Jordan McGraw & Morgan Stewart Welcome Baby Girl

On Tuesday, Jordan McGraw and Morgan Stewart welcomed their first baby.

The singer announced the news Wednesday (Feb. 17) on Instagram with this simple caption: “Row Renggli McGraw 2/16/21.” McGraw and the E! host were married on Dec. 9 after starting to date in February 2020 (though Stewart said they actually briefly dated 10 years ago as well). They announced in August that they were pregnant with their baby girl.

Among the well-wishers congratulating the new parents in the IG comments were all three Jonas Brothers. Joe shared three heart-eyes smiley faces, Kevin shared two flame emojis and a heart-eyes smiley, and Nick simply wrote “Congrats!” McGraw — son of Dr. Phil McGraw — is a friend of the brother band and was also a warm-up act for their Happiness Begins Tour.

See the photo of the proud new dad here.

Selena Gomez Shares the Makeup-Free ‘Real Life’ Behind Her Smoldering Photo Shoot

Stars… they’re just like us.

Selena Gomez took to her Instagram Stories on Wednesday (Feb. 17) to share some stunning Polaroids from her 2020 Interview Magazine cover shoot. The sultry snaps find the singer in a variety of red and black outfits, posing against a red car.

But the “Baila Conmigo” superstar is always down to share the raw and the real, so she followed up her glitz and glamour with a bit of reality. In a photo showing her current “real life” in quarantine, a bare-faced Gomez is seen rocking her glasses, wrapped up in a comfy blanket with her hair tied up. Her knitting project sits in her lap and she holds a cup of tea.

See the all-too-relatable “Instagram vs. Reality” moment below.

 

Paris Hilton Engaged to Carter Reum

Paris Hilton received a special gift for her 40th birthday: an engagement.

Hilton announced her engagement to entrepreneur Carter Reum in a social media post on Wednesday (Feb. 17) — the same day as her birthday. She said on her website that the proposal was everything she had “dreamed of.”

Hilton said she and Reum took a pre-dinner walk on the beach before he dropped to one knee at a cabana with flowers. She said the proposal was followed by a celebration with family and close friends.

“There’s no one I’d rather spend forever with,” she said in the post.

Hilton shared a series of photos with her wearing a white dress and crown, while 40-year-old Reum sported an all-white suit.

The couple have been dating since 2019.

Donald Glover Sets 8-Figure Overall Deal With Amazon

Donald Glover is on the move.

Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the Atlanta multihyphenate has exited his pact with Disney-owned FX for a multiple-year, eight-figure overall deal with Amazon. The pact is believed to include a content channel of sorts that will spotlight Glover’s work and other curated content on Amazon’s Prime Video hub. Additionally, Stephen Glover — who wrote and produced on Atlanta alongside his brother — has also signed an overall deal with Amazon.

Amazon declined comment.

The news comes days after Glover announced that he and Fleabag favorite Phoebe Waller-Bridge would be creating, starring and exec producing an update of New Regency’s Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie feature Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

The Amazon deal, which has been in the works for weeks, will also see Glover exec produce other projects for the retail giant and streamer. Sources note one such project is already beginning to come together: a potential series called Hive, which is rumored to revolve around a Beyonce-like figure and stem from writer Janine Nabers (Watchmen, Away). The project has already begun staffing a writers room, with sources noting Malia Obama is among those recruited to work on the series. (Additional details were not readily available; Amazon declined comment on Hive, too.)

Glover’s move to Amazon will not impact FX’s critical darling Atlanta. The award-winning comedy has already been renewed for seasons three and four and, per sources, will begin production in March. Both seasons will be filmed back-to-back in a bid to return the comedy to the air as soon as possible. The series last aired in May 2018. The show’s future beyond season four has not yet been determined as Glover is said to have a carve out to continue work on Atlanta should that be something he wants to do.

The production schedule for Atlanta will also help clear up Glover’s schedule as he announced that Mr. and Mrs. Smith would be arriving in 2022 on Amazon.Glover is repped by WME.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Lauren Jauregui, Chrissy Teigen & More Share Support for Texas Amid Winter Storm Outages

After a devastating winter storm in Texas this week, almost three million homes and businesses are still without power on Wednesday (Feb. 17).

Due to the state’s coldest temperatures in decades, burst pipes and power outages at treatment plants have caused water restrictions and a number of deaths as residents struggle to keep warm.

According to to Vice, carbon monoxide poisoning cases have skyrocketed as people began using barbecue pits, generators and their cars to heat up. “With that number of patients going in, it’s turning into a mini mass casualty event,” Dr. Samuel Prater, an emergency room physician at Memorial Hermann Texas Medical Center, told the Houston Chronicle.

As hot water and power outages continue to cause desperation in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and surrounding areas — just days before a second storm is expected to hit — celebrities have taken to social media to share prayers and resources to help.

See below.

Can Big Hit & Universal Music Create the Next BTS on US TV?

Will the next BTS or NCT 127 be discovered on a U.S. television show?

That’s what Universal Music Group and BTS’ label, Big Hit Entertainment, are betting on. As part of a broad strategic collaboration announced Wednesday (Feb.17), the South Korean label and the U.S.-based major are planning to create an unprecedented joint venture recording label and an American Idol-like audition show in the U.S. to find the next global K-pop group.

Under terms of the deal, Big Hit will create the joint label with Geffen Records, which helped shape artists like Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Elton John and recent breakout artist Olivia Rodrigo. The new label will operate from Los Angeles.

“I strongly believe that UMG and Big Hit, two companies that endlessly pursued innovation, will create a synergy that will rewrite global music history,” Bang Si-Hyuk, Big Hit’s founder and CEO, said in a video announcing the partnership. He was joined by UMG CEO Lucian Grainge, Interscope Geffen CEO John Janick and Big Hit global CEO Lenzo Yoon.

The joint venture marks a major step forward in the collaboration between the major international labels and Korean music companies, which have traditionally exercised tight-fisted control over the formation, training and music and visual production of K-pop artists.

More recently, the K-pop labels have been loosening the reins somewhat and engaging more with the majors, who are eager to jump on the K-pop money train, especially given the global success of groups like BTS and Blackpink, who command massive and rabidly loyal fanbases on social media.

Deals between Korean label and the major labels have typically involved distribution and marketing of K-pop artists outside of Asia, not A&R or creative ventures like in-studio production.

Big Hit, which went public on the South Korean stock exchange last October, has done a series of deals recently buying smaller labels, investing in rival artists’ IP and developing live stream and fan platforms. The company is under pressure to diversify its roster beyond BTS, especially with required Korean military service still looming for the group’s oldest members.

Under terms of the arrangement, the two companies will also explore enhanced “direct to fan” communications through Big Hit’s Weverse fan platform. Grainge said UMG artists Gracie Abrams, New Hope Club and Alexander 23 were already utilizing the platform. Wednesday’s announcement follows the news last week that UMG had become an equity investor alongside Big Hit, K-pop rival YG Entertainment and Kiswe in livestream platform VenewLive.

Yoon said the partners plan to air the K-pop audition program in 2022 with a U.S. media partner, which they did not name on Wednesday. Big Hit will be in charge of discovering and training the K-pop artists, with UMG handling music production, distribution and co-production of the show with the media outlet.

Just as American Idol and The Voice have discovered major pop stars in the U.S., singing competitions have been commonplace in the K-pop market for years. Korean companies have used the format to finalize their new groups while developing an audience.

YG Entertainment pitted two potential boy bands against one another in 2014’s WIN: Who Is Next. The show, which aired on public television in Korea, led to the debut of WINNER, with the losing band competing in another show that year, Mix & Match, to determine the lineup of boy band iKON.

In 2015, JYP Entertainment found success with the show Sixteen on Mnet, which whittled down 16 potential female trainees at the company to the eventual nine-member group TWICE, who have broken sales and touring records for female acts in Korea and Japan.

Then in 2016, survival singing competitions took on a new spin with the debut of Mnet’s Produce 101 series where 101 K-pop hopefuls from various companies (known as “trainees”) competed for a spot in a temporary group. The first season featured female trainees and generated huge ratings and a national sensation in the 11-member girl group I.O.I.

The second season featuring male trainees created boy band Wanna One. In their one year together, the group earned 2017’s fourth- and fifth-best-selling albums in South Korea (per Gaon Chart, the longest-running chart service in Korea), and 2018’s fourth-, fifth- and sixth-best-selling albums (behind BTS and EXO both years).

The third Produce season, known as Produce 48, brought Korean trainees and Japanese singers from girl group AKB48 to compete for spots in a 12-member group IZ*ONE, who have had success in Korea and Japan. The fourth season, Produce X 101, created X1 who produced Korea’s fourth-best-selling album in 2019.

While they have launched careers, Korean singing competitions have also been mired in revelations about voter fraud and harsh working conditions for contestants. Viewers of Produce X 101 demanded an investigation into voter manipulation by Mnet, which led to Korean court investigations that found the show’s producers had rigged the final lineups of X1 and IZ*ONE. Courts ordered jail time for the producers and penalties for the TV channel.

Artists have not always fared well after Produce. Two girl groups with members of I.O.I disbanded due to disappointing results. Many acts tend to debut with groups or as a soloists to large buzz but can’t sustain their album sales

Big Hit and UMG hope their show can change that. ENHYPEN, a boy band formed in late 2020, came out of I-Land, another survival reality show on Mnet.

The Search for Stars Beyond BTS

After years of nearly undivided attention on BTS, Big Hit has over the last two years begun to focus on diversifying its artist roster and investments. In the third quarter ending Sept. 30, 2020, Big Hit reported the company’s revenue grew by 54% from the third quarter of 2019, to 190 billion won ($171 million).

In March 2019, Big Hit debuted its second-ever boy band Tomorrow X Together, who have sent two EPs to the Billboard 200, and notched growing sales with each album release. Big Hit’s joint label with Korean conglomerate CJ E&M, called Belift, also co-produced ENHYPEN’s debut EP titled Border: Day One, outselling Tomorrow X Together’s initial efforts.

Beyond a few minor examples, the relationship between K-pop labels and the majors have mostly focused on distribution and promotion.

Columbia Records distributes BTS in the U.S. and JYP Entertainment signed with The Orchard, a subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment, for global distribution in 2019. Interscope Records represents Blackpink outside of Asia.

A stronger example of a full-fledged K-pop/U.S. label team-up was between Monsta X and Epic Records, which collaborated on the 2020 all-English album All About Luv. The album featured Sony artists French Montana (Epic) and Pitbull (RCA). They earned a top 5 album on the Billboard 200 (the first time Monsta X entered the chart) and the album was physically available in the U.S.

Republic Records now has four K-pop acts listed on its roster with Big Hit’s Tomorrow X Together, JYP’s TWICE, Cube Entertainment’s girl group (G)I-DLE, and the recently debuted girl group TRI.BE. Tomorrow X Together and TWICE have both entered the Billboard 200 twice each after signing with Republic. But those arrangements essentially involve distribution and promotion on the part of Republic.

Warner Music Group has K-pop artists like AB6IX signed to subsidiaries.

Big Hit Making Other Business Plays

Big Hit has also been active on the acquisition front. In July 2019 the company  acquired K-pop label Source Music, home to girl group GFriend, and last May Big Hit became the majority stakeholder in Pledis Entertainment, home to Seventeen, which had 2020’s third-best-selling album in Korea behind BTS’ two releases. Big Hit also bought KOZ Entertainment, a label founded by rapper-producer Zico, who had one of 2020’s biggest viral K-pop hits in “Any Song.”

Big Hit also has technology subsidiaries (Weverse and beNX) and overseas offices. Big Hit Entertainment Japan is preparing a boy band, and Big Hit Entertainment America, announced in 2020, is actively hiring in Los Angeles.

4 Non Blondes’ ‘What’s Up’ Music Video Passes One Billion YouTube Views

It’s been almost 28 years since 4 Non Blondes unveiled their angsty 1993 classic, “What’s Up,” and on Wednesday (Feb. 17), the song hit a new milestone.

The clip passed one billion views, joining YouTube’s exclusive Billion Views Club and marking the fifth music video from the 90’s to hit 10 figures. The video finds the rock band performing the song in a living room, as scenes of skateboarders, amusement parks, swings and more flash across the screen.

“I cry sometimes when I’m lying in bed / Just to get it all out, what’s in my head / And I, I am feeling a little peculiar,” Linda Perry belts in the still-relatable pre-chorus.

Watch the “What’s Up” music video below.