Much like last year, the coronavirus persists but that doesn’t mean things haven’t changed. A lot has happened since our previous article and we’re here to round up the biggest news in music this year – from groundbreaking stuff, to some bad… and great news like when Britney had ENOUGH!
Music festivals were canceled and rescheduled, records were broken and history was made! Let’s take a look at 2021’s biggest news in music –
Boomtown 2021 cancelled due to escalating Covid cases
In April 2021, Boomtown cancelled its 2021 event citing a lack of a COVID-specific insurance policy from the UK government. Although they did set up a ‘Boom Village’ – to replace the canceled Boomtown, ‘Boom Village’ too had been canceled due to rising COVID-19 cases across the United Kingdom.
We are truly sorry to have to say this again, but we have had to make the incredibly hard decision to cancel Boom Village.
— Boomtown Fair (@BoomtownFair) July 14, 2021
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Coachella 2021 Canceled Due to Coronavirus
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival’s highly-anticipated return in 2021 was cancelled by a county health order as well as the country music festival, Stagecoach. They cited the virus surge that plagued California for months at the time.
Due to the pandemic, Public Health Officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser today (Jan. 29) signed a public health order canceling Coachella Valley Music and Arts, Stagecoach Country Music festivals planned for April 2021. We look forward to when the events may return. https://t.co/YAIn8uTea9
— Dr. Geoffrey Leung (@RivCoDoc) January 29, 2021
Tomorrowland Declares 2021 Festival Officially Canceled
Tomorrowland had been forced to cancel its 2021 event by Belgian authorities as per Variety. The biggest electronic/dance music festival in the world was scheduled for August 27-29 and September 3-5. This festival has faced opposition, due to concerns about rising cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant.
ABBA Reunite for First Time in 40 Years, Announce New Album and Digital Concert
After going separate ways in 1982, Swedish pop legends ABBA have officially reunited. The group announced a new album – ‘Voyage’ in one of the most anticipated musical returns in recent years. This new album was released on November 6.
BTS Become First Asian Act to Win AMAs Artist of the Year
This year’s American Music Awards belonged to the K-Pop group BTS! The superstars made history by becoming the first Asian act to win the ‘Artist of the Year’ award. Their return to the AMAs was triumphant as they took home three awards that night!
The ‘Butter’ and ‘Dynamite’ hitmakers were nominated alongside some big names – Ariana Grande, Drake, Taylor Swift, Olivia Rodrigo, and The Weeknd. “Four years ago we made our U.S television debut at the AMAs. We had no idea we would install Artist of the Year,” rapper-producer SUGA said while accepting the award. His speech was delivered fully in Korean.
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Beyoncé Makes History with 28th Grammy Win, Becomes the Most-Decorated Female Artist of All Time
At the 2021 Grammy Awards, Beyoncé took home her twenty-eighth win making her the most-awarded woman in Grammys history. With this win, the legendary singer overtook Alison Krauss and now has the most Grammy wins EVER by any female artist or any singer – male or female.
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Jay-Z Becomes Most Grammy-Nominated Artist in History
Jay-Z has received three nominations at the 2022 Grammy Awards. He now has eighty-three nominations making him the most Grammy-nominated artist of all time with twenty-three wins overall. The previous top-spot holder was Quincy Jones with eighty nominations. The rapper’s new title came following his nomination for guest appearances with Kanye West on the latter’s album ‘DONDA‘ as well as the late DMX.
Jay-Z has become the most nominated artist in Grammy history. He had been tied with Quincy Jones for 80 nods, but with this year’s ballot, he has a total of 83 nominations. Jay-Z has won 23 Grammys in his career so far. https://t.co/NEBzOFZFaO pic.twitter.com/zmbePC5EzA
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 23, 2021
find the full list of nominees of the 2022 grammy awards: Here
Brit Awards Announce New Gender-Neutral Categories
The BRIT Awards have introduced a new award ‘Artist of the Year’ for the next ceremony. They have removed the gendered categories that split male and female talent apart and the AOTY award will replace the ‘British Male Solo Artist’ and ‘British Female Solo Artist’ categories. An ‘International Artist of the Year’ award will replace the previously gendered international solo artist awards.
Britain’s pop music honors, the Brit Awards, to introduce gender-neutral categories https://t.co/CCVcIFgSlr
— CNN International (@cnni) November 23, 2021
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Demi Lovato announces they are non-binary and changing their pronouns
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Kehlani comes out as a lesbian
Kehlani has identified as queer and bisexual for a long time. However, they came out as a lesbian via a TikTok post in April.
Earlier this year, Kehlani updated their Twitter account with their preferred pronouns. They included their preference for she/they pronouns, and have now discussed the situation further as they confirmed that they prefer to use she/they pronouns while speaking to Byrdie Magazine. The singer said: “I don’t mind when people say ‘she’ at all, but something feels really affirming when people say ‘they.’ It feels like… you really see me.”
Kehlani officially comes out as a lesbian in new TikTok. 🏳️🌈 pic.twitter.com/P1R8KJK34c
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) April 22, 2021
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Halsey Updates Social Media Bio with She/They Pronouns
ig story – iamhalsey pic.twitter.com/nTB4sqlwFk
— Halsey Updates (@HalseyInsiders) March 22, 2021
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Britney Spears free from conservatorship, judge rules
On November 12, a thirteen-year-old guardianship was terminated officially freeing Britney Spears from her conservatorship, a California judge ruled Friday. “The court finds and determines that the conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is no longer required,” ruled Judge Brenda Penny. “The conservatorship of the person and estate of Britney Jean Spears is hereby terminated.”
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The Weeknd took home 10 awards, including top artist at the Billboard Music Awards
The Weeknd was the most-awarded artist at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards. The 2021 BBMAs were presented in the L.A.Live complex in Los Angeles on May 23- Sunday and the pop star took home ten awards, doubling his career total of BBMAs as he won nine awards last year. Pop Smoke won five awards, including the top new artist in the ceremony that also also honored P!nk as the Icon. BTS and Bad Bunny each earned four BBMAs which were hosted by Nick Jonas. This year’s ‘Artist of the Decade’ was an iconic rapper – Drake.
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Taylor Swift breaks record for longest Number One song with ‘All Too Well (10 Minute Version)’
Surpassing Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ which is 8 minutes and 37 seconds long, Taylor Swift broke the record for the longest song to reach No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The iconic singer-songwriter – Swift, broke the record with her highly-anticipated track “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” off of her re-recording of 2012’s album -‘Red’. With this hit, Swift has made history by breaking an almost fifty-year-old record (since ‘American Pie’ held the top position for four weeks back in 1972.
I’m so proud of this song and the memories I have with you guys because of it. You truly chose this one and now you did THIS?! I’m floored. A ten minute song is at the top of the Hot 100.🤯
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) November 22, 2021
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Debut artist Olivia Rodrigo breaks records, becomes the youngest artist to score Official UK Chart Double
— Official Charts (@officialcharts) May 28, 2021
According to BBC, Rodrigo’s song is also the biggest-selling debut number one in five years – since Zayn Malik’s Pillowtalk – which sold 112,000 in February 2016.
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Legendary rapper DMX Dies at Age 50
Rapper and actor DMX died five days after suffering a heart attack. “We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days,” the family’s statement read in part. “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” the family continued. “He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him.”
My childhood and love for music would not have been the same without this man. DMX was easily my favorite artist growing up. I had every album, every ruff Ryder song, followed any artist he endorsed. Man….RIP the dog. There will never be another like him. pic.twitter.com/2fp2S695Az
— Chris Redd (@Reddsaidit) April 9, 2021
Girls Aloud Singer Sarah Harding Succumbs to Cancer at 39
‘Just A Friend’ Rapper Biz Markie Nicknamed “Clown Prince of Rap”, Dies at 57
Biz Markie, the New York rapper, beatboxer, and producer, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2014. The rapper was hospitalized for weeks with the illness during 2020 and passed away in July this year. “It is with profound sadness that we announce, this evening, with his wife Tara by his side, hip hop pioneer Biz Markie peacefully passed away,” his rep Jenni Izumi said in a statement.
“We are grateful for the many calls and prayers of support that we have received during this difficult time,” Izumi said in a statement. “Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans whose lives he was able to touch through music, spanning over 35 years. He leaves behind a wife, many family members, and close friends who will miss his vibrant personality, constant jokes, and frequent banter.”
We lost another Rap legend Mr. Biz Markie, an American rapper, singer, DJ, record producer, actor, comedian, and writer. He’s best known for his 1989 single “Just a Friend”! To a lot of us he was more than Just a Friend. R.I.P. Prayers going out to the family & friends. Bootsy🤩 pic.twitter.com/URnUMKIQdB
— Bootsy Collins (@Bootsy_Collins) July 17, 2021
artists who welcomed their first children this year
Welcome to the world baby 21/08/21 ♥️ pic.twitter.com/Z2gLYU12Tk
— Little Mix (@LittleMix) August 22, 2021
Ellie Goulding Gives Birth, Welcomes Her First Baby With Husband Caspar Jopling https://t.co/Nn1JPIRGfY
— E! News (@enews) May 2, 2021
Here’s to hoping 2022 is an even better year, that brings us some great music, amazing artists and sick tunes!