Arts Briefs

This year’s Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival — a highly anticipated music event — had an impressive list of headliners and performers, including Eminem, Cardi B, The Weeknd, SZA and a guest appearance by last year’s headliner, Kendrick Lamar. Despite these big names, no performer was as prominent as Beyoncé, who rescheduled her intended performance last year because of her pregnancy. Beyoncé performed a set list nearly two hours long, which included both her old and new hits, covers and a pleasant reunion of Destiny’s Child with Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland. As the first black woman to headline the festival in its 19-year history, Beyoncé delivered a performance that was a major success, resulting in the viral renaming of the festival by fans to “Beychella.”

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Cardi B debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with Invasion of Privacy, becoming only the fifth female rapper with a No. 1 album. Last summer, she became the first female rapper in 19 years to release a completely solo chart-topping single with “Bodak Yellow.” With 255,000 copies sold in the first week, Cardi B’s Invasion of Privacy became the highest debut by a woman this year, as well as having the largest by-demand streams in a week by a woman ever with 202.5 million streams. Cardi B also got her sixth top 10 single, as “I Like It,” featuring J Balvin and Bad Bunny debuted at No. 8. The Billboard Hot 100 was also dominated by hip-hop, as Drake occupied the top two spots when his new single “Nice for What” debuted at No. 1, dethroning his own “God’s Plan,” which also debuted at No. 1 and topped the chart for 11 weeks.

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Lamar had a busy weekend. Aside from appearing at Coachella, he also made history as the first-ever rapper to receive the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Music. Although notably unrecognized this year at the Grammys with his influential album DAMN., Lamar also became the award’s only winner that is not a classical or jazz musician since its establishment in 1943.

The administrator of the prizes, Dana Canedy, stated that Lamar deserved the honor as his album was, according to the judging board, “a virtuosic song collection unified by its vernacular authenticity and rhythmic dynamism that offers affecting vignettes capturing the complexity of modern African-American life.”

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Other winners of the Pulitzer Prize include Less by Andrew Sean Greer for fiction, Cost of Living by Martyna Majok for drama, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016 by Frank Bidart for poetry and Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey from The New York Times and Ronan Farrow from The New Yorker for Public Service. Twohey and Farrow’s respective reporting helped expose sexual misconduct by men such as Harvey Weinstein and Bill O’Reilly and catalyzed the prevalence of the #MeToo movement.

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