will say what she wants to hear so she won’t cut them out of her life. For example, Mitchell and Montgomery make vague excuses for why they’re going along with Demi’s plan to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana as part of her “recovery” from alcoholism and drug addiction. By now, these friends should know that when drug addicts/alcoholics think they can handle drugs and alcohol, that’s still being in the sickness of denial.

As for Demi’s family members, they all say that based on their experiences with Demi, they know that an addict can only truly recover when the addict is willing to stop what’s causing their addiction of their own free will, not because other people are pressuring them to do it. Demi says that the first time she went to rehab, she was forced to go because she was told that she wouldn’t be able to see her sister Madison again if Demi didn’t get rehab treatment. In the documentary, Demi notes the “full circle” irony that after she woke up from her overdose, she literally couldn’t see Madison because of Demi’s temporary blindness.

Demi’s case manager Charles Cook is the one of the few people interviewed in the movie to warn viewers that Demi’s way of handling her addiction is not going to work for everyone. He chooses his words carefully, so as not to offend her, but it’s pretty obvious that he’s conflicted in endorsing Demi’s decision to continue to drink alcohol and use marijuana. Cook and Demi both say that addiction recovery doesn’t have a “one size fits all” solution, and Demi is trying to figure out what works best for her.

The documentary includes interviews with some celebrities who know Demi and have worked with her, including recovering addict/alcoholic Elton John. He is blunt when he comments on addicts/alcoholics who think they can still use their addiction substances as part of their recovery: “Moderation doesn’t work.” However, he praises Demi by saying: “She’s human and she’s adorable and she’s brave.”

Christina Aguilera and Will Ferrell also say good things about Demi. Aguilera says, “She’s just no bullshit when it comes to her spirit and her energy and her laughter.” Lovato and Aguilera teamed up for the duet “Fall in Line,” which was on Aguilera’s 2018 album “Liberation.” The song was also released as a single.

Ferrell says he was inspired to put Demi in his 2020 Netflix comedy movie “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” after seeing her emotionally perform “Anyone” at the 2020 Grammy Awards. The Grammy show was her first high-profile performance after her overdose, and she followed it up with another critically acclaimed performance at Super Bowl LIV, where she sang a powerful rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Clips of both performances are in the movie, as well as snippets of her performing on tour in 2018 and in the recording studio. Demi says that she wrote and recorded “Sober” while she was in the throes of addiction to crack and heroin. And she mentions that her song “Dancing With the Devil” is one of the rawest, soul-baring songs she’s ever written about her addiction. Braun says, “In the studio, Demi is in her happy place.”

Demi describes her brief engagement to Ehrich in 2020 as part of their whirlwind and unconventional romance. Most of their courtship happened when they moved in with her mother and stepfather to quarantine with them during the coronavirus pandemic. Demi and Ehrich dated for just six months before calling it quits. After the breakup, he went on social media and gave interviews saying that he was blindsided and treated unfairly by Demi.

In the documentary, Demi says that she and Ehrich probably wouldn’t have gotten engaged so quickly if they hadn’t quarantined together. And although she doesn’t divulge the full details of their breakup, Demi reiterates what she’s already said publicly: She says she found out that Ehrich didn’t have the right intentions in their relationship. The documentary has selfie video footage of a forlorn-looking Demi after the breakup, fretting to the camera that she won’t find anyone to love her.

Demi has this to say about her love life at the time she filmed this documentary: “I feel like I’m too queer in my life to marry a man right now.” She describes her outlook: “Life is fluid, and I’m fluid, and that’s all I know.”*

In addition to dealing with her physical health problems as a result of the overdose, Demi says she has the psychological trauma of being sexually assaulted. She has this to say about the sexual violation from her drug dealer: “When they found me, I was naked, blue. I was literally left for dead after he took advantage of me. I was literally discarded and abandoned.”

“When I woke up in the hospital, they asked if I had consensual sex,” Demi says in one of her documentary interviews. “There was one flash that I had of him on top of me. I saw the flash, and I said, ‘Yes’ [in answer to the question if the sex was consensual]. It wasn’t until a month after my overdose that I realized, ‘Hey, you weren’t in any state of mind to make a consensual decision.’ That kind of trauma doesn’t go away overnight, and it doesn’t go away in the first few months of rehab either.”

Demi reveals that instead of staying away from the drug dealer that she says raped her, she actually contacted him again when she relapsed after her overdose. And she says that when they had sex again, she wanted to be the one in control. Instead, Demi says this “revenge sex” made her feel worse.

And she also says it was history repeating itself because something similar happened with the person she says raped her when she was 15: “When I was a teenager, I was in a very similar situation. I lost my virginity in rape. I called that person back a month later and tried to make it right by being in control. All it did was make me feel worse.”

In the documentary, Demi doesn’t name her alleged rapists, but the drug dealer who admitted he was the one who supplied the drugs on the night of the overdose already gave tabloid interviews after he found out that he wouldn’t be arrested for supplying her the drugs. His name is already out there in the public. And in at least one of his interviews, he claimed that Demi was his sex partner in a “friends with benefits” situation.

As for the guy whom Demi says raped her when she was 15, she drops some big hints about who he is. “I was part of that Disney crowd that publicly said they were waiting until marriage.” She says in the documentary that this virginity image was a lie for her and her alleged rapist, which obviously implies that he was part of that “Disney crowd” too.

Commenting on how she lost her virginity, Demi says: “I didn’t have the romantic first time. That was not it for me. That sucked. Then I had to see this person all the time so I stopped eating and coped in other ways.”

Then she takes a breath and says, “Fuck it. I’m gonna say it.” She says that her #MeToo moment came when she reported the rape to adults (whom she does not name in the documentary), but her alleged rapist “never got in trouble for it. They never got taken out of the movie they were in. I always kept it quiet because I’ve always had something to say. I don’t know, I’m tired of opening my mouth. Here’s the tea.”

Just like many people with #MeToo stories, Demi says she’s going public with her truth to help give other people the courage to do the same. “I’m coming forward with what happened to me because everyone it happens to should absolutely speak their voice.” She also says, “At the end of the day, I’m responsible for my life choices and only hold myself accountable. And the last two years have been about me doing the work to identify and confront those traumas, so I can be my best self and truly be happy.”

The problem with these types of “confessions of a famous addict” is that they usually have the celebrity confessing that they previously put on a fake front of being happy and/or sober in public, but they were really miserable and/or relapsing in private. Then they usually end the documentary by saying they’re doing much better now. But it can be hard for people to believe that, when the celebrity has already admitted that they’re skilled at pretending that their life is better than it really is.

Demi says in the “Dancing With the Devil” documentary that when she made the “Simply Complicated” documentary, she was really miserable and pretended at the time that she happy. Is there eventually going to be another “confession” from Demi where she will say that she was lying in this “Dancing With the Devil” documentary too? It’s a vicious cycle where people aren’t going to know what to believe.

Another problem that people tend to have with these celebrity “tell-alls” is they usually come out at around the same time that the celebrity has a new project to promote. And it makes people wonder how much of this pain is being used to market something that the celebrity wants to sell. Sure enough, the documentary includes studio footage and video clips to promote Demi’s seventh studio album “Dancing with the Devil … The Art of Starting Over,” which is due out on April 2, 2021, the same week as when this docuseries’ last episode is released on YouTube.

Most addicts and alcoholics don’t get to profit from selling their stories. And there’s a lot of denial going on in the documentary when Demi, who spent years telling the world that she’s an alcoholic, now says she can handle drinking alcohol in moderation. Did she not learn anything in rehab?

Although there are website addresses and hotline phone numbers listed in the documentary as resources for people who want to get more information on how to get help for addiction or surviving sexual trauma, the mixed messages that Demi gives in her “Dancing With the Devil” documentary can actually confuse people. She does briefly acknowledge that she’s luckier than most addicts, because she can afford top-notch rehab treatment and a team of people who can get her whatever she asks for because she’s paying them to do it. But that acknowledgement rings hollow because she’s basically saying, “I know I can afford to go to the highest-priced rehab centers in the world, but I’m going to indulge in my addictive substances anyway, just because I feel like it.”

However, people who are not gullible fans can see the documentary for what it is: It shows the difficulty of overcoming addiction and how celebrities are surrounded by “yes” people who will say what the celebrity wants to hear so that they can stay in the celebrity’s inner circle. If there’s any meaningful takeaway from “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” it’s that if celebrities want to tell the world their truth, they should summon the courage to have people in their lives who will tell them the truth. And when it comes to addiction to alcohol and drugs, they can start with the basic fundamentals of rehab, which is that an alcoholic/drug addict isn’t doing enough real work to get clean and sober if that alcoholic/drug addict is still drinking and drugging.

*UPDATE: In May 2021, Lovato came out as non-binary, with identity pronouns “they” and “them.”

YouTube Originals will premiere “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” on Demi Lovato’s YouTube channel on March 23, 2021.

2021 South by Southwest: What to expect at this year’s SXSW event

February 12, 2021

by Carla Hay

For the first time, South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals will be held online for the 2021 edition of the event, which takes place March 16 to March 20, and has been dubbed SXSW Online. After being cancelled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, SXSW is following safety protocols to offer a virtual experience for SXSW attendees in 2021. SXSW is arguably the best-known event in the U.S. that combines music, film, interactive and convergence programming.

Here are some of the anticipated highlights of the festival:

Keynote and Featured Speakers

Willie Nelson (Photo courtesy of ABC/Image Group LA)

The lineup of SXSW keynote speakers includes:

  • Grammy-winning artist Willie Nelson
  • Politician, activist and author Stacey Abrams in conversation with author N.K. Jemisin

Featured speakers include:

  • Author James Altucher
  • Favor president/CEO and H-E-B Chief digital officer Jag Bath in conversation with Inc editor-at-large Tom Foster
  • Talk show host/comedian Samantha Bee
  • Oregon congressman and Congressional Cannabis Caucus founder Earl Blumenauer with Politico federal cannabis policy reporter Natalie Fertig
  • Business mogul and Virgin Airlines founder Sir Richard Branson
  • Oscar-nominated film composer Nicholas Britell
  • Hip-hop artist Dave Burd (aka Lil Dicky)
  • Filmmaker Erin Lee Carr
  • Electronic dance music duo The Chainsmokers
  • Singer Chiquis
  • Entrepreneur Mark Cuban
  • Interdisciplinary artist Torkwase Dyson
  • Relativity Space co-founder/COTim Ellis
  • Dance choreographer Laurieann Gibson
  • Author/psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb
  • Schwab executive vice president and chief digital officer Neesha Hathi
  • Singer/songwriter Imogen Heap
  • Oscar-wining filmmaker Barry Jenkins
  • Affectiva co-founder/CEO Dr. Rana el Kaliouby
  • Oscar-nominated actress Taraji P. Henson in conversation with Self magazine editor-in-chief Carolyn Kylstra
  • Twilio co-founder/CEO Jeff Lawson
  • Computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee
  • Grammy-winning rapper and “NCIS: Los Angeles” actor LL Cool J
  • Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey in conversation with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber
  • International yoga teacher, actress, writer and entrepreneur Adriene Mishler
  • Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian
  • Actor, filmmaker, author, and Olympic athlete Alexi Pappas
  • Sony Music Publishing chairman/CEO Jon Platt in conversation with Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Carole King
  • Emmy-winning producer, Grammy-winning artist and actress Queen Latifah
  • Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke
  • NFL football player Laurent Duvernay-Tardif
  • NFL football player Sebastian Tomich
  • NBA basketball star Chris Webber
  • Grammy-winning artist Wyclef Jean

Featured Sessions

Descriptions courtesy of SXSW:

  • Alexi Pappas & Bill Hader on Being a Bravey – A conversation with Olympian, actress, and author of the bestselling book Bravey, Alexi Pappas, in conversation with Emmy award-winning actor, filmmaker and creator/star of “Barry,” Bill Hader. Pappas and Hader will discuss their evolving relationship with mental health in their creative, professional, and personal lives, and on the lessons they’ve learned from mentors along the way.
  • Are We the Smartest Kids on the Block? – A conversation with Harvard University Professor of Science Avi Loeb, and New Scientist reporter Leah Crane about the search for extraterrestrial life, one of the most exciting frontiers in astronomy. With the recent discoveries on the cloud deck of Venus and studies of the weird interstellar object `Oumuamua’, find out how the search for unusual electromagnetic flashes, industrial pollution of planetary atmospheres, artificial light or heat, artificial space debris or something completely unexpected holds the promise of advancing and maturing both science and society.
  • Beyond the Gender Binary – With increasing recognition of the fluidity of gender, the time has come for a 21st century approach to gender justice. Dividing billions of people into one of two categories “man or woman” is not natural, it is political. Gender diversity is an integral part of our existence. It always has been, and it always will be. The gender binary – the idea that there are only two separate and opposite genders – was built to create conflict and division, not foster creativity and humanity. In this conversation ALOK and Demi Lovato will speak about the status of trans rights in the United States and the power of creative self-expression in the face of gender norms.
  • Bruce Mau: Designing for the Cluster – Bruce Mau applies his MC24 design principles and his new life-centered approach to confronting the simultaneous cluster cascade of crisis that he calls “The Cluster: Pandemics – Racial and Social Justice – Climate – Food Insecurity – Governance.” In this conversation with philosopher and writer Sanford Kwinter, Mau will demonstrate that all of these global challenges are interrelated and that they have their origin in a fundamental crisis of empathy.
  • Building Equity In Startup Communities – A discussion about scaling equity throughout the technology, startup, and venture ecosystem to ensure a path to shared prosperity for Black, Latinx, and Indigenous People of Color in the fourth industrial revolution and beyond. Foundry Group and Techstars co-founder Brad Feld, and 100 Black Angels & Allies Fund and Opportunity Hub co-founder Rodney Sampson will discuss their strategies for operationalizing diversity, equity and inclusion in the startup ecosystem, moderated by Business Insider reporter Dominic-Madori Davis.
  • Can 5G Transform the Live Music Experience? – In the last year we have felt the absence of live music. Artists have stepped up and gotten creative to reach fans virtually with some amazing results – but it can’t replace the impact of live performances. As we look forward to the return of live music, artists have a new platform to help deliver innovative experiences – 5G. The next generation of cellular delivers capabilities that can take the live experience to new levels of immersion and unlock new opportunities for artist creativity. Join Cristiano Amon, President and CEO-elect of wireless leader Qualcomm, and Grammy-nominated DJ Steve Aoki and hear from two visionaries about the future of the live experience in a 5G world.
  • The Chainsmokers on launching MANTIS VC – Grammy Award-winning and Billboard Chart topping artist/producer duo, The Chainsmokers, are a dominating musical force with a diverse repertoire of songs that have led them to become one of world’s biggest recording artists. Alex Pall and Drew Taggart have expanded The Chainsmokers’ empire into film and television, tequila, philanthropy, and most recently their venture capital firm Mantis. Hear their story on how the duo have evolved their music career into so much more with Andreessen Horowitz Managing Partner Chris Lyons.
  • A Conversation with Desus Nice and The Kid Mero – A conversation with multi-talented comedians, authors of the New York Times bestseller “God-Level Knowledge Darts: Life Lessons from the Bronx,” co-hosts of Showtime’s first late-night talk show “Desus & Mero” and the long-running Bodega Boys podcast, Desus Nice and The Kid Mero.
  • A Conversation with Noah Hawley and Andrew Bird – Set in Kansas City 1950, Fargo’s fourth installment follows two crime syndicates jockeying to control an alternate economy of exploitation and graft while fighting for a piece of the American dream. Join Noah Hawley (creator / executive producer / director / writer) and Grammy Award-nominated musician Andrew Bird for a not-to-be-missed conversation about how a concert in Austin lead to Bird’s acting debut in “Fargo.” Moderated by Whitney Friedlander. All four installments of the critically acclaimed limited series are currently available to stream on FX on Hulu.
  • A Conversation with the Russo Brothers and Elizabeth Banks – A fireside chat between visionary directors/producers Anthony and Joe Russo (“Welcome to Collinwood,” “Arrested Development,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Relic,” “Mosul” and “Cherry”) and acclaimed actress, director, writer, and producer Elizabeth Banks (“Charlie’s Angels,” “The Hunger Games” and “Shrill”). Banks will talk to the Russo Brothers about their new film “Cherry,” as well as the work they are doing with their company, AGBO. “Cherry” stars Tom Holland and is based on the critically acclaimed debut novel by Nico Walker. It will be released in theaters in February and on Apple TV+ in March.
  • COVID-19: The New Reality – Dr. Michael Osterholm, joined by health economist Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, will speak to the SXSW community about what is next in the fight against COVID-19. From the immediate concerns around new variants to the “collateral damage” we face from this pandemic, Dr. Osterholm and Ms. Sarasohn-Kahn will share insights to help navigate public health in 2021 and beyond.
  • Evolving the Gaming Industry with CouRage & Loaded – Gaming is taking off and bringing new opportunities for creators, brands and entertainment companies. Loaded, the leading management company for some of the world’s biggest professional gamers will host a special Q&A with leading content creator CouRage to examine the state of the today’s gaming industry and how the creator community has evolved the business for the better. The talk with Loaded VP of Talent Bridget Davidson will highlight key learning from CouRage’s successful career, as well as spotlight how brands and other non-endemic companies can work with creators to capture both eyeballs and engagement.
  • Forging a New Social Contract for Big Tech – Beyond privacy, revised liability laws can hold companies accountable for what they disseminate online. Antitrust actions could check the flow of wealth to the small number of companies that control platforms, aggregators, and algorithms. A lightweight horizontal regulation could add a safety layer to the high-risk applications of artificial intelligence. This discussion features U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar; Denmark tech ambassador Anne Marie Engtoft Larsen; Executive Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager; and President & Co-founder Center for Humane Technology Tristan Harris. The session will focus on the role for technology companies in the 21st Century and what a new “social contract” could look like for Big Tech – in both Europe and the United States.
  • Gene Editing: The Biotech Revolution of our Times – Bestselling author Walter Isaacson has established himself as the biographer of creativity, innovation, and genius. He wrote about Einstein, a genius of the revolution in physics, and Steve Jobs, a genius of the revolution in digital technology. Though the past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet, Isaacson argues we are now on the cusp of a third revolution in science—a revolution in biochemistry that is capable of curing diseases, fending off viruses, and improving the human species. With the invention of CRISPR, we can edit our DNA. CRISPR has been used in China to create “designer babies” that are immune from the AIDS virus and in the U.S. to cure patients of sickle cell anemia. With the life-science revolution, children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study the code of life — and all the moral dilemmas this brings. Isaacson will be joined in conversation with award-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and a co-founder of Stand Up to Cancer Katie Couric.
  • Indigenous Peoples Hold the Key to Saving Earth – For centuries, Indigenous communities have served as guardians of the environment, protecting nature, respecting flora and fauna, and using traditional knowledge and wisdom passed down over generations. They safeguard 80% of biodiversity left in the world, which is key to turning around the climate crisis, as biodiverse areas are major carbon sinks. In this panel, Nemonte Nenquimo, a leader from the Waorani community in Ecuador and founding member of Indigenous-led nonprofit organization Ceibo Alliance and Amazon Frontlines speaks with Julia Jackson, Founder of Grounded.org, to discuss why climate philanthropy must be reimagined to protect the future of our planet, by directing resources to indigenous communities who are at the frontlines of our climate emergency.
  • Immersive Retail: Connected Shopping in a New Era – A conversation about the acceleration in changes to the retail environment and what major initiatives the retail industry is pursuing to enable the widespread proliferation of AR/VR and 3D content for e-commerce and retail with TechTalk/Studio president and co-founder Kevin O’Malley, IBM Global Business Strategy Partner Silke Meixner, and Unity Head of Industry Verticals, Operate Solutions, Tony Parisi.
  • Late Night Girls Club: Samantha Bee & Amber Ruffin – Samantha Bee (host and executive producer of the WGA nominated, Emmy Award-winning show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee) in conversation with Amber Ruffin (writer, executive producer and host of WGA Award-nominated series The Amber Ruffin Show). The two will discuss the trials and tribulations of covering politics in today’s unpredictable climate from a unique, comedic point of view. As the longest running correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Bee eventually went out on her own in 2016 with Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. The show continues to use political satire to entertain, educate, and empower viewers while keeping the government in check. Ruffin is also an Emmy and WGA Award-nominated writer and performer for Late Night with Seth Meyers, and was the first African American female to write for a late-night network talk show in the U.S.
  • Live Music in Venues: What’s Next? – 2020 was a year of catastrophic impact for the live music industry as the pandemic brought the industry to a screeching halt. A year later, this session brings together independent venue perspectives from across the US., including Troubadour talent booker Amy Madrigali, Iridium director of artist relations & programming Grace Blake, First Avenue Productions president and CEO Dayna Frank and moderated by Pollstar, VenuesNow executive editor Andy Gensler. How have they been able to support developing talent? What’s ahead for their establishment and how they can get back to supporting a full schedule of acts?
  • Melinda Gates + Kelly Corrigan Talk Big Change – For more than two decades, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, she has come to a critical conclusion: when we lift up women, we lift up humanity. In conversation with podcaster, PBS host, and bestselling author Kelly Corrigan, Gates will discuss her bestselling book, “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” and its stories of the empowered women Gates has met over the years. Gates will talk about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work around family planning, education, and gender equality, and she will call us to action—urging us to drive progress in our homes, workplaces, and communities.
  • Music’s Limitless Variations – Hear from Lenzo Yoon, the Global CEO of BTS’ label Big Hit Entertainment (hereafter referred to as Big Hit), as he explains how Big Hit was able to see what comes next, as well as prepare for the future at every critical juncture, and share Big Hit’s past, present and tomorrow. Yoon presents prospects and insights on the future of the K-pop industry and, furthermore, on the future of the global entertainment industry.
  • Ocean Storytelling with James Cameron & Brian Skerry – Join world-renowned filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer at Large James Cameron and National Geographic Explorer and Photographer Brian Skerry on a guided adventure into the deep blue to discuss the upcoming Disney+ original documentary series Secrets of the Whales. Filmed over three years in 24 locations, avid underwater conservationists Cameron and Skerry join forces to deliver an epic, awe-inspiring look at the incredible life and culture of whales and how the world’s largest mammals are facing the challenge of an ever-changing ocean. Moderated by OceanXplorers executive producer Orla Doherty.
  • The Quest Effect: Inside VR’s Next Chapter – Anyone who has entered virtual reality knows what a transformative experience donning a headset can be. Until recently, that experience was enjoyed mainly by hard-core VR enthusiasts. This year, all-in-one VR has become better, more powerful, and more affordable, expanding and changing the makeup of who spends time in VR. Now, that new group is discovering how great VR can be — not only for games, but also for fitness, media, hangouts with friends, and even real work. Join Mark Rabkin, Vice President of Oculus at Facebook, for a discussion about the future of VR, its changing ecosystem, and what its recent success means for the development of the next computing platform.
  • STARZ’S “Power” Universe Collides – Join STARZ’S Power Universe co-creator, Curtis “50 Cent” JacksonPower Book II: Ghost cast: Michael Rainey Jr.Mary J. Blige, and Cliff “Method Man” SmithPower Book III: Raising Kanan cast: Mekai Curtis and Patina Miller; and Power Book IV: Force lead: Joseph Sikora, for the first time ever as the Power Universe collides. Moderated by media personality and bestselling author Angie MartinezPower stars will discuss: the legacy of the Power Universe, the latest on upcoming seasons, the future and fate of new and iconic characters.
  • Ted Lasso: Emotion in the Edit – Join producers and members of the Ted Lasso editorial team in a panel discussion on the magic of Bill Lawrence shows (ScrubsCougar TownSpin City) and how editorial is the true partner in landing the jokes, drawing out emotion, and making it feel like you’re spending 30 minutes with your long time pack of friends. American Cinema Editors (ACE) CinemaEditor Magazine writer Nancy Jundi will moderate the panel with representatives from the Ted Lasso creative and editorial team (Bill LawrenceKip KroegerMelissa McCoy, and A.J. Catoline) to elaborate on the many considerations that go into building and honoring a character across episodes, seasons and a series.
  • Who Controls the Past: The Tulsa Race Massacre – How is it possible that the 1921 massacre of as many as thousands of Black people in Tulsa, Oklahoma, was almost erased from US history? And why is it finally penetrating the national consciousness? Featured in HBO’s The Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, this history survived because of the dedicated efforts of Black Tulsans, including the descendants of survivors, who have made it their life’s work to uncover what really happened and make sure we never forget. This session, moderated by Jeffery Robinson from Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America, examines the work of activists Dr. Tiffany CrutcherChief Egunwale F. Amusan, and Kristi Orisabiyi Williams to take control of the historical narrative, and in so doing, to force a reckoning on racial justice in this country and a long overdue conversation on reparations for Black Americans.
  • Why Do We Fear Innovation? – A conversation featuring actress, author, and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik and historian, philosopher, and bestselling author Yuval Noah Harari, moderated by Tech Open Air founder Niko Woischnik. From the printing press to vaccines to artificial intelligence, the introduction of almost any transformative technology has been met with wonder as well as fear and rejection. Many of history’s greatest inventors were considered heretics – the archetype of the mad scientist exists for a reason. Why does the new still scare us? What does it take to build acceptance for transformative ideas? How does the unprecedented scientific progress to deliver COVID vaccines influence this? What role does disinformation play in shaping our fears? How can we ensure innovators consider ethical issues, so outcomes can lead to the betterment of people and the planet? What can innovators learn from artists and creators of fiction? Presented by Leaps by Bayer and Tech Open Air Berlin.
  • Why The Music Biz is Buzzing About the Metaverse – In the midst of the 2020 global pandemic, one of the biggest concerts ever took place in the virtual worlds of Roblox. Two-time Grammy Award winner Lil Nas X gave a performance debut of his new single ‘Holiday’ and other top hits, dancing and socializing with fans, and attracting over 30 million concert views in this revolutionary music experience. The concert’s unprecedented success was made possible by the Metaverse, a social and technological phenomenon driven by a new generation growing up online and global platforms paving a new way for people to be together, even when they can’t in person. Hear from Maverick Management music manager Zach Kardisch, futurist and CEO of Futures Intelligence Group Cathy Hackl, Roblox Global Head of Music Jon Vlassopulos, and Columbia Records SVP, Experiential Marketing and business development Ryan Ruden about how the Metaverse is shaping the future of music business, today.
  • Breaking the Sonic Color Line: A discussion about authenticity of voice in media, defeating racial stereotypes in voice acting, the impact of race in audio ads and how the industry can come together and make real change featuring DJ, actress and entrepreneur MC Lyte; Pandora Group Creative Director Roger Sho Gehrmann; and voice-over and television actress Joan Baker.
  • The Chainsmokers on launching MANTIS VC: Grammy Award-winning and Billboard Chart topping artist/producer duo, The Chainsmokers, are a dominating musical force with a diverse repertoire of songs that have led them to become one of world’s biggest recording artists. Alex Pall and Drew Taggart have expanded The Chainsmokers’ empire into film and television, tequila, philanthropy, and most recently their venture capital firm Mantis. Hear their story on how the duo have evolved their music career into so much more.
  • A Conversation with Icons Queen Latifah and LL COOL J: From the mic to the big screen, award-winning rappers, actors and producers Queen Latifah and LL Cool J have been major forces in the entertainment industry for over three decades. Queen Latifah executive produces and stars as the first female Equalizer, Robyn McCall, in the reimagining of the series Equalizer, and LL Cool J stars as Special Agent Sam Hanna on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” Join them for a lively, in-depth conversation about their illustrious careers in music, television and movies (in front and behind the cameras), the cultural resonance and timeliness of their series, and much more.
  • From Moonlight to The Underground Railroad: Barry Jenkins & Composer Nicholas Britell: A conversation with Academy Award-winning filmmaker Barry Jenkins and with Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning composer Nicholas Britell (Succession), where they will discuss the joy, delicate nuances, challenges and unexpected discoveries from their work together. The pair will talk about their unique creative process in building a singular audiovisual identity with a specific focus on their upcoming Amazon Original limited series, The Underground Railroad, based on Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name. Jenkins and Britell first collaborated on Moonlight, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. During the making of Moonlight, the duo formed an inimitable rapport that brought them back together again for If Beale Street Could TalkThe Underground Railroad will stream in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide on Amazon Prime Video in 2021.
  • Hi, I’m Dave: Hailed by Rolling Stone as one of the best TV shows of 2020, FXX’s DAVE is based on the life of Dave Burd (aka Lil Dicky), and centered on a neurotic man who’s convinced himself that he’s destined to be one of the best rappers of all time. The critically-acclaimed first season explored ambition, mental illness and masculinity in the world of hip-hop. Join co-creator/executive producer/writer/star Dave Burd (aka Lil Dicky), co-creator/executive producer Jeff Schaffer, executive producer Saladin Patterson and series star GaTa for DAVE’s first panel at SXSW. Season 1 is available on FX on Hulu; season two will premiere on FXX in 2021.
  • How GenZ Duets the News on TikTok: Hear about tactics publishers are using to build relationships with young audiences on TikTok, and the content that moves audiences to action with The Washington Post video producer Dave JorgensonNowThis politics producer Ian McKenna; and content creator Jackie James.
  • Leading Safely + Motivating Empathetically: Learn how the hospitality industry have changed their tactics to adapt to the ever-changing health and wellness regulations and lead, motivate and engage their employees, colleagues and communities; eaturing Blackberry Farm Vice President of Food & Beverage Andy ChabotFood & Wine editor-in-chief Hunter Lewis; executive chef and Cúrate Bar de Tapas and La Bodega by Cúrate co-owner Katie Button; and award-winning chef and activist Marcus Samuelsson
  • .Making Emotional Connections With Volumetric Video: Hear from three seasoned creatives on the most effective way to make emotional connections through volumetric video with writer, director, and new media artist Illya Szilak; Microsoft’s Mixed Reality Capture Studios creative director Jason Waskey, and producer and Atlas V co-founder Antoine Cayrol.
  • RIP Live Shows? Concerts in the Time of COVID: A conversation about the ways the live/touring industry are trying to stay afloat, what’s working, what isn’t, and what still needs to be done to save the music we love, featuring Driift general manager Adam Shore; Panache Booking and Panache Management founder Michelle Cable; and Paradigm Talent Agency Executive, Wilder Records founder and Home School co-founder Tom Windish.

Music Performances

There are normally about 2,000 artists who perform at SXSW every year. However, due to nightclub closures, the performance lineup has been reduced for 2021. Some of the announced artists who will be performing virtually include Indigo Sparke, Place to Bury StrangersFrancisca Valenzuela, SquidGrrrl GangDarkooSamantha Sanchez, Holy Fuck, Astrid Sonne, NAYANA IZ, and Jealous

Showcases and presenters include AfroFuture Sounds (British Underground & DAJU Presents), Hotel Vegas & Hotel Free TV, Damnably, EQ Austin, Jazz re:freshed Outernational, FOCUS Wales, Roskilde Festival, Taiwan Beats, Close Encounter Club, Sounds from Spain, M for Montreal, Flipped Coin KOREA, Carefree Black Girl, New Zealand Music, KUTX The Breaks, Dedstrange, Fierce Panda x End of the Trail, Brazil Inspires the Future, and ÅÄÖ…Sounds Swedish.

Movie and TV Premieres

Demi Lovato in “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” (Photo courtesy of OBB Media)

SXSW has a wide variety of feature-length and short films. In 2021, the SXSW Film Festival has music documentaries as its opening, centerpiece and closing films. “Demi Lovato: Dancing With the Devil” is the opening film, the Charli XCX quarantine chronicle “Alone Together” is the centerpiece, and “Tom Petty, Somewhere You Feel Free” is the closing film.

Here are some of the more high-profile feature films that will have their world premieres at the festival: The psychological thriller “Here Before,” starring Andrea Riseborough as a woman questioning reality. The drama “Language Lesson,” starring Natalie Morales and Mark Duplass as a Spanish teacher and her student who become friends. And the superhero action flick “The Spine of Night,” starring Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Betty Gabriel and Joe Manganiello.  Documentary world premieres include “United States vs. Reality Winner”; “Introducing, Selma Blair”; “WeWork: or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn”; “Hysterical,” about female stand-up comedians;

TV shows that will have episodes premiering at SXSW 2021 include Starz’s “Confronting a Serial Killer,” showrunner Po Kutchins and director Joe Berliner’s chronicle of the relationship between serial killer Sam Little and author Jillian Lauren; HBO Max’s “Made for Love,” starring Cristin Milioti as a divorcée who’s out for revenge; and the third season of Starz’s “The Girlfriend Experience” and Amazon Prime Video’s thriller series “Them.”

2020 E! People’s Choice Awards: BTS is the top winner

November 15, 2020

With four prizes, BTS, including the Group of 2020, was the top winner at the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards, which were presented on November 15 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. BTS also won the awards for the Song of 2020 (“Dynamite”); the Music Video of 2020 (“Dynamite”); and the Album of 2020 (“Map of the Soul: 7”). BTS did not attend the ceremony. E! Entertainment Television had the U.S. telecast of the ceremony, which was hosted b y Demi Lovato.

There were three non-competitive awards that were announced in advance: Tyler Perry received the People’s Champions Award; Tracee Ellis Ross received the Fashion Icon Award; and Jennifer Lopez received the People’s Icon of 2020. Justin Bieber and Chloe x Halle were the show’s performers.

Here is the complete list of nominees and winners at the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards:

*=winner

MOVIES

THE MOVIE OF 2020

Bad Boys for Life*

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Extraction

Hamilton

Project Power

The Invisible Man

The Old Guard

Trolls World Tour

THE DRAMA MOVIE OF 2020             

Hamilton*

Dangerous Lies

Greyhound

I Still Believe

Invisible Man

The High Note

The Photograph

The Way Back

THE COMEDY MOVIE OF 2020

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Like A Boss

The Kissing Booth 2*

The King of Staten Island

The Lovebirds

The Wrong Missy

To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Bill & Ted Face the Music

THE ACTION MOVIE OF 2020         

Bad Boys for Life

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Bloodshot

Extraction

Mulan*

Power Project

Tenet

The Old Guard

THE FAMILY MOVIE OF 2020

Dolittle

My Spy

Onward*

Scoob!

Sonic the Hedgehog

The Call of the Wild

The Willoughbys

Trolls World Tour

THE MALE MOVIE STAR OF 2020

Chris Hemsworth, Extraction

Jamie Foxx, Project Power

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Mark Wahlberg, Spenser Confidential

Robert Downey Jr., Dolittle

Tom Hanks, Greyhound

Vin Diesel, Bloodshot

Will Smith, Bad Boys for Life*

THE FEMALE MOVIE STAR OF 2020

Camila Mendes, Dangerous Lies

Charlize Theron, The Old Guard

Elisabeth Moss, The Invisible Man

Issa Rae, The Lovebirds

Margot Robbie, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Salma Hayek, Like a Boss

Tiffany Haddish, Like a Boss*

Vanessa Hudgens, Bad Boys for Life

THE COMEDY MOVIE STAR OF 2020

David Spade, The Wrong Missy

Issa Rae, The Lovebirds

Joey King, The Kissing Booth 2*

Keanu Reeves, Bill & Ted Face the Music

Noah Centineo, To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You

Pete Davidson, The King of Staten Island

Salma Hayek, Like a Boss

Will Ferrell, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of FirSaga

THE ACTION MOVIE STAR OF 2020

Charlize Theron, The Old Guard

Chris Hemsworth, Extraction*

Jamie Foxx, Project Power

John David Washington, Tenet

Margot Robbie, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

Vanessa Hudgens, Bad Boys for Life

Vin Diesel, Bloodshot

Will Smith, Bad Boys for Life

THE DRAMA MOVIE STAR OF 2020

Ben Affleck, The Way Back

Elisabeth Moss, The Invisible Man

Issa Rae, The Photograph

KJ Apa, I Still Believe

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton*

Russell Crowe, Unhinged

Tom Hanks, Greyhound

Tracee Ellis Ross, The High Note

TV

THE SHOW OF 2020

Grey’s Anatomy*

Never Have I Ever

Outer Banks

The Bachelor 

The Last Dance

The Masked Singer

This Is Us

Tiger King

THE DRAMA SHOW OF 2020

Grey’s Anatomy

Law & Order: SVU

Outer Banks

Ozark

Power

Riverdale*

The Walking Dead

This Is Us

THE COMEDY SHOW OF 2020

Dead To Me

Grown-ish

Insecure

Modern Family

Never Have I Ever*

Saturday Night Live

Schitt’s Creek

The Good Place

THE REALITY SHOW OF 2020

90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?

Below Deck Mediterranean

Keeping Up with the Kardashians*

Love & Hip Hop: New York

Love Is Blind

The Real Housewives of Atlanta

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Queer Eye

THE COMPETITION SHOW OF 2020

American Idol

America’s Got Talent

Top Chef

RuPaul’s Drag Race

The Bachelor

The Challenge: Total Madness

The Masked Singer

The Voice*

THE MALE TV STAR OF 2020

Chase Stokes, Outer Banks

Cole Sprouse, Riverdale*

Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Jesse Williams, Grey’s Anatomy

Norman Reedus, The Walking Dead

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Steve Carell, Space Force

THE FEMALE TV STAR OF 2020

Christina Applegate, Dead To Me

Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead

Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy*

Lili Reinhart, Riverdale

Mandy Moore, This Is Us

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Sofía Vergara, Modern Family

THE DRAMA TV STAR OF 2020

Cole Sprouse, Riverdale

Chase Stokes, Outer Banks

Danai Gurira, The Walking Dead

Ellen Pompeo, Grey’s Anatomy

Mandy Moore, This Is Us*

Mariska Hargitay, Law & Order: SVU

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

THE COMEDY TV STAR OF 2020

Christina Applegate, Dead To Me

Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek

Issa Rae, Insecure

Jameela Jamil, The Good Place

Kate McKinnon, SNL

Kristen Bell, The Good Place

Sofía Vergara, Modern Family*

Yara Shahidi, Grown-ish

THE DAYTIME TALK SHOW OF 2020

Good Morning America

Live With Kelly & Ryan

Red Table Talk

The Ellen DeGeneres Show*

The Kelly Clarkson Show

The View

The Wendy Williams Show

Today

THE NIGHTTIME TALK SHOW OF 2020

Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

The Late Late Show with James Corden

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon*

THE COMPETITION CONTESTANT OF 2020

Gigi Goode, RuPaul’s Drag Race*

Hannah Ann Sluss, The Bachelor

Jaida Essence Hall, RuPaul’s Drag Race

Just Sam, American Idol

Madison Prewett, The Bachelor

Kandi Burruss, The Masked Singer

Rob Gronkowski , The Masked Singer

Sammie Cimarelli, The Circle

THE REALITY STAR OF 2020

Antoni Porowski, Queer Eye

Darcey and Stacey Silva, Darcey & Stacey

Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye

Kandi Burruss, The Real Housewives of Atlanta

Kim Kardashian West, Keeping Up with the Kardashians

Khloe Kardashian, Keeping Up with the Kardashians*

Lisa Rinna, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Porsha Williams, The Real Housewives of Atlanta

THE BINGEWORTHY SHOW OF 2020

Cheer

Love Is Blind

Never Have I Ever

Normal People

Outer Banks*

Ozark

Schitt’s Creek

Tiger King

THE SCI-FI/FANTASY SHOW OF 2020

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow

Legacies

Locke & Key

Supergirl

Supernatural

Wynonna Earp*

The Flash

The Umbrella Academy 

MUSIC

THE MALE ARTIST OF 2020

Bad Bunny

Blake Shelton

DaBaby

Drake

J Balvin

Justin Bieber*

Lil Baby

The Weeknd

THE FEMALE ARTIST OF 2020

Ariana Grande*

Billie Eilish

Cardi B

Dua Lipa

Lady Gaga

Megan Thee Stallion

Miley Cyrus

Taylor Swift

THE GROUP OF 2020

5 Seconds of Summer

BLACKPINK

BTS*

Chloe X Halle

CNCO

Dan + Shay

Jonas Brothers

twenty one pilots

THE SONG OF 2020

“Break My Heart,” Dua Lipa

“Dynamite,” BTS*

“Intentions,” Justin Bieber

“Rain On Me,” Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande

“Rockstar,” DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch

“Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion

“Stuck With U,” Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber

“WAP,” Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion

THE ALBUM OF 2020

After Hours, The Weeknd

High Off Life, Future

Changes, Justin Bieber

Chromatica, Lady Gaga

Future Nostalgia, Dua Lipa

Folklore, Taylor Swift

Map of the Soul: 7, BTS*

YHLQMDLG, Bad Bunny 

THE COUNTRY ARTIST OF 2020

Blake Shelton*

Kane Brown

Keith Urban

Kelsea Ballerini

Luke Bryan

Luke Combs

Miranda Lambert

Thomas Rhett

THE LATIN ARTIST OF 2020

Bad Bunny

Becky G*

Daddy Yankee

J Balvin

Maluma

Nicky Jam

Karol G

Ozuna

THE NEW ARTIST OF 2020

Ava Max

BENEE

Conan Gray

Doja Cat*

Jack Harlow

Roddy Ricch

Saweetie

Trevor Daniel

THE MUSIC VIDEO OF 2020

“Blinding Lights,” The Weeknd

“Dynamite,” BTS*

“Holy,” Justin Bieber & Chance the Rapper

“Ice Cream,” BLACKPINK & Selena Gomez

“Life Is Good,” Future featuring Drake

“Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande

“UN DIA,” J. Balvin, Dua Lip, Bad Bunny & Tainy

“WAP,” Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion

THE COLLABORATION OF 2020                    

“Be Kind,” Marshmello & Halsey

“Holy,” Justin Bieber featuring Chance the Rapper

“Life Is Good,” Future featuring Drake

“Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande

“Rockstar,” DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch

“Savage Remix,” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé

“WAP,” Cardi B featuring Megan Thee Stallion*

“Whats Poppin Remix,” Jack Harlow featuring DaBaby, Tory Lanez & Lil Wayne

THE SOUNDTRACK SONG OF 2020

“About Love,” Marina, To All The Boys: P.S. I Love You

“Alexander Hamilton,” Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton

“Boss Bitch,” Doja Cat, Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn

“Loyal Brave True,” Christina Aguilera, Mulan

“On Me (featuring Ava Max),” Thomas Rhett, Scoob!

“Only the Young,” Taylor Swift,  Miss Americana*

“Rare,” Selena Gomez, Normal People

“The Other Side,” SZA x Justin Timberlake, Trolls World Tour

POP CULTURE

THE SOCIAL STAR OF 2020

Addison Rae

Charli D’ Amelio

David Dobrik

Dixie D’Amelio

Emma Chamberlain*

Loren Gray

Jojo Siwa

Liza Koshy

THE BEAUTY INFLUENCER OF 2020

Antonio Garza

Bretman Rock

Desi Perkins

Jackie Aina

James Charles*

Nikita Dragun

NIKKIETUTORIALS

RCL Beauty

THE SOCIAL CELEBRITY OF 2020

Ariana Grande*

Britney Spears

Justin Bieber

Kim Kardashian West

Kylie Jenner

Lady Gaga

LeBron James

Selena Gomez

THE ANIMAL STAR OF 2020

Doug the Pug*

Esther the Wonder Pig

Hosico 

Jiffpom

Juniper the Fox

Nala Cat

Shinjiro Ono

Suki Cat

THE COMEDY ACT OF 2020

8:46, Dave Chappelle

George Lopez: We’ll Do It for Half

Hannah Gadsby: Douglas

Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill

Jo Koy: In His Elements

Leslie Jones: Time Machine*

Pete Davidson: Alive From New York

The Pale Tourist, Jim Gaffigan

THE STYLE STAR OF 2020

Janelle Monáe

Kendall Jenner

Kim Kardashian West

Lady Gaga

Lil Nas X

Rihanna

Timothee Chalamet

Zendaya*

THE GAME CHANGER OF 2020

Bubba Wallace

LeBron James*

Michael Jordan

Naomi Osaka

Russell Wilson

Sabrina Ionescu

Serena Williams

Simone Biles

THE POP PODCAST OF 2020

Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain*

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard 

Call Her Daddy

Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

I Weigh with Jameela Jamil

Scrubbing In with Becca Tilley & Tanya Rad

Staying In with Emily & Kumail

The Viall Files

2020 Billboard Music Awards: Post Malone is the top winner

October 14, 2020

Post Malone at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles (Photo by Todd Williamson/NBC)

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Post Malone swept the “2020 Billboard Music Awards” (BBMAs), winning a total of nine awards, including Top Artist and Top Male Artist – the most of the evening – bringing his total number of BBMA wins to 10. Echoing the theme of “Music Unites All’ throughout the night Malone said “music can bring everyone together, it’s absolutely incredible.” Airing tonight from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the BBMAs opened with an unforgettable performance by three-time host Kelly Clarkson, who brought down the house with Whitney Houston’s version of “Higher Love,” joined by two-time BBMA nominees Pentatonix and queen of percussion Sheila E. 

Khalid followed Post Malone for the most wins of the night with five, including Top R&B Artist, Top R&B Album, and Top R&B Song. Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus tied for the third most wins, with both artists recognized for their hit “Old Town Road” in the Top Hot 100 Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Selling Song, and Top Rap Song categories. Billie Eilish took home three awards including Top New Artist and Top Female Artist. Winners in the fan-voted categories were: BTS (Top Social Artist), Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello’s “Señorita” (Top Collaboration) and Harry Styles (Billboard Chart Achievement Award).

Rapper and social activist Killer Mike was honored with the inaugural Billboard Change Maker Award from the historic APEX (African American Panoramic Experience) Museum in Atlanta, GA. The award, which honors an artist or group that speaks truth to power through music, celebrity, and community and is active in their community and charitable with time, money, or influence to improve the lives of others, was presented by Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. NBC and MRC teamed up to deposit $1M to Killer Mike’s recently established digital bank, Greenwood.  

Cher made an appearance on the star-studded night to present Garth Brooks with the elite ICON Award, followed by his incredible performance of multiple chart-topping hits that was nothing short of iconic.

The night was full of spectacular performances: 

  • All the way from South Korea, K-Pop supergroup BTS gave an electrifying performance of “Dynamite,” their first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100
  • Demi Lovato gave a chills inducing world premiere performance of her timely and powerful new song “Commander in Chief” 
  • Post Malone delivered a soaring performance of his hits “Circles” and “Tommy Lee” featuring Tyla Yahweh, showing everyone why he took home nine awards
  • Alicia Keys made a long-awaited return to the BBMA stage for a dazzling perform of her latest single “Love Looks Better” 
  • Brandy made her BBMA performance debut and treated fans to her hit “Borderline” along with her new single “No Tomorrow” featuring Ty Dolla $ign, and “Almost Doesn’t Count” 
  • Bad Bunny was joined by surprise guests Nesi and Ivy Queen for “Yo Perreo Sola” for his dynamic and exciting BBMA performance debut
  • In her first BBMA performance, Doja Cat set the stage aflame with a dramatic medley of “Juicy,” “Say So,” and “Like That” 
  • EGOT-winner and multi-platinum singer-songwriter John Legend gave an emotional performance of “Never Break” 
  • Kane Brown, Khalid and Swae Lee tore up the stage with an energetic performance of their hit “Be Like That” 
  • In a rare appearance, Sia delivered a powerful moment with her song “Courage to Change” 
  • On the heels of one of his three wins, Luke Combs gave a moving performance of “Better Together” 
  • Breakout artist SAINt JHN, in his television debut, performed his global smash hit “Roses” 
  • And in this year’s Billboard throwback, iconic group En Vogue closed the evening with an empowering performance of their huge hit “Free Your Mind,” which first stormed the charts 30 years ago

In a tribute to legendary guitarist, musician, and songwriter Eddie Van Halen, the show featured a clip from the 2015 BBMAs when his son Wolfgang took the stage with him for a rare live tv performance. Presenters throughout the evening included Addison Rae, Cher, Garcelle Beauvais, Jane Lynch, Jay Ellis, Jharrel Jerome, Julia Michaels, Lilly Singh, Nicole Richie, Spencer X, Taraji P. Henson, TwinsthenewTrend (Fred & Tim Williams), and tWitch.

“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including MRC Data/Nielsen Music. The awards are based on the chart period of March 23, 2019, through March 14, 2020. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” are sponsored by TikTok and Xfinity. The “2020 Billboard Music Awards” are produced by dick clark productions. Amy Thurlow, Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Linda Gierahn, Kelly Clarkson, and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

For the latest news on the Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) visit billboardmusicawards.com and  www.billboard.com/bbma. For exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube) and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.

About Dick Clark Productions:
Dick Clark Productions (DCP) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and DCP. DCP also owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances, and legendary programming. DCP is part of MRC Live & Alternative, a division of diversified global entertainment company MRC. For additional information, visit www.mrcentertainment.com


Here is the complete list of nominations and winners:

*=winner

ARTIST AWARDS

Top Artist:
Billie Eilish
Jonas Brothers
Khalid
Post Malone*
Taylor Swift

Top New Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish*
Lil Nas X
Lizzo
Roddy Ricch

Billboard Chart Achievement Award (Fan Voted):
Mariah Carey
Luke Combs
Lil Nas X
Harry Styles*
Taylor Swift

Top Male Artist:
DaBaby
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Ed Sheeran

Top Female Artist:
Billie Eilish*
Ariana Grande
Halsey
Lizzo
Taylor Swift

Top Duo/Group:
BTS
Dan + Shay
Jonas Brothers*
Maroon 5
Panic! At The Disco

Top Billboard 200 Artist:
Drake
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Post Malone*
Taylor Swift

Top Hot 100 Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Khalid
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*

Top Streaming Songs Artist:
DaBaby
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Travis Scott

Top Song Sales Artist:
Billie Eilish
Lil Nas X
Lizzo*
Post Malone
Taylor Swift

Top Radio Songs Artist:
Jonas Brothers*
Khalid
Lizzo
Shawn Mendes
Post Malone

Top Social Artist (Fan Voted):
BTS*
Billie Eilish
EXO
GOT7
Ariana Grande

Top Touring Artist:
Elton John
Metallica
P!nk*
The Rolling Stones
Ed Sheeran

Top R&B Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid*
Lizzo
Summer Walker
The Weeknd

Top R&B Male Artist:
Chris Brown
Khalid*
The Weeknd

Top R&B Female Artist:
Beyoncé
Lizzo
Summer Walker*

Top R&B Tour:
B2K
Janet Jackson
Khalid*

Top Rap Artist:
DaBaby
Juice WRLD
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*
Roddy Ricch

Top Rap Male Artist:
DaBaby
Lil Nas X
Post Malone*

Top Rap Female Artist:
Cardi B*
City Girls
Megan Thee Stallion

Top Rap Tour:
Drake
Post Malone*
Travis Scott

Top Country Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*
Dan + Shay
Maren Morris
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Male Artist:
Kane Brown
Luke Combs*
Thomas Rhett

Top Country Female Artist:
Maren Morris*
Kacey Musgraves
Carrie Underwood

Top Country Duo/Group:
Dan + Shay*
Florida Georgia Line
Old Dominion

Top Country Tour:
Eric Church
Florida Georgia Line
George Strait*

Top Rock Artist:
Imagine Dragons
Panic! At The Disco*
Tame Impala
Tool
twenty one pilots

Top Rock Tour:
Elton John*
Metallica
The Rolling Stones

Top Latin Artist:
Anuel AA
Bad Bunny*
J Balvin
Ozuna
Romeo Santos

Top Dance/Electronic Artist:
Avicii
The Chainsmokers*
DJ Snake
Illenium
Marshmello

Top Christian Artist:
Lauren Daigle*
Elevation Worship
for KING & COUNTRY
Hillsong UNITED
Kanye West

Top Gospel Artist:
Kirk Franklin
Koryn Hawthorne
Tasha Cobbs Leonard
Sunday Service Choir
Kanye West*

ALBUM AWARDS

Top Billboard 200 Album:
Billie Eilish “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?”*
Ariana Grande “thank u, next”
Khalid “Free Spirit”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”
Taylor Swift “Lover”

Top Soundtrack:
“Aladdin”
“Descendants 3”
“Frozen II”*
“K-12” by Melanie Martinez 
“The Dirt” by Mötley Crüe

Top R&B Album:
Beyoncé “Homecoming: The Live Album”
Justin Bieber “Changes”
Chris Brown “Indigo”
Khalid “Free Spirit”*
Summer Walker “Over It”

Top Rap Album:
DaBaby “KIRK”
Juice WRLD “Death Race For Love”
Post Malone “Hollywood’s Bleeding”*
Roddy Ricch “Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial”
Young Thug “So Much Fun”

Top Country Album:
Kane Brown “Experiment”
Luke Combs “What You See Is What You Get”*
Maren Morris “GIRL”
Thomas Rhett “Center Point Road”
Morgan Wallen “If I Know Me”

Top Rock Album:
The Lumineers “III”
Slipknot “We Are Not Your Kind”
Tame Impala “The Slow Rush”
Tool “Fear Inoculum”*
Vampire Weekend “Father of the Bride”

Top Latin Album:
J Balvin & Bad Bunny “Oasis”*
Farruko “Gangalee”
Maluma “11:11”
Romeo Santos “Utopía”
Sech “Sueños”

Top Dance/Electronic Album:
Avicii “TIM”
The Chainsmokers “World War Joy”
Illenium “Ascend”
Marshmello “Marshmello: Fortnite Extended Set”*
Alan Walker “Different World”

Top Christian Album:
Bethel Music “Victory: Recorded Live”
Casting Crowns “Only Jesus”
Hillsong UNITED “People”
Skillet “Victorious”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”*

Top Gospel AlbumL
Kirk Franklin “Long Live Love”
Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers “Goshen”
William McDowell “The Cry: A Live Worship Experience”
Sunday Service Choir “Jesus Is Born”
Kanye West “Jesus is King”*

SONG AWARDS

Top Hot 100 Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”

Top Streaming Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”

Top Selling Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Billie Eilish “bad guy”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”

Top Radio Song:
Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved”
Jonas Brothers “Sucker”*
Khalid “Talk”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top Collaboration (Fan Voted):
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”
Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello “Señorita”*
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Ed Sheeran & Justin Bieber “I Don’t Care”

Top R&B Song:
Chris Brown ft. Drake “No Guidance”
Doja Cat & Tyga “Juicy”
Khalid “Talk”*
Lizzo “Good As Hell”
The Weeknd “Heartless”

Top Rap Song:
Lil Nas X ft. Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road”*
Lil Tecca “Ran$om”
Lizzo “Truth Hurts”
Post Malone & Swae Lee “Sunflower (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)”
Post Malone “Wow.”

Top Country Song:
Dan + Shay with Justin Bieber “10,000 Hours”*
Maren Morris “The Bones”
Old Dominion “One Man Band”
Blake Shelton “God’s Country”
Morgan Wallen “Whiskey Glasses”

Top Rock Song:
Imagine Dragons “Bad Liar”
Machine Gun Kelly x YUNGBLUD x Travis Barker “I Think I’m Okay”
Panic! At The Disco “Hey Look Ma, I Made It”*
twenty one pilots “Chlorine”
twenty one pilots “The Hype”

Top Latin Song:
Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Karol G, Ozuna & J Balvin “China”
Bad Bunny & Tainy “Callaita”
Daddy Yankee ft. Snow “Con Calma”*
Jhay Cortez, J Balvin, & Bad Bunny “No Me Conoce”
Sech ft. Darell, Nicky Jam, Ozuna, Anuel AA “Otro Trago”

Top Dance/Electronic Song:
Black Eyed Peas x J Balvin “Ritmo (Bad Boys For Life)”
Ellie Goulding x Diplo ft. Swae Lee “Close To Me”*
Illenium & Jon Bellion “Good Things Fall Apart”
Kygo x Whitney Houston “Higher Love”
Marshmello ft. CHVRCHES “Here With Me”

Top Christian Song:
Bethel Music, Jonathan David Helser & Melissa Helser “Raise A Hallelujah”
Casting Crowns ft. Matthew West “Nobody”
Lauren Daigle “Rescue”
for KING & COUNTRY “God Only Knows”*
Kanye West “Follow God”

Top Gospel Song:
Kirk Franklin “Love Theory”
Kanye West “Closed on Sunday”
Kanye West “Follow God”*
Kanye West “On God”
Kanye West “Selah”

Review: ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga,’ starring Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams

June 26, 2020

by Carla Hay

Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams in “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (Photo by John Wilson/Netflix)

Culture Representation: Taking place in Iceland and Scotland, the musical comedy “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” has a predominantly white cast (with some black people, Asians and Latinos) representing the middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: An Icelandic male/female pop-music duo called Fire Saga aspire to on the annual Eurovision Song Contest, but they come up against naysayers in their home country as well as competitors from other countries.

Culture Audience: “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” will appeal primarily to fans of stars Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams, as well as to people who like good-natured satires of fame seekers and hokey TV talent contests.

Dan Stevens in “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (Photo by John Wilson/Netflix)

“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” is an entertaining parody of the famous annual Eurovision Song Contest that feels retro and contemporary at the same time. The contest, which began in 1956 and is televised in numerous countries, has singers (usually performing pop music) competing from different countries around the world, as a sort of an Olympics for aspiring music stars. Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams portray the earnest but naïve Lars Erickssong and Sigrit Ericksdottir, a musical duo from Iceland who perform under the stage name Fire Saga. Ferrell, who co-wrote the original screenplay with Andrew Steele, is one of the producers of this comedy. And it’s one of Ferrell’s best movies in years.

Although “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” (directed by David Dobkin) takes place in the present day, a lot of the musical sensibilities and costumes seem to be stuck in a previous decade, especially the 1980s or 1990s. The movie’s running joke, although not explicitly stated, is that certain parts of Europe are “behind the times” in pop music, because these countries rarely produce groundbreaking pop superstars on a worldwide level. Therefore, the performers who represent these countries at Eurovision are often ridiculed by Eurovision haters for looking and sounding outdated.

The trailer for “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” already shows that Fire Saga made it to the contest. Therefore, the first third of this 123-minute movie has no suspense, since it’s all about the obstacles that Fire Saga encounters in the quest to make it to Eurovision. Iceland has never had a Eurovision winner, so that immediately makes Fire Saga the ultimate underdog act.

The movie begins in Húsavík, Iceland, on April 6, 1974, when a pre-teen Lars (played by Alfie Melia), his stern widower father Erick (played by Pierce Brosnan) and other members of the family are watching Eurovision in the living room. The Swedish pop group ABBA is performing “Waterloo,” and Lars is transfixed. (ABBA won Eurovision that year and has remained Eurovision’s most famous winning act.)

As Lars dances along to ABBA performing on TV, he announces to his family that someday, he’s going to be a contestant on Eurovision. Several people scoff at the idea, including Erick, who says he’d rather be dead than to have his son sing and dance on Eurovision. Well, you know what that means.

About 45 years later, Lars is still living with his father, who makes a living as a fisherman, while Lars has a job giving parking tickets. Lars and his musical partner Sigrit (who is a music teacher) are longtime friends. They are singers and multi-instrumentalists, but they’ve been floundering in the dead-end local music scene. Fire Saga’s music “career” consists of rehearsing in the basement of Erick’s house and performing at a small local bar.

A running joke in the movie is that the patrons of this bar don’t want to hear any Fire Saga original songs (such as the trash-tastic “Volcano Man”) and would rather hear Fire Saga perform a very childish, nonsensical tune called “Jaja Ding Dong.” The audience is so fanatical about “Jaja Ding Dong” that they will often demand that Fire Saga perform it more than once in a single set. Is it any wonder that Lars and Sigrit think Eurovision will be their ticket out of this backwards town?

Erick isn’t the only one who thinks Lars is a loser and that it’s a delusional lost cause for Fire Saga to be on Eurovision. Sigrit’s single mother Helka (played by Elin Petersdottir) vehemently disapproves of Sigrit chasing this dream and tells Sigrit that she’s wasting her time with Lars. Although it’s not shown in the movie, it’s mentioned that Sigrit used to be mute as a child, until she met Lars and he helped her find her voice through music. And Lars and Sigrit have been friends ever since.

But now that they’re adults, Sigrit wants to be more than friends with Lars, because she’s secretly in love with him. Lars has the maturity level of a teenager (like most characters Farrell tends to play), so Lars is completely oblivious to Sigrit’s true feelings for him. As if to make the point that Lars and Sigrit don’t exude sexual chemistry with each other, throughout the movie, people who meet Lars and Sigrit for the first time mistakenly assume that Lars and Sigrit are brother and sister. Later in the story, when Sigrit and Lars almost kiss romantically, he stops it from happening because he says they can’t ruin their work relationship with a romance, and they have to stay focused on winning Eurovision.

But getting to Eurovision won’t be so easy. First, Fire Saga has to win the Icelandic Song Contest. Neils Brongus (played by Ólafur Darri Ólafsson), the president of Icelandic Public Television, leads a committee in charge of deciding who will be contestants in the Icelandic Song Contest. And he already has a favorite to win: Katiana Lindsdottir (played by Demi Lovato), from Kefalvik, a ready-made pop star with a powerful singing voice.

Neils tells his assembled team after watching Katiana’s audition video: “Without being dramatic, I think it might be the best audition tape we ever had in the history of the Icelandic Song Contest.”  (In the movie, Lovato sings the original song “In the Mirror.”) Compared to Katiana, Fire Saga looks like a bad joke.

Meanwhile, Victor Karlsson (played by Mikael Persbrandt), governor of Central Bank of Iceland, is worried about a contestant from Iceland winning Eurovision, which has a tradition of the winning contestant’s country hosting the contest in the following year. Victor fears that Iceland doesn’t have the infrastructure to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people who would come to Iceland for Eurovision. And  he thinks that all those visitors during a short period of time could bankrupt Iceland.

Therefore, Victor is not enthusiastic about Katiana or anyone from Iceland winning Eurovision. When Victor expresses his concerns to Neils and the team at Icelandic Public Television, the rest of the group immediately shoots down Victor’s pessimistic prediction, because they think Eurovision coming to Iceland would be great for the Icelandic economy.

Lars’ dream of wining Eurovision becomes even more desperate when he finds himself homeless. His father Erick is having serious financial problems and has a choice to sell his house or sell his boat. Since Erick needs his boat for his fisherman income, he decides to sell the house.

Meanwhile, Sigrit has a quirk that Lars finds a little irritating: She believes in elves and thinks that elves can grant wishes. A recurring joke in the movie is that she visits a group of tiny houses built for elves and offers food and other gifts to the unseen creatures, as a way to entice them to grant her wishes. Two of her biggest wishes are to win Eurovision and to get together with Lars and start a family with him.

Through a series of unpredictable events, Fire Saga ends up representing Iceland at Eurovision, which is being held in Edinburgh, Scotland. How the usually hapless Fire Saga got to Eurovision wasn’t necessarily because Fire Saga was voted the best act, so Iceland’s support is lukewarm at best. Still, Iceland has given Fire Saga enough support that the country has hired a creative team to help Fire Saga win with Fire Saga’s chosen song “Double Trouble.”

The artistic director of this creative team is the very fussy and flamboyant Kevin Swain (played by Jamie Demetriou, in a scene-stealing performance), who sometimes clashes with the creative vision that Lars and Sigrit have for Fire Saga. During Eurovision rehearsals, Lars and Sirgit also meet another flamboyant character: Russian contestant Alexander Lemtov (played by Dan Stevens), a singer who flaunts his wealth and gives the impression that he will sleep with anyone to get them to do what he wants. Alexander’s Eurovision song is called “Lion of Love,” and his bombastic performance of the song includes a homoerotic choreography with male backup dancers wearing skintight gold lamé pants.

Alexander (whose frosted 1980s hairdo is reminiscent of George Michael in his Wham! days) immediately sets his sights on Sigrit to target as a sexual conquest. Meanwhile, Lars attracts the amorous attention of Greek contestant Mita Xenakis (played by Melissanthi Mahut), a singer who’s like a cross between Ariana Grande and Cher. Not surprisingly, some jealousy situations ensue.

In between all of the backstage drama and hilariously tacky performances, the movie has a standout musical ensemble number that takes place at a contestant party thrown by Alexander. In this scene, numerous contestants (including Lars, Sigrit, Alexander and Mita) do an extravagant medley of Cher’s “Believe,” Madonna’s “Ray of Light,” ABBA’s “Waterloo” and the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling.”

Savan Kotecha, the musical director for this movie, assembled the team that wrote the film’s original songs that were deliberately kitschy. His background in writing and producing hits for real-life pop stars serves this movie very well. Among the hits that Kotecha co-written and co-produced include The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face,” Grande’s “God Is a Woman,” One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” and Lovato’s “Confident.” The musical score by Atli Örvarsson complements the pop tunes without being overbearing.

The movie’s Eurovision performance scenes, which includes footage from real Eurovision arena shows, are among the comedic highlights of the film. Just when you think an act couldn’t get campier or more pompous, another one comes along to surpass it. Graham Norton (portraying himself) adds an element of satirical realism with his cameo as the sardonic TV commentator for Eurovision.

For “Eurovision Song Contest,” McAdams and Ferrell have reunited with their “Wedding Crashers” director Dobkin, whose previous experience as a music-video director is an asset for this musical movie. As for the singing in the movie, Lovato and Mahut are professional singers in real life, so they did their own vocals. Adams’ vocals were either her own or a combination of McAdams and those of Swedish singer Molly Sandé. Alexander’s operatic singing vocals were provided by Erik Mjönes.

“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” has plenty of lowbrow jokes that are actually laugh-out-loud funny. For example, there are several penis jokes and jokes about naked men in the movie. The jokes are crude but not offensive. In one scene, Lars comments: “I think of my penis like a Volvo—solid, sturdy, dependable, but not going to turn any heads.” Comedy is all about delivery, and Ferrell delivers the line in such a good natured, self-deprecating way, that it will make people laugh.

The movie doesn’t just poke fun at tacky aspiring pop stars from Europe. Americans are also the butt of many jokes in the film. During the course of the movie, Lars and Sigrit keep encountering the same group of college-age American tourists. Lars makes it known that he dislikes Americans, by taunting the tourists with the worst “ugly American” stereotypes. His insults aren’t too far off from how many non-Americans perceive Americans.

Make no mistake: “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” is by no means an Oscar-worthy movie. (Ferrell has never starred in that type of movie anyway.) But it is a cut above some of the stinkers that Ferrell has been headlining in recent years. At its heart, “Eurovision Song Contest” has a sentimentality to it that just might win people over in the way that Fire Saga earnestly tries to charm audiences—not by being the most talented but by being their unapologetically corny selves.

Netflix premiered “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga” on June 26, 2020.

Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert of America: Elton John hosts; performers include Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw

March 25, 2020

Elton John (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

The following is a press release from iHeartMedia and Fox:

iHeartMedia and Fox announced today Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert of America, a music event to provide entertainment relief and support for Americans to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic. Hosted by Elton John, the event will feature performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and more, from their own homes, filmed with their personal cell phones, cameras and audio equipment, to ensure the health and safety of all involved. The concert will air in the iHeartRadio Music Awards’ original broadcast time slot—Sunday, March 29, from 9:00-10:00 PM ET/6:00-7:00 PM PT on Fox—and on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, as well as via the iHeartRadio app. The benefit special will be broadcast commercial-free.

In addition to featuring music, the hour-long concert will pay tribute to the front line health professionals, first responders and local heroes who are putting their lives in harm’s way to help their neighbors and fight the spread of the virus. It also will encourage viewers to support two of the many charitable organizations helping victims and first responders during the pandemic: Feeding America® and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

To extend the reach of the commercial-free special’s charitable component, FOX will offer the event across all of its linear and digital platforms.

Additional details and performers to be announced soon. For more information, visit iHeart.com/LivingRoomConcert.

Executive producers for Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert of America are John Sykes and Tom Poleman, for iHeartMedia; and Joel Gallen, for Tenth Planet Productions, who produced the multi-network telethons immediately following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti Earthquake.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia (NASDAQ: IHRT) is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms, including more than 850 live broadcast stations in over 150 markets; digital radio via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices; through its on-air influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics, targeting and attribution for its marketing partners with its SmartAudio product, using data from its massive consumer base. Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About FOX Entertainment

A division of Fox Corporation, FOX Entertainment’s 30-year legacy of innovative, hit programming includes “9-1-1,” “9-1-1: Lone Star,” “The AMsked Singer,” “Lego Masters,” “Prodigal Son,” “Empire,” “Last Man Standing,”  “24,” “The X-Files” and “American Idol.” Delivering high-quality scripted, non-scripted and live content, Fox Entertainment’s broadcast network airs 15 hours of primetime programming a week, as well as major sports; and is the only major network to post year-over-year growth among viewers during the 2018-2019 broadcast season.

March 27, 2020 UPDATE:  iHeartMedia and Fox announced that Camila Cabello, Dave Grohl, H.E.R. and Sam Smith have been added to the lineup. The concert will also feature inspirational messages from guests as well as special appearances from Ciara, Demi Lovato, Lizzo, Russell Wilson and more.

March 29, 2020 UPDATE: Ellen DeGeneres, Lady Gaga, Ken Jeong, Ryan Seacrest, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone have been added to the lineup.

March 30, 2020 UPDATE:  Last night’s broadcast of the benefit special Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert of America brought viewers together to thank our first responders and medical workers on the front lines and to celebrate America’s everyday heroes. The event raised money to support two charities that are doing critical work during these challenging times – Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation. The one-hour special was created to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to celebrate the resilience and strength of the nation during this pandemic.

The benefit special raised nearly $8 million (and counting) for Feeding America® and First Responders Children’s Foundation. This is thanks to the generosity of fans, as well as corporate partner Procter & Gamble, which donated $500,000, and which Fox Corporation matched. Additionally, FOX employees raised funds in support of the cause, as did corporate partner PwC.

YouTube, which also made a donation in support of the cause, is now streaming FOX PRESENTS THE IHEART LIVING ROOM CONCERT FOR AMERICA, through Wednesday (April 1, 2020) at 10:00 PM ET on iHeartRadio’s YouTube Channel.

“Our goal from the start was to ‘do good’ at a tough time in the world. And that we were able to accomplish anything of that sort is because of the amazing artists who participated in this event, our producing partners, iHeart Media, and the outpouring of support from our employees, viewers and corporate partners,” said Charlie Collier, CEO, FOX Entertainment. “Many thanks to everyone involved with the production of this special and everyone who gave generously to the wonderful charities. It is they who support the really important work happening across our communities.”

In addition to airing on FOX, the special ran on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide, via the iHeartRadio app; and is streaming on YouTube both domestically and globally until Wednesday, April 1, 2020. To extend the reach of the commercial-free special’s charitable component, FOX also offered the event across all of its linear and digital platforms, including FOX.com and the FOX NOW app. FOX will air an encore of the special Monday, April 6 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT).

The Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert of America delivered 8.7 million viewers and a 2.0 Live + Same Day aggregate rating among Adults 18-49 across all of FOX’s linear properties, including Fox Network, Fox News, Fox Business, FS1, FS2 and FOX Deportes. It added more than 700,000 starts and eight million minutes viewed across FOX’s digital properties.  On Fox, it delivered a 1.5 Live + Same Day rating and 5.5 million viewers, making it the #1 and most-watched iHeart Radio special ever (excluding awards shows) and this year’s #1 Sunday entertainment telecast (excluding post-NFL and award shows) among Adults 18-49 (#1T) and Adults 18-34.

Donations will continue to be accepted via the Internet at Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation.

Hosted by Elton John, the event featured performances by Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Dave Grohl, Billie Eilish and Finneas, Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Tim McGraw, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, H.E.R., and Mariah Carey, from their own homes, filmed with their personal cell phones, cameras and audio equipment, to ensure the health and safety of all involved.

The hour-long concert also featured inspirational messages from guests, as well as special appearances from Ken Jeong, Ciara and Russell Wilson, Ryan Seacrest, Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, and Ellen DeGeneres, as the benefit special paid tribute to the front line health professionals, first responders and local heroes who are putting their lives in harm’s way to help their neighbors and fight the spread of the virus.

For more information, visit iHeart.com/LivingRoomConcert.

Executive producers for Fox Presents iHeart Living Room Concert of America are John Sykes and Tom Poleman for iHeartMedia and Joel Gallen for Tenth Planet Productions, who produced the multi-network telethons immediately following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake.

2018 Billboard Music Awards: Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato added to performer lineup

May 9, 2018

The following is a press release from Dick Clark Productions and NBC:

Dick Clark Productions and NBC announced today that singer, songwriter, actress and producer Jennifer Lopez will hit the stage the only way she knows how—with a performance at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards.

Lopez first revealed the news during her appearance this morning on NBC’s “Today.”

Lopez, the 2014 Billboard Music Awards ICON Award recipient, judge and executive producer on NBC’s hit summer series “World of Dance,” as well as executive producer and star of the hit drama “Shades of Blue,” will take a break from her current Las Vegas residency show “All I Have,” on a night filled with music’s biggest names.

And the rumors are true – Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato have teamed up for the first time and will perform the world television debut of Aguilera’s new single, “Fall In Line,” featuring Lovato, at the “2018 Billboard Music Awards.” Rumors have been swirling that the pop chanteuses have been collaborating together on a track since early this year, and fans have been eagerly awaiting confirmation of the news.

Aguilera and Lovato will join previously announced performers BTS, Camila Cabello, Kelly Clarkson, Ariana Grande, John Legend, Dua Lipa and Shawn Mendes, on a night filled with music’s biggest names. It was also announced that global superstar, Janet Jackson, will receive this year’s ICON Award, given to artists who have led industry-defining careers and shaped the music landscape. Jackson will also take the stage for a highly anticipated performance of her greatest hits, marking her first performance on television in nine years.

Hosted by “The Voice” coach Kelly Clarkson, the “2018 Billboard Music Awards” will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday, May 20 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on NBC. The three-hour telecast will feature performances from this year’s hottest musical acts, unexpected collaborations and buzzworthy moments that celebrate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100.

Nominations for the “2018 Billboard Music Awards” were announced last month on NBC’s “Today” and on a livestream from Billboard’s New York office. Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran tie for the most nominations this year with 15 each.

Voting for the two fan voted categories – Billboard Chart Achievement Award and Top Social Artist – will open on Monday, May 14 and additional details will be available soon.
Billboard Chart Facts:

    Jennifer Lopez debuted on Billboard’s charts in 1999 with the smash single “If You Had My Love,” which spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and paved the way for 10 total Top 10s and 17 Top 40 hits. Since “Love,” Lopez has made three more visits to No. 1 on the Hot 100. In addition, the 2014 Billboard ICON Award honoree has earned two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200, 16 No. 1s on the Dance Club Songs chart and a trio of No. 1s on the Hot Latin Songs chart. Lopez has earned over 1.2 billion on-demand streams in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music.

Jennifer Lopez is an award-winning singer, actress, producer and entertainer who has established herself in both music and film. She is a successful recording and touring artist who has sold over 75 million records and has a cumulative box-office gross of over $2 billion. Lopez is one of the most influential female artists in history. As an artist, fashion icon, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Lopez has been named Forbes magazine’s most powerful celebrity and People magazine’s first “Most Beautiful Woman in the World.” Without a doubt, Lopez is a global icon and the ultimate multihyphenate.Jennifer Lopez’s BBMA Giphy stickers are now available! These stickers can be found within Instagram Stories by clicking the GIF button and searching for “BBMAs.”

  • Christina Aguilera made a huge entrance with her debut self-titled album. The set debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 on its way to 8.3 million copies sold in the U.S., according to Nielsen Music. The album also spun off three No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 – “Genie in a Bottle,” “What a Girl Wants” and “Come On Over (All I Want Is You)” – making the diva still the most recent female artist to launch three Hot 100 No. 1s from a debut album. Aguilera has since added two more Hot 100 leaders to her resume – the all-star remake of “Lady Marmalade,” with Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink, in 2001, and, “Moves Like Jagger,” a collaboration with Maroon 5, in 2011. In total, Aguilera has charted 12 Top 10 singles on the Hot 100 and eight Top 10 albums on the Billboard 200. She has also remained a constant force on pop radio, charting 14 Top 10 hits on the Pop Songs airplay chart. On May 3, the recent Billboard cover star dropped her latest release, the Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz-assisted “Accelerate,” which counts Kanye West among its co-producers. Her next studio album, “Liberation,” will be released on June 15.
  • Actress and singer, Demi Lovato, has made a huge splash since she arrived on the Billboard charts in 2008 with her hit duet with Joe Jonas, “This Is Me.” The “Camp Rock” single became her first of four career Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including her highest-peaking single yet, “Sorry Not Sorry,” which climbed to No. 6 in November 2017. She has also powered her way to six consecutive Top Five albums on the Billboard 200, including one No. 1, 2009’s “Here We Go Again.” Lovato has also proven to be a mighty contender on pop radio, with eight Top 10 hits on the Pop Songs airplay chart. In November 2017, she earned her first No. 1 on the chart in more than five years – “Sorry Not Sorry” completed her first trip to the top since “Give Your Heart a Break” in 2012.

Christina Aguilera is a Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter renowned for her powerful voice and hit songs. She just announced her highly anticipated 6th studio album, Liberation, would be released on June 15. Throughout her career, she has sold more than 43 million records worldwide. Aguilera has achieved five No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and, with No. 1s in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, she is just the fourth female artist to top the chart in three consecutive decades. She has won six Grammys including one Latin Grammy Award. She has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and holds the prestigious honor of being the only artist under the age of 30 included in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 greatest singers of all time. In 2011 she entered the world of television as a coach on NBC’s four-time Emmy Award-winning show “The Voice.” Aguilera continues to use her voice for good. She has served as global spokesperson for Yum! Brands’ World Hunger Relief effort since 2009 and has helped raise over $150 million for the World Food Program and other hunger relief agencies.

Demi Lovato is a Grammy-nominated and multi-platinum singer, songwriter, actress, advocate, philanthropist and business women. In addition, she’s one of the biggest names on social media, with an engaged combined following of over 200 million. Lovato’s highly anticipated fifth studio album, “Confident,” was released in 2015. Within hours of the release of the first single, “Cool for the Summer,” the anthem trended worldwide and hit No. 1 on iTunes in 37 countries. Her previous album, 2013’s “Demi,” hit No. 1 on iTunes in over 50 countries around the world, with the lead single “Heart Attack” earning Platinum status just 10 weeks after its release. “Heart Attack” was followed by the Top 5 radio smash and platinum single “Neon Lights,” and her Top 10 single “Really Don’t Care.” The album supported two headlining tours (“Neon Lights” and “Demi World Tour”), which made stops throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

In April 2017, Lovato played the voice of Smurfette in the Sony animated film “Smurfs: The Lost Village.” Additionally, beyond the stage and the screen, in 2013 her book “Staying Strong: 365 Days a Year,” became a New York Times best-seller, and in 2014 she became a global ambassador for Sketchers. In 2015, Lovato partnered with Episode, a leading mobile storytelling network, to make “Demi Lovato: Path to Fame.” Since launching, her story has been read over 225 million times. In 2017, Lovato took on a new venture and was announced as the first-ever collaboration with Fabletics, the innovative active wear brand co-founded by Kate Hudson.

As a result of her long-time commitment to raising awareness around LGBT issues and causes, in 2016 Lovato became the recipient of GLAAD’s Vanguard Award. She continues to be a global advocate for mental health, and in 2017 was honored by Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA with the Artistic Award for Courage for her work in mental health. In addition, also in 2017, she was named by Global Citizen as the organization’s official ambassador for mental health, with a special focus on vulnerable communities around the world.

In July 2017, she released the first single “Sorry Not Sorry” off her album, which instantly flew into the Top 5 on the iTunes Charts and is now certified triple-platinum. The hit has garnered over 500 million streams, climbed to No.1 on the viral charts, and has over 310 million views for its house party video. Lovato’s sixth studio album, “Tell Me You Love Me,” is now certified platinum after debuting at No. 1 on iTunes in 37 countries on September 29. In addition to her critically hailed album release, Lovato released a 78-minute documentary film, “Simply Complicated,” which has amassed over 15 million views to date.  Lovato just wrapped her 20-city tour across the U.S. and Canada with DJ Khaled and Kehlani, and is set to tour South America and Europe later this year.

“Billboard Music Awards” nominees and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, touring and social engagement, tracked by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen Music and Next Big Sound. The awards are based on the reporting period of April 8, 2017 through March 31, 2018. Since 1940, the Billboard charts have been the go-to guide for ranking the popularity of artists, songs and albums, and are the ultimate measure of success in music.

Tickets for the “2018 Billboard Music Awards” are on-sale now. To purchase tickets online, fans should go to www.axs.com.

For additional information on the “2018 Billboard Music Awards,” visit us at www.billboardmusicawards.com or check out the Billboard hub at www.billboard.com/bbma.

For the latest Billboard Music Awards (BBMAs) news, exclusive content and more, be sure to follow the BBMAs on social media and join the conversation by using the official hashtag for the show, #BBMAs.
Facebook: FB.com/TheBBMAs
Twitter: @BBMAs
Instagram: bbmas
Snapchat: thebbmas

Cheat Tweet: Global icon @JLo is the latest performer confirmed for the #BBMAs LIVE May 20 on NBC. bbmas.news/JLo #BBMAs
The “2018 Billboard Music Awards” is produced by dick clark productions. Mark Bracco, Barry Adelman, Kelly Clarkson and Robert Deaton are executive producers.

The “2018 Billboard Music Awards” are sponsored by T-Mobile.

About Billboard
Billboard is the world’s largest voice in music, built on the most complete and well-respected database of charts across all music genres. The Billboard charts define success in music. From the iconic Billboard magazine to Billboard.com, the ultimate consumer-facing destination for millions of passionate music fans, to the industry’s most elite conference series and influencer events including the Power 100 and Women in Music – the Billboard brand has unmatched authority among fans, artists and the industry alike. Billboard has a social media footprint of 16.4 million social followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and creates more than 200M cross-platform video views per month. Billboard magazine has published major news-generating covers recently including Travis Scott, Zayn, Lorde, Marshmello, Demi Lovato, Cardi B, Selena Gomez, Eminem, DJ Khaled, Charlie Puth, and an open letter to Congress signed by 180+ of the music industry’s biggest stars and executives. In December 2017, the Billboard Women in Music ceremony, which honored Selena Gomez as Woman of the Year, was live-streamed globally on Twitter. In 2016, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group acquired SpinMedia’s storied music assets Spin, Vibe, and Stereogum, establishing the world’s largest music brand by digital traffic, social reach, and audience share. The combined entity of music and entertainment properties now reaches 47 million unique visitors and one in every three U.S. millennials.

About dick clark productions
dick clark productions (dcp) is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming with the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest” and the “Streamy Awards.” Weekly television programming includes “So You Think You Can Dance” from 19 Entertainment and dcp. dcp also owns one of the world’s most unique and extensive entertainment archive libraries with over 60 years of award-winning shows, historic programs, specials, performances and legendary programming. dcp is a division of Valence Media, a diversified media company with divisions and strategic investments in premium television, wide release film, specialty film, live events and digital media. For additional information, visit www.dickclark.com.

Fabletics partners with Demi Lovato for limited-edition capsule collection

May 8, 2017

Demi Lovato for Fabletics
Demi Lovato for Fabletics (Photo courtesy of Fabletics)

The following is a press release from Fabletics:

Fabletics, the innovative activewear brand co-founded by Kate Hudson in 2013, is excited to announce its first-ever collaboration. With the Fabletics mission to empower women by making a healthy, active lifestyle accessible to everyone— regardless of size, shape, age or ability—the new Demi Lovato for Fabletics limited-edition capsule collection reinforces their shared commitment to inclusion, female empowerment and body positivity.

Featuring standout pieces inspired by her mission and her music, the first Demi Lovato for Fabletics collection reflects Demi’s authentic voice of female empowerment and unique style. The collection will support the brand’s ongoing partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up campaign—a “by girls, for girls” movement that empowers girls to become a force for change for girls everywhere.

“When we first met, I remember being so impressed by how intelligent, accomplished and confident Demi was, even at such a young age. I loved her spirit, her honesty and how she was open to showing vulnerability, because that shows so much strength. She naturally came to mind as I was thinking about creating our first collaboration for Fabletics. Demi embodies so many elements of the Fabletics brand in such a unique way; she’s a definitive voice for female empowerment and body positivity – especially for the younger generation – which is something we believe in very strongly at Fabletics,” said Kate Hudson.

The Demi Lovato for Fabletics collection will launch with an initial limited edition capsule collection in mid-May 2017, which will include an assortment of tops and leggings, followed by a full performance collection in August 2017 ranging from bras and leggings to layering pieces including tops, jackets and much more.  The collection reflects the fashion meets performance DNA of Fabletics, blended with styles inspired by Demi’s mission, music, and voice of female empowerment.   Of the collaboration, Demi Lovato said: “When I was approached by Kate to do a collaboration for Fabletics, I couldn’t have been more excited.  I am thrilled to lend my voice to such a powerful brand and organization, both of which represent many of the values I stand for—particularly the importance of empowering girls.  Being involved in the creative design process while being able to have a daily impact on young girls’ lives around the world is so rewarding to me, making this initiative very dear to my heart.”

As part of the Fabletics partnership with Girl Up, the brand is dedicated to creating a community that nurtures inspiring, confident, and spirited girls who are able to realize their best selves. By integrating Demi’s authentic voice and passionate influence, Fabletics will further strengthen its efforts to raise funds and awareness for some of the world’s most marginalized adolescent girls, ensuring that they are educated, happy, healthy, safe, and positioned to be leaders in their communities, specifically, with the aim to support one of Girl Up’s priority initiatives, SchoolCycle.

With approximately 130 million girls out of school globally, getting girls to school and keeping them there is of utmost importance. Girl Up’s SchoolCycle initiative works with UNFPA to give girls bikes—along with spare parts and maintenance training—so they can continue their education and travel quickly and safely to and from school. The bikes also give girls independence and mobility to create a better future for themselves, their families, and communities.

The Demi Lovato for Fabletics capsule collection will be sold across 8 countries and will be available on the official website as well as in the 21 Fabletics stores nationwide.