If you’re anything like us, we see an interesting headline during our daily scroll—pause to read it—but then keep scrolling without reading the actual story. So at the end of each week, we’re rounding up all the buzziest, news-worthy headlines you might have missed. Think of it like the “saved” feature on Instagram but for news instead of aesthetically pleasing photos. Dolly Parton announces a new rock album featuring Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney, & more, Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour kicks off in Sweden, Doja Cat confirms her next project name, and The Weeknd shares plans to change his stage name and persona—this is what you missed.
Dolly Parton Announces ‘Rockstar’ Featuring Elton John, Miley Cyrus, Paul McCartney & More
Iconic music artist Dolly Parton, with a prolific career spanning several decades under her belt, has announced her next album Rockstar, expanding her musical ventures beyond country and collaborating with artists from all genres. The 30-track album will showcase Dolly Parton’s ability to transcend genres and work with diverse talents and renowned stars performing new versions of their legacy songs. The robust repertoire of enlisted acts includes Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for a rendition of The Beatles’ “Let It Be”, Sting for a new version of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take”, and Miley Cyrus on “Wrecking Ball”. In addition, Lizzo will cover Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” and Parton will cover Prince’s “Purple Rain” solo. It doesn’t stop there—Mick Fleetwood, Elton John, Joan Jett, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, and many others will also appear on Dolly Parton’s Rockstar. The news is fitting given that Parton had recently been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, initially declining her nomination, and eventually accepting, recognizing that the induction isn’t solely meant for rock music artists. This year’s inductee Missy Elliott further proves that rock ’n’ roll is a product of many musical cultures. Dolly Parton has expressed her excitement for her first rock album, set to be released on November 17th, saying she feels honored to have collaborated with famous musical idols.
The Weeknd Plans to Change His Stage Name and ‘Kill’ His Persona
After being in the game for over a decade as The Weeknd, Abel Tesfaye reveals his persona may be retiring soon, with the album he’s currently working on potentially being the last project under the stage name. In a recent interview with W Magazine, he declared his intention: “I’m going through a cathartic path right now. It’s getting to a place where I’m getting ready to close The Weeknd chapter. I’ll still make music, maybe as Abel, maybe as The Weeknd. But I still want to kill The Weeknd. And I will. Eventually. I’m definitely trying to shed that skin and be reborn.” The drama and theatrics are palpable and exactly what you expect out of the artist, making for an appropriately fitting end. Tesfaye expressed that his experience playing cult leader Tedros in the HBO series, The Idol, was the catalyst of transformation, speculating the transition between characters was affecting his pop star persona. “It was tough to go from one head to another. Then, after the concert, I lost my voice. No voice came out at all. That’s never happened before. My theory is that I forgot how to sing because I was playing Tedros, a character who doesn’t know how to sing. I may be looking too deeply into this, but it was terrifying. As The Weeknd, I’ve never skipped a concert. I’ve performed with the flu. I’ll die on that stage. But there was something very complicated going on with my mind at that moment.” Whatever the true reason, likely a product of layered circumstances and experiences, Abel Tesfaye suspects he has said all he can say as The Weeknd. As we move through the stages of grief, we can take comfort in the fact that Abel Tesfaye and his artistry are alive and well and we can be sure to expect more from the star for years to come.
Taylor Swift Announces Re-Recorded ‘Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)’
Drop everything! After months of teasing and hidden Easter eggs, Taylor Swift has finally announced that Speak Now will be her next re-recorded album. Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) will be the third installment of the singer’s endeavor to reclaim her masters after they were sold by her former record label in 2019. Fans had an inkling that news was coming soon after their light-up bracelets went signature-speak-now purple at the end of Swift’s Eras Tour stop in Atlanta, but the news was made last weekend official in her hometown of Nashville. Kicking off her first of three sold-out shows at Nissan Stadium, Swift announced the release of the album, followed by a surprise performance of “Sparks Fly”, much to fans’ delight. Taylor took to her Instagram account after the show, sharing that “the songs that came from this time in my life were marked by their brutal honesty, unfiltered diaristic confessions and wild wistfulness.” Speak Now was originally released in 2010, and was entirely self-written by Swift between the ages of 18 and 20. Her re-recorded version will feature 6 previously unreleased songs (From The Vault) which, keeping with the theme of the rest of the record, also feature Swift as the sole songwriter. Swift hit the nail on the head, sharing in her announcement that she considers “this music to be, along with your faith in me, the best thing that’s ever been mine.” Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) will be released on July 7th and we’re 100% ready for it.
Doja Cat Confirms Next Project Name and Denounces Last Two Albums
It is advisable to approach Doja Cat’s statements with some light-hearted skepticism. In all her glory, Doja Cat has openly taken pleasure in misleading us and will likely do it again and I, for one, am absolutely here for her liberated-pop-star-owns-her-identity era. She is a certified entertainer, after all. From fibbing about her next album being inspired by 1990s German rave music—bet it would be killer if true—to exclusively answering interview questions in the form of “meow” variables at the MET Gala, Doja Cat keeps us on our toes. This week, however, she hit us with some brutal honesty. She is stepping through a door of new opportunity and closing the doors of her past. On Tuesday, she took to Twitter to share thoughts about her past albums: “Planet her and hot pink were cash-grabs and yall fell for it. now i can go disappear somewhere and touch grass with my loved ones on an island while yall weep for mediocre pop.” Exactly seven minutes later, she tweeted again, this time to share news about her highly anticipated fourth album’s title. It was previously rumored the album would be called “Hellmouth”, another falsehood teased by Doja herself. Now, Doja has revealed, “its not called hEllMoUth either its called “First of All” and yes I’m announcing the album title right now.” So, there it is, if we can believe it to be true—Doja Cat’s next album will be titled First of All and we can expect it to not be experimental jazz or German rave inspired. Though Doja Cat maybe doesn’t think much of her past work, we still do and look forward to her new project and any humorous gags on the horizon.
Beyoncé’s ‘Renaissance’ Tour Kicks Off
Bringing Renaissance on stage for the very first time, Beyoncé kicks off the most highly anticipated tour of the year in Sweden. If you had the funds or decided to take a second mortgage out on your house to secure tickets to the tour, you are in for an absolute treat. The tour follows her major Grammy wins for the album, including Best Dance/Electronic Recording, Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Dance/Electronic Music Album, making her the most decorated artist in Grammy’s history. Spanning three spectacular hours, Queen Bey performed live debuts of all your favorites—we’re talking “Break My Soul”, “Virgo’s Groove”, and “Cuff It” to name a few. Not only was the setlist—see below—extensive, covering highlights of her career up to Renaissance but, the outfits and set design were, as expected, to die for. She kicked off the tour with “Dangerously In Love”, wearing a custom Alexander McQueen silver bugle beaded and crystal anatomical embroidery bodysuit inspired by the latest Fall 2023 collection. Custom is the word of the day, and we will use it liberally—custom David Koma for songs such as “Energy”, custom Loewe bejeweled glove-print bodysuit, and bejeweled look featuring the signature Loewe breastplate designed by Jonathan Anderson, custom Coperni designed by Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, custom Courrèges by Nicolas DiFelice, and custom Balmain by Olivier Rousteing inspired by the pearl detailed #43 from Fall 2023 ready-to-wear. A moment of appreciative silence for the late Thierry Mugler, please. Referencing one of Manfred’s most iconic creations of all time, the ‘robot suit’ from Fall 1995, Beyoncé wore a custom Mugler by Casey Cadwallader, followed by a killer bee look inspired by his 1997 ‘Les Insectes’ haute couture collection. All this to say, who was the real star of the show? Still Beyoncé, but her impeccable stylist Shiona Turini is everything. If the looks aren’t reason enough for you to be scrambling to get tickets before Renaissance comes to your hometown—for her closing performance of “Summer Renaissance”, she rode a flying disco horse. Please act accordingly, this is not a drill.
Dangerously in Love
Flaws and All
1+1 / I’d Rather Go Blind / I’m Going Down
I’m That Girl
Alien Superstar / Sweet Dreams
Break My Soul
Run the World (Girls)
Get Me Bodied
Before I Let Go
Rather Die Young
Love on Top
Crazy in Love
Plastic Off the Sofa
Naughty Girl / Say My Name / Rocket
All Up in Your Mind
Drunk in Love
America Has a Problem