Britney Spears Thanks Boyfriend Sam Asghari for His Support Through the ‘Hardest Years of My Life’

Britney Spears might be going through “the hardest years” of her life, but it sounds like she has a pretty good partner to lean on. On Wednesday (Aug. 25), Spears took to Instagram to praise her boyfriend of five years Sam Asghari — while also jokingly calling him a “cute a–hole.”

“Not only has this cute a–hole been with me through the hardest years of my life but he happens to be an extremely good cook!” she wrote in the caption. “Fast & Furious franchise, don’t miss out on your next star!!!!”

Asghari was in on the joke, responding in the comments with a cry-laughing emoji: “Yes … F that a–hole.”

Spears and Asghari met on the 2016 set of her music video “Slumber Party” and the couple have been dating ever since.

The actor/model has been one of Spears’ biggest champions as she fights to end the conservatorship that has controlled her finances and personal life for the last 13 years. In February, he took aim at Britney’s dad and conservator Jamie Spears via Instagram after the premiere of The New York TimesFraming Britney Spears documentary, writing on his Story: “Now it’s important for people to understand that I have zero respect for someone trying to control our relationship and constantly throwing obstacles our way. In my opinion Jamie is a total d—.” Ahead of the June court hearing where Spears addressed the court in her conservatorship case for the first time, Asghari wore a “Free Britney” T-shirt and posted a lion emoji on his Instagram Story.

See Spears’ tribute to Asghari below:

Travis Scott Surprised His Daughter Stormi With a School Bus & The Internet Went to Town About It

The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round, and Travis Scott made sure his 3-year-old daughter Stormi experienced that feeling with a big, yellow surprise.

On Tuesday, Kylie Jenner shared pictures of their daughter touching the outside of a yellow school bus and exploring its burgundy upholstered interior while writing, “All Stormi has been talking about is riding a big yellow bus. Daddy surprised her.” While Stormi didn’t have any of her cousins or other kids to play with inside, the Internet shared enough thoughts on the subject to fill up the entire bus.

Plenty thought it was “completely out of touch” for Jenner, a billionaire makeup and skincare mogul, and Scott, who has lucrative franchises ranging from McDonald’s to Nike to PlayStation, to buy their daughter a school bus all to herself, with users claiming the all-star couple to be “so far from reality.”

Others thought Stormi wanted a full bus, not just the vehicle. “Probably it’s not the bus she wanted to ride with kids on it so she can have normal interactions with other kids,” one Twitter user wrote.

See how the internet went along with it below.

Dave Grohl, Lindsey Buckingham & More Featured on Halsey’s ‘If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power’ Album

Halsey already had bragging rights when she announced that Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were producing her fourth album, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power. But the newly revealed guest artists are boosting their cred in the pop-rock space even more.

Dave Grohl, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, The Bug’s Kevin Martin, Dave Sitek of TV on the Radio, Pino Palladino, Karriem Riggins and Meat Beat Manifesto will all be featured on the project, NIN announced Wednesday (Aug. 25) on Twitter. If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power will be released Friday via Capitol Records.

“.@halsey’s new album, If I Can’t Have Love I Want Power, produced by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, is out this Friday. Excited for everyone to hear it!” read the Twitter statement before the musicians were listed.

The Oscar- and Grammy-winning producers are spearheading the production of the 13-song project, whose official track list Halsey unveiled earlier this month (sans credits to the additional musicians). According to Spin’s review of the album, Grohl provides drums for “Honey,” while Sitel plays guitar on “You Asked for This” and Buckingham lends his acoustic talents on “Darling.” Palladino and Riggins, who were respectively the bassist and drummer of D’Angelo’s band, join forces once more for “Lilith.”

The album’s hourlong accompanying film experience, which Halsey wrote and Colin Tilley directed, premiered Wednesday in IMAX theaters and will have its global theatrical release Saturday, one day after the album is out.

See NIN’s announcement below.

Migos Bring ‘Culture III’ Hits to ‘Tiny Desk (Home) Concert’

Migos showcased their skills once again with an NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, which premiered Wednesday (Aug. 25). In it, the trio — comprised of Takeoff, Quavo and Offset — performed three songs from their latest album, Culture III. 

Quavo opened the Tiny Desk show by rapping the first verse from their latest single “Avalanche.” Offset chimed in next, followed by Takeoff. Migos’ performance was backed by live music from 1500 or Nothin’ and background support form DJ Durel.

After smoothly completing “Avalanche” while seated, the trio stood up and livened up their performance. Quavo introduced their second track “Straightenin'” by saying, “If you’re at home right now, I need you to get the f— up.”

Before kicking off  “Birthday,” the last song of their session, Quavo performed an impromptu interlude. “I don’t know where my lighter at,” he sang before Takeoff came in with the lighter assist. The show went on when Quavo lit up a yellow birthday cake as he began rapping “Birthday.”

Quavo then signed off for the trio singing, “Tiny Desk, yeah, you’re rocking with the greatest group of all time/ And you’re rocking with the best, yeah/ 1500 is the band, yeah, yeah/ Migo gang is the clan/ Yeah, you’re rocking Tiny Desk.”

Culture III peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, where it has charted for 10 weeks since the album’s June 11 release. Culture III marked the conclusion of the group’s Culture trilogy.

At Ruido Fest 2021, 5 Out of 30,000 Fans Received a COVID-19 Vaccine

The sixth annual Ruido Fest hosted 30,000 ticketed fans over the weekend (Aug. 20-22) in Chicago, and five of those fans received a vaccine against COVID-19, Billboard can confirm.

To help slow the transmission of the coronavirus, local wellness center Envision was on site to provide vaccinations. The inoculation site offered either Pfizer or Moderna shots on Friday from 2 to 6 p.m.; those who received their first vaccine at the fest were to schedule their second doses elsewhere.

Additionally, healthcare startup Curative completed 782 total COVID-19 tests at their testing site, according to the company. The festival promoted the vaccine and testing opportunities on social media days before the event kicked off and after announcing earlier this month that in order to attend Ruido Fest, “a full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test will be required,” the website read.

Fully vaccinated festivalgoers had to show a physical, photo or digital copy of their vaccine card/record. For unvaccinated fans, a test taken within 72 hours of the start of the event was accepted. The PCR tests offered by Curative produced results in 15 minutes. And, although encouraged to wear masks, most festivalgoers went mask-less once they entered the outdoor festival.

Chicago’s indoor mask mandate for all individuals 2 years and older officially returned Aug. 20 coinciding with Ruido Fest day 1, as COVID-19 cases are on the rise again, with the average daily number of new cases up to 450 per day.

The three-day outdoor event, which returned this year after taking 2020 off due to the pandemic, was held at Chicago’s Union Park with bands Caifanes, Panteón Rococó and Café Tacvba as headliners.

Vic Mensa, Blueface, YK Osiris & More Music Stars Hop On the Milk Crate Challenge

Milk crates have been tumbling across the U.S. in the latest social media challenge, and rappers are echoing the clamor.

Blueface and Vic Mensa successfully scaled a pyramid of upside-down crates for the infamous Milk Crate Challenge, but one small step for those men were juxtaposed with one giant leap off the structure for much of the rest of mankind trying to follow in their viral footsteps. YK Osiris took quite the tumble, soundtracked to a chorus of his song “Worth It,” as bystanders (including Boosie Badazz) encouraged him.

But was it really worth it? Snoop Dogg doesn’t seem to think so.

“Who need them milk crates for that bust-your-motherf—ing-head challenge?” the Doggfather said with disdain in an Instagram video, joking that he was selling a dozen crates for $50. But Timbaland thinks Snoop would get a kick out of one man’s video, which shows him confidently rolling a joint on his way to the high point and celebrating his descent by lighting up.

See more stars’ reactions to the Milk Crate Challenge below.

Justin Bieber Remix Pushes Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ to Top 10 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart

Thanks to its new remix with Justin Bieber, Wizkid’s “Essence,” featuring Tems, zooms into the top 10 of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart with a 13-5 lift on the chart dated Aug. 28. The updated version — now with Bieber also as a featured act — continues the single’s rise as the latest crossover success for the Afrobeats genre.

With the gain, Wizkid secures his second top 10. He previously visited the region as a featured act, alongside Kyla, on Drake’s “One Dance,” which was No. 1 for a then-record-tying 18 weeks in 2016. Tems earns her first top 10 upon her first appearance on the chart.

Bieber, meanwhile, posts a seventh song in the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs’ top 10 in his career. Here’s a rundown of his stock:

“Lolly,” Maejor Ali featuring Juicy J & Justin Bieber, No. 5, Oct. 5, 2013
“I’m the One,” DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne, No. 1 for eight weeks, May 20, 2017
“No Brainer,” DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo & Chance the Rapper, No. 4, Aug. 11, 2018
“Yummy,” No. 2, Jan. 18, 2020
“Intentions,” featuring Quavo, No. 4, Feb. 22, 2020
“Peaches,” featuring Daniel Caesar & Giveon, No. 1 for seven weeks, April 3, 2021
“Essence,” Wizkid featuring Justin Bieber & Tems, No. 5, Aug. 28, 2021

Elsewhere, “Essence” climbs 6-3 on the Hot R&B Songs chart and drives 44-16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“Essence,” originally released in February, traces its top 10 ascension to 13 million U.S. streams in the week ending Aug. 19, according to MRC Data, a 72% increase from the week prior. (For chart purposes, all renditions of a song are combined into one charting title.) The surge pushes the song 20-3 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Streaming Songs chart and 44-11 on the corresponding all-genre list. In the sales market, “Essence” races 13-5 on R&B/Hip-Hop Digital Song Sales through 4,600 downloads in the same period.

Beyond an expected immediate impact in the sales and streaming markets, the “Essence” remix also gives an added boost to the song’s already positive radio momentum. The single advances 6-3 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart with 15.9 million in format audience impressions in the week ending Aug. 22, according to MRC Data, up 21% compared with the previous week. The double-digit gain is the largest improvement, in terms of percent growth, of any of the chart’s 50 titles, though many R&B/hip-hop stations have opted to remain playing the Bieber-less original version.

It’s a different story at the rhythmic and pop sectors, which are more familiar territory for Bieber and have latched on more to the version including his vocals. “Essence” jumps on Rhythmic Airplay (22-15) thanks to 47% more plays at the format in the last tracking week and cracks the Pop Airplay chart for the first time as it debuts in the anchor spot, No. 40.