The Weeknd's 'Blinding Lights' Becomes First-ever Song with 4B Streams on Spotify
For years, it’s been nearly impossible to avoid “Blinding Lights.” It’s one of those songs that is omnipresent on soundtracks, playlists, and even your local CVS. Now, the song has set yet another record, becoming the first-ever song to eclipse 4 billion streams on Spotify. Last year, The Weeknd took over the top spot of the most-streamed song on the streaming service from Ed Sheeran‘s “Shape of You.” The song is believed to have taken in more than $20 million for The Weeknd, with between $15-17 million in royalties from Spotify and $4.5 million in publishing rights, according to Variety.
Tom Cruise's ‘Top Gun 3’ Reportedly in Early Production at Paramount
Earlier this week, Tom Cruise announced his new development deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, but the superstar actor isn’t done making moves. Multiple reports on Friday suggest that early production has begun on Top Gun 3, a third installment of the franchise in which Cruise has starred. The movie is expected to be produced by Paramount, the company that created the first two films. Cruise is producing and will also presumably star in the film, which has an unknown timeline currently. Top Gun: Maverick writer Ehren Kruger and director Joe Kosinski also signed onto the project, The Hollywood Reporter was first to report.
Jerod Mayo Tapped as Belichick Successor for New England Patriots
The New England Patriots reportedly found its successor right in its home locker room. Former Patriots standout and current linebackers coach Jerod Mayo will take over the head coaching position, the team announced on Friday. The Patriots side-stepped interviewing rules as they implemented the path to the succession plan last year when Mayo crafted his extension with the team. Mayo will be the first Black head coach in New England Patriots history and the youngest coach in the NFL, as he is one month younger than the LA Rams’ Sean McVay.
Washington's Kalen DeBoer Headed to Alabama to Replace Saban
It’s time for a new chapter in Tuscaloosa. After Nick Saban stepped down as the Crimson Tide commander earlier this week, analysts have fixated on who may take over for the legendary head coach at Alabama. ESPN’s Pete Thamel reports that Washington’s head coach Kalen DeBoer has informed the Huskies that he will take over Saban‘s position on the sidelines. The news comes just days after DeBoer experienced a tough loss at the CFP National Championship game at Houston’s NRG Stadium. Thamel also reports that Washington had made a massive offer to keep DeBoer in Seattle, more than doubling his previous annual salary of $4.2 million. However, if DeBoer does depart, he will owe the Huskies a $12 million buyout fee.
Washington Commanders Begin Rebuild with New GM, Adam Peters
The Washington Commanders have their eyes on the future. The franchise reportedly has its sights on San Francisco 49ers assistant general manager Adam Peters to serve as its new GM, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. It’s the start of a new wave of personnel in the nation’s capital, as the team fired Ron Rivera after its disappointing 4-13 season. With the official announcement, Peters will spearhead the search for a Commanders’ new head coach.
Universal Music Group Announces Sweeping Layoffs in Q1
The new year brings a new set of priorities for Universal Music Group. The company has shifted its priorities in recent years to elevate D2C and e-commerce initiatives and is expected to lay off “hundreds” of employees, according to Bloomberg. As a result, the company’s recorded music division will likely be hit the hardest. However, the news isn’t all new. UMG’s CEO Lucien Grange teased the upcoming changes as far back as October, citing a slowdown in streaming-driven profits as a major reason for the changes. “We are creating efficiencies in other areas of the business so we can remain nimble and responsive to the dynamic market, while realizing the benefits of our scale,” a UMG representative told Bloomberg when asked about the impending layoffs.