Happy New Year: Kacey Musgraves, Normani, Christina Aguilera & More Look Forward to 2022

Happy New Year! Music stars began to usher in 2022 with messages on social media on New Year’s Eve.

Kacey Musgraves had an excellent suggestion on Twitter for those hoping for a better year ahead: “PSA: if you listen to Rainbow at precisely 11:56:39 on New Year’s Eve, you’ll be starting off 2022 hearing ‘it’ll all be alright,'” she noted in a tweet on Dec. 31. “Do with this what you will.”

Meanwhile, Normani fans were in for an end-of-year treat: the singer’s name trended after she posted a video snippet that seems to play a few seconds of a new song, captioning it with “Dear 2022” — implying there’s more dropping in the new year.

Christina Aguilera looked back at the highlights of her 2021 — “a year full of love, excitement & new adventures,” she tweeted — but also looked forward to what’s to come: “I am SO ready for what’s next. 2022… Here we go!”

Over on Instagram on New Year’s Eve, Halsey shared some personal snapshots from her year as a new mom. “Long nights, full hearts. Happy new year,” they wrote.

Shakira kept things sweet with a selfie featuring her last kiss of the year.

Elton John posted a messages of thanks to his family and fans for their support this year and wrote, “I can’t wait to FINALLY get back on the road with my Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour and everything else that 2022 has in store!”

See all of those messages, and many more, below.

Rob Stringer, Bernie Taupin Among Names on 2022 New Year Honours List

Sony Music Group chairman Rob Stringer, lyricist Bernie Taupin, singer Pauline Black and the Spice Girls’ Mel B are among the music industry professionals recognized in the 2022 New Year Honours List, the annual U.K. tradition dating back to 1890 that bestows titles upon a number of individuals in recognition of their work and is presented in the name of Queen Elizabeth II.

Rob Stringer, leading as chairman of Sony Music Group and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, received the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) honor for his service to creative industries, social justice and charity. He notably launched Sony’s $100 million Social Justice Fund to support social justice and anti-racist initiatives globally.

Bernie Taupin, longtime lyricist for Elton John — the pair have been collaborating for more than 50 years — also received a CBE for exceptional services to music.

Pauline Black, singer with ska’s The Selecter for more than 40 years, received an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to entertainment.

Singer Mel B (Melanie Brown) received an MBE, making her a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women related to her work with domestic violence charity Women’s Aid.

James Bond gatekeepers and Eon Productions heads Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson are also among the names on the 2022 list.

The duo, who produced this year’s smash hit No Time To Die, currently the third most successful film of all time in the U.K., have been given CBE honors for a “services to film, to drama, to philanthropy and to skills.” They both already have an OBE.

Another CBE recipient on the 2022 list is Jason Bourne and Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass for “services to the arts,” while John Boorman, the veteran filmmaker behind Deliverance and Excalibur and already a CBE, is to get a knighthood, the highest honor on the Order of the British Empire list for “services to film.”

Stage and screen icon and renowned activist Vanessa Redgrave, together with Joanna Lumley, best known for playing Patsy in Absolutely Fabulous and for her activism on behalf of Gurkha veterans, are both receiving Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire honors, one step below a knighthood. Redgrave’s award is in recognition for her “services to the arts” while Lumley’s is for “services to drama, to entertainment and to charitable causes.”

The 2022 list, announced just 90 minutes before midnight on Dec. 31, 2021, features a heavy crop of British sports stars, charity workers and, perhaps unsurprisingly, individuals known for their work in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Knighthoods are going to the chief medical officers for England, Scotland and Wales.

A portion of this article first appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

Swarovski Crystal Exhibit Highlights Gloves Worn by Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson

“It’s literally like living in a disco ball here,” says fashion designer Michael Schmidt during a video call from the new exhibit that he’s put together spotlighting iconic fashion items worn by mega-stars and all featuring Swarovski crystals. Taking sparkling and dazzling to new heights, the exhibition of embellished costumes opened in November at Swarovski’s Kristallwelten — that’s Crystal Worlds in English — a park and museum, opened in 1995, that’s located near the jewelry company’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria.

Most items in the exhibit, titled The Art of Performance, are original pieces, including one of Michael Jackson’s famed gloves. “To me this is the greatest piece of pop memorabilia in history so I’m thrilled to have this here. This is an original. It’s on loan from Michael Bush, who was Michael Jackson’s designer. He made all of Michael Jackson’s clothes for the second half of his life,” says Schmidt.

On loan from Bob Mackie and Cher is a Mackie-designed headdress and top worn by the singer for her residency in Las Vegas. “To see it in person, it’s really overwhelming. It’s pleated and meant to evoke feathers and then of course it’s crystalled,” says Schmidt.

His own design of a glove for Lady Gaga, which she wore in American Horror Story: Hotel as Elizabeth the Countess, is also on display.

“She played a killer and she would cut your throat with the nail of this glove. It’s 11,000 Swarovski crystals with sterling silver filigree,” says Schmidt, who is known for his one-of-a-kind edgy-meets-elegant creations for pop stars such as Madonna, Elton John, Beyoncé, Cher, Rihanna, Cardi B and Katy Perry.

Schmidt spent three years putting together the show, which was supposed to open last year in tandem with the 125-year anniversary of Swarovski. But it was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “It actually gave us a lot more time to pull in other things that I wouldn’t have access to. These pieces were scattered around the world in various archives,” says Schmidt.

Other pieces in the show are recreations, such as a sculptural replica of the chandelier dress — designed by Jeremy Scott and made by Schmidt — that Perry wore to the Met Gala in 2019.

Schmidt also had a reproduction made of the Swarovski-encrusted Jean Louis dress that Marilyn Monroe wore when she sang “Happy Birthday” to President John F. Kennedy at Madison Square Garden in 1962. (The original is owned by Ripley’s Believe It or Not! which purchased the gown in 2016 for $4.8 million.)

And he recreated the white tuxedo that Marlene Dietrich wore in the 1932 film Blonde Venus. “This was the very first time that Swarovski crystal ever appeared on film, in the famous scene with Marlene and Cary Grant. The original no longer exists,” says Schmidt, adding that Blonde Venus marks “the introduction of Swarovski to the world of filmmaking, and after that all of the major designers of the day, from Adrian to Edith Head, they all used Swarovski on all of the great movie stars of the time.

Additional original items in the exhibit include pieces worn by Bjork, Lizzo, Elton John, Selena Gomez (a crystal floral headdress), Grace Jones, Dita Von Teese and Beyoncé. There’s the actual crystal slipper created for the 2015 film Cinderella, plus a scarf worn by Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch not far from the elaborate headdress worn by Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones in the 2015 film Jupiter Ascending. Also on display is a leotard worn by Simone Biles. “It was very important for me to have Simone in the exhibition,” says Schmidt. “I wanted to expand the scope beyond singers and movie stars to include sports.”

“What’s really incredible is that all of these moments from the last nearly 100 years have all been touched by Swarovski. There’s never been an exhibition quite like this that connects all of these amazing moments and this company and their products which are really indispensable to the entertainment industry,” continues Schmidt.

The exhibition — which will be on display for seven years (though some items will only remain for a year while new ones will be added) — was designed by Tony-winning set designer Derek McLane, who’s designed everything from Moulin Rouge! and Ragtime on Broadway to the stage of the Academy Awards (from 2013 to 2018). McLane’s creations for the Swarovski exhibit include a crystal-covered mannequin-like sculpture of Elton John on stage, seeming to fly above a piano. “We have very special custom lighting on [the exhibition] so all the crystals sparkle in a spectacular way,” says Schmidt. Another highlight: A sparkling corset worn by Nicole Kidman as Satine in Moulin Rouge, the film.

The Art of Performance is just one of 17 exhibition areas at Crystal Worlds, spaces that Swarovski calls Chambers of Wonder. Elsewhere on view throughout the 17 chambers is an installation called The Chandelier of Grief by artist Yayoi Kusama; a nearly 20-foot-tall tree made of 150,000 crystals co-designed by designer Tord Boontje and the late Alexander McQueen; and a crystal dome with 595 mirrors modeled after one of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes. The 18-acre park even boasts a carousel that’s made with 15 million Swarovski crystals. “The museum, which is built into the foothills of the Alps, is quite extraordinary,” says Schmidt.

With Schmidt’s gift for eye-popping design, his exhibition is a fitting addition to the mix. “Of course I had heard a lot about Michael Schmidt designing all these incredible costumes and then I went to L.A. and he invited me to his studio,” says Carla Rumler, curator of Swarovski Crystal Worlds and cultural director of Swarvoski. Then and there, at Schmidt’s studio, Rumler proposed doing an exhibition together. “He said yes immediately,” she recalls, adding, “I’m so overwhelmed about the outcome. When I saw it first I had tears in my eyes. Without him we couldn’t have done this. He had access to all the pieces.”

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter, where you can see photos from the exhibit.

Betty White’s Death Mourned by Lizzo, Halsey, Dionne Warwick & More

Music stars are mourning the loss of comedy legend Betty White, who died at her home on Friday (Dec. 31) at age 99.

Artists like Lizzo, Halsey, Dionne Warwick and many others took to social media on New Year’s Eve to remember White, the beloved star of classic television programs like The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Golden Girls and Hot in Cleveland. The five-time Emmy Award winner and animal advocate, whose career reached another level after she became an octogenarian, passed away just days shy of her 100th birthday on Jan. 17.

“Another brilliant talent has made her transition,” Warwick tweeted. “I had the pleasure of getting to know Betty White and shared a few giggles with her. May she rest in well-earned peace.”

Famed songwriter Diane Warren also shared her memories of White, who worked on many charitable projects involving animal disease research. White served for three years as the president of the Morris Animal Foundation and served on the board of trustees for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Assn.

“A few yrs ago at an animal charity event I bid on a day at the zoo with Betty White,” Warren tweeted alongside a photo of herself with White. “Not only was she a legend but a fierce advocate for animal rights. Both the humans and the animals are so sad today Betty.”

Lizzo and Halsey reacted to White’s death by simply tweeting her first name accompanied by a broken heart emoji and a sad face, respectively.

American Idol host Ryan Seacrest received the sad news while preparing to host Friday’s Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2022 in New York’s Times Square.

“All of us in Times Square and around the world are grieving the loss of Betty White,” Seacrest tweeted. “She was a TV pioneer who paved the way for so many people. Beyond that, she showed us what you can accomplish in a lifetime through kindness and humor. Rest in peace to a true American icon.”

Sibling duo Tegan and Sara also took a moment to fondly remember White. “Golden Girls was our favorite show to watch with our Dad Saturday nights. When we were 9 his TV broke,” the sisters recalled in a tweet. “The screen went black, but still had sound. We begged to get a new one. ‘Why, we know what the Golden Girls look like!’ he laughed. We listened for months. RIP Betty White.”

See more tributes below from Cher, Huey Lewis, Steve Martin and others.


Concerts’ Comeback Brought a Record Year for Latin Tours

In February, when Maluma unveiled details of his 24-city Papi Juancho tour, at the time it was the biggest and most ambitious announcement yet, for any genre, as concerts began returning from the pandemic shut down in the United States.

“It was difficult to go back on stage during COVID,” the Colombian artist told Billboard earlier this year, after completing a few shows. “You have to be brave to announce a tour after all the things that happened, but I feel like everyone is just looking forward to feeling normal — and this type of concert will give that back to them.”

Soon after, a wave of Latin artists announced North American tours, including Banda MS, Marc Anthony, Rauw Alejandro, Camilo and Karol G. Since, Latin acts have set a new record for the genre, accounting for nine of the year’s top 40 tours, according to Billboard Boxscore, earning over $196 million across 159 shows. Those nine tours tied with country for the second most on the tally, and only rock has more with 12 of 2021’s top 40 tours.

This summer, Grupo Firme made history as the first Latin act to perform seven shows in a calendar year at Los Angeles’ Staples Center (the only other artist that has done more is Adele with eight nights at the venue). The norteño/banda group wrapped the year at No. 23 on the Top Tours of 2021 year-end chart, grossing a total of $18,625,726 from nine shows.

And in September, 2021 El Grito — an annual celebration of Mexican independence in Las Vegas — was “probably one of the biggest seasons of shows that we’ve had over multiple weekends,” says Hans Schafer, senior vp touring at Live Nation, which produced seven out of 12 performances across the event. Out of those seven, Alejandro Fernandez’s two concerts at MGM Grand Garden, alone grossed $2.5 million and sold 19,434 tickets, according to Billboard Boxscore.

Concert tourism has played a large role in these shows’ success, thanks to the U.S.’s high vaccination rates compared to the rest of the region. “In all of Latin America, the vaccine process is not as advanced as it is here in the U.S.,” Fernandez tells Billboard. “Because of this, a lot of people began to travel to the states. They were ready to see their favorite artist in concert; I think that happened to me, many of my fans had to come from Mexico to see my show.”

Latin tours have proved so successful that in August, legendary Mexican band Los Bukis, helmed by Marco Antonio Solís, reunited for the first time in 25 years — and scored the biggest Latin tour of the year, earning $49.6 million, according to Billboard Boxscore. Bachata group Aventura similarly scored a record-breaking reunion tour with its four-date stadium trek that earned $20.8 million, as reported by Billboard Boxscore.

“We have several artists that have broken their own records in touring,” Schafer says, describing ticket sales for 2021 as “over performing” compared to pre-pandemic times. “Los Bukis [tour] was a massive success, achieving something that no other Latin band has ever achieved in the history of touring with nine sold-out stadiums in a single run.”

The record year is a far cry from 2020, when the pandemic brought touring to a halt – and no one knew for how long. “Like most of the [live music] industry, my initial thoughts were that this would pass soon and that we would be back with live shows before the last quarter of the year,” says Luana Pagani, president of artist management agency SeitrackUS. “It wasn’t until about the third month and after many rescheduling plans that we started to get really concerned. There was no clear idea on when we were going to go back and how it was going to look.”

It took the Latin live music scene over a year to reopen, with many industry leaders, as Pagani says, taking “a leap of faith and trusting that by the time the shows would happen, herd immunity was going to be a reality.”

But then came the delta variant, which as Loud and Live’s CEO, Nelson Abareda, says, “took a second stab at us. Basically, all of our ticket sales came to a halt for three weeks. June and July were good months for sales, and then it froze all of a sudden.”

While artists from other genres began to cancel or reschedule their 2021 tours — including Korn, Garth Brooks, Backstreet Boys and more — Latin acts pushed ahead with concert promoters following protocols dictated by every venue, city and state to ensure safety for their staff, artist and fans.

“Music is so culturally relevant to who we are and our identity and how we share with our friends and family, not to take away from any other genre,” says Schafer. “It’s at the center of our lives, and going to shows is at the center of all that, too.” Adds Abareda: “Latin music is at its peak, it’s gone mainstream, and I think Latin fans were really ready to embrace going back to live.”

Now as the omicron variant again threatens touring, with a number of recent cancelations, Abareda assures that Latin market isn’t planning on slowing down. “The momentum we’ve seen in touring in 2021 is a strong indicator of what’s coming in 2022,” he says, “It’s setting ourselves [up for] a record-breaking year.”