Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s ‘Rain on Me’ Leads U.K. Chart Race

Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s pop mega-collaboration “Rain on Me” is reigning over the U.K. singles chart.

The new single, which dropped last Friday with an accompanying music video, rules the Official Chart First Look Top 20 with a lead of 7,000 chart sales over its nearest rival, DaBaby’s “Rockstar” featuring Roddy Ricch.

“Rain on Me,” lifted from Gaga’s delayed sixth studio album Chromatica, due out this Friday May 29, holds the advantage on downloads and streams after the weekend’s activity.

If it holds its position when the Official U.K. Singles Chart is published this Friday, “Rain on Me” will mark the sixth No. 1 for Gaga and Grande.

Also making a big splash on the sales blast is British rapper KSI, who places three songs in the top 20, led by “Cap” featuring MigosOffset at No. 3.

The trio of tracks are lifted from KSI’s debut studio album Dissimulation, which arrived last Friday.

Mory Kante, African Music Star and ‘Yeke Yeke’ Singer, Dies at 70

Guinean singer Mory Kante, an influential figure in African and world music, has died, his family said Friday. He was 70.

Kante brought Guinean, and Mandingo, culture to the world. He was called an ambassador of Afro-Pop music. His song “Yeke Yeke,” released in the late ’80s, has been remixed and covered extensively.

“Guinea and the whole world have lost a great personality,” Kante’s son, Balla Kante, told The Associated Press. “My father was a great personality. We lost a large library today.”

Balla said his father had not been feeling well for quite some time and died in a hospital in the capital, Conakry. He will be tested for COVID-19, his son confirmed.
“He was an elderly man who did a lot and exerted a lot of physical energy,” Balla said.

Born on March 29, 1950 in Albadarya, a small town near Kissidougou in Guinea’s southeast, Kante became known as a distinguished kora player.

He was a member of the Rail Band, formed out of Bamako, Mali, which launched the solo careers of many other musicians including Salif Keita.

Kante’s first international album, Kourougnègnè, was released in 1981 and the last one, La Guinéenne, in 2012.

Guinea’s President Alpha Conde said the nation was in mourning.

“Thank you, artist,” he wrote on Twitter, calling Kante’s career “exceptional.”

Senegalese musician Youssou N’Dour said he was dismayed by such a great loss.

“I feel a huge void today with the departure of this baobab of African Culture. Rest in peace,” he wrote on his Twitter account.

The 7 Best Moments From ‘A Tribute to Andre Harrell: Mr. Champagne & Bubbles’

Legendary entertainment executive Andre Harrell passed away on May 7 due to heart failure at just 59 years old. To celebrate the fulfilled life of Mr. Champagne & Bubbles, the music world came together with a virtual broadcast paying tribute to Harrell on Sunday evening (May 24).

Whether it was his signature infectious smile, eye for talent or sheer wisdom, a plethora of artists’ careers have been positively impacted by Harrell during his near four decades in the music business. The Uptown Records founder is lauded for helping launch the careers of music luminaries Mary J. Blige and P. Diddy.

The BET-REVOLT TV program saw moving tributes from some of Harrell’s closest entertainment industry friends, like Mariah Carey, Babyface, Pharrell Williams, Russell Simmons, Jamie Foxx, Kimora Lee Simmons, Robin Thicke, Naomi Campbell and more.

Here are seven favorite moments from the broadcast honoring the former Motown Records president. Join the conversation on Twitter using #CelebratingAndreHarrell.

7. He accepted a job at Def Jam Records in 1983 for $200

In an interview recorded prior to his death, Harrell reflected on joining Russell Simmons in 1983 after the two spent a night partying at Stony Brook University. He joked about how Russell could barely afford to pay himself, but Simmons willingly split up his salary so Andre could come on board for $200 a week. “Andre was so generous to so many people. I’ve never met a man who didn’t have a mean bone in his body,” Russell says. “The world will never see a person like him. In my darkest times, he stood right by me.”

6. Pharrell Williams says he wouldn’t be here without Harrell’s discoveries

“I would not be here, as a musician, if it weren’t for him recognizing what was in Teddy Riley,” Pharrell proclaimed. “If it wasn’t for him recognizing what was in Puff. [Andre] did that for scores of people, and those people went on to change the course of history through sound.” Skateboard P then echoed a sentiment shared by most in the tribute, which is how “incredibly generous” Andre was with his wisdom, as many ran to him as a shoulder to lean on seeking his advice.

5. Mariah Carey says there will never be another Andre Harrell

“He was fun personified,” the “Touch My Body” singer recalls. After reminiscing while looking at some older photos, Carey deemed there will never be anyone like Andre Harrell and his radiant glow. “Anytime I was with Andre, I had fun. There will never be anyone else like him,” she continued. “He certainly had an impact on my life and so many people’s lives. I used to call him Guru and he called me Pop Diva Super Starlet.”

4. Robin Thicke debuts “Forever Mine”

Robin Thicke’s relationship with Andre Harrell began as his mentee, but quickly developed into something greater, as Thicke considered Harrell his “closest friend.” Their friendship got to the point that Thicke named Harrell the godfather to his son in 2010. Just a week before his passing, Harrell gave his stamp of approval to one of the “Blurred Lines” singer’s unreleased tracks. Thicke then debuted the soft and aptly-titled “Forever Mine” on the special.

3. Babyface dedicates heartfelt song to Andre Harrell

While mourning the loss of his dear friend, Babyface penned a touching tribute track dedicated to Harrell just two days following his death. “I remember how you smell. I remember how you laugh — how you always told your truth,” he heavenly sang. “Andre, you knew who you were, and I swear if nothing else, you taught me how to be me.”

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My Tribute to a dear friends @andreharrell

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2. Andre Harrell defines “Uptown Records weather” via Charlamagne Tha God

Radio personality Charlamagne Tha God shared a personal text exchange nearly a year to the day from 2019, which found Harrell descriptively giving his definition of Uptown Records weather in NYC. “Harlem! Pro-Rucker tournaments. Light-skin girls wearing shorts. Hoop earrings, K-Swiss and Air Force 1’s. Convertible Saabs blasting Mary J. Blige ‘Love Without a Limit’ weather.”

1. Jamie Foxx’s first call after winning an Oscar was to Andre Harrell

There aren’t many storytellers like Jamie Foxx out there. After detailing how Harrell would call him “Country,” Foxx explained that the cultural architect epitomized what he thought a city renaissance man should be. “He was a record company executive, but he was different, he was actually nice. Most record company execs are a——-,” he quipped.

Harrell introduced Foxx to the term “black excellence” and Andre’s inspirational words kept him persevering throughout his career. The multi-hyphenate shared a story about a time Harrell jokingly stopped him from talking to actress Charlize Theron at a party. Years later, when Jamie Foxx won an Oscar for his role depicting Ray Charles in Ray, it was actually Theron who presented him with the award, so it was only right for him to call Harrell with Theron for the full-circle moment.

Kim Kardashian Celebrates Anniversary With Kanye West: ‘Forever to Go’

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West celebrated six years of marriage on Sunday (May 24).

Kardashian marked the occasion on social media by posting a set of pictures with her arms around her husband. In one, she’s seen kissing him on the cheek, and in the other, they’re both smiling at the camera.

“6 years down; forever to go,” she captioned the sweet snapshots. “Until the end.”

They were married in 2014 at Fort di Belvedere, a 16th century fortress in Florence, Italy, and have four children, North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm.

See their anniversary photos below.

Hayley Williams Shares Stirring Cover of SZA’s ‘Drew Barrymore’: Watch

Hayley Williams filmed a stripped-down take of SZA’s “Drew Barrymore” at home and shared it with fans this weekend.

“self-serenades / amateur hour,” she captioned the Instagram video she posted on Sunday (May 24) of herself sitting on a couch with a guitar.

“this was weeks ago… April 11th, to be exact,” Williams said, offering some context. “have a few saved up. guess i’ve been holding out on yall. the only constant for me (besides limp ass, unwashed, unfixed hair) in the age of covid, is a guitar and free reign to mess up all my favorite songs. here’s ‘Drew Barrymore’ by queen @sza. please ignore my face.”

Check out her beautiful “Drew Barrymore” cover below.

Selena Gomez Sends Thoughtful Message to Graduating Students From Immigrant Families: Watch

Selena Gomez is honoring this year’s graduates who are part of immigrant families with a special video message.

The singer took the time to film a short speech from home to mark the accomplishments of high school and college students as part of the Immigrad 2020 Virtual Commencement on Saturday (May 23).

“I know that this is a virtual ceremony, but it is very real, and it’s very real to all the families and all of you and your communities,” Gomez said. “I want you guys to know that you matter and that your experiences are a huge part of the American story.”

Gomez then shared a bit of her own family’s story, saying, “When my family came here from Mexico they set into motion my American story, as well as theirs. I’m a proud third-generation American-Mexican, and my family’s journey and their sacrifices helped me get me to where I am today.”

“Mine is not a unique story,” she continued. “Each and every one of you have a similar tale of becoming an American. Regardless of where your family is from, regardless of your immigration status, you have taken action to earn an education, to make your families proud and to open up your worlds. So I’m sending all of my love to you guys today and congratulations, and I hope that you guys are set off to be everything that you want to be.”

The virtual commencement ceremony was hosted this weekend by Define American, FWD.us, United We Dream, I Am An Immigrant and Golden Door Scholars for graduating students across the country.

Watch Gomez’s clip below.

Cody Simpson Drops Miley Cyrus-Directed ‘Captain’s Dance With the Devil’ Video While in Quarantine: Watch

Cody Simpson appears in drag in his new “Captain’s Dance With the Devil” music video, directed by Miley Cyrus.

The singer-songwriter tells the story of a sailor “yearning for freedom” on his latest track, and the new clip, filmed in quarantine during the coronavirus pandemic and released on Thursday (May 21), offers an intimate, moody portrait of the song’s character.

“The song can be interpreted in myriad ways and this was my primary idea. Miley interpreted the song, which is reflected in the newly released visual, as the Captain’s struggle with societal norms regarding masculinity, and his secret affinity for dressing as a woman at a time when this was not as widely accepted as it now has become,” Simpson explained (quote via Rolling Stone). “Being able to tell that story throughout this music visual was ideal, and I hope it inspires encouragement toward creative freedom in people in the realms of art, music, wardrobe and life.”

Simpson provided further commentary about the project in reply to a comment on Sunday on Instagram, where he wrote: “The captain/sailor’s struggle with personal freedom at a time long ago in which this wasn’t accepted, and you would in turn be vilified or condemned (often killed) for breaking apart from societal convention and proposed expectations or standards of ‘masculinity’. In this case the Captain’s (and my own personal) affinity for drag.”

“This message is intended to inspire others to be, act and dress however they please,” he added.

“Captain’s Dance With the Devil” follows the recent release of Simpson’s debut book of poetry, Prince Neptune.

Watch the new music video below.