Billie Eilish and Sam Smith to Perform at 2020 ARIA Awards

Billie Eilish and Sam Smith join the lineup of performers for next week’s 2020 ARIA Awards.

Eilish and Smith bring some international star power to a ceremony that will also feature performances from homegrown stars Sia, Tame Impala, Lime Cordiale, Sampa The Great, Amy Shark and Archie Roach, who will be inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame on the night.

Australian audiences can’t get enough of Eilish. Her debut When We Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? opened at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart and finished 2019 as the highest-selling album in Australia, earning double-platinum status and landing seven singles in the Top 5 of the ARIA chart.

One of those hits, “Bad Guy,” blasted to No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart and topped triple j’s 2019 Hottest 100 poll, making the Californian teen the youngest person and first female solo artist ever to achieve the feat. Eilish’s career streams top 1.27 billion in Australia, according to ARIA.

At the ARIAs, Eilish will deliver an exclusive performance of her new single “Therefore I Am” from her hometown, Los Angeles.

Smith can also boast superstar status in the Land Down Under, and a loaded trophy cabinet with four Grammys, three BRITs, an Oscar, and a Golden Globe Award.

Smith’s three full-length album releases have all peaked in the Top 3 on the ARIA chart, including a No. 1 for In The Lonely Hour from 2015.

At the annual ARIAs, the British singer will cross live from Abbey Road Studios in London for a special performance.

“Australia has always held such a special place in my heart, and I am so honored to be a part of this year’s ARIA Awards,” Smith says in a statement.

Heading into its 34th edition, the ARIA Awards will take place Nov. 25 at The Star Event Centre in Sydney, with Lime Cordiale (eight nominations), Tame Impala (seven) and Sampa (six) in the lead pack for silverware.

YouTube will stream performances online through an ongoing partnership, and free-to-air broadcaster Nine Network will beam the show across Australia.

Here Are the 8 Likeliest Grammy Nominees in Each of the Big Four Categories

Look for Post Malone, Harry Styles and The Weeknd to do very well in the 63rd annual Grammy nominations, which will be announced on Tuesday (Nov. 24). All three artists could wind up with nominations for album, record and song of the year.

Billie Eilish, Megan Thee Stallion, Maren Morris and Taylor Swift could each wind up with nominations in two of the so-called Big Four categories: album, record and song of the year, plus best new artist.

For the third year, there will be eight nominees in each of the Big Four categories, up from five.

Here’s our best guess as to what the nominees will be — the eight top contenders (in alphabetical order, just as they will appear on the list of nominations and, later, the Grammy ballot). We also briefly list eight top alternates.

These categories are fiercely competitive. There were 1,225 entries for album of the year, 1,463 for record of the year, 1,443 for song of the year and 343 for best new artist. You will hear the word “snub” thrown around a lot on Tuesday. In the Big Four categories, especially, if something isn’t nominated, it isn’t necessarily a snub. It could mean someone came in ninth out of more than a thousand entries. Keep that in mind.

Here we go. (Wish us luck.)

Album of the year

Fiona Apple, Fetch the Bolt Cutters: This would be the first album of the year nod for Apple, who was nominated for best new artist in 1997.

Luke Combs, What You See Is What You Get: This was the first country album to top the Billboard 200 for two weeks since Chris Stapleton’s Traveller five years ago — which was nominated in this category. Combs’ album won album of the year at both the ACM and CMA Awards.

Dua Lipa, Future Nostalgia: This would be the first album of the year nod for Lipa, who won best new artist two years ago.

Post Malone, Hollywood’s Bleeding: This would be Post’s second album of the year nod. Beerbongs & Bentleys was nominated two years ago.

Roddy Ricch, Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial: This won album of the year at the BET Awards and hip hop album of the year at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Harry Styles, Fine Line: This would be Styles’ first Grammy nod — in any category, solo or with One Direction. Better late than never.

Taylor Swift, Folklore: This would put Swift back in the album of the year finals after her last two albums fell short. This would be her fourth nod in this category.

The Weeknd, After Hours: This would be The Weeknd’s second nod in this category. Beauty Behind the Madness was nominated five years ago.

Other top contenders: Bad Bunny, YHLQMDLG; The Chicks, Gaslighter; Bob Dylan, Rough and Rowdy Ways; Lady Gaga, Chromatica; Miranda Lambert, Wildcard; Lil Baby, My Turn; Lil Uzi Vert, Eternal Atake (Deluxe) — Luv vs. the World 2; Pop Smoke, Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon.

Record of the year

BTS, “Dynamite”: This would be the first hit by a boy band to be nominated in this category since *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” 20 years ago.

Billie Eilish, “Everything I Wanted”: Eilish won in this category last year with “Bad Guy.” She’s vying to become the first artist to return to the finals the year after winning in this category since U2 nearly 20 years ago.

Post Malone, “Circles”: Post has been nominated in this category in each of the last two years with “Rockstar” (featuring 21 Savage) and “Sunflower,” a collab with Swae Lee. He’s vying to become the first artist to receive a record of the year nod three years running since Steve Winwood (1986-88).

Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé Knowles, “Savage”: This would be Beyoncé’s sixth career nomination in this category, which would enable her to surpass Barbra Streisand as the female artist with the most career nods. They are currently tied with five record of the year nods each. Moreover, this would be the third all-female collab to be nominated in this category, following Brandy & Monica’s “The Boy Is Mine” (1998) and Iggy Azalea featuring Charli XCX’s “Fancy” (2014).

Maren Morris, “The Bones”: This hit, which logged 19 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs, won the CMA Award for single of the year. This would be Morris’ second record of the year nod. She was nominated two years ago for “The Middle,” a pop-minded collab with Zedd and Grey.

Travis Scott, “Highest in the Room”: This would be Scott’s first nomination in a Big Four category for one of his own records. He received an album of the year nod four years ago as a featured artist on Justin Bieber’s Purpose.

Harry Styles, “Adore You”: “Watermelon Sugar” was a bigger hit, but Styles’ camp entered this song instead, probably thinking it has a more traditional Grammy sound.

The Weeknd, “Blinding Lights”: This would be The Weeknd’s second nod in this category. He was nominated five years ago for “Can’t Feel My Face.”

Other top contenders: Gabby Barrett, “I Hope”; DaBaby featuring Roddy Ricch, “Rockstar”; Doja Cat’s “Say So”; Lady Gaga & Ariana Grande’s “Rain on Me”; Dua Lipa’s “Don’t Start Now”; Roddy Ricch, “The Box”; Taylor Swift, “Cardigan”; 24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior, “Mood.”

Song of the year

This award goes to the songwriters, not the artists. Artists’ names are shown here in parentheses just to help you identify the song.

“Adore You” (Harry Styles): Amy Allen, Thomas Hull, Tyler Johnson & Harry Styles, songwriters.

“The Bigger Picture” (Lil Baby): Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew & Rai’shaun Williams, songwriters. In the year of George Floyd and BLM, the Grammys are certain to nominate one or more songs that address the topic of race. Past song of the year nominees that addressed the issue are Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” (2015), Beyoncé’s “Formation” (2016) and Childish Gambino’s “This Is America” (2018). “The Bigger Picture” won impact track at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

“Blinding Lights” (The Weeknd): Ahmad Balshe, Oscar Holter, Max Martin, Jason “Daheala” Quenneville & Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye, songwriters. This would be Martin’s fifth nod in this category.

“The Bones” (Maren Morris):  Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins & Laura Veltz, songwriters. This won song of the year at the recent CMA Awards.

“Cardigan” (Taylor Swift): Aaron Dessner & Taylor Swift, songwriters. This would be Swift’s fifth nod in the category, which would be more than any other female songwriter in Grammy history. She’s currently tied with lyricist Marilyn Bergman with four nods each.

“Circles” (Post Malone): Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk, Austin Post & Billy Walsh, songwriters. Neither of Post’s previous record of the year candidates was nominated for song of the year.

“Everything I Wanted” (Billie Eilish): Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell, songwriters. The talented siblings won in this category last year for “Bad Guy.” At the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, if this were to win, the sibs would become the first songwriters in Grammy history to win back-to-back awards in this category.

“I Can’t Breathe” (H.E.R.): Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. & Tiara Thomas, songwriters. H.E.R. was nominated in this category last year for co-writing “Hard Place.” If “I Can’t Breathe” is nominated alongside “The Bigger Picture,” this would mark the first time that two race-themed songs have been nominated in this category in the same year. “I Can’t Breathe” won video for good at both the VMAs and the MTV EMAs.

Other top contenders (songwriters’ names omitted in the interest of space): “Before You Go” (Lewis Capaldi); “Black Parade” (Beyoncé); “Don’t Start Now” (Dua Lipa); “I Hope” (Gabby Barrett); “Mood” (24kGoldn featuring Iann Dior); “Murder Most Foul” (Bob Dylan); “Savage” (Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyoncé Knowles); “10,000 Hours” (Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber).

Best new artist

Gabby Barrett: “I Hope,” the breakthrough hit by the 20-year old country singer, has logged 16 weeks at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs. Barrett was nominated for new female artist of the year at the ACM Awards and new artist of the year at the CMA Awards. She’s vying to become the first female country artist to win in this category since Carrie Underwood 14 years ago.

BlackPink: The all-female group is vying to become the first K-pop act to receive a nomination in this category. BlackPink’s first full-length album, The Album, entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2. “Ice Cream,” the group’s collab with Selena Gomez, reached No. 13 on the Hot 100.

Doja Cat: Cat won push best new artist at the VMA Awards and best new at the MTV EMAs. Her “Say So” reached No. 1 on the Hot 100.

Conan Gray: Gray’s debut album, Kid Krow, reached No. 5 on the Billboard 200. Gray is a big fan of Taylor Swift, who was nominated in this category 13 years ago.

Megan Thee Stallion: The rapper was entered in this category last year but wasn’t nominated. She had had a big 2019, but an even bigger 2020, with two No. 1 singles on the Hot 100. Megan is vying to become the first female hip-hop artist to win best new artist since Lauryn Hill 22 years ago.

Pop Smoke: The rapper, who was shot to death in February at age 20, has a good chance of becoming the first artist to receive a posthumous nomination in this category. (The category dates to 1959, the second year of the Grammy Awards.) The only potential stumbling block: The award has long been seen as a vote of confidence in a promising, up-and-coming artist. What does a vote of confidence mean in the case of an artist who has died? Pop Smoke won best new hip hop artist at last month’s BET Hip Hop Awards. He was nominated for best new artist at the BET Awards in June.

Summer Walker: Walker’s debut album, Over It, reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200. Walker was nominated for best new artist at the BET Awards.

Morgan Wallen: Wallen has amassed four top 20 hits on the Hot 100, including one (“7 Summers”) that cracked the top 10. Wallen won new artist of the year at the CMAs (beating Barrett). Could they both be nominated here? There were two country contenders in this category four years ago—Maren Morris and Kelsea Ballerini. And that was back when there were only five nominees.

Other top contenders: Ingrid Andress, Phoebe Bridgers, City Girls, Mickey Guyton, Orville Peck, Rex Orange County, Tones and I, YoungBoy Never Broke Again.

Note 1: First-round Grammy voting closed on Oct. 12, 12 days before 24kGolden’s “Mood” (featuring iann dior) reached No. 1 on the Hot 100. Obviously, 24kGolden would have had a better shot at a best new artist nomination if voting had closed later, but could he squeeze in anyway?

Note 2: Roddy Ricch wasn’t eligible for best new artist because he won a Grammy last year as a featured artist on Nipsey Hussle’s “Racks in the Middle” (which was voted best rap recording).

Tones And I’s ‘Dance Monkey’ Is the Most Shazamed Song of All Time

It’s official: Tones And I’s “Dance Monkey” is the most Shazamed song of them all.

Tones’ monster hit tops the all-time list, with more than 36.6 million Shazams since its release in May 2019, according to the music identifying platform.

Rounding out the top three is Lilly Wood & The Prick & Robin Schulz’s “Prayer In C (Robin Schulz Radio Edit)” and Passenger’s “Let Her Go,” respectively, while tracks by the late Avicii, Ed Sheeran, Aussie artists Sia and Gotye, Irishman Hozier and others impact Shazam’s all-time top 10.

Tones And I (real name Toni Watson) went from busking on the streets of Byron Bay, Australia to the top of sales charts around the globe in a matter of months.

“Dance Monkey” has breezed to more than seven billion streams across all platforms, and this week slotted into third place all-time on Spotify’s list of most-streamed songs.

The song smashed several records along the way, including a 24-week run at No. 1 on the ARIA Singles Chart, and an 11-week streak atop the Official U.K. Singles Chart, a record for a female solo artist.

“Dance Monkey” also peaked at No. 4 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, making it the first top five Hot 100 hit solely written by a woman in over eight years.

Then came the silverware. Tones scooped four ARIA Awards in 2019 and a brace of trophies at the 2020 APRA Awards, including the coveted song of the year honor.

“I didn’t have a following when I released ‘Dance Monkey,’ but [Shazam] gave me the opportunity to reach more people and elevate my fanbase, which has all led to creating a career for myself,” Tones said in a statement to the BBC.

With four mentions each, Sheeran ties with The Weeknd for the most entries in the Top 100 Shazams of All Time, while Sia, Sam Smith, Clean Bandit and Imagine Dragons each appear three times.

Check out the full list here.

Harvey Weinstein Settlement Will Go to Accusers for Vote

The latest version of a settlement that aims to bring an end to most claims against Harvey Weinstein from women who accuse him of sexual misconduct will be put before those accusers for a vote.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Mary F. Walrath on Tuesday approved the disclosure statement that will be sent to the women and the procedures that’ll be used to solicit their responses.

This version of the settlement still includes a $17 million sexual misconduct claims fund, an $8.4 million liquidation trust settlement payment to cover bankruptcy claims not related to sexual misconduct, and about $9.7 million toward defense costs for former representatives of the company, not including Weinstein himself. And instead of getting its own line item for more than $1.1 million in legal fees for services rendered to the debtors prior to the petition, Seyfarth Shaw will become an unsecured creditor and receive a pro rata share of the liquidation trust.

A sexual misconduct claims examiner will review each claim that’s filed, along with the documents and statements offered in support of it, and assign a “point award.” Those points will be used to determine how much money each woman receives. (If Jane Doe’s claim is assigned 10 points and the total points assigned across all claims is 100, she’d get 10 percent of the total victim’s fund.)

Once a sexual misconduct claim is allowed, each accuser will have the choice whether or not to release all future claims against Weinstein. If a woman chooses to release him, she’ll get what the examiner determines to be her full share. Those who choose not to release him will only receive 25 percent of the value assigned to their claim using the points system, and the rest will go to the insurance companies. (The deal includes a mandatory perpetual release of claims against The Weinstein Company and TWC board members and execs, including Bob Weinstein.)

Three different ballots will be used to determine whether the settlement has sufficient support to move forward — one for sexual misconduct claims, one for other tort claims and one for general unsecured claims. (Read the order and see the ballots in the document below.) The court can approve the plan if it’s approved by at least two-thirds of the total voters and more than one-half of voters in each of the classes.

Ballots must be completed and delivered by 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 18.

Any objections to the settlement — of which there could be many given the extremely critical public response to earlier iterations of the deal — must also be submitted in writing to the court by Dec. 18.

A confirmation hearing is currently set for Jan. 14.

This article originally appeared in

Sony/ATV and Bleeding Fingers Music Announce USC Scholarship for Black Composers

Sony/ATV and Bleeding Fingers Music have partnered to set up a full-ride scholarship for Black composition students at the University of Southern California (USC), it was announced today (Nov. 17). The scholarship falls under Sony Music Group’s $100 million social justice fund, which launched in June in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.

The Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship, which aims to encourage inclusivity and expand opportunities for Black composers, will cover the entire cost of attending USC’s Screen Scoring Master’s program at the Thornton School of Music, including tuition, housing and meals; application fee reimbursement; equipment; applicable relocation costs; and software purchases. It will additionally include an apprenticeship opportunity at Bleeding Fingers Music, the film and TV custom scoring company founded by Hans Zimmer, Steve Kofsky and Russell Emanuel.

“We are proud to partner with Bleeding Fingers and USC Thornton to establish this scholarship as we work to break down barriers for Black composers,” said Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Jon Platt. “We look forward to bringing a wide range of new, creative voices to the film and scoring community, and throughout the music industry.”

“There are many barriers to becoming a composer, not least is the expense of studying at a top school,” added Zimmer. “We want to break down this wall and find some truly gifted individuals that will become role models of the future.”

All applicants to the scholarship program must have an undergraduate degree and will be assessed based on their academic standing and musical abilities. If an applicant’s undergraduate degree is not in music composition or screen scoring, equivalent professional experience will be considered. The application fee is $115 (reimbursed to the candidate who is awarded the scholarship) and the submission deadline for the 2021-22 academic year is Dec. 1, 2020.

Quincy Jones, composer and producer at Bleeding Fingers Music, said in a statement, “I’ve wanted to score films since I was 15 years old, but it didn’t seem likely at that age. Now, as the first African American to have been nominated twice in the same year for the Best Song and Best Score Academy Award, I know that ‘first’ often means ‘only.’ To help change that narrative, I’m honored to support the new Screen Scoring Diversity Scholarship for Black Composers at USC’s Thornton School of Music. We’ve got to inspire these rugrats to know that their talents are valuable, help provide access to the tools they need, and show them that there is PLENTY of room for Black composers…and it makes my soul smile to know that’s exactly what this scholarship serves to achieve!”

Added Sean Holt, vice dean of the division of contemporary music at USC, “USC Thornton’s Division of Contemporary Music and Screen Scoring program are so encouraged by the commitment and generosity of our colleagues at Sony/ATV and Bleeding Fingers. We are enthusiastic about the opportunity and the lasting impact this scholarship will have on our efforts to build a more inclusive screen music community.”

Those interested can learn more and apply here.

Watch Gwen Stefani Steal This Country ‘Voice’ Contestant From Fiance Blake Shelton

Team Blake’s Ben Allen and mother-daughter trio Worth the Wait went head-to-head for a countrified knockout round on Tuesday night’s (Nov. 17) episode of The Voice, leaving coach Blake Shelton with a difficult decision to make.

Ben Allen paid tribute to his girlfriend of seven years with a romantic rendition of Luke Combs’ “She Got the Best of Me,” while Worth the Wait chose Tanya Tucker’s “Delta Dawn” to flex their characteristically angelic harmonies.

Shelton ended up choosing Worth the Wait to move on to the next round. “I just feel like Mia and Jacie are still in development and we’re going to see huge strides in their confidence and talent,” he shared. “I think it’s time a trio makes it to the finale on this show.”

But the country star’s fiancée Gwen Stefani wasn’t about to let Allen go home so soon. She quickly pressed her “steal” button, keeping him in the competition. “I’m excited to have country on my team,” she shared.

Watch the full scene below.

Gabby Barrett Delivers Emotional Performance of ‘I Hope’ on ‘Ellen’

Gabby Barrett took to the Ellen stage on Monday (Nov. 16) to perform her chart topping hit, “I Hope.”

Despite being in her third trimester of pregnancy, Barrett belted the emotional song flawlessly, as a stormy scene projected on the screen behind her to reflect the heartbreaking lyrics.

“I Hope” peaked at No. 3 at the Billboard Hot 100 chart dated Nov. 20, 2020. The song also has hit No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs, Country Streaming Songs, Country Digital Song Sales and Country Airplay charts.

Watch the performance below.