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MRC 2021 Report Shows Just How Groundbreaking Olivia Rodrigo’s Debut Year Has Been



In the first half of 2021, her debut single “driver’s license” was streamed 582.8 million times and topped multiple song consumption lists. 

Olivia Rodrigo Tops the Charts

Pop darling Olivia Rodrigo has nothing to be “sour” about when it comes to her debut chart success in 2021. MRC Data’s 2021 Mid-Year Report found the singer was among the most-listened-to artists in the first six months of the year. 

Her first single “driver’s license,” which broke a myriad of streaming records, ranked at number one across digital song consumption, on-demand streaming, and on-demand video streams according to the report. By the halfway point of the year, the song had been streamed 582.8 million times.

“There is an emotional resonance with all great art, and it is no different with ‘drivers license,’ as Olivia captured a feeling shared by millions of music fans across the globe,” Gary Kelly, the 

Chief Revenue Officer of Interscope Records, said in a statement. “In addition, Gen Z helped spread the song to a wider audience via social platforms, which exploded in popularity while people were in lockdown.” 

Rodrigo’s debut album “SOUR,” which was only released at the end of May, also ended up coming in second on MRC’s top albums list. It had the biggest first week of any album released this year, earning 295,000 equivalent units. 

Music consumption was up overall in the first half of this year, seeing a 13.5% spike in the first six months of 2021 compared to the same time in 2020. This was led by a 15% boost in on-demand audio streaming. 

Other Artists Leading the Pack

Other artists that led the pack included Morgan Wallen, who broke country music records despite finding himself enveloped in scandal after a video surfaced of him using the n-word. The controversy lost him radio airplay, but he still edged out Rodrigo to have the top album of the year so far with “Dangerous: The Double Album.” The album has also been at the top of the Billboard 200 charts for ten weeks, a feat reached by very few other country artists. 

MRC also shouted out Taylor Swift as a leader in 2021 music. “Fearless (Taylor’s Version),” the first album in her massive effort to re-record her first six LPs after their rights were sold from underneath her, shattered country streaming records. It received 142.9 million on-demand streams in its first week, miles ahead of the previous record set by Brenda Lee for “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree: The Decca Christmas Recordings,” which received 44.67 million streams. 

Her other recent releases, sister albums “folklore” and “evermore,” likewise have fared well this year. “evermore” ranked number one in top physical album sales, while “Fearless (Taylor’s Version)” came in at four, and “folklore” came in at five. She was one of just two artists that had multiple albums make the top ten in physical album sales. 

The other was BTS, the K-pop sensation that has taken over global music. Two of their albums, “BE” and “MAP OF THE SOUL: 7” came in at six and ten for physical album sales respectively. BTS also dominated digital song sales, with “Butter” coming in at number one with 841,000 sales, followed by “Dynamite” at number two with 283,00 sales.

See what others are saying: (Variety) (CNBC) (Forbes)


Fire at Home Reportedly Owned by Beyoncé and Jay-Z Under Arson Investigation



Officials said there were no injuries or evacuations during the fire, which was put out in around two hours.

Fire Breaks Out at Famed Couple’s Reported Residence

A Wednesday fire at a historic home in New Orleans, Louisiana believed to be owned by music titans Beyoncé and Jay-Z is being investigated as a possible arson. 

On Thursday, a New Orleans Police Department spokesperson confirmed to multiple outlets that it had received a tip about a suspicious person in the area. Further details about the suspicious person and the cause of the fire have not been revealed.

Neighbors told local media that there is an unlocked gate on the property that outsiders sometimes use to gain entry.

Officials told The New York Post that it took 22 firefighters over two hours to extinguish the blaze, with no reported injuries or evacuations. The extent of the damage currently remains unclear, but a spokesperson told The Post that given the age of the residence, the situation could have been far more severe. 

“If [the firefighters] didn’t get there when they did, it could have been much worse,” the spokesperson said. “It’s a historic home.”

About the Home

The building was first built in the Garden District neighborhood of the city in the 1920s as a church. It was later used as a ballet school and then became a high-end residence in 2000. says it is currently valued at $3 million.

The home was purchased in 2015 by Sugarcane Parkin LLC. According to The Washington Post, this company has the same registered address as other entities owned by Beyoncé. Sugarcane Parkin is also allegedly managed by Beyoncé’s mother, Celestine Lawson, better known as Tina Knowles.

Representatives for the “Lemonade” singer and her husband have not issued any public statements about the incident, nor have they confirmed that the home is owned by the couple. 

In March of this year, storage units in Los Angeles belonging to Beyonce were burglarized. According to TMZ, over a million dollars of goods were stolen, including expensive dresses and handbags.

See what others are saying: (The Washington Post) (The New York Post) (NOLA)

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Cleveland’s Baseball Team Changes Name From Indians to Guardians



The move marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans. 

Name Change Announced

Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team said Friday that it will change its name after the 2021 season from the Indians to the Guardians.

The team announced the name change with a just over two-minute video narrated by actor Tom Hanks.

“You see, there’s always been a Cleveland — that’s the best part of our name,” Hanks says in the clip. “And now it’s time to unite as one family, one community, to build the next era for this team and this city.”

This marks the team’s first name change since 1915, and it comes after decades of criticism from Native Americans. 

Despite long-running calls to change racist and offensive team names — including the Washington Redskins — such campaigns did not gain significant momentum until the nationwide racial reckoning that followed the murder of George Floyd.

Why Guardians?

Officials behind the Cleveland team first pledged to change the name last year and previously removed the “Chief Wahoo” logo, a caricature of a Native American character, from its uniforms following the 2018 season.

It toyed with several options before ultimately landing on Guardians, which draws from Cleveland’s architectural history. 

“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” team owner and chairman Paul Dolan said in a news release. 

“Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”

“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians.”

Guardians will be the fifth name in franchise history, joining Blues (1901), Bronchos (1902), Naps (1903-14), and Indians (1915-2021).

See what others are saying:(ESPN)(Axios) (Cleveland)

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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editor Slams Megyn Kelly for “Bullying” Naomi Osaka



Editor M.J. Day said Kelly’s attacks against Osaka are “part of the problem” when it comes to mental health discussions.

Megyn Kelly and Naomi Osaka’s Heated Twitter Exchange

The editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue slammed former TV news anchor Megyn Kelly Tuesday for mocking cover model and tennis star Naomi Osaka.

“It’s such bullying and it’s so unnecessary,” editor M.J. Day told People Magazine’s Every Day” podcast. “And [Osaka] did nothing wrong.” 

Osaka made history Monday by becoming the first Haitian and Japanese woman on the cover of the iconic issue. The athlete has been making headlines over the last few months for speaking openly and vulnerably about her mental health. In the spring, she said she was not going to participate in French Open press events because of the toll it takes on her as an introvert who has struggled with depression. She later withdrew from the tournament after that choice sparked backlash and likewise opted out of Wimbledon to take some “personal” time. 

Some — conservative pundits, in particular — slammed Osaka for stepping back from these roles because of her mental health, but still opting to work on other projects, including the release of a Barbie doll, a Netflix docuseries, and a handful of magazine covers. Kelly joined that bandwagon, noting that Osaka has been featured in the likes of Vogue and TIME.

“Seeing as you’re a journalist I would’ve assumed you would take the time to research what the lead times are for magazines, if you did that you would’ve found out I shot all of my covers last year,” Osaka tweeted in response, though she later deleted the post.

“Instead your first reaction is to hop on here and spew negativity, do better Megan.”

M.J. Day Says Kelly is “Part of the Problem” With Mental Health Conversations

Kelly later tweeted that Osaka blocked her on Twitter, lashing out at the tennis champion for that decision as well.

People online have been largely defending Osaka and criticizing Kelly. Many argue that it is unfair for Kelly to attack a young woman who has been vocal about dealing with mental health issues; though it’s a practice the former Fox and NBC host has made a recent habit of, likewise attacking Meghan Markle and her husband Prince Harry.

Day said that remarks like Kelly’s are the reason it is so hard for people to have open and honest conversations about mental health.

“I’m like, ‘You know what, you’re journalists,’” Day added. “How about you do your job and you fact check instead of jumping all over this woman for attention, for ratings, for whatever it is that they’re doing? Which is, by the way, part of the problem. It’s part of the reason why mental health is such an issue.” 

“How about we do our due diligence and make sure we know what the reality of a situation is before we come for people,” Day continued. “It broke my heart to see someone who is really living her life for the betterment of others while also trying to pursue her own passion.”

“Let her live. Let her make decisions for herself that protect her own wellbeing. It’s at no cost to anyone.”

See what others are saying: (People) (Huff Post) (The Hill)

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