Madonna has cemented her position as the Queen of Pop after she was named the all-time top female artist in the 60-year history of the Billboard Hot 100. The Vogue hitmaker has racked up 57 entries and 12 number ones on the pop chart, while she also holds the record for the most top 10 mentions among all acts with 38. Interestingly, the Billboard countdown was first published on 4 August, 1958 - just 12 days before Madonna was born. She will celebrate her 60th birthday on 16 August (18). She tops Mariah Carey, who takes second place among the top-performing female solo artists with 18 Hot 100 chart-toppers - the most for any solo act - while she also boasts the most cumulative weeks in first place of any act with 79. Rounding out the top five are Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Rihanna, who made her chart debut in 2005 and already has the third-best track record when it comes to Hot 100 number ones with 14. Olivia Newton-John, Aretha Franklin, pop rivals Taylor Swift and Katy Perry, and Diana Ross complete the top 10. The list of the all-time top female artists on the Hot 100 emerges shortly after Elton John was named the most successful male solo act with nine number ones, 27 top 10s, and a total of 67 entries, according to Billboard. He beat Elvis Presley and Stevie Wonder to pole position, while Michael Jackson, and Paul McCartney also scored spots in the top five, with Usher, Prince, Rod Stewart, Drake, and Marvin Gaye making up the rest of the top 10.
It's a good time to be a pop music fan. In a week that's seen new releases from Kelly Clarkson, Zayn Malik and more stars, Sam Smith has released "Too Good at Goodbyes," his first single since the 2015 release of his Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning "Writing's on the Wall," the theme song for the James Bond film Spectre. Written with Jimmy Napes and Stargate, "Too Good at Goodbyes" heralds the return of one of music's most celebrated artists. "This song is about a relationship I was in and it's basically about getting good at getting dumped," Smith, 25, says in a statement. "It's been a long while since I've put any music out and I feel that this first single sets the tone of what is to come."
As if the first wave of VMA performers wasn’t thrilling enough, another superstar has been added to the lineup: Kendrick Lamar. Lamar, who leads the field of nominees with eight nods, will perform at the star-studded event along with Miley Cyrus, The Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Fifth Harmony, Lorde, Thirty Seconds to Mars, and the show’s host, Katy Perry. The DAMN. rapper is nominated for some of the evening’s most coveted prizes, including Artist of the Year and Video of the Year for “HUMBLE" Lamar’s can’t-miss performance at the August 27 show will mark just his second VMA appearance. In case you forgot, he previously performed alongside 2 Chainz, Miley Cyrus, and Robin Thicke during that opening number at the 2013 VMAs in Brooklyn. He’s clearly come so far.
Taylor Swift has broken her own record for the highest-grossing U.S. tour by a female artist. The Look What You Made Me Do singer has been trekking across the U.S. and other nations since May (18) on her epic Reputation Stadium Tour. Her U.S. gigs alone have now made an incredible $191.1 million (£148 million), according to Billboard.com, meaning that with 11 American dates still to play she has surpassed the gross earnings of the previous record holder, her 1989 World Tour - which made $181.5 million (£140.5 million) in 2015. During the tour, she has averaged earnings of more than $7 million (£5.4 million) per show - with all 27 of her completed dates sold out. The pop princess is having a brief break from the road after performing at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida last Saturday (19Aug18). After the gig, she praised hometown girl Camila Cabello - who has supported her alongside British singer-songwriter Charli XCX throughout the tour. "MIAMI I LOVE YOU!! You were so loud and FUN," she wrote on her Tumblr page. "Shout out to Camila for killing it in her hometown and being just the greatest most precious magical human possible." The concerts will pick up again this coming Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee - the city where a teenage Taylor made her name as a country music star. In addition to her U.S. gigs, Taylor has also performed in the U.K., Ireland and Canada, with the latter concerts having grossed $11.1 million (£8.5 million). Figures for her British and Irish dates are yet to come in, and unlike in the U.S., not all of these shows sold out. She will conclude the tour in Australia, New Zealand and Japan - meaning the worldwide takings from the Reputation Stadium Tour should easily surpass the $250 million (£193 million) her 1989 live dates made globally - and may come close to beating the $408 million (£316 million) Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour made in 2008 and 2009, the most earned globally by a female artist.