Lady Gaga won best original song Oscar for "Shallow"
Lady Gaga, along with fellow songwriters Andrew Wyatt, Mark Ronson and Anthony Rossomando, took home the Academy Award for best original song for "Shallow" from "A Star is Born" at the 2019 Oscars on Feb. 24. The superstar singer made sure to thank director, duet partner and co-star Bradley Cooper during her acceptance speech after the two gave one of the steamiest on-stage performances the Oscars has ever seen.
Taylor Swift released a new album, announced plans to re-record masters and tour in 2020
2019 was a major year for Taylor Swift! The pop superstar released her seventh studio album, "Lover," on a new label on Aug. 23 to rave reviews. Album pre-sales worldwide were nearly 1 million and it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 chart. The same week, Taylor appeared on "Good Morning America" and "CBS Sunday Morning" where she revealed plans to re-record her back catalog. The star made the decision after Scooter Braun purchased Big Machine Label Group, which owns her early songbook, for $300 million this summer. Taylor also announced that she'll be doing a scaled-back tour in 2020 with 10 international shows and just five U.S. concerts including the first ever performance at Los Angeles's new SoFi Stadium on July 25. In July, Taylor — who turns 30 in 2019 — was named Forbes' highest earning celebrity of the year thanks to a $185 million haul that came in large part from her sold-out "Reputation" world tour.
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Meek Mill's 2008 conviction overturned
Meek Mill's 2008 conviction on drug and gun charges was overturned on July 24 by a three-judge panel. A Pennsylvania appeals court decided that the rapper would likely be acquitted if the case was retried, due to the testifying officer's history of misconduct. "The past 11 years have been mentally and emotionally challenging, but I'm ecstatic that justice prevailed," Meek said in a statement. "Unfortunately, millions of people are dealing with similar issues in our country and don't have the resources to fight back like I did. We need to continue supporting them."
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Ariana Grande achieved same feat as The Beatles
Ariana Grande made history in February 2019! The pop superstar became the first act to land the No. 1, 2 and 3 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart since The Beatles did it in 1964. She was also the first solo act to ever achieve this feat. Ariana's "7 Rings" remained the top song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for four straight weeks (and was at No. 1 for eight non-consecutive weeks in total) while "Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored" debuted at No. 2 and "thank u, next" jumped from No. 7 to No. 3. Weeks later in April, Ari made history again when she took the stage to become the youngest headliner in the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival's 20-year history. The cherry on top? She reportedly was paid a jaw-dropping $8 million for the two weekend shows.
Selena Gomez made a musical comeback with first single about Justin Bieber breakup
Selena Gomez released new music in October and fans were convinced the first single off her forthcoming album — her first in four years — contained digs aimed at famous ex Justin Bieber, with whom she had a tumultuous on-off romance from 2011 to 2018. On Oct. 23, Selena dropped the track "Lose You to Love Me," which features lyrics about moving on from a damaging love. She sings, "We'd always go into it blindly / I needed to lose you to find me," as well as "Sang off-key in my chorus /'Cause it wasn't yours" and "In two months, you replaced us / Like it was easy / Made me think I deserved it," which many believe was a nod to Justin proposing to and eloping with model Hailey Bieber just months after he and Selena broke up last year. Selena diplomatically explained where the track came from: "This song was inspired by many things that have happened in my life since releasing my last album. I want people to feel hope and to know you will come out the other side stronger and a better version of yourself."
Lil Nas X broke chart record for longest No. 1 streak
Lil Nas X rode his horse into the record books in 2019! On July 29, the breakout star's hit single "Old Town Road" featuring Billy Ray Cyrus charted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the 17th consecutive week, breaking its 16-week-streak tie with two other hit tracks — Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men's "One Sweet Day" (which topped the chart in 1995 and 1996) and Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee's "Despacito" remix with Justin Bieber (which did it in 2017) — to become the longest running No. 1 on the chart ever. But that wasn't it for the record books. The song — which was finally pushed out of the No. 1 spot after 19 weeks (by Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy") — also achieved Diamond status — which means it's moved 10 million certified units — the Recording Industry Association of America confirmed on Oct. 22. "Old Town Road" is also now the song that's hit the mark the fastest, Billboard reported, and the first song of 2019 to reach Diamond status. It's also only the second single with a "country" label to reach the mark, with Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" being the first.
Rihanna named the world's richest female musician by Forbes
Work it, RiRi! On June 4, Forbes announced that Rihanna had a $600 million net worth, which made her the world's wealthiest female musician. Her fortune has grown over the years thanks to her recording career and several business ventures including Fenty Beauty, her Savage X Fenty lingerie line and her new-in-2019 LVMH luxury fashion house line, Fenty. Back in January, Rihanna filed a lawsuit against her father, Ronald Fenty, over the use of the brand name Fenty. The superstar singer, who long ago trademarked the name, claimed that her dad and another man, Moses Perkins, created Fenty Entertainment to exploit her existing brand.
The Jonas Brothers reunited after six years
Nearly six years after their 2013 split, the Jonas Brothers returned in 2019! Kevin Jonas, Nick Jonas and Joe Jonas released a new album, "Happiness Begins," in June. The trio also released a documentary, "Chasing Jonas," the same week. They kicked off a world tour in August.
R. Kelly jailed on sex crime charges
It was a year of reckoning for R. Kelly. In January, it emerged that the R&B singer was being investigated for sexual misconduct on the heels of revelations made in the Lifetime docu-series "Surviving R. Kelly." The music star turned himself into Chicago police on Feb. 22 after being indicted on 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse related to four alleged victims. After posting bond, he had an incredibly emotional sit-down interview with Gayle King on "CBS This Morning" during which he said his accusers were lying. The "I Believe I Can Fly" hitmaker was also jailed in Chicago for failing to pay more than $161,000 in child support to his ex-wife, though he eventually paid up. In late May, 11 new charges were filed against him for more alleged sex crimes and by July 16, he was being held without bail after pleading not guilty to 13 federal charges involving crimes including child pornography and obstruction of justice. In a separate five-count federal indictment out of the Eastern District of New York filed on July 12, the singer was charged with racketeering and several violations of the Mann Act and allegations of forced labor. Then in August, Minnesota prosecutors charged the R&B star with two more sex crimes: engaging in prostitution with someone under 18 and hiring/offering/agreeing to hire someone for sexual contact. In early December, a new federal indictment made headlines — and this one is particularly notable: R. Kelly was accused of bribing a government official in 1994 in order to get a fake ID for a female. NBC News confirmed that the bogus document was pursued so that Robert could marry late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 and he was 27. They secretly wed that same year; the union was soon annulled.
Keith Urban finally wins entertainer of the year prize at ACM Awards
Keith Urban had been nominated for the Academy of Country Music's entertainer of the year prize eight times without a win and in 2019 scored his ninth nod in the coveted category. But this year, it was finally his turn: The Australian country music star took home the trophy at the ACM Awards in April. "I've been nominated nine times and at some point I came to terms and accepted that the nomination is the award," he told reporters after the win. "I don't know how things go that way sometimes. I love what I get to do and put everything into it, and I know all the others do to, so thank you, God. Really."
Justin Timberlake apologized in wake of cheating scandal
On Dec. 4, Justin Timberlake publicly apologized to wife Jessica Biel and son Silas for his bad behavior a few weeks prior. In the wake of a headline-making late-November hand-holding scandal involving actress Alisha Wainwright — the "Palmer" co-stars were photographed getting touchy-feely with one another on the balcony of a New Orleans bar — Justin wrote on Instagram, "I stay away from gossip as much as I can, but for my family I feel it is important to address recent rumors that are hurting the people I love. A few weeks ago I displayed a strong lapse in judgment — but let me be clear — nothing happened between me and my co-star. I drank way too much that night and I regret my behavior. I should have known better. This is not the example I want to set for my son. I apologize to my amazing wife and family for putting them through such an embarrassing situation, and I am focused on being the best husband and father I can be. This was not that. I am incredibly proud to be working on 'Palmer.' Looking forward to continuing to make this movie and excited for people to see it."
Kelly Clarkson had emergency surgery hours after hosting Billboard Music Awards
Immediately after hosting — and performing at — the 2019 Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on May 1, pop star and "The Voice" coach Kelly Clarkson flew to Los Angeles and underwent emergency surgery to remove her appendix. "Not gonna lie…. I may or may not have broken down in tears after the show from pain BUT thanks 2 all the amazing people @ Cedars-Sinai I flew home directly after the event, nailed the surgery early this morning, & feeling awesome now! Bye bye appendix," she tweeted on May 2. But she was able to quickly return to the set of "The Voice" for the final episodes of the season…
"The Voice" Season 16 winner announced, original coach Adam Levine exited show
"The Voice" contestant Maelyn Jarmon, who was on John Legend's team, beat Blake Shelton's three country singers to win season 16 of "The Voice" on May 21. Three days later, "The Voice" host Carson Daly revealed more huge news: Original coach Adam Levine was leaving the show — and fellow OG coach Blake Shelton's girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, was taking Adam's place for the following season. The season 17 coach lineup featured Blake, Gwen, John (who, in other major news, was named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive in November) and Kelly Clarkson. However, for season 18, there was another shakeup: Gwen will be replaced by Nick Jonas.
Ryan Adams accused of sexual misconduct, abuse by multiple women
Indie rock troubadour Ryan Adams was accused of sexual misconduct, abuse and harassment in an explosive exposé by The New York Times that was published on Feb. 13. The singer allegedly committed numerous offenses against several women including allegedly sexting a 14-year-old girl and being "psychologically abusive" toward his ex-wife, "This Is Us" actress Mandy Moore. He denied the claims.
A$AP Rocky jailed, found guilty of assault in Sweden
A$AP Rocky spent a month in a Swedish jail cell following his July 3 arrest in Stockholm. He was charged with assault on July 25 and on July 29, his trial began. The rapper was allowed to return to the United States during deliberations, during which judges decided he and two other men physically assaulted a 19-year-old man after a heated exchange. The music star received a suspended sentence but has maintained his innocence, arguing that he was only defending himself. On Sept. 4, A$AP Rocky's legal team announced that the rapper would not file an appeal. The star and his two co-defendants were responsible for paying $22,300 in restitution and legal fees to the victim, Mustafa Jafari.
Britney Spears put career on hold, entered mental health treatment facility, faced conservatorship changes
2019 was a rough year for Britney Spears. In January, the pop star announced that father Jamie Spears — who's overseen conservatorships over her person and finances since 2008 — was so ill (he's been suffering from intestinal issues) that she would be canceling plans to kick off a new Las Vegas residency as he recovered. Then in late April, she returned home from a month-long stay at a mental health facility amid claims her father had forced her to check in. In May, TMZ reported that Britney told a judge she wanted to break free of the conservatorship or at least gain some new freedoms, though that didn't happen. By September, Jamie was no longer the conservator in charge of Britney's personal affairs after he asked a judge to temporarily allow him to step down, citing his health issues. The pop star's longtime care manager, Jodi Montgomery, was selected as Jamie's replacement, although Jamie continued to oversee Britney's finances. Just a few days before Jamie's exit, Britney's ex-husband, Kevin Federline, filed a police report accusing Jamie of physically assaulting their 13-year-old son. Jamie has since been cleared of child abuse charges.
Juice WRLD died at 21
After suffering a medical emergency shortly after his private plane landed at Chicago's Midway Airport on Dec. 8, rapper Juice WRLD (real name: Jarad Higgins) passed away at 21. His family lent credence to reports that an overdose could be to blame, with his mom telling TMZ in a statement, "As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency." She went on to add that "addiction knows no boundaries and its impact goes way beyond the person fighting it… We hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything." In the two years since Juice WRLD debuted, he made the Billboard Hot 100 chart 25 times and even had a No. 1 album with "Death Race for Love."
Women were big winners at the 2019 Grammy Awards
Women were the talk of the town at the 2019 Grammys, where they nabbed major awards and sang and played in the majority of the telecast's performances on Feb. 10. Kacey Musgraves took home the trophy for album of the year for "Golden Hour" while Cardi B made history when she won for best rap album for "Invasion of Privacy" (she was the first solo woman to ever do so). Jennifer Lopez also made headlines for both her controversial Motown tribute and her divisive red carpet attire.
Men arrested and charged in connection with Mac Miller's fatal overdose
On Sept. 4, a man was arrested and charged for his alleged involvement in the death of rapper Mac Miller, according to an unsealed federal criminal complaint. By early October, two more men were implicated. Prosecutors for the Central District of California ultimately charged three men — Cameron James Pettit, Stephen Walter and Ryan Reavis — with distributing the drugs that killed Mac. Shortly after taking counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, Mac died at his Los Angeles-area home on Sept. 7, 2018. He was 26.
Mick Jagger had heart surgery
In April, the Rolling Stones announced that they were postponing their North American "No Filter" tour to allow Mick Jagger to recover from heart surgery. After his valve replacement procedure, Mick took to social media to thank fans and doctors. Within weeks, the legendary rocker was seen energetically dancing and clearly feeling better than ever in a video posted to Instagram on May 15. The Stones were able to resume their tour in June and make up all the postponed dates.
Willie Nelson stopped smoking pot
In a chat with KSAT-TV published on Nov. 29, longtime cannabis advocate Willie Nelson revealed he'd given up smoking marijuana. "I have abused my lungs quite a bit in the past, so breathing is a little more difficult these days and I have to be careful," the country music legend explained. "I don't smoke any more, take better care of myself." Willie's rep later clarified that the music star still uses cannabis in other forms and hasn't ruled out smoking again in the future.
A big year for Whitney Houston news
She might have passed away in 2012, but Whitney Houston still had some major career success in 2019 thanks to technology. The late singer's posthumous song "Higher Love" featuring Kygo entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 63 on July 8. Whitney's estate gifted Kygo with an archival recording of the song, which was previously a Japan-only track on her 1990 album "I'm Your Baby Tonight." Off the success of the single, Whitney's estate announced a 2020 hologram-based production called "An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour," which kicks off in January. In November, the late star's best friend, Robyn Crawford, opened up about the duo's famously close relationship in a new memoir, "A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston." In the book, Robyn confirmed long-standing rumors that they had a romantic relationship. "We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever," Robyn said.
Jury found that Katy Perry hit copied Christian rap song
Despite happy personal news in 2019 — her February engagement to Orlando Bloom and the end of her public feud with Taylor Swift — Katy Perry weather a few work-related scandals this year. First, on July 29, a federal jury in Los Angeles unanimously decided that her Grammy-nominated track "Dark Horse" — the hit 2013 song written by the pop star, sister Sarah Hudson, guest rapper Juicy J and producers Dr. Luke, Max Martin and Cirkut — copied elements of "Joyful Noise," a Christian rap song released by Marcus Gray under the stage name Flame. A judge ordered Katy to pay $550K, Capitol Records to pay $1.2 million and other producers to pay between $29K and $253K. Katy was also accused of sexual harassment by two different people in August, TMZ reported, though she didn't publicly respond to either accusation.
Demi Lovato signed with famed manager Scooter Braun
Nine months after Demi Lovato nearly died from a drug overdose involving fentanyl-laced oxycodone, she announced in May that she was refocusing on her career and had signed on with famed manager Scooter Braun, who's guided the careers of superstars Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. "GUYS!!!!!!! Dreams came true today for me," Demi wrote on social media. "I officially have a NEW MANAGER!!! And not just any new manager but the one and only @scooterbraun!!!! Couldn't be happier, inspired and excited to begin this next chapter with you Scooter!!! Thank you for believing in me and for being a part of this new journey. Let's DO THIS!!!!!!"
Taylor Swift feuded with music execs Scooter Braun, Scott Borchetta
Another high-profile artist was far less celebratory about famed manager Scooter Braun in 2019. In June, Taylor Swift criticized the music exec after learning he'd acquired her old label, Big Machine Label Group, and would control her back catalog. "Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it," Taylor — who called Scooter's ownership her "worst case scenario" — wrote alongside a screenshot of the manager, current client Justin Bieber and former client Kanye West on a computer "bullying me on social media when I was at my lowest point" a few years ago. Taylor and her attorney also criticized Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta and denied his claims that she was given an opportunity to buy back the masters to her first six albums. In November, a new beef emerged when Taylor took to social media to accuse the men of trying to block her from performing her own songs at the 2019 American Music Awards and in a Netflix documentary, alleging they "said that I'm not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that would be re-recording my music before I'm allowed to next year." The men denied it yet Big Machine also later released a statement claiming they'd reached an agreement with the AMAs production company concerning streaming and re-broadcasts of clients' songs.
Lizzo hit back at "Truth Hurts" plagiarism claim
New music star Lizzo defended herself against claims that she plagiarised her smash hit "Truth Hurts." On Oct. 23, she posted a note on Instagram explaining how the hit track came about, also writing, "That song is my life, and its words are my truth." Songwriting brothers Jeremiah and Justin Raisen had alleged days earlier that in April 2017, they took part in a writing session with Lizzo and others that resulted in a song with the now-famous lyric "I just took a DNA test / turns out I'm 100 percent that b—-." Lizzo wrote that the "DNA test" line was actually inspired by a meme "that resonated with me, a meme that made me feel like 100% that b—-. I sang that line in the demo, and I later used the line in 'Truth Hurts.'" When Lizzo later learned the meme was inspired by a tweet from artist Mina Lioness, she gave the artist a writing credit on the single. According to Lizzo, "The creator of the tweet is the person I am sharing my success with… not these men. Period."
Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish led 2020 Grammy nominations
The 2020 Grammy nominations were announced on Nov. 20 and Lizzo, Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish led the pack! Lizzo was the most nominated artist of the year with eight nods. At 17, Billie was the youngest artist in history to be nominated in the top four categories. Lil Nas X scored six nods on the success of "Old Town Road." While many music stars celebrated their nominations, others were snubbed: Halsey and BTS were surprisingly shut out completely while Taylor Swift failed to earn an album of the year nod for "Lover" (though she did score three other nominations). Bruce Springsteen was also notably ignored for his latest album, "Western Stars," and country darling Maren Morris was shut out of all the major categories despite the strength of her album "Girl."
Sam Smith announced "they/them" as new preferred pronouns
On Sept. 13, Sam Smith revealed that they have decided to change their preferred pronouns from "he/him" to "they/them" after revealing earlier in the year that they identify as non-binary and genderqueer. "After a lifetime of being at war with my gender I've decided to embrace myself for who I am, inside and out," the Grammy winner wrote on social media. "I'm so excited and privileged to be surrounded by people that support me in this decision. But I've been very nervous about announcing this because I care too much about what people think but f— it! I understand there will be many mistakes and mis gendering but all I ask is you please please try."
Kanye West released religious-themed album
On Oct. 25, Kanye West released his oft-delayed ninth album, the Christianity-inspired "Jesus Is King," amid a flurry of revelations about his new musical path. Days earlier, the rapper — who started performing Sunday Services in January and this fall told fans he'd recently been "saved" — gave a nearly three-hour interview to Apple Music's Beats 1 radio host Zane Lowe in which he declared, among other things, "my job is to spread the gospel," "[I'm] no longer an entertainer" and that he's now "in service to Christ." Kanye, who isn't planning to make any more secular music, also shared that he believes he is "unquestionably, undoubtedly, the greatest human artist of all time" and insisted that "there will be a time when I will be president of the U.S." Meanwhile, reviews for his new album weren't great. The effort, which features 11 songs and clocks in at just 27 minutes, is, as Variety describes it, "West's second-shortest [album], his least percussive, and his first to feature absolutely no swearing. It's also not very good."
Michael Jackson's estate embroiled in documentary drama
Michael Jackson's loved ones are "furious" about a documentary released this year that claimed the pop singer abused two men when they were young boys in the 1990s. The pop star's estate filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO on Feb. 21 to halt the release of "Leaving Neverland," which aired anyway. Shortly after the doc's premiere, three radio stations in Montreal, Canada, pulled Michael's music. Further, "The Simpsons" executive producer James L. Brooks announced that a season 3 episode featuring Michael's voice would be removed from syndication and streaming services. The documentary went on to win an Emmy at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards, much to the chagrin of Michael's family. "For a film that is a complete fiction to be honored in a nonfiction Emmy category is a complete farce," the estate said in a statement to "Entertainment Tonight." "Not one shred of proof supports this completely one-sided, so-called documentary, which was made in secrecy and for which not one person outside of the two subjects and their families were interviewed."
Placido Domingo accused of sexual harassment, stepped down from opera roles
Eleven new women came forward to accuse Placido Domingo of sexual harassment, The AP reported on Sept. 4. The victims claimed that the famed opera singer behaved inappropriately with them — allegations included unwanted touching, asking for private gatherings, trying to kiss them on the lips and calling them late at night — over a number of years. The new accusations came just a few weeks after numerous other women accused the music star of sexual misconduct. On Sept. 24, the singer "agreed to withdraw from all future performances at the Met, with immediate effect," Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb told staff in an email, as reported by NPR. "We are grateful to him for recognizing that he needed to step down." In October, he stepped down from his L.A. Opera role too.
JAY-Z partnered with NFL on music and social justice initiatives
In August, TMZ reported that hip-hop billionaire JAY-Z was in talks to become a part owner of an unnamed NFL team, though sources connected to the NFL told CBS Sports the rumor was "simply false." Jay did, however, announce a music and social justice partnership between the league and his entertainment and sports company, Roc Nation. The rapper, who previously voiced his support for blackballed NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick, shared the news on Aug. 13 and faced immediate backlash from critics for working with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other NFL execs. He's acting as the league's "live music entertainment strategist." Speaking of the NFL and music… it was announced in September that Jennifer Lopez and Shakira would be headlining the 2020 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Jennifer Lopez toured to celebrate 50th birthday
In February, superstar Jennifer Lopez announced plans to tour the States over the summer in celebration of her 50th birthday in July. "This summer, I decided I wanted to do something big for my birthday, since it's a big birthday," she told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on Feb. 13. "I'm going on a U.S. tour, it's called 'It's My Party'… We're only doing 25, 28 shows, something like that. It's just a small amount of shows, but we'll be out all through June and July."
Nipsey Hussle murdered
Family, friends and fans including Beyonce and JAY-Z gathered at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on April 12 to remember slain rapper Nipsey Hussle. Snoop Dogg, YG and Nipsey's longtime partner, actress Lauren London, shared remarks about the music star, who was fatally shot outside his Los Angeles clothing store on March 31. He left behind a son he shared with Lauren and a daughter from a previous relationship. The man suspected of fatally shooting Nipsey was indicted by a grand jury in Los Angeles on May 20.
Big-name music stars we lost in 2019…
The Cars frontman Ric Ocasek (pictured) passed away at 75 in his New York City townhouse on Sept. 15… The Monkees bassist and keyboardist Peter Tork died on Feb. 21 at 77… Cream drummer Ginger Baker died on Oct. 6 in his native Britain at 80… "Two Tickets to Paradise" singer Eddie Money died on Sept. 13. He was 70… Actress and "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" singer Doris Day died on May 13 at 97… The Prodigy vocalist Keith Flint was found dead on March 4 at 49… Roger Charlery, better known as Ranking Roger — the singer from the English Beat, General Public and Special Beat — died on March 26 at 56…
Tekashi 6ix9ine testified against other gang members, sentenced to prison
While testifying in mid-September, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine (real name: Daniel Hernandez) — who'd been sitting in jail since 2018 after being arrested on racketeering, weapons and drug charges — helped the feds convict two members of the Nine Trey Bloods. He also made headlines when he accused Cardi B and Jim Jones of being members of the gang (Cardi denied his allegations in a since-deleted tweet) and revealed that he originally joined the Bloods for clout. The music star — who was facing a 47-year prison sentence — agreed to testify about his involvement with the notorious gang and its members' crimes in a bid for leniency. In December, a judge sentenced the rapper, who met with prosecutors 26 times, to just two years in prison because of his help. With credit for time served, he'll be out by late 2020. He'll also be on supervised release for five years, pay a $35,000 fine and complete 300 hours of community service. In October, it was reported that 6ix9ine had signed a $10M record deal with his former label for music to be delivered when he gets out of prison.
Justin Bieber stepped aways from music to address "deep rooted issues"
On March 25, Justin Bieber announced that he needed to take a step back from music to repair "some of the deep rooted issues that I have… so that I don't fall apart." The newly married singer shared the news on Instagram, explaining, "I've toured my whole teenage life, and early 20s, I realized and as you guys probably saw I was unhappy last tour and I don't deserve that and you don't deserve that." He further explained that he wants to be able to "sustain my marriage and be the father I want to be. Music is very important to me but Nothing comes before my family and my health." He went on to release songs with Dan + Shay and Ed Sheeran later in the year.
Rihanna and Billie Eilish land $25M documentary deals
Rihanna might want to change those lyrics to "Amazon better have my money." On Dec. 12, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Amazon's streaming service purchased a documentary about RiRi, directed by Peter Berg, for $25 million. The money move came days after Apple TV+ inked a documentary deal for a project on another major female music star — Billie Eilish — also for a cool $25M.
21 Savage released from ICE custody
Attorneys for Immigration and Customs Enforcement dropped aggravated felony charges against rapper 21 Savage, it was revealed in February, as a previous drug conviction was vacated, making it off-limits legally. Attorneys for the rapper, who spent a week in ICE detention early in the year, told Buzzfeed that authorities are now only seeking his deportation on the basis that he came to America from his native Britain in 2005 and overstayed his visa as a child.
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr reunited at L.A. show as Paul worked on musical
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited musically! The Beatles stars performed "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" and "Helter Skelter," two of their old band's most popular songs, on the final stop of Paul's world tour in July. One week later, Paul announced that he was nearly finished composing songs for an upcoming stage adaptation of "It's a Wonderful Life," which is scheduled to premiere in 2020.
Donny and Marie Osmond wrapped 11-year Las Vegas residency
In November, Donny Osmond and sister Marie Osmond closed out their successful Las Vegas residency after an epic 11-year run. The siblings performed their last show at the Flamingo Las Vegas on Nov. 16. "I don't know how I'm going to get through this," Donny told fans, while an emotional Marie — who joined the hosting panel on "The Talk" in 2019 — told the crowd, "I'm gonna miss you guys the most. He can say all he wants about the crew and everything else, but I'm going to miss you. I love you."
Woodstock celebrates 50th anniversary following memorial concert cancellation
Fans, former concert attendees and musical acts remembered the Woodstock Musical Festival on the 50th anniversary of the event in August. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who and Santana were among the artists who performed during the multi-day concert, which took place from Aug. 15 to 18 in 1969. More than 400,000 fans were reportedly in attendance at the festival, which highlighted the impactful culture of the 1960s. Michael Lang, co-founder of Woodstock, attempted to memorialize the festival with a celebratory concert, Woodstock 50, but called the event off on Aug. 1 after months of drama. "We are saddened that a series of unforeseen setbacks has made it impossible to put on the festival we imagined with the great lineup we had booked and the social engagement we were anticipating…" he said. Artists who pulled out included Miley Cyrus, JAY-Z, Dead & Company, Santana, John Sebastian and Country Joe McDonald.
The Who announced plans to return to Cincinnati 40 years after fans died in a concert stampede
British rock fans, rejoice! Iconic band The Who announced on Dec. 3 that they will be performing in Cincinnati during their upcoming tour for the first time in 40 years. In 1979, 11 people were killed in a pre-show stampede at their concert during the peak of their fame. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey have said that they've been haunted by the terrible tragedy over the years and are excited to go back. "Now we can have a conversation about it when we go back. We will meet people and we'll be there. We'll be there. That's what's important. I'm so glad that we've got this opportunity to go back," Pete told The Associated Press. The band will donate a portion of proceeds from the concert to a memorial scholarship fund benefiting students in the Cincinnati suburb of Finneytown, as three of those killed in 1979 included two 15-year-old girls who were attending Finneytown High School.
DJ Spinderella fired from Salt-N-Pepa
Spinderella and Salt-N-Pepa are no more. The legendary DJ wrote on Instagram in May that the hip-hop act fired her from the group in a termination email nearly five months earlier. "I'm deeply saddened to share with all the #SaltnPepa and #Spinderella fans that I will not be performing on the #NKOTB Mixtape Tour," she shared on May 2. "Despite my participation in promoting the tour and being highly publicized as one of the acts, in January 2019 I received a 'termination' email from #SaltnPepa excluding me from performances with the group." She then sued her former bandmates in July for trademark infringement, fraud and breach of contract. More drama emerged in December when Salt-N-Pepa's longtime tour manager announced he was resigning over a "difference in views." One day later, Page Six reported that the duo's in-house stylist, Marquis Moss, had also left their team.
Fans left disappointed by Maroon 5, Travis Scott Super Bowl Halftime Show
It was no secret that producers had a hard time finding artists to perform at the Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Feb. 3. When they announced Maroon 5 and Travis Scott, fans were cautiously optimistic. However, many were left scratching their heads once the performance went down. Maroon 5 received some scathing reviews from fans who criticized the group's performance as "boring, unfulfilling and unnecessary." The one shining light during the performance, which also included Travis and Big Boi, many fans felt, was the stellar gospel choir that backed up the major stars.