Kanye West wasn’t laughing after he watched Issa Rae poke fun at him in a Saturday Night Live sketch during the Oct. 17 episode that the actress hosted.
In a skit titled “Your Voice Chicago,” Rae played a political commentator named Jamele Demmings appearing on a talk show, with the host played by Kenan Thompson. Talking about the local election, Rae’s Jamele said she’d vote for every Black candidate on the ballot. As Thompson’s J. Louis Tibbs asked her about each increasingly inexperienced Black candidate, Jamele found ways to twist and to turn their negatives into positives that made them worthy for a political office.
As Tibbs kicked to a commercial break, he teased, “When we come back, we’ll talk about the presidential race between Donald Trump, Joe Biden, and Kanye West.” But the last was one candidate that even Rae’s Jamele couldn’t get behind. “Kanye?! Eff him!” she declared as the sketch ended.
West shared his disappointment over the dig in a tweet Sunday morning. “Ive always said SNL uses black people to hold other black people back,” he tweeted. “My heart goes out to Issa Rae I’m praying for her and her family I know that the twenty years of service that I’ve paid in the entertainment field has furthered our ability to be more successful.”
Billboard has reached out to Saturday Night Live and Rae for comment.
West, who won four trophies in the Gospel and Christian categories at the Billboard Music Awards Oct. 14, has appeared on several ballots despite jumping into the presidential race very late in the game, including as a vice presidential candidate in California. He announced his intent to run on July 4, and launched his first campaign video on Oct. 12.
Watch the “Your Voice Chicago” sketch below.
Miley Cyrus unleashed her inner rock star during the virtual Save Our Stages Fest in Los Angeles on Saturday (Oct. 17).
Flanked by a six-piece band, the 27-year-old singer took the stage at the historic West Hollywood rock club Whisky a Go Go to help raise money and awareness for the plight of independent music venues forced to indefinitely close because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite playing to an empty room, Cyrus and her band rocked out to covers of The Cure’s “Boys Don’t Cry” and The Cranberries’ “Zombie” during their 13-minute performance, which was streamed live on YouTube. Cyrus closed out her set with a passionate delivery of her latest single “Midnight Sky.” Watch below.
Before stepping off stage, Cyrus offered some encouraging words for struggling music venues around the country and paid tribute to the Whisky’s historic roots.
“We’re here at the Whisky a Go Go, where so many of our favorite artists have begun their journey to be icons,” she began. “And without venues like the Whisky, we might have never heard of artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Guns N’ Roses and thousands of other bands. So let’s do whatever we can to keep this historic landmark alive.”
The Save Our Stages Fest, which launched Friday and concludes Sunday, featured additional performances around the U.S. by Reba McEntire (Ryman Auditorium in Nashville), Dave Matthews (Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville), G-Eazy (Independent in San Francisco) and The Roots (Apollo Theater in New York), among others.
No time like the present! Billie Eilish decided to answer some fan questions on Instagram Stories Saturday (Oct. 17), and had some exciting news to reveal.
When one person asked, “NEW SONG??????” Eilish responded in tiny type, “november,” followed by the shush emoji. Another fan then asked for more information: “give us a color that matches the song coming in november.”
The 18-year-old’s response? A background color of burnt sienna. No other information about the new song came after that.
It’s not too surprising that Eilish has a tune ready to roll soon. The singer, who nabbed three Billboard Music Awards on Oct. 14, told Jimmy Fallon during her Oct. 5 appearance on The Tonight Show that she and her brother/collaborator Finneas have been busy working on new music during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t think we would have made it otherwise, if we hadn’t got this time,” explained the “Bad Guy” singer. “So as much as it’s been terrible to have this going on in the world, I think it has birthed some things. We have been really lucky with it.”
So just how many new songs have they worked on? Finneas told Fallon: “We’re writing a lot.”
Besides writing music and preparing to launch a new song, Eilish has been busy. As she shared on her Instagram Stories Saturday, she cast her first ballot that day — by mail — after launching a voting initiative Oct. 1 aimed at first-time voters. She also has a global livestream concert coming up on Oct. 24. Like other artists, Eilish had to cancel her tour when the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdowns around the world.
Justin Bieber gave viewers two emotional performances of his songs “Holy” and “Lonely” during his Saturday Night Live appearance on Saturday (Oct. 17). It was his second turn this year as a musical guest on NBC’s long-running sketch comedy show, following an appearance in February.
The 26-year-old kicked off his first song, “Holy,” on the Issa Rae-hosted episode alone on a stage decorated to look like an abandoned, overgrown church, with only a blue neon cross lighting up the set. Bieber kept his appearance simple as well, dressed in a white long-sleeved T-shirt, light gray beanie, dark pants and sneakers as he delivered the touching lyrics about his religion and wife Hailey Baldwin.
Halfway through the song, which debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the chart dated Oct. 3, collaborator Chance the Rapper took the stage to deliver his part of the song. At the end of the performance, an apparently emotional Bieber remained bent over, his arms on his knees.
For his second song and latest single, “Lonely,” Bieber began by sitting alone in his green room, hunched over in front of the makeup station as a piano played in the background. As the song continued, he got up and walked through the empty halls of NBC’s Studio 8H, belting out the aching lyrics about the pain a child star faces.
The singer eventually made his way onto the darkened stage, which now featured only the empty shell of the church from his first performance, and Benny Blanco on piano. At the end of the song, he kept his head down for a bit, then walked over to hug Blanco.
Watch his performances below:
The 2020 Billboard Latin Music Week is officially three days away, and to kick-off the star-studded three-day event, we’ve curated the ultimate playlist.
Latin Music Week, taking place virtually from Oct. 20-23, is celebrating its 30th anniversary as the longest-running and biggest Latin music industry event with intimate artist conversations, industry panels, workshops, and performances.
Confirmed talent for the immersive experience dedicated to Latin Music, culture, and entertainment includes Jennifer Lopez, Maluma, Rosalia, Pharrel Williams, Anuel AA, Ozuna, J Balvin, Carlos Vives, Becky G and Los Tigres del Norte. Artists such as Camilo, Natalia Jimenez, and Guaynaa, to name a few, are confirmed to pump up the viewers at home with live showcases.
To RSVP and for the complete schedule, click here.
The 2020 Latin Music Week coincides with this year’s Billboard Latin Music Awards broadcasting live on Oct. 21 via Telemundo, with awards to be given out in 59 categories honoring the top artists, songs, albums, labels, publishers, songwriters, and producers of the year.
Below, enjoy more than 40 songs by this year’s Latin Music Week speakers.