Carín León Brings Quality, Party Vibe to Hard Rock Live Florida Show

It’s been two years since Billboard featured regional Mexican singer/songwriter Carín León as an Artist on the Rise with one hit on Billboard’s Regional Mexican Airplay chart. Since then, León — the former lead vocalist of Grupo Arranke — has placed seven more entries on the chart, including two No. 1s.

That success, including “El Tóxico” with Grupo Firme, is a testament to León’s versatility; he can veer from banda to norteño to ballads with equal ease, aided by powerful, soulful vocals.

Onstage, León is even more impressive. So much so that on Sunday (Sept. 4), he played a near sold-out date to a euphoric crowd at Miami’s Hard Rock Live arena, extremely rare for a regional Mexican act in South Florida, where regional Mexican fans are scarce and major artists in the genre rarely play in venues in or near Miami. But there’s something about León. Here are five takeaways from his show.

1. When León puts on a show, he goes big. Throughout the two-hour performance, he was backed by a 20-piece band that included four clarinets and four trumpets. The very sophisticated musical arrangements are courtesy of tuba player Gilberto Meneses for banda tracks and the versatile guitarist/keyboardist Orlando Aispuro.

2. Let’s please change paradigms about regional “Mexican music.” Seeing a sold-out Hard Rock arena – a venue that’s traditionally reserved for pop, rock and alternative acts — was proof enough that the music can go wide beyond its traditional stages, and that there’s a premium audience willing to pay to watch a good show. By the way, if you ever need incentive to buy a really beautiful cowboy hat, go to a León show.

3. León loves his audience. Every song comes with an intro and boy do we get a kick out of that. It’s like a big party, especially when León walks around with his drink in hand. Saludcita! (as he would say).

4. He’s a musician’s musician. Plays the guitar? Check. Sing a cappella? Check. Versatile? Just watch him navigate the bravura of banda and the tenderness of ballads. To top it all, the man knows how to swivel his hips.

5. Get ready to spill secrets. León loves to talk, giving fresh meaning to each song. We found out, for example, that he lost his virginity to “You’re the One I Love” (Sigues Siendo Tu in Spanish). Some of our favorite lines of the evening: “Having a toxic woman in the house is a blessing. It means she loves you even when you’re ugly”; and, “We men are shameless. We always promise things we can’t deliver.”

Here’s the Date of the 2023 Brit Awards: Will The O2 Arena Be ‘Harry’s House’? 

The 2023 Brit Awards are set for Saturday Feb. 11, 2023. That’s six days after the 2023 Grammy Awards, which will air on Sunday Feb. 5 from Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles.

The 2023 Brits will air live from The O2 Arena in London for the 13th year and will be broadcast exclusively on ITV and ITVX for the 30th year. This marks the first time that the Brits will be held on a Saturday.

Harry Styles is sure to be a top nominee at both the Brits and the Grammys. His Harry’s House has headed the Official U.K. Albums Chart for six nonconsecutive weeks, longer than any other album in 2023. His smash “As It Was” headed the Official U.K. Singles Chart for 10 consecutive weeks, also the record for 2022.

As such, Styles is a leading contender for both British album of the year and best British single. Adele won both awards last year with her album 30 and single “Easy on Me.” If Styles wins both awards this year, he’ll become the first male solo artist to double up on the top awards in the same year. This feat has previously been accomplished by three groups (Fairground Attraction, 1989; Blur, 1995; and Coldplay, 2006) and one female solo artist (Adele, who has done it twice, in 2016 and 2022).

Styles won British single of the year two years ago for his sensuous smash “Watermelon Sugar.” If he wins again in February, he’ll become the first artist to win twice in that marquee category in the space of three years since Take That won back-to-back awards in 2007 and 2008 with “Patience” and “Shine,” respectively.

Styles first won British single of the year in 2012 as a member of One Direction for their fizzy smash “What Makes You Beautiful.”

Styles won his first solo Brit award, British video of the year, for “Sign of the Times” in 2018.

The Brit Awards 2023 with Mastercard (the show’s official name) announced their show date on Monday (Sept. 5). They also announced that Damian Christian, managing director and president of promotions at Atlantic Records (part of Warner Music UK) will take over as chair of the Brit Committee for 2023.

Commenting on the new date, Christian said in a statement: “The Brits is the biggest night of the year for the U.K. music industry, and we want as many eyes on it as possible as we showcase the best and most diverse British talent. Moving the show to a Saturday will breathe new life into the iconic ceremony, while also introducing a new and more engaged audience.”

Comedian Mo Gilligan hosted the 2022 Brit Awards, which were held on Feb. 8 at The O2. Adele won the most awards (three).

Last year, the Brit Awards underwent a major overhaul. The BPI announced in November 2021 that the Brits would no longer use gendered categories; that it would introduce two marquee awards (artist of the year and songwriter of the year); and that it would revive four genre-specific categories — best alternative/rock act, best dance act, best hip hop/rap/grime act and best pop/R&B act.

Nominations were announced on Dec. 18, 2021. Adele, DaveLittle Simz and Ed Sheeran tied for the most nods (four).

LF System and Dave are also leading contenders for best British single at the upcoming awards. LF System, a British production duo from Scotland, topped The Official U.K. Singles Chart for eight weeks with “Afraid to Feel.” Dave, an English rapper, singer and actor, headed that chart for four weeks with “Starlight.”

Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God),” which topped the Official U.K. Singles Chart for three weeks earlier this summer, will presumably be ineligible for best British single because it was first released in 1985. In fact, it was nominated for British single of the year in 1986, but lost to Tears for Fears’ global hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” Bush has won one Brit Award – best British female in 1987.

Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy Awards Universal Music With Peace Prize for Wartime Support

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has awarded Universal Music Group the Ukraine Peace Prize for its support of Ukraine during the country’s war with Russia.

At a ceremony on Monday (Sept. 5) at UMG’s Belgium headquarters in Brussels, Olha Stefanishyna, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, presented the award to Frank Briegmann, UMG’s chairman and CEO of Central Europe.

UMG, which was among the first major labels to declare its support for economic sanctions against Russia after it invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24, is the first music company to receive the award from Ukraine.

“Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Universal Music has proven that they are true friends of Ukraine,” Stefanishyna says.

The label says its efforts include support for NGOs, including World Central Kitchen, the International Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, CARE and the International Medical Corps.

UMG executive vp Michele Anthony also played a central role in Global Citizen’s “Stand Up for Ukraine” social media rally in April, which helped raise more than $10 billion for Ukrainian refugee relief through the European Union’s pledging summit. The event brought together hundreds of thousands of global citizens, including many UMG artists, as well as other musicians, athletes, actors, creators and activists.

The label also helped organize various charity concerts that generated millions of dollars for relief efforts. In July, UMG labels Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon partnered with New York’s Metropolitan Opera to release A Concert for Ukraine, an album recorded live at the Met on March 14 featuring a special concert in support of Ukrainians. Conducted by music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the album opens with the National Anthem of Ukraine, featuring Ukrainian bass-baritone and Lindemann Young artist Vladyslav Buialskyi. Proceeds from the sale of the album were donated to charities supporting relief efforts in Ukraine.

Numerous UMG artists also raised millions of euros at the Berlin charity concert “Sound of Peace,” including Sarah Connor, Rea Garvey and David Garrett. And a charity concert in Poland, arranged with a choir and orchestra of Polish and Ukrainian musicians, was broadcast in 50 countries, UMG says.

UMG artist Sting re-recorded his song “Russians,” pledging profits to the HelpUkraine.Center (www.helpukraine.center), a volunteer storage center established by Ukrainian business owners to receive humanitarian and medical aid from around the world.

“Throughout history, music has served as a beacon of inspiration and hope and healing – and helping to bring peace to those affected by violence,” Briegmann said in accepting the award. “The Russian military invasion in Ukraine affects millions with urgent humanitarian needs – from food and water to shelter and clothing. Universal Music and our employees and artists are proud to support groups that are on the ground providing lifesaving, humanitarian assistance to those most vulnerable.”

Other recipients of the Ukraine Peace Prize include Microsoft, Google and Amazon (for its Amazon Web Services, or AWS).

Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Volodymyr Zelenskyy makes a speech on evaluation the 22nd day of the Russia-Ukraine war during virtually addressing in Kyiv, Ukraine on March 17, 2022.

Eliza Rose’s ‘B.O.T.A’ Heading For Second Week Atop U.K. Chart

It took six weeks for Eliza Rose’s “B.O.T.A (Baddest Of Them All)” to reach No. 1 in the U.K. Don’t expect it to anywhere, anytime soon.

Based on early sales and streaming data, “B.O.T.A” looks set to sail to the top for another week, at the very least.

With its ascent last week, Rose became the first female DJ to lead the Official Singles Chart in over 20 years, since Sonique’s “It Feels So Good” led the chart back in June 2002.

“B.O.T.A” (with Interplanetary Criminal) spread its wings on TikTok before becoming the 1,400th U.K. No. 1 single, and, in doing so, ending LF System’s eight-week unbroken reign with “Afraid to Feel.”

LF System’s summer smash is set to lose more ground, as David Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s “I’m Good (Blue)” lifts to No. 2 on the chart blast, while OneRepublic’s “I Ain’t Worried” from Top Gun: Maverick could fly to No. 3, both peak positions.

Also driving up the chart blast is James Hype and Miggy Dela Rosa’s “Ferrari,” which finds the right gear for a boost 8-6.

Further down the First Look chart, Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” continues to heat up, and appears ready to return into the Top 10 for a new peak of No. 7.

The highest-charting debut this week could belong to the 1975, with their new single “I’m In Love With You.” It’s set to arrive at No. 23 in the U.K., for the Matt Healy-lead Manchester band’s 11th top 40 appearance.

All will be revealed when the Official U.K. Singles Chart is presented late Friday.

Muse Creates U.K. Chart History With ‘Will Of The People’

Muse barrels its way to a seventh U.K. No. 1 with Will Of The People.

The British alternative rock trio got away to a fast start, as Will Of The People (via Warner Records) blasted to the top of the midweek leaderboard, shifting more chart units than the rest of the top 10 combined.

When the weekly chart was published Friday (Sept. 2), Muse was clear at the top, accumulating 51,500 chart units, the Official Charts Company reports.

Along with the title, Muse snags a piece of chart history, as Will Of The People becomes the U.K.’s first-ever leader to incorporate NFT technology, thanks to a limited-edition “Digital Pressing,” a collaboration between Warner Music U.K. and web3 marketplace Serenade.

With seven leaders, Muse joins an elite class of bands which includes The Prodigy and The Killers, and solo artists Cliff Richard, Elton John, Barbara Streisand, George Michael and Paul McCartney.

Will Of The People, Muse’s ninth studio album, also bowed at No. 1 on the Australia’s ARIA chart last week.

Several new titles appear on the latest Official U.K. Albums Chart, including God Did (Epic/We The Best), DJ Khaled’s 13th studio album. It’s new at No. 4 for the U.S.-born producer’s career high chart position, besting the No. 6 peak of his 2019 album Father Of Asahd. God Did is DJ Khaled’s fifth U.K. top 10.

British indie rockers Embrace grab an eighth top 10 spot with How To Be A Person Like Other People (Mo’Betta), new at No. 9. It’s the three-time chart leader’s first studio album release since 2018’s Love Is A Basic Need, which reached No. 5.

The current frame also welcomes new arrivals from punk era legends Blondie (Against The Odds: 1974-1982 at No. 25 via UMC), Californian heavy metal act Machine Head (Of Kingdom and Crown at No. 27 via Nuclear Blast) and Altered Images, whose Mascara Streakz (Cooking Vinyl) drops in at No. 28, for the Scottish new wave act’s first chart appearance in almost 40 years.