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COVID-19 and its impact on album releases

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many artists unsure of what the future holds for their upcoming albums and tour dates. Artists, who planned on releasing albums in spring and early summer are back to the drawing board, determining if the release will be the right option during this unknown time.

Although many of us would love a new Lady Gaga album to listen to as we organize our room for the fifth time that day, that wish may not be a possibility. The artist decided to delay the release of her sixth album, "Chromatica" originally scheduled for an April 10th release. Other artists including Alicia Keys, Sam Smith, Kehlani and the 1975 have also followed suit by delaying their upcoming projects.

To a consumer, the idea of releasing an album seems as simple as uploading it to streaming services and letting their audiences do the rest of the work. This begs the question of what does it entail when artists plan to release an upcoming project? There are the music video shoots, the late night show appearances, and radio and television interviews, all planned months in advance. All those components work together to engage and excite fans for an artists upcoming album. Unfortunately, in these times, many artists don’t have access to these outlets and they run the risk of releasing something with limited interest and not much consumer awareness.

This is an interesting time for music, and for the entertainment industry to see who can overcome these obstacles and can continue to maintain the fan base they had before. Dua Lipa, an artist who was openly conflicted about whether or not to release her latest album, "Future Nostalgia" actually decided to release the album a week ahead of the scheduled release date. The album debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200. Another artist, The Weeknd, proved his ability to still have a hit album during a pandemic with over 100 million worldwide streams on the first day of its release for his latest album titled “After Hours.” The album also had the biggest debut week for an album in 2020. Artists who have decided to postpone releasing albums may want to rethink their plans.

Artists who have decided to carry on with their upcoming releases are now turning to social media to promote upcoming work and give fans something to watch while stuck in the house. Dua Lipa made an appearance on James Cordon’s “Homefest” Late Late Show special and performed her hit “Don’t Start Now” while on video chat with her bandmates and dancers. JoJo, who is still set to release her new album “Good to know” on May 1 performed a three song concert from the comfort of her own bedroom. Other instagram performances include John Legend, Luke Combs, Chris Martin and Pink.

Nevertheless, Sam Hunt released his first album in six years titled “Southside” on April 3, 2020, Bad Bunny released his album YHLQMDLG on February 28, 2020, 5 Seconds of Summer released their latest album “Calm” on March 27 2020, and Kenny Chesney is still set to release his latest album on May 1, 2020.

Let us know if your favorite artists postponed their album release or still have a release date in the future.

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