The year of UK’s female pop stars
Female pop stars have seen their popularity rocket in comparison with their male counterparts, according to analysis of time spent in the UK Top 40 chart this year. Data analysis by the Press Association found that five of the top 10 most popular acts of 2018 were all female; they racked up a total of 310 weeks on the chart versus the 328 weeks achieved by men.
According to Press Association, in 2017 the figure was just 226 weeks for female artists, with 386 weeks for men. The 2018 list is topped by the Canadian rapper Drake; he had a total of 102 weeks on the chart for 13 hits. The female rapper Cardi B came second, and British-Kosovan pop singer Dua Lipa third, while Jess Glynne, Ariana Grande and Anne-Marie all featured in the top 10.
The data is slightly complicated by the fact that some of the music tracks on which the women performed were produced by men: Dua Lipa’s hit “One Kiss” was made in collaboration with Calvin Harris, so both would be credited in terms of chart weeks; “Electricity” was produced by the duo Silk City; 22 of Jess Glynne’s weeks on the chart were from her track with Rudimental and Macklemore, “These Days”; and Anne-Marie’s “Friends” was a hit with the EDM producer Marshmello.
Cardi B also had three charting tracks as a guest star to male acts: “Taki Taki” with DJ Snake alongside Selena Gomez and Ozuna, “Girls Like You” with Maroon 5, and “Finesse” with Bruno Mars. But the New York rapper had another three hits under her own name, plus a guest spot for Rita Ora on the controversial track “Girls”.
‘Leonard Cohen's music moving’
Whenever I hear it, it always makes me feel better,” said the prince from Jean-Marie Leclair’s Scylla et Glaucus, an 18th-century opera about malignant rage and the summoning of demons to destroy a rival. “It is so incredibly rhythmic, it is incredibly joyful and exciting … do you know those bits of music that put a spring in your step again when you’re feeling a little bit down.”
The rarely performed opera, as well as the songs of Leonard Cohen and Russian Orthodox liturgical music, have been revealed as the private musical choices of Prince Charles on a special edition of Radio 3’s long-running show Private Passions.
Marking Charles’s 70th year, the hour-long special features the prince talking about his musical passions and the importance of arts and music education. When asked how he felt about the decline of music education — which the presenter, Michael Berkeley, said was at significant risk of disappearing in state schools — the prince said: “I’m one of those people who believes in the importance of arts education and music education in schools.
“Apart from anything else, I think people forget — or may not realise — what an enormous contribution the creative arts make to the whole economy. It’s immense. So we slightly shoot ourselves in the feet if we ignore it altogether. When you go to schools which still have it [music education], it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm on the part of the children in their orchestras.”
U2 stars busk for the homeless
Bono has joined The Edge at the annual Christmas Eve charity busking session outside the Gaiety theatre in Dublin, performing along with a host of other famous Irish musicians in aid of the city’s homeless. The event took place in support of the Simon Community, a homelessness charity that helps people who are homeless or at risk of becoming so. It was Bono’s first appearance at the charity gig in three years, and his seventh overall.
The U2 members serenaded onlookers with a song from their latest album, as well as two Christmas carols — O Holy Night and O Night Divine — before they were joined by an ensemble to sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), a rock song originally sung by Darlene Love in 1963. Bono told the crowd: “As the buckets go around, fill them with silver, fill them with hope — [it’s] the season of hope.”
Crowds had gathered around a makeshift stage on Grafton Street. Other performers included organiser Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, Danny O’Reilly, Imelda May, Luke Clerkin, Mundy and Róisín O.