“I love that SHEIN’s goal for this event is to create a one-stop destination for fashionistas to discover up and coming creators across all aspects of the industry,” Saweetie tells Billboard of the opportunity. “I love that SHEIN is opening that door for everyone by shining a light on the biggest of stars to the indie artists. I’m passionate about so many things… music, fashion, beauty, and I’ve been so fortunate to pursue my dreams. Music is my ultimate love and it’s opened the door for all these other amazing things.”Fellow performer Darren Criss is equally excited to be included in such a unique opportunity, telling Billboard, “I really like the idea of not your typical fashion show and it being more of a celebration of dance and music and contextualizing the clothes via the music and performative elements and seeing how clothes look on all different kinds of people with different kinds of movement and music. That thinking out of the box factor of a typical fashion show was immediately appealing to me.”Saweetie shared that for her performance, which will showcase the Ski Party looks, fans should expect “lots of dancing” choreographed by Brya Woods and assistant choreographer Aahkilah Cornelius.Criss is gearing up to perform his new single “For a Night Like This,” which he describes as an “unapologetically celebratory jam.””It’s all about celebrating with the people you love,” he adds. “It’s such a vibrant song and the creativity that they were going for with this fashion show was a really great match for the song I wanted to perform. I’m happy I can showcase that vibrancy and colorfulness.”Criss, whose performance will accompany the City Sleek styles, emphasized his gratitude for SHEIN bringing his song to life with “a hundred dancers of all different backgrounds, shapes and sizes, with a variety of movement. That is something that really takes a song to the next level. It takes it from a song to a spectacle and a visually exciting experience. It’s something we all hope can happen with our songs when we write them.””Any opportunity I have to be around dancers and have dancing in my life – I’m not a dancer myself, but any time I can have that in my life, whether it’s through one of my songs or walking through life, I embrace that opportunity,” he continues. “The more dance, the better.”SHEIN x Rock the Runway will also help raise awareness and donations to benefit National Action Network, one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations and Youth Emerging Stronger, which helps to build futures for foster and homeless youth. SHEIN is donating $350,000 across both charities.”While I love to use my platforms to entertain, it’s just as important for me to educate and make a positive impact on the world and I love that SHEIN is acting on this by partnering with these organizations,” Saweetie says of the event’s charitable aspect. “I’m huge supporter of education and giving everyone access to the knowledge that will help them to grow and succeed in the world regardless of their background.””It’s obviously the bonus for anything you do,” Criss agrees. “You’re happy to support anything that supports others beyond the preliminary presentation of ‘Here are some cool clothes, here are some amazing dancers, here’s a cool song.’ In the process, we’re also shining a light on an organization that are doing a lot of good in the world. I always prefer that to be a component in anything I do.”Since this is a fashion show, after all, how would Saweetie and Darren Criss describe their personal style? “My style is always growing and evolving,” Saweetie explains, “Because I am constantly researching and studying designers and their collections throughout the past. I love to play with fashion and take risks with my style – anything glam! I draw a lot of inspiration from the 90s and early 2000s and try to mix these retro and nostalgic elements with the feminine aesthetic of old Hollywood glamour.””I’m a big believer in dressing for the party,” Criss says. “This is a much larger idea that goes into music, that goes into how I approach everything in life, which is knowing what the venue is, honoring what the dress code is and then doing your own spin on it to be a little unique and not like everybody else. Just enough of something that is accessible so that people feel comfortable around your choice, but you’re also pushing it a little bit. I like toeing that line in general. I’m not saying I’m a fashionista at all, but it depends what day of the week it is, what coffee shop I’m walking to and what part of town. All those variables have their own set of rules that I like to abide by. But I’m definitely not one type of thing and am never thoughtless, that’s for sure.”Catch the SHEIN x Rock the Runway event when its streams on Sunday (Sept. 26) at 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT on the SHEIN app, and the company’s Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages. Shop the SHEIN x Rock the Runway looks here.
Bernard Haitink, Renowned Dutch Conductor, Dies at 92
Haitink was known for interpretations without flash.“Haitink’s approach was more passionate than portentous, happily lacking in heaviness,” Associated Press critic Daniel J. Wakin wrote after a Brahms Symphony No. 2 with the Berlin Philharmonic at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1991.Haitink developed a lengthy and influential career in England, where he was chief conductor of…
Haitink was known for interpretations without flash.“Haitink’s approach was more passionate than portentous, happily lacking in heaviness,” Associated Press critic Daniel J. Wakin wrote after a Brahms Symphony No. 2 with the Berlin Philharmonic at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1991.Haitink developed a lengthy and influential career in England, where he was chief conductor of the London Philharmonic from 1969-79 and music director of the Glynebourne Festival from 1978-88.He succeeded Colin Davis as music director of The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, in 1987 and held the position until 2002. Among the highlights of his tenure were a color-splashed Graham Vick production of Verdi’s Falstaff that reopened the refurbished Royal Opera House in December 1999.“If we have seen a lot of Haitink here in the concert hall and the opera house over the past three decades and more, that has been our gain, for he is one of the leading conductors of our age, a superbly natural musician who brings a rare combination of rigour and expressiveness to everything he tackles,” Andrew Clements wrote in the Guardian before Haitink stepped down from Covent Garden. “Haitink’s performances have always been a reflection of the man himself: direct, unshowy and profoundly truthful.”Haitink was principal conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 2006-10, between the terms of music directors Daniel Barenboim and and Riccardo Muti, and became principal guest conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1995-2004. He was also principal conductor of the European Union Youth Orchestra from 1994-2000.“His loss leaves an immense void in the world of music,” Muti said in a statement.Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, himself a keen pianist, paid tribute to Haitink after a European Union summit in Brussels.“Sadly, he is no longer with us. We will miss him greatly, all music lovers around the world,” he said.Haitink conducted 111 performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, making his debut in February 1972 and leading the ensemble on tour to Costa Mesa, California, and Carnegie Hall in 2002. He conducted his final four concerts with that orchestra at age 90 from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6, 2019, programs of Beethoven and Bruckner in Salzburg, Austria; London; and Lucerne, Switzerland.“The music world has lost a great conductor and advocate for classical music,” said General Director of the Concertgebouw Simon Reinink. “We cherish fond memories of the unforgettable concerts he conducted in our building for more than sixty years.”Haitink was nominated for nine Grammy Awards and won two, for 2003 opera recording with the Royal Opera for Janácek’s Jenufa and for 2008 orchestral performance with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4.His recordings include Beethoven and Brahms symphony cycles for the London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO Live label, and an extensive library for Phillips and EMI.
for King & Country, CeCe Winans, We the Kingdom, KB & Jason Ingram Among GMA Dove Awards Winners
Natalie Grant and Jonathan McReynolds served as affable co-hosts for the evening; this marked McReynolds’ first time co-hosting the event, while Grant previously hosted in 2007.We the Kingdom gave the first performance of the evening, bringing the churning folk-rock of “God So Loved” to the stage and welcoming international children’s choir His Little Feet. The…
Natalie Grant and Jonathan McReynolds served as affable co-hosts for the evening; this marked McReynolds’ first time co-hosting the event, while Grant previously hosted in 2007.We the Kingdom gave the first performance of the evening, bringing the churning folk-rock of “God So Loved” to the stage and welcoming international children’s choir His Little Feet. The first award of the evening, contemporary gospel album of the year, went to Koryn Hawthorne’s I AM.From there, this year’s GMA Dove Awards seemed to easily blend performances from CCM, gospel, rap/hip-hop, worship, Southern gospel and more into a seamless showcase for the breadth and depth of the genre as a whole, from the hard-hitting hip-hop of KB, Hawthorne’s simmering R&B, the folksy worship style of Daigle, The Isaacs’ bluegrassy “The American Face,” CAIN’s amalgam of rock, country and folk, and the congregational worship style of Elevation Worship.Grant and CeCe Winans, two of gospel and Christian music’s premier vocalists, held court during the evening. When Grant took the stage, a silence immediately fell over the crowd and attendees stood to attention as she performed “My Weapon,” teaming with the Belonging Co. choir to offer a commanding, string-filled performance.Winans has had a banner year, collaborating with Carrie Underwood on “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” (from Underwood’s My Savior album) and having her own “Believe for It” currently residing in the top 15 on Billboard’s Gospel Airplay chart. She offered a stunning live rendition of the song that was both powerful and elegant.Winans, one of gospel music’s most highly awarded entertainers, added to her accolades, winning in four categories during the evening, including gospel artist of the year, gospel worship album of the year (Believe for It), gospel worship recorded song of the year (“Believe for It”) and Inspirational song of the year (“Great Is Thy Faithfulness” with Underwood).Later in the evening, We the Kingdom returned to the stage as winners in the contemporary Christian artist of the year category. They also took home the pop/contemporary album of the year honor for Holy Water. The members of the multi-generational group, led by popular songwriter/producer Ed Cash, hugged each other after taking the stage to accept the honor.Jason Ingram also took home four honors during the evening, including songwriter of the year (non-artist).“I’ve been doing music a long time and this means so much to me,” said Cash, who is also known for his work writing CCM hits such as Chris Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God” and “Made to Worship.” “This means so much because I have seen God move in my family in miraculous ways.” Of winning the honor, he said, “God saw fit for whatever reason, so I want to give Him all the glory.”Key collaborations during the ceremony included Mali Music and McReynolds joining forces on “Best Thing” and “Jump Ship,” and Dante Bowe’s collaboration with Kelontae Gavin. Later, Matt Redman guested on KB’s performance of “10k,” which includes a snippet of Redman’s “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord).”In addition to delivering one of the most electrifying performances of the evening, KB offered one of the evening’s most impactful acceptance speeches, for his win in the rap/hip-hop album category for his project His Glory Alone.“Wow. I was 16 years old when somebody gave me a Christian hip-hop CD. It had a dude on the front cover that had dreadlocks like mine, a red bandana going across his forehead and a red bandana going across his mouth and the album was called Bloody Streets. I said, ‘Listen, I have no degree in Lifeway Christian Bookstores, but this is not Christian rap, this man’s about to rob a bank.’ He said, ‘No, this is Christian hip-hop. You take it home.’ I was in a dark, dark place. I took that album home. I listened to it front to back and the eighth song was a gospel presentation and I believed on Jesus listening to that album,” he said, as the crowd cheered. “I vowed to the Lord Jesus that I would spend my life trying to reproduce that moment for people all over the world.” Turning to acknowledge one of his collaborators on the album, he added, “It just dawned on me: The gentleman behind me, Wes, who helped create this project, heard my album several years ago, believed on Jesus and now he’s helping me make records.”Elevation Worship collected wins in four categories through its work with Brandon Lake and Kari Jobe. “Graves into Gardens,” featuring Lake, was named worship recorded songs of the year, while “The Blessing” from Elevation Worship, Jobe and Cody Carnes was named song of the year. Elevation Worship’s work with worship music collective Maverick City Music on the album Old Church Basement won worship album of the year, while Lake was named songwriter of the year (artist). “Graves into Gardens” also picked up a win for recorded music packaging of the year.Maverick City Music has stormed up Billboard’s Christian and Gospel charts with “Jireh” (which featured Elevation Worship, Chandler Moore and Naomi Raine) and their current single “Promises” over the past year, and took home a Billboard Music Award earlier this year for top gospel album. At the GMA Dove Awards, the group took home the new artist of the year honor.For King & Country’s Joel and Luke Smallbone earned the evening’s biggest honor, artist of the year. It was one of three wins for the duo during the ceremony. Last year, they earned a Billboard Christian Airplay hit with “Together,” featuring Kirk Franklin and Tori Kelly, and this year followed with “Amen.”“It’s been a little bumpy, It’s been a strange couple of years,” Luke told the audience, and sharing his own struggle with throat surgery a few months ago. “For about five days, you can’t say a word. So you wait in suspense to find out what’s going to happen,” he recalled the days following the procedure.”I felt good until about two days after the surgery until some of those thoughts came through my mind: ‘What if I can’t do this any longer? What if my voice is taken? What If I can’t do this with my brother anymore? What if I can’t write songs or perform?’ When you start asking those questions, it comes to a point where you think, ‘Who am I if I can’t sing?'” Luke said. “I felt God say really, really clearly, ‘It’s never been about a song that you can sing. It’s never been about a performance, a show, about the mistakes you’ve made in the past, or the good things or failures that may take place in the future. I love you.'” He added, “I stand up here…more convinced than ever that the power of music is transforming.”See a selected list of winners below:Song of the year: “The Blessing,” from Kari Jobe (writers: Kari Jobe, Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Steven Furtick)Contemporary christian artist of the year: We the KingdomGospel artist of the year: CeCe WinansGospel worship album of the year, Believe for It, CeCe WinansGospel worship recorded song of the year, “Believe for It,” CeCe WinansArtist of the year: for King & CountryNew artist of the year: Maverick City MusicWorship recorded song of the year: “Graves into Gardens,” Elevation Worship feat. Brandon LakeRap/hip-hop album of the year: His Glory Alone, KBSouthern gospel album of the year: Change Is Coming, Joseph HabedankContemporary gospel album of the year: Koryn HawthorneInspirational film of the year: A Week AwaySongwriter of the year (nonartist): Jason IngramSongwriter of the year (artist): Brandon LakeRap/hip hop recorded song of the year: “Deep End,” LecraePop/contemporary recorded song of the year: “Famous For (I Believe),” Tauren WellsInspirational recorded song of the year, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” Carrie Underwood feat. CeCe WinansPop/contemporary album of the year: Holy Water, We The Kingdom
First Out: New Music From Elton John, Pvris, Ashnikko & More
Elton John, The Lockdown SessionsAfter becoming one of the world’s most iconic pop stars, Sir Elton John could have easily rested on his laurels. Instead, the 74-year-old icon decided too go about one of his more ambitious projects to date with a new album of collaborations, The Lockdown Sessions. Filled to the brim with his various partnerships…
Elton John, The Lockdown SessionsAfter becoming one of the world’s most iconic pop stars, Sir Elton John could have easily rested on his laurels. Instead, the 74-year-old icon decided too go about one of his more ambitious projects to date with a new album of collaborations, The Lockdown Sessions. Filled to the brim with his various partnerships over the last year, Lockdown features John dipping his toe in a little bit of everything, from pure pop nostalgia (“Cold Heart” with Dua Lipa & PNAU) to soul (“Finish Line” with Stevie Wonder) to hip-hop (“Always Love You” with Young Thug & Nicki Minaj ) to Americana (“Simple Things” with Brandi Carlile).Pvris, “My Way””Turn the days into nights/ Hit the switch in my mind/ I burn through phases of life/ No reset, no rewind.” There’s a confidence to frontwoman Lynn Gunn’s voice as she croons the lyrics to Pvris’s new single, “My Way.” Scintillating with the alt-rock energy that flowed through previous tracks like “Monster” and “No Mercy” but with a dash of added swagger, “My Way” finds Gunn taking her rightful place as the leader of her band, while a blown-out bass and some razor-sharp synths help her send the message home.Ashnikko, “Halloweenie IV: Innards”Ready to get scared? Ashnikko certainly is, as she continues in her own tradition of dropping a Halloween song the week before the holiday officially arrives. On the fourth iteration of her “Halloweenie” series (this year with the subtitle “Innards”), Ashnikko takes the melody of Edvard Grieg’s masterpiece “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” chops it, twists it up, and adds in some of her own lyrics to fit the spooky season. Rapping and singing about organs, human skin suits, ghosts, ghouls and spiders laying eggs in your brain, Ashnikko goes out of her way to paint a gory picture that will have you boogieing all through this spooky season.Cavetown, “Teenage Dirtbag (feat. Chloe Moriondo)”It’s been over 20 years since Wheatus released their hit debut single “Teenage Dirtbag” — but it’s still finding new audiences everywhere. That’s thanks in part to Cavetown, who teamed up with fellow alt-pop artist Chloe Moriondo to deliver a stripped-down, chilled-out cover of the track this week. Subbing in some drowsy synths in place of the original’s slamming guitars, this new version of “Teenage Dirtbag” portrays a softer, more mellow version of the single, as Cavetown and Moriondo beg you to come listen to some Iron Maiden with them.Joy Oladokun, “I Can’t Make You Love Me (feat. Jason Isbell)”What happens when a fast-rising singer-songwriter and a country superstar come together to cover a blues icon’s classic single? Magic, that’s what happens. For her new Spotify Sessions, Joy Oladkun tapped none other than Jason Isbell to assist her on her cover of Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” The result is a groovy, modernized version of the track that sees Oladokun flexing her vocal prowess while Isbell shreds on the guitar, doing perfect justice to Raitt’s stunning single while still making it entirely their own.Alekxandr, “Sunflower””I only have eyes for you.” With six words, rising indie-pop singer Alekxandr draws you into his vision of romance and heartbreak. Backed up by a set of strings, some heart-pounding drums and a simple piano melody, Alekxandr lets his vocals shine through on “Sunflower” as he waxes poetic on the waning days of a relationship, wondering where things went wrong, and what he would do fix his mistakes. “I’m sending you all my love/ And my hand’s full of sunflowers,” he moans on the chilling chorus.