All posts by Moderator

Trump’s TikTok Ban Stopped by Judge

A D.C. federal judge is giving TikTok a temporary reprieve from the U.S. government’s rollout of a ban on the popular video app. A partial injunction order came after an emergency court hearing on Sunday.

TikTok owner ByteDance had been facing a Sunday deadline to satisfy the Trump Administration’s national security concerns about data scooped up by the Chinese-owned company. TikTok has argued there’s no sound basis for any alarm that user information would be shared with the Chinese government, but that hasn’t satisfied President Donald Trump, who issued an executive order stopping transactions with TikTok. Since the ban announcement, TikTok has pursued an agreement with Oracle and Walmart that would allow it to keep operating in the United States. However, getting final approvals has proven tricky.

So TikTok has also moved for a preliminary injunction. The company argues that Trump’s ban exceeds presidential authority, violates users’ First Amendment rights, and because it’s arbitrary and capricious, also flouts the Administrative Procedures Act. TikTok adds that the ban amounts to impermissible regulation of users’ “personal communications” and was not “motivated by a genuine national security concern, but rather by political considerations relating to the upcoming general election.”

At Sunday’s hearing, U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols said he understood TikTok’s presentation about irreparable harm, one of the main prongs for an injunction. The company says that a shutdown, even one lifted within two months, would result in a drop off of between 40 percent and 50 percent of its daily active users, who would be unlikely to return.

TikTok’s attorney John Hall also highlighted the larger stakes.

“This case is about the freedom of expression,” said Hall. “Yes, TikTok is an app, but it is more than that. It’s a modern-day version of a town square … and it’s huge. One hundred million users, a third of the country. If the prohibition goes into effect, the consequences would be great. It’d be no difference than the government locking everyone out from that town square, roping it off, telling a third of the country that it’s not interested in hearing you. And the government would take this action at a time when need for communication is at absolute zenith — 37 days before an election.”

Nichols was appointed to the federal bench last year by Trump. His most notable decision until now came in Aug 2019 when he issued a temporary restraining order that barred New York from handing over Trump’s state tax returns to the House of Representatives.

Today, he attempted to focus the parties on the question of whether TikTok would ultimately prevail on its legal claims.

Under Trump’s ban, TikTok wouldn’t be on App Stores for the next six weeks, meaning new users couldn’t download the video app, and existing users wouldn’t be able to get updates. After November 12, TikTok would likely disappear from the country altogether as other companies wouldn’t be able to offer cloud and internet services for the app. Hall argued that the App Store ban amounted to a “blunt way to whack the company while doing nothing to achieve the stated objection.” If users couldn’t get software updates, he said, that would only harm users’ ability to get security updates that would lock down their personal data.

“This concern is purely theoretical unless TikTok is saying there is a flaw in the app,” responded a Justice Dept. attorney at today’s hearing. He added that the most immediate impact of the ban would be on future users, not present ones.

The government also said it was appropriate for the Secretary of Commerce to address the immediate threat of data being vulnerable to Chinese collection. The judge was told that TikTok was essentially asking the court to review national security determinations. “That’s not reviewable,” said the DOJ attorney, later attempting to undercut TikTok’s First Amendment claim too. “The national security basis [for the ban] would be the same if this application was a calculator with no expressive activity at all.”

The hearing concluded with Nichols taking the matter under advisement. Hours later, the order came granting the injunction in part, although the opinion giving the judge’s reasoning is currently under seal.

This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

Blackpink Announces New Single From ‘The Album’

With just days to go until the release of The Album, Blackpink has served fans a new teaser of what’s to come.

Jennie, Rosé, Jisoo and Lisa tweeted a poster previewing “Lovesick Girls” as a “title” (or main) track from their upcoming debut full-length studio album Sunday night (Sept. 27).

The teaser poster shows the song name and the girls leaning on one another in nighttime lighting, with a reminder of The Album’s almost here Oct. 2 release date.

Blackpink has already treated fans to two tracks ahead of the album drop, “How You Like That” and the Selena Gomez collaboration “Ice Cream.”

Before The Album is here, the quartet welcomes fans to join them for “Comeback Live,” a live streaming event set to take place Oct. 1 at 9 p.m. ET on VLive.

See the “Lovesick Girls” teaser poster below.

Mariah Carey Says She Worked On an Alternative Album While Recording ‘Daydream’

Mariah Carey was recording Daydream by day and a very different album by night in the mid-’90s. In her new memoir, the pop star reveals that she worked on a rock album with the band Chick around the time period of the Daydream sessions.

“Fun fact: I did an alternative album while I was making Daydream,” Carey wrote on Twitter, where she shared an excerpt from her upcoming book, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, Sunday afternoon (Sept. 27). “Just for laughs, but it got me through some dark days.”

“Here’s a little of what I wrote about it in #TheMeaningOfMariahCarey,” she said.

Carey added in her tweet, “S/O to my friend Clarissa who performs the lead w/ me as a hidden layer.”

In the excerpt, she admitted, “I actually started to love the songs.”

“I would fully commit to my character,” she wrote. “I was playing with the style of the breezy-grunge, punk-light white female singers who were popular at the time. You know the ones who seemed to be so carefree with their feelings and their image. They could be angry, angsty, and messy, with old shoes, wrinkled slips, and unruly eyebrows, while every move I made was so calculated and manicured. I wanted to break free, let loose, and express my misery — but I also wanted to laugh. I totally looked forward to doing my alter-ego band sessions after Daydream each night.”

Read it, and hear a music clip with her background vocals circa 1995, in the post below.

Drake, Chance the Rapper Honor ‘GOAT’ Lil Wayne on His Birthday

Drake is joining in on celebrating another year in Lil Wayne’s life. He penned a heartfelt tribute to the rapper on social media for his 38th birthday.

“More life to the man that gave me everything I have!!!” Drake wrote on Instagram, where he shared a series of photos of the pair on Sunday (Sept. 27).

“My GOAT,” he added, “and not just on some emoji s—.”

“Sometimes I wanna drop a tear but no emotions from a king…shall be…so I be…who I be…that’s me…that’s Weezy F Baby and please say the mothaf—in,” Drake said, referencing a Wayne track.

The pictures included throwback performance shots, memories from their “HYFR” video and Drake’s hilarious SNL skit where he played Lil Wayne as Steve Urkel.

Chance the Rapper also gave Wayne a shout-out on Sunday.

“You were the first mixtape I heard. You got me my first grammy. You got me my first number 1. From childhood through fatherhood, always been there for me. Happy Bday to the greatest,” Chance wrote before posting some of his all-time favorite Lil Wayne bars.

Taylor Swift Surpasses Whitney Houston for Most Weeks at No. 1 Among Women in Billboard 200’s History

Taylor Swift’s Folklore album returns to No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, collecting a seventh nonconsecutive week atop the tally. In doing so, Swift surpasses Whitney Houston’s longstanding record, among women, for the most cumulative weeks at No. 1, across all of her chart-topping albums. Swift’s total weeks at No. 1 now stands at 47, one more than Houston’s tally of 46. Folklore earned 87,000 equivalent album units in the U.S. in the week ending Sept. 24 (up 97 percent), according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data.

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units comprise album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Each unit equals one album sale, or 10 individual tracks sold from an album, or 3,750 ad-supported or 1,250 paid/subscription on-demand official audio and video streams generated by songs from an album. The new Oct. 3-dated chart (where Folklore returns to No. 1) will be posted in full on Billboard’s website on Sept. 29. For all chart news, follow @billboard and @billboardcharts on both Twitter and Instagram.

Of Folklore’s 87,000 units earned in the tracking week ending Sept. 24, album sales comprise 56,000 (up 339 percent), SEA units comprise 30,000 (down 4 percent) equaling 39.8 million on-demand streams of the album’s songs) and TEA units total 1,000 (up 38 percent).

Folklore’s fortunes perked up in the newest tracking week, as Swift sold more signed CD copies of the album through her official webstore and via independent record stores (as she’s done in previous weeks) and also issued more merchandise/album bundles in her webstore. She additionally profits from the release of a new live version of the album’s single “Betty,” as performed on the Academy of Country Music Awards (held on Sept. 16). The live rendition was released to YouTube shortly after the awards, while it reached digital retail and other streaming services on Sept. 18. For tracking purposes, the new version of “Betty” is combined with its original version.

Swift also promoted Folklore on streaming services with another release (on Sept. 21) of a thematic “chapter” of songs from the album (as she’s done in previous weeks). Such collections of songs get prominent placement on streaming services, appearing as the latest release from Swift.

As noted above, Folklore returns to No. 1 for a seventh nonconsecutive week on top. In doing so, Swift’s total weeks at No. 1 — across all seven of her chart-topping albums — now stands at 47, a new record among female artists. She surpasses Whitney Houston’s sum of 46 weeks at No. 1. (Houston held the record for the most weeks at No. 1 among women since 1987.)

Houston notched four No. 1 albums: her self-titled debut (14 weeks at No. 1 in 1986), her sophomore release Whitney (11 in 1987), The Bodyguard soundtrack (20 in 1992-93) and I Look to You (one week in 2009).

Following Swift and Houston, Adele has the third-most weeks at No. 1 among women, with 34 weeks from her two No. 1s: 21 (24 in 2011-12) and 25 (10 in 2015-16).

The all-time leaders with the most weeks at No. 1 are The Beatles, with 132 weeks at No. 1 across their record 19 chart-topping albums. The male act (and solo artist) with the most weeks atop the list is Elvis Presley, with 67.

Here’s a roundup of every act with at least 30 weeks at No. 1, since the Billboard 200 chart began publishing on a regular weekly basis on March 24, 1956: The Beatles (132 weeks), Elvis Presley (67), Garth Brooks (52), Michael Jackson (51), Taylor Swift (47), Whitney Houston (46), The Kingston Trio (46), Elton John (39), Fleetwood Mac (38), The Rolling Stones (38), Harry Belafonte (37), The Monkees (37), Prince (35), Adele (34), Eminem (34), Eagles (30) and Mariah Carey (30).

Folklore additionally continues to have the most weeks at No. 1 for any album since Drake’s Views ruled for 13 nonconsecutive weeks in 2016. Folklore also continues to have the most weeks at No. 1 among all non-R&B/hip-hop titles, and albums by women, since Adele’s 25 landed 10 nonconsecutive weeks at No. 1 in 2015-16.

At No. 2 on the new Billboard 200, Pop Smoke’s former leader, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, is a non-mover with 75,000 equivalent album units earned (up 2 percent).

YoungBoy Never Broke Again’s Top falls from No. 1 to No. 3 in its second week on the list, earning 63,000 equivalent album units (down 50 percent).

Alicia Keys collects her eighth top 10 album, as her latest studio effort, Alicia, bows at No. 4 with 62,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 51,000 are from album sales, 10,000 from SEA units (equaling 13.6 million in on-demand streams of the set’s tracks) and 1,000 from TEA units. Alicia’s album sales were bolstered by a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer with her upcoming U.S. tour, which was slated to begin on July 28, but has since been postponed to 2021.

Alicia was initially set for release on March 20, but was delayed due to concerns relating to COVID-19. Alicia is Keys’ first studio set since 2016’s Here debuted and peaked at No. 2.

All seven of Keys’ studio albums have reached the top four on the Billboard 200. She additionally logged a top 10 with the No. 1 live set Unplugged in 2005. 

Juice WRLD’s former leader Legends Never Die slips from No. 3 to No. 5 with 51,000 equivalent album units (down 4 percent). 

Rappers Moneybagg Yo and Blac Youngsta team up for the No. 6 arrival of their collaborative album Code Red (a little over 40,000 equivalent album units earned). Of that sum, nearly 37,000 are from SEA units (equaling 51.5 million in on-demand streams of the set’s tracks), 3,000 from album sales and 1,000 from TEA units. Code Red is Moneybagg Yo’s second top 10 of 2020 (following the No. 3 peak of Time Served in January) and fourth top 10 overall. It’s the first top 10 for Blac Youngsta, who had previously gone as high as No. 42 with 223 in 2018.

Keith Urban nabs his eighth top 10 album on the Billboard 200, as The Speed of Now, Part 1 arrives at No. 7 with 40,000 equivalent album units earned. Of that sum, 27,000 are from album sales, 10,000 from SEA units (equaling 13.3 million in on-demand streams of the set’s tracks) and 2,000 from TEA units.

Urban also marks his 20th anniversary on the Billboard 200, as his self-titled debut U.S. album arrived on the list dated Aug. 26, 2000 (at No. 188). It later peaked at No. 145. He followed it up with Golden Road, a No. 11-peaking set in 2002. He scored his first top 10 with his next release, Be Here, which reached No. 3 in 2004. (Urban made his overall Billboard chart debut — across all charts — on Aug. 28, 1999, when his single “It’s a Love Thing” debuted on the Hot Country Songs chart.)

The original Broadway cast recording of Hamilton: An American Musical, falls from No. 5 to No. 8 with 39,000 equivalent album units earned (down 5 percent). Lil Baby’s former No. 1 My Turn slides from No. 6 to No. 9 with 38,000 units (down 4 percent).

The fourth and final debut in the top 10 is Lil Tecca’s Virgo World at No. 10 with 34,000 equivalent album units earned. It’s the rapper’s second chart entry and second top 10, following We Love You Tecca (No. 4 in 2019). Of Virgo World’s starting sum, 30,000 are from SEA units (equaling 42.6 million in on-demand streams of the set’s tracks), 4,000 from album sales and a negligible sum from TEA units.

Here Are All the Livestreams & Virtual Concerts to Watch During the Coronavirus Crisis: Week of Sept. 28

The weather may be cooling off as autumn gets rolling, but livestreamed concerts and events are still going strong.

This week’s shows include the first of two sets by Machine Gun Kelly, BLACKPINK’S pre-album release event, a music festival to get out the vote, and much more.

Since the global coronavirus pandemic began, artists around the world have canceled tour dates. Instead, they’ve been playing sets from home, and more recently, streaming from empty venues to keep fans entertained as people stay home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Below is a list of some of the musical performances to enjoy from your couch this week. As more events are announced, we’ll add them to this list.


Sept. 29: Daughtry is playing a livestream acoustic set from Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom. The show begins at 9 p.m. ET; tickets start at $10.

Oct. 1: Machine Gun Kelly is livestreaming his first of two sets from L.A.’s Roxy this week. On Oct. 1, he’ll be playing his new album, Tickets to My Downfall; on the 8th, he’ll perform Hotel Diablo in full. Both shows begin at 9 p.m. ET. Tickets are on sale now.

BLACKPINK is doing a livestream event just hours before the group’s highly anticipated studio debut LP, The Album, drops. The event, titled “Comeback Live,” begins at 9 p.m. ET on South Korean streaming service VLive.

Oct. 2: Corey Taylor is hosting a record release livestream called “Forum or Against ‘Em” at The Forum in Los Angeles in celebration of his debut solo album, CMFT. He is set to perform songs from the album, plus Slipknot and Stone Sour tracks and some cover songs. Tickets for the show, which will be broadcast at 2 p.m. PT / 5 p.m. ET, can be purchased here.

Oct. 3: One-day music festival Democracy Comes Alive will feature performances by Bruce Hornsby, G. Love, members of the String Cheese Incident and more. The event, in partnership with HeadCount, urges viewers to cast a ballot for the Nov. 3 general election. The event begins at 1 p.m. ET; visit DemocracyComesAlive.com for more information.

Fans Choose Zayn’s ‘Better’ as This Week’s Favorite New Music

Zayn’s latest song “Better” has topped this week’s new music poll.

Music fans voted in a poll published Friday (Sept. 25) on Billboard, choosing the 27-year-old singer’s mellow R&B ballad as their favorite new music release of the past week.

“Better” brought in 91 percent of the vote this week, beating out new music by Travis Scott (“Franchise”), SuperM (“Super One”), Jennifer Lopez and Maluma (“Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely”) and others.

“Better,” co-written by Zayn, is slated for his upcoming third album, which is described in a release as his “most personal project to date. With total creative reign on his third album, Zayn is making the music he has always wanted to.” The accompanying video, directed by Ryan Hope, finds him waking up alone in in an empty house while some unknown figures surveil him from afar.

Zayn recently welcomed his first child, a baby girl, with girlfriend Gigi Hadid.

Placing second on this week’s poll was the “other” category, which accounted for 3 percent of the vote.

Coming in third on the tally with nearly 2 percent of the vote was Scott’s new song “Franchise,” featuring Young Thug and M.I.A. The track’s accompanying visual, which debuted globally in IMAX theaters on Sept. 24, spotlights Scott parading around basketball icon Michael Jordan’s mansion.

See the final results of this week’s new music release poll below.