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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.

SURF’S UP
FOR HITS LIST
Good vibrations (3/5a)
NEAR TRUTHS: UNCORKED
Jay-Z's blingy mountain of cash keeps gaining altitude. (3/5a)
UMG PULLS IN NEARLY
$9B IN 2020
Value keeps rising ahead of IPO. (3/5a)
MILEY JOINS COLUMBIA
Like moving to the apartment next door. (3/4a)
GRAMMY CHEW: THE
PRE-GRAMMY BOUNCE
Let's hear it for ironic guitar-smashing. (3/5a)
BLACK HISTORY MONTH
A jazz chronicle of fighting the power.
GRAMMYS: WHERE TO FROM HERE?
After the snubs, the show.
ACQUITTED
In a phenomenal display of cowardice.
MOVING THE NEEDLE
When vaccination schedules and touring schedules meet.
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