Kanye West, BTS, Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, Halsey & More of the Week’s Biggest Winners (July 23)

Kanye West, BTS, Justin Bieber, Megan Thee Stallion, Halsey & More of the Week’s Biggest Winners (July 23)

The Tokyo Olympics are underway Friday (July 23), but some artists such as the Jonas Brothers have been competing for their last-minute spots on Team USA.

While the brothers were going for the gold in their Olympic-themed TV special — which resulted in Nick Jonas cracking his rib during a BMX bike crash — other artists broke plenty of records across the board.

Megan The Stallion becomes the first rapper and second musician to be featured on the 2021 cover of Sports Illustrated, while BTS and Justin Bieber’s new entries on the Billboard Hot 100 this week cement both acts on the chart’s history. Meanwhile, Kanye West held a listening party for his long-awaited album Donda, and Taylor Swift withdrew Fearless (Taylor’s Version) from consideration for the Grammys and ACM Awards.

Take a look at Billboard’s weekly roundup and the “awards” it gave to this week’s headlines.

Happiest Music News: Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett plan to reunite with “One Last Time” shows

Gaga and Bennett, who recorded their first Grammy-winning collaborative album Cheek to Cheek in 2014 and have been pals since 2011, are celebrating a decade of friendship with two shows at Radio City Music Hall, titled One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. The first show will be held on Aug. 3 (Bennett’s 95th birthday), while the second will be on Aug. 5. Learn more here.

Sweetest Music News: Halsey gives birth to her first child

Congratulations are in order for Halsey and Alev Aydin, who welcomed their first child! The singer revealed in touching black-and-white Instagram photos that they named their baby boy Ender Ridley Aydin. “Gratitude. For the most ‘rare’ and euphoric birth. Powered by love,” she captioned the post. See the sweet family photos here.

Sportiest Music News: Megan Thee Stallion stars on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover, Jonas Brothers air Olympics TV special

No competition to see here, because there’s a tie between Megan Thee Stallion and the Jonas Brothers for who takes home the gold in this category. She becomes the first rapper — and second musician after Beyoncé — to star on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, which was unveiled on Monday (July 19). “She is so symbolic of everything I hope other woman can tap into for themselves,” SI Swimsuit Editor-in-Chief MJ Day tells Billboard. Meanwhile, the pop trio kicked their sibling rivalry up a notch with their hourlong special Olympic Dreams Featuring Jonas Brothers, which aired on Wednesday (July 21). Read more about Meg’s historic magazine cover here, and learn about the JoBros’ TV special here.

Most Record-Breaking Music News: BTS & Justin Bieber make history on Hot 100 

The K-pop supergroup becomes the first act to top the Hot 100 and Songs of the Summer charts with two different songs, as “Butter” keeps atop the seasonal tally for another week and “Permission to Dance” replaces it on the all-genre chart. The feat hasn’t been accomplished in nearly 11 years. The last act to do so was when Katy Perry’s “California Gurls,” featuring Snoop Dogg, was crowned the song of the summer in 2010, while her follow-up single “Teenage Dream” took over the throne of Hot 100. Two slots down on the Hot 100, “Stay” by The Kid LAROI and Justin Bieber earns the latter his 100th hit on the Hot 100, making him the youngest soloist to accomplish this feat at 27 years, four months and three weeks of age. Learn more about BTS’ historical chart moves here and Bieber’s here.

Most Live News: Kanye West plays Donda at listening event 

Yeezy officially returned as all eyes were on the Kanye West Presents A Donda Listening Event Thursday night (July 22), where he debuted his 10th studio album, Donda (which has yet to materialize on streaming, by the way) at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The biggest surprises of the night included a Watch the Throne reunion between Ye and Jay-Z, his head-to-toe red outfit reminiscent of what he wore to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards when he premiered “Runaway,” and his reflections on his divorce from Kim Kardashian. Read the five best moments from the listening event here.

Most Surprising Music News: Taylor Swift pulls Fearless (Taylor’s Version) from awards contention

Billboard broke the news on Tuesday (July 20) that the award-winning superstar pulled Fearless (Taylor’s Version), the 2021 re-recorded album of her 2008 breakthrough sophomore release, from Grammy and CMA Awards contention. Her ninth studio album Evermore, however, will be submitted to the Grammys for consideration in all eligible categories. Read the official statement here.

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