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GRANDE, EXTRA SWEETENER, THANK U

Sources say Ariana Grande will not be performing at the Grammys, having told the show’s team that she won’t perform a song she doesn’t want to do; furthermore (per Variety) she apparently won't even be attending the event. Lady Gaga, meanwhile, is now a go for Music’s Biggest Night.

Ariana's refusal deprives the show of yet another big star—this one in the midst of an incredible run; rather stunningly, she was passed over for noms in the major Grammy categories. There’s no question that she’s undergone a compelling image change, morphing from a pure pop siren into something cooler and more of the moment. In doing so, she’s broadened her audience in a huge way and cracked the code of the streaming world. 

Her Sweetener set on Republic bowed in August with 232k (her biggest debut up to that point) and has racked up 1.2m in total activity in less than six months, with 1.14 billion streams; she’s already coming with another wildly anticipated new album on 2/8, led by a track that’s broken all manner of streaming records. If she matches the last album’s debut week and you add the 350k+ her last three singles have racked up in consumption, she could have a RTD total in the neighborhood of 600k at the end of her first week. This is the metric that counts nowadays, much more than the old-school debut-week album total.

STRONG Q1 FOR UMG
DRIVES VIVENDI
The crown jewel sparkles. (4/16a)
COACHELLA VS. COUCHELLA: NO CONTEST
One weekend down, one to go. (4/15a)
BECK BRINGS "LIGHTNING" TO BEATS
The Tower of sync power. (4/15a)
NEW RELEASES: A BTS MAP (UPDATE)
K-Pop is a thing, it looks like. (4/16a)
CROSSCURRENTS: NEW FRONTIERS
The final chapter of the Black Music History overview (4/15a)
THE NEXT RECORDING ACADEMY HEAD IS...
(The envelope, please.)
THE WHOLE SPIEL ON BILLIE
We're handing out crowns.
THE FUTURE OF ROCK & ROLL IS...
Hang on, we just need to throw this TV out the window.
THERE'S PIZZA IN THE BACK
The pepperoni's all gone, though.
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