Luke Combs, King Of The Country Music Average Joes

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Luke CombsThe thing Luke Combs wants you to know about him is that he’s extremely normal, regular, average. Combs, one of the biggest things going in country music right now, just released an album called What You See Is What You Get. He’s a burly, bearded North Carolina native who removes his ballcap about as often … More »

Rosalía Is Becoming Earth’s Most Exciting Pop Star

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RosalíaAt this late date it’s rare to encounter music that truly sounds like nothing else, but El Mal Querer pulled it off last year. The Catalonian singer Rosalía’s second album was truly unique, alchemizing traditional flamenco with futuristic R&B in a manner that felt both natural and visionary. Palmas that hit like accented … More »

Pink’s Party Is Still Going Strong, It’s Just Taken A Maudlin Turn

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PinkPink has never fit in — so much so that not fitting in has become part of her personal brand. Despite spending two decades operating from deep within the mainstream machine, Alicia Beth Moore can believably tout herself as a pop star for the outsiders and the rebels. It’s a weird thing to say about … More »

Lizzo Really Is The Whole Damn Meal

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Lizzo“HAVE U EVER SEEN A BITCH PLAY FLUTE THEN HIT THE SHOOT?” It was a reasonable question. It was also a relevant question because it accompanied footage of the woman who posed it doing just that: first busting out an accomplished flute solo and then breaking into 2018’s biggest viral dance craze with her backup … More »

Benny Blanco Has Written Hits For Everybody Else. Now He’s Doing It For Himself.

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Benny BlancoBenny Blanco’s “Eastside” reached #1 on Billboard’s Pop Songs chart this week, completing a 31-week voyage to the top. The chart tracks Top 40 radio airplay, which means “Eastside” — a brisk, twilit collaboration with newly cemented radio mainstays Halsey and Khalid — has been in steady rotation at pop stations since late July. According … More »

Backstreet’s Back, But It’s Not Alright

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Backstreet BoysIn the Backstreet Boys’ video for 1998 mega-hit “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back),” the group’s tour bus breaks down outside what turns out to be a haunted house. Reluctantly, they decide to stay the night, after which “Thriller”-style horror hijinks ensue. The boys in the band appear in costume as various kinds of ghoulish creatures. If you … More »

Stream Julia Michaels’ New EP Inner Monologue, Part 1

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Two years ago, Julia Michaels stepped out from behind-the-scenes to try and be a pop star in her own right. That effort resulted in one huge single, “Issues,” and enough winning songs to make a pretty decent EP, Nervous System, that served as an impressive calling card for the … More »

Can Ava Max’s Global Hit “Sweet But Psycho” Take Over America Too?

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Ava MaxA non-exhaustive list of American musicians who’ve hit it big in Europe and the UK before breaking through back home: Jimi Hendrix, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, the Strokes, the White Stripes, Andrew W.K. To that list you can now add Ava Max — aka Wisconsin-born, Virginia-raised Amanda Ava Koci — whose “Sweet But Psycho” might be … More »

The 2019 State Of Pop Address

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Ariana GrandePop is dead; meet the new pop. More »

6LACK Wishes He Was A Rapper, But As An R&B Singer He’s On The Right Track

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6LACK“I’m an R&B nigga with a hip-hop core.” That’s 6LACK, the Atlanta singer born Ricardo Valentine, on “Scripture,” a track from East Atlanta Love Letter, the #3 album in America this week. That title and 6LACK’s stage name both reference Zone 6, the crime-riddled section of East Atlanta where he grew up. If you’re among … More »