Kanye West and his Yeezy brand join forces with the Gap
Billionaire rapper Kanye West made some major business moves in June. First, TMZ reported on June 15 that his apparel company, Yeezy, had filed trademarks to enter the beauty and fragrance world. Even bigger news emerged on June 26: Yeezy and the Gap announced that, as part of a 10-year deal, they are teaming up to launch a new clothing line to be called Yeezy Gap, which will debut in the first half of 2021. Under kanye's creative direction, Yeezy will create "modern, elevated basics for men, women and kids at accessible price points." It's a full-circle moment for the music star: He used to work at the Gap as a teen.
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Two country music groups change their names
Two wildly popular country music groups made huge changes in June, with both announcing they were changing their names to disassociate from racial undertones linked to slavery. On June 11, Lady Antebellum revealed that moving forward, they'll be known as Lady A, and on June 25, the Dixie Chicks announced that they're now going by The Chicks.
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Kelly Clarkson splits from husband Brandon Blackstock
On June 4, pop star Kelly Clarkson filed for divorce in Los Angeles, citing irreconcilable differences as the reason she was ending her nearly seven-year marriage to talent manager Brandon Blackstock. Despite their split, Kelly still thanked her ex, with whom she has two children, later in the month when she won a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding entertainment talk show host for leading her first season of "The Kelly Clarkson Show." Kelly tweeted in part, "Thank you so much to @BBlackstock for believing in me & convincing me to do @KellyClarksonTV show…"
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Kurt Cobain's "MTV Unplugged" guitar breaks auction record
On June 20, the guitar Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain played during his band's famed 1993 "MTV Unplugged" session, which was taped just a few months before his death at 27, sold for an unprecedented $6 million. The 1959 Martin D-18E was purchased by Peter Freedman, who owns Røde Microphones, at a Music Icons auction run by Julien's Auctions in Beverly Hills. The sale broke records: As reported by Deadline, the sale price was 50% higher than any other guitar ever sold at auction.
Blue Ivy Carter wins first BET Award at virtual ceremony
On June 28, music stars won big at the BET Awards, which were held virtually. Megan Thee Stallion was named best female hip-hop artist while DaBaby took home the best male hip-hop artist prize. Roddy Ricch was named best new artist and also scored best album for "Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial." Migos was named best group, and Lizzo and Chris Brown were named best female and male R&B/pop artist, respectively. Beyonce — was given the humanitarian award — also won the BET Her Award, which recognizes neo soul and/or traditional R&B artists, along with her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, and Wizkid and Saint JHN, for "Brown Skin Girl." It's the 8-year-old's first BET Award!
Iggy Azalea welcomes baby boy
Rapper Iggy Azalea took to social media on June 10 to confirm that she'd welcomed a baby boy. Though she didn't share when she gave birth or mention her child's father — she's ben linked to fellow rapper Playboi Carti since 2018 — she did explain her reason for secrecy saying, "I kept waiting for the right time to say something but it feels like the more time passes the more I realize that I'm always going to feel anxious to share news that giant with the world. I want to keep his life private but wanted to make it clear he is not a secret & I love him beyond words."
Amy grant undergoes open heart surgery
Amy Grant had open heart surgery on June 3 to correct a heart condition she's had since birth — PAPVR, or partial anomalous pulmonary venous return — and later in the month took to social media to share details of her miraculous" recovery with fans. The singer posted images of her post-surgery scars and compared her situation to being "a non-runner who was signed up for a marathon."
Recording Academy announces it's doing away with the term "urban" for future Grammy Awards
In the wake of protests against police brutality and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement — and following criticism from black artists — on June 10, the Recording Academy announced that moving forward, "urban" would no longer be used in Grammy Awards categories. The category previously known as "Best Urban Contemporary Album" — which was last won by Lizzo in 2020 — will be renamed "Best Progressive R&B Album." The change was made as part of the Academy's "commitment to evolve with the musical landscape," as it feels the new category name is "more accurate," it explained.
Sammy Hagar makes controversial statement about the coronavirus
While talking to Rolling Stone about life without concerts amid the coronavirus pandemic for a piece published on June 23, Sammy Hagar made a wildly controversial statement. "I'll be comfortable playing a show before there's a vaccine, if it's declining and seems to be going away. I'm going to make a radical statement here. This is hard to say without stirring somebody up, but truthfully, I'd rather personally get sick and even die, if that's what it takes," said the former Van Halen frontman. "We have to save the world and this country from this economic thing that's going to kill more people in the long run. I would rather see everyone go back to work. If some of us have to sacrifice on that, OK. I will die for my children and my grandchildren to have a life anywhere close to the life that I had in this wonderful country."
Music stars who died in June
On June 8, singer Bonnie Pointer — a former member of the Grammy-winning group the Pointer Sisters — passed away at 69… Chris Trousdale, a former member of the boy band Dream Street, died from COVID-19 complications on June 2. He was 32… Rapper Tray Savage (real name: Kentray Young), 26, died on June 19 after he was shot while driving in Chicago… Dame Vera Lynn, the British singer best known for her wartime song "We'll Meet Again," died at 103, her family confirmed on June 18.
Hank Williams Jr.'s youngest daughter dies in car crash
Heartbreaking news for singer Hank Williams Jr. On June 13, his 27-year-old daughter, Katherine Williams-Dunning, and her husband, Tyler Dunning, were involved in a fatal car crash in Paris, Tennessee. The Tennessee Highway Patrol said the couple were driving on Highway 79 near the city of Paris around 7:45 p.m. when their car, which was towing a boat, crossed over the median and rolled over, killing Katherine instantly. Her husband survived the crash and was admitted to a nearby hospital. The couple married in October 2015 and share two kids, 5-year-old son Beau and 2-year-old daughter Audrey Jane.
Singer Laine Hardy, musician Jeremy Ivey reveal coronavirus battles
Singer Laine Hardy, who won season 17 of "American Idol" in 2019, took to Facebook on June 21 to tell fans that he'd been diagnosed with COVID-19… On June 13, country music singer-songwriter Margo Price revealed that her husband, guitarist Jeremy Ivey, was recovering from COVID-19 after first experiencing symptoms back in April. "He is finally in just this last week getting back to being more like himself," the best new artist Grammy nominee told CBS "This Morning." "He was in a worst state than I'd ever seen him in my whole life. I mean, he got thin and frail and he was just sleeping like 12-14 hours a day. I was pretty terrified." Margo and her family quarantined for 70 days straight while her husband was ill and she postponed the release of her new album amid the pandemic.
Beyonce releases new track "Black Parade" on Juneteenth, announces new visual album to debut on Disney+
Beyonce dropped a new song co-written by husband JAY-Z, "Black Parade," on June 19 to celebrate Juneteenth — the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. The song, which is about empowerment and resilience, features lyrics that reference recent Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. On June 27, Bey delivered another surprise: She announced she's releasing "Black Is King," a visual album she's written, directed and executive produced — on Disney+ on July 31. It's based on the music of "The Lion King: The Gift," which was released in 2019.
Kanye West, BTS, Barbra Streisand, The Weeknd, Drake and more music stars make big BLM donations
On the heels of George Floyd's May 25 death at the hands of police officers and nationwide protests against police brutality targeting Black Americans, celebrities including many music stars delivered financial support to people and organizations working to combat racism. On June 4, TMZ revealed that Kanye West was donating $2 million to the loved ones and legal teams fighting for justice for George, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Included in the rapper's pledge? A college fund for George's 6-year-old daughter, Gianna. In mid-June, it emerged that Barbra Streisand had gifted Gianna with an unknown number of Disney stocks, which were trading at $115 a share at the time. K-pop superstars BTS and their label, Big Hit Entertainment, donated $1 million to Black Lives Matter early in the month, and The Weeknd posted receipts on social media on June 2 confirming he'd given $500,000 to multiple groups including Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights campaign. Drake, meanwhile, donated $100K to National Bail Out.
Billie Eilish unfollows everyone on Instagram
Billie Eilish surprised fans on June 24 when she unfollowed everyone on her Instagram account. The Grammy-winning singer, who has 64 million followers, didn't explain the move but fans noticed that right before she stopped following accounts, she shared a message on her Instagram Story saying, "If I am following your abuser DM ME & I will unfollow them. I support you."
The Black Eyed Peas explain why Fergie left the group
During a June 23 interview with Billboard, the Black Eyed Peas discussed why Fergie is no longer a part of the music group. "We love her, and she's focusing on being a mom," will.i.am said, adding, "That's a hard job, and that's what she really wants to do and we're here for her… It's really the way Fergie designed it, so we're respecting her design. We love Fergie, and we don't want anything but awesomeness for her." With Fergie out, they're excited to introduce fans to singer J. Rey Soul, who semi-officially joined the Peas in 2018 after winning the Philippines' version of "The Voice." "I really want to give her ultimate praise and respect," said Taboo. "What the fellows said — Ferg, she's doing the mom thing — but we have an amazing artist we're developing."
Country music couple Carly Pearce and Michael Ray are divorcing after less than a year of marriage
Country music singer Carly Pearce filed to divorce fellow country star Michael Ray on June 19 following just eight months of marriage. "This was a hard decision. It wasn't something she wanted to have to do. This hasn't been a quarantine realization — it was a last resort," a source told People magazine.
Fans go wild after Britney Spears debuts bangs
Pop superstar Britney Spears took to Instagram on June 16 to reveal that she'd changed up her hairstyle. "I did it I finally cut bangs !!!!!!" she wrote. Fans were quick to praise the haircut, with some commenting, "Queen of Bangs!" and "Omg you look like an embryo! Youthful queen!" Britney has been very active on social media during quarantine and fans have been fascinated. She explained her thought process behind the bangs saying, "Who would have thought bangs could make you look waaaaay younger ?!?!" She continued talking about her youth, saying, "It was such a big deal to expose my forehead …. only pretty people in the South could do that and I never felt pretty enough to pull it off. All the beauty pageant girls did it but I never felt beauty pageants were my thing … I had bad teeth and felt like an ugly duckling."