Taylor Swift Hears Your Cries About That Controversial ‘Lover’ Lyric, OK?

A week before the release of Taylor Swift‘s seventh studio album, Lover, on August 23, the pop star released the LP’s nostalgic and very romantic title track. The song quickly became a favorite among Swifties, but to this day, the fandom continues to sound off on Twitter about one particular lyric that suggests we should all be taking our Christmas lights down before January 1. Now, Swift is offering up a long-overdue explanation.

“I had toyed with the idea of being like, ‘We could have the Christmas lights up ’til April,'” Swift told The New York Times for its “Diary of a Song” series. But she stuck with January for good reason — to show that even the dullest parts of a relationship are special when you’re fully in love with the right person. “It’s not about that being a crazy thing,” she explained. “It’s about how mundane it is. It’s about, like, ‘We could put a rug over there’ [or] ‘We could do wallpaper or we could do paint.'”

If you thought that the final lyric — “We could leave the Christmas lights up ’til January” — was simply overlooked by the pop star, think again. Swift’s songwriting process is a long and arduous one, and it includes “obsessively going over every lyric and making sure that’s what I want the final lyric to be.” Luckily, the attention to detail paid off, and that one song — which Swift wrote herself in the middle of the night — became the track that would define yet another era of her 15-year career.

The truth is, Swift always wanted to make a song that people “who are in love would want to dance to,” and “Lover” certainly fits the bill. Once she came up with the chorus, she knew she was on the right track. “I wanted the chorus to be these really simple existential questions that we ask ourselves when we’re in love,” she told the paper. “‘Can I go where you go?’ is such a heavy thing to ask somebody. ‘Can we always be this close?’ has so much fear in it.”

As made clear, Swift’s songwriting skills are both mystifying and rare. And once “Lover” was written, she knew it was something special. “Even if anybody has been like, ‘I don’t think this one’s great,’ I would’ve been like, ‘Well, I reject your feedback because I love this one.'” And thank goodness for that.

For more on the making of Taylor Swift’s “Lover,” how she came up with the wedding-themed bridge, and what instruments were used to make the song feel the most authentic, watch the full video up above.

Ed Sheeran Is Going On A Break Again To ‘Travel, Write, And Read’

Ed Sheeran is officially taking a break from social media and dropping new music again. The singer took to Instagram with the news, confirming what he had previously hinted at in August: he’s ready to kick his legs up and take some time for himself. He’ll be back soon, he just doesn’t know when yet.

Sheeran’s post was pretty short and to the point, written on the iPhones Notes application so you know that it’s something serious. “I’ve been a bit nonstop since 2017 so I’m just gonna take a breather to travel, write, and read,” he wrote. “I’ll be off all social media until it’s time to come back.”

The singer continued on in a slightly emotional tone, letting everyone know that he’s been, and will continue to be, grateful for their support. “To my family and friends, see ya when I see ya – and to my fans, thank you for always being amazing, I promise to be back with some new music when the time is right and I’ve lived a little more to actually have something to write about,” he concluded.

In August, Sheeran first let fans know during the final stop of his Divide tour in Ipswich, England that he was getting ready to take a break. “As you may or not know, I’ve been on the Divide tour for over two years now and this is the last day of the whole thing,” he told the crowd.”This is my last gig for probably 18 months.” Going into the tour’s final moments, he told fans that he would be away for “a few years’ time.”

Sheeran’s last break came in 2016 after completing his last world tour. He let fans know after releasing “Lay It All On Me” that he would be taking some time for himself. “My plan is to get rid of my iPhone, get rid of internet, get a Nokia 3310 and just go off into the wilderness somewhere for a bit,” he told MTV News. “Even if it’s just a month without contact with other people.”

As hard as Sheeran’s been working, he definitely deserves this rest. He dropped his latest LP, No. 6 Collaborations Project, in July that features Camila Cabello, Justin Bieber, and more.

Check out Sheeran’s full break announcement up above.

Drake Declares Peace With The Weeknd In New Song

There may not be any snow blanketing the grounds of your city this holiday season, but, don’t worry, Drake has you covered. He surprised fans ahead of Christmas with the release of a warm and cozy new track, “War,” that comes with a video about winter sports, being comfortable, and looking cool. There are no instantly memorable hooks or melodies – two things that define Drake’s songs. Instead, there’s one paranoid verse that extends throughout, touching on everything from his past, what he looks for in a partner, and, surprisingly, mending his relationship with The Weeknd after rumors of the two stars being cold to each other for years.

“War” sounds so different from Drake’s smooth template, so it’s already a winner as it cuts on. Sonically, it has roots in the drill sound of the U.K. Ominous synths swim around stabs of bass drums and quick snare chirps, creating a one-of-a-kind sandbox for Drake to build a castle in. Instead of playing by the rules, Drake knocks over his own structure.

Lyrically, Drake is in attack mode. He doesn’t trust anyone and he’s wary about the woman he will eventually share his wealth with (“Can’t have no pretentious ting when I know this road gets bumpy”). He frequently references his nameless cavalcade of haters and leaves them without identities to make the burns sting a little bit more. One flinching line does give them a bit of important advice: “You n–ggas spend too much time on captions, not enough time on action.”

The biggest topic here, that’s going to warm the hearts of fans everywhere this holiday season, is that Drake and The Weeknd could be back cooler than ever. Drake unfollowed The Weeknd on Instagram in January, alerting fans to the fact that their rumored cold relationship actually existed. On “War,” Drake seemingly acknowledges their bad blood before announcing that it’s water under the bridge. “Yeah, we just had to fix things, family, six tings, we can’t split up,” he raps. We could just be speculating here, but it seems pretty clear to everyone who this line is about.

In the video for “War,” Drake and his rolling party of friends head to the slopes to burn joints in the winter air. Drake makes skiing look even cooler than it did before as he spits his verse while coming down a hill. He also hops on a snowboard and shows off his skills (though his face is more obscured here and it could be a stunt double. But we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt). If Drake wanted to show off how good he is at winter sports in every video from now one, we’d totally understand.

“War” appears on El-Kuumba Tape Vol. 1, a new project from a frequent collaborator of Drake’s, Oliver El-Khatib.

Watch Drake’s wonderful wintery video for “War” up above.

This Star-Studded Tribute To Mariah Carey Features Chance The Rapper, Millie Bobby Brown, North West, And More

Christmas is quickly approaching, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably been listening to Mariah Carey‘s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” on repeat since Thanksgiving. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Carey’s holiday bop (as well as its first time hitting No. 1), and to celebrate, all of your favorite celebs joined forces for a festive video that honors the reigning Queen of Christmas and the song that’s topped holiday playlists for a quarter-century.

The brand new video — which was uploaded to Carey’s YouTube channel today (December 23) — features a lot of familiar faces. It begins with Tyler Perry announcing that the video is dedicated to Mariah Carey, jokingly mispronouncing her name as if she’s not one of the most famous musicians in the world. Following his introduction were appearances by Ryan Reynolds, Katy Perry, Ciara, Ruby Rose, Laverne Cox, Missy Elliott, Olivia Newton-John, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Hudson, Kerry Washington, and several others. Even Kim Kardashian West and Kris Jenner made the cut!

After the first verse, the video only gets more entertaining and star-studded. Some highlights include a cameo from Snoop Dogg, a passionate lip sync courtesy of Carey’s ex-husband Nick Cannon, Millie Bobby Brown hugging an inflatable snowman, Diplo on a tropical island vacation, and an impromptu appearance by North West. Carey’s current boyfriend and choreographer Bryan Tanaka also appears in the video dressed as Prince Charming, and not far behind is Chance the Rapper building and snacking on a gingerbread house.

Still, the most adorable part of the video comes at the very end. As Ariana Grande passionately sings along on the bridge and icons like Cyndi Lauper and John Travolta sing alongside fresh faces like Normani and JoJo Siwa, Carey’s own kids get their chance to shine. Dressed in festive red onesies, Moroccan and Monroe rock out to their mom’s holiday hit. And although they’re too young to remember its release 25 years ago, it’s clear that the iconic track has still made its indelible impact.

Alec Benjamin Is Chained To A Fishbowl In ‘Mind Is A Prison’

Alec Benjamin is trapped with no way out in his new video for “Mind Is A Prison.” The singer released the Falsetto-heavy tune today (December 23) to extrapolate some emotions from you ahead of Christmas. He succeeds with the claustrophobic feeling of the visual, making you feel as if there’s truly no escape from what he’s going through. It earns its creative points, that’s for sure.

“Mind Is A Prison” makes the mind of a fishbowl. Benjamin, a young chap who’d like to free himself from these small four walls and think better thoughts, just can’t seem to get away. His arm is chained to the bottom of the bowl and instead of panicking and attempting to get away, he realizes that resistance is futile so he sits, sadly, as his skin slowly prunes. “Guess my mind is a prison and I’m never going to get out” he sings solemnly, putting you into your feels. The emotional tune centers you in his experience all the way. For Christmas, you hope that he’s able to relax a bit.

Earlier this year, Benjamin released “Must Have Been The Wind” and “Jesus In LA.” There’s no word of when his debut studio album will drop, but, with this year’s bevy of singles, it looks like we’ll have some news in the near future.

Check out Benjamin’s one-of-a-kind video up above.

Tyler, The Creator Has Gifted Fans Two New Songs Originally Recorded For ‘Igor’

Tyler, The Creator is back! Just ahead of Christmas, he’s gifted fans with two fresh songs: “Best Interest” and “Group B.” Technically, they’re not new since they were to be included on his Grammy-nominated fifth studio album Igor. But to everyone who has yet to hear them (which is, well, everyone), these new blips of Tyler make for awesome holiday surprises. It’s nice to know that Tyler cares to spread some holiday cheer. He did do music for The Grinch last year after all.

“Best Interest” is soft, shiny, and shimmering. The rough recording features Tyler singing like a 2000’s heartthrob while also rapping around his sandy voice. It came with a video of Tyler on a fishing trip with some friends. The rapper added some context on Twitter, saying, “was on a boat, told the homie to just start filming, i was lip-syncing to no music, was surprised when it synched up perfectly.”

“Group B” is the soulful inverse of “Best Interest,” grounded in Tyler’s emceeing ability and nothing else. Tyler raps as if he’s shuffling his feet for a complex dance, twisting, turning, and hopping to the beat to stay in its good graces. His bars are short and to the point (“We stepping in puddles in/Them new Giannos/ The team I’m assembling/ You trembling/ We in a circle huddling”). Tyler had to tweet just how much he loved the song with this:

Tyler, The Creator dropped Igor earlier this year. The LP featured its lead single “Earfquake” and had features from Playboi Carti, Solange, Kanye West, and more.

Check out Tyler’s two new songs, “Best Interest,” and “Group B” up above.

Behold Taylor Swift’s 6-Day Journey To ‘Christmas Tree Farm’ From Start To Finish

Taylor Swift has given Swifties around the world a lot this year. In addition to releasing her seventh studio album, Lover, back in August, the “You Need to Calm Down” songstress gave fans a cheerful new Christmas track early this month inspired by her childhood home in Pennsylvania. Now, the pop star’s back at it again with a behind-the-scenes video on the making of that track, which took her all of six short days to create and share with the world.

Yep! In a new video posted to Swift’s YouTube channel today (December 23), she brings fans through the process of creating “Christmas Tree Farm,” from coming up with its general theme on December 1 to dropping it less than a week later on December 6. “So the idea I have for the song is ‘Christmas Tree Farm,’ ’cause I grew up on one,” she explains. “These are chords I don’t usually use, so bear with me, but it’s about how you’re in the city and you’re stressed out and your life is feeling really low but in your heart is a Christmas tree farm.”

From there, Swift plays a rough, first-draft version of the first verse on piano, mumbling over the lyrics that she didn’t write yet. Then, she brainstorms what the beginning of the track should sound like. “We could start it with the beginning being some sort of sad beginning, like — I’ll think of it in a second.” And so she did. In the next clip that was taken just one day later, the “Lover” singer mapped out the “expensive” and “luxurious” intro with producer Jimmy Napes.

Once the verses and chorus were all planned out, the next step in the expedited process was laying it down in the studio. After recording the lead vocals, Swift gave fans an inside look at the 10-piece gospel band as they recorded the epic harmonies heard on the track’s thunderous bridge. Cut to the end, and it was time to release “Christmas Tree Farm” for all to hear. “Hi, we’re done with the song,” Swift said, “It’s done. We’re going to put it out. We hope you like our Christmas song.”

To say that fans simply liked the song would be a total understatement. Immediately after the track’s release, Swifties took to social media to freak out over the song together and to rejoice in the fact that, this year, they had a new Christmas bop by their all-time favorite artist. Merry Swiftmas to all, and to all a good night.

Kehlani And Keyshia Cole Are Heart-Eyes Emojis On ‘All Me’

If you glance at Kehlani or Keyshia Cole‘s partners, they’ll cough loudly and step in front of them to obscure your view, then tell you to keep it moving with their arms raised in the air. They’re obsessed with their hubbies on “All Me,” a new collaboration that feels like Valentine’s Day come early. Kehlani, one of the industry’s hottest rising R &B singers, and Cole, a legend in the game with a voice more powerful than many, have made a new lovey-dovey anthem that’s simultaneously for cheek-pinching spouses and drop-kicking potential homewreckers.

Kehlani and Cole’s cheery new tune isn’t a slow-churning, hold-your-partner close kind of ode. It’s bouncy and energetic, carved from Kehlani’s R&B DNA. On it, the singer’s jaw is on the floor. For the first time in a while, she’s slept through the night. What a romantic flex. Cole is equally enchanted by her lover’s affection, singing “Embraced all my flaws even/ When you didn’t have to/ Stay holding me down/ Even when I’m not around,” with all of the energy of twelve heart-eyes emojis back-to-back. But they have one message to all the interested people that want to break this union between them and their partners: “When you see him, know that’s all me,” Kehlani sings pointedly, antagonistically even. Don’t even dare.

Kehlani dropped While We Wait earlier this year. In November, she released the heartfelt breakup anthem, “You Know Wassup.”

Check out Kehlani and Cole’s new adorable hubby anthem, “All Me,” up above.

Miley Cyrus May Be Having A ‘Sad Christmas’ But Reminds Us We’re All ‘Completely Full Of Magic!’

With Christmas just days away, people all over the world are getting ready to spend quality time with loved ones, sing Christmas carols, and yes, open presents. But while it might be a joyous time for many, Christmas can actually be quite lonely for some. And no song understands that better than Miley Cyrus‘s “My Sad Christmas Song,” a track that Cyrus says “still feels relevant” four years after its release.

In an emotional and heartfelt post shared to Instagram on Saturday (December 21), Cyrus explained that the track — which she worked on with Miley Cyrus & Her Dead Petz collaborators Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd of The Flaming Lips — is one that she wrote while driving from Malibu to her garage studio in Los Angeles several years back. And while it isn’t technically new, she decided to share it again this year because, like so many others, she’s feeling especially lonely this holiday season.

“Was feeling like shit cause I couldn’t be with the one I loved,” Cyrus wrote in regards to what inspired the gloomy track. “Even with a house full of family and friends I still felt alone.” She also wanted to release the song to help other lonely people get through the holiday season. “If you feel lonely this season just know YOU ARE COMPLETELY MADE OF MAGIC!” she added. “You are as special as a snowflake , beautifully unique and I hope inside your soul feels light, hope, peace, and joy knowing how singularly amazing YOU are! Love always wins!”

If you haven’t yet had the chance to listen to the 2015 holiday tune, it’s just as melancholy as you’d imagine — but still in a Christmas-y sort of way. In it, she binge watches her and her significant other’s favorite TV shows alone, “rips another bong,” and wonders why she even bothered decorating for Christmas in the first place. “Why’d I even put up the fuckin’ tree? / if there’s no one here that’s going to see? / Just how pretty she looks on Christmas Eve,” she sings.

To make matters even worse, Cyrus’s unhappiness is impacting her family’s Christmas, as well. “My little sister says I’m the grinch,” Cyrus croons. “But my mom thinks I’m just a bitch.” Unfortunately, there’s only one thing that could bring her joy this Christmas, and it’s having her better half by her side. “I’ve never been good at making plans / Next year I gotta be with my man.” Here’s looking at you, Cody Simpson.

Thank U, Ari: Grande’s Sweetener World Tour Live Album Is Out

Ariana Grande wrapped up the final show of The Sweetener World Tour at the Forum in Los Angeles last night (December 22). She previously all but confirmed that she would capture the magic of one its shows via a live album. She has made that a reality with the release of K Bye For Now (Swt Live) that’s out now and is a massive and complete look at the tour’s setlist as well as a few extra magical moments. This just became one hell of a holiday season for Ari stans.

K Bye For Now (Swt Live), Grande’s first-ever live album, is 32 tracks long. It follows the show’s setlist down to the tee. You’ll hear recent favorites like “Thank U, Next,” “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored,” and “7 Rings” from thank u, next that dropped earlier this year along with “God Is A Woman, “R.E.M.,” and other 2018-era Sweetener gems (the album that the tour gets its name from). Along for the ride are Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, and Childish Gambino who appear on select cuts. All of the tour’s live magic, from Grande speaking to fans directly to the glass-shattering screams from hyperventilating fans, can be found on K Bye For Now (Swt Live). 

The Sweetener World Tour kicked off earlier this year in March and, over the course of nine months, brought Ari’s epic show to the United States, Canada, and Europe with more than 100 dates. After wrapping up her last show, she tweeted the name of the album along with a message to fans, calling the LP “a little something to thank u for everything and to make saying goodbye to this chapter a lil easier love u.”

Grande’s K Bye For Now title for the album is interesting because it implies that she’s taking a break. If so, it’s well deserved. Not only is K Bye For Now (Swt Live) her second full-length release of 2019, she also served as the executive producer for the soundtrack of Charlie’s Angels and appeared on five of its songs. As hard as she’s worked, we wouldn’t blame her for kicking her legs up for a bit.

Stream Grande’s first-ever live album up above.