Caitlyn Ridenour

6 Fan-Favorite Artists You Missed At Voodoo Fest 2016

While last year’s waterlogged event lost an entire day due to torrential rain, the 2016 Voodoo Music + Arts Festival in New Orleans was blessed with picture-perfect weather and a stacked lineup full of amazing artists and powerful performers over the celebratory Halloween weekend.

After running from stage to stage across City Park and taking in a plethora of performances over the weekend, here's a rundown of six of the best acts we saw at Voodoo Fest 2017.

The Weeknd

The Weeknd wasted no time in galvanizing the massive crowd of fans (many sporting his signature “XO” logo on clothing and even inked on skin) that packed the main stage area for his headlining set on the festival’s opening day, opening with “The Hills” before launching into his most recent single, the frenetic “False Alarm,” taken from his soon-to-be-released full-length, Starboy. Reaching as far back as his legendary debut mixtape, House of Balloons, and offering up an inspired set list (including his raunchy remix of Ty Dolla $ign’s “Or Nah”), singer Abel Tesfaye’s stage presence is both immense and immediate, even without his recently shorn crown of dreadlocks. Stalking the stage beneath an ominous illuminated triangle while delivering his angelic croon, he ended the set with the menacing pulse of the Starboy title track, produced with the assistance of notorious French disco robot duo, Daft Punk.

Tory Lanez

Lanez continues to vie for the title as the hardest working man in R&B as he moves closer to the breakout moment that will make his the superstar he’s clearly ready to be. Spending as much time out in the crowd as he did on the stage, the singer’s efforts to connect with his fans paid off handsomely as they carried his crowd-surfing body deep into the audience and back again, performing songs including “LUV” and “Say It” the entire time without missing a beat. Leaning heavily on his latest album, I Told You, Lanez earned every bit of love he wrung out of his adoring masses.

DJ Mustard

DJ Mustard took over the mostly EDM-focused Le Plur stage to preside over a massive hip-hop dance party that attracted one of the biggest and most enthusiastic crowds of the entire festival. Rolling out a panoramic set that covered everything from old-school classics by Snoop Dogg, DMX and Black Sheep to current hits by Drake, Future and Kanye West, Mustard’s rapid-fire style and crowd-hyping MC skills kept the multitudes of party people jumping for every moment that he was onstage.

Rae Sremmurd

Whenever Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy take the stage, it’s safe to say that the turn-up is real. Jimmy (who like the Weeknd has cut off his dreadlocks) hit the stage in a Dragon Ball Z Halloween costume that he peeled off piece-by-piece, tossing most of it into the crowd for clamoring fans to covet. Their set is nonstop energy, bouncing through party anthems “No Type,” “Black Beatles,” and “No Flex Zone” in what felt like a blur, with fans rapping along to seemingly every word. Running through the front rows and at times scaling the scaffolding along the stage, the duo’s infectious exuberance was not to be denied.

Sir The Baptist

This Chicago native makes music with a higher purpose than most: Sir The Baptist wants to save lives. Bringing a loud and clear message of self-empowerment, economic responsibility, and community building, he goes out of his way to spread love and unity through song. “You’re going to dance to a lot of stuff this weekend,” he stressed at one point. “Let me feed your soul.” Between songs from his debut album, The Preacher’s Kid, Sir The Baptist even went so far as to give out his phone number at the end of the set, calling it a “personal prayer line” for his fans.

Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals

Paak fully embraced the Halloween spirit, as he and his band, the Free Nationals, took to the stage dressed in ‘80s metal drag to the opening of Guns ‘N Roses song, “Welcome to the Jungle.” It was the perfect jumping off point for Paak’s all the way live hip-hop heroics, with him going so far as to man the drum kit for a series of tracks. His huge main stage crowd was packed with fans that sang the lyrics of songs including “The Season/Carry Me,” “Room in Here” and “Come Down” right back at him. His star power is readily apparent, and it shouldn’t be long before he experiences a major crossover breakthrough that will elevate his superstar status to an even higher level.

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Ayesha Curry Celebrates Google Assistant Partnership With Thanksgiving Recipe

Just in time for Thanksgiving, Ayesha Curry has teamed up with Google Assistant to share a hearty recipe or two for the chef in you.

To celebrate their partnership, the entrepreneur and mother of three made an appearance at Google's Friendsgiving event in New York City SoHo district on Thursday night (Nov. 14). Before starting a cooking demo, Curry talked about her love for cooking, the importance of family sitting around the table for a meal, and how Google Assistant has helped make her life easier.

"I think it's great because I can walk into my kitchen, child in hand while making a bottle, and ask what the rest of my day looks like. I can just say, 'Hey Google, what does the rest of my day look like' and it'll pull up my whole schedule and it's just one extra peace of mind because I didn't have to do anything tangible. It's effortless... It's like a digital version of a cookbook with how-tos, timers, everything in one and it can truly be integrated into your kitchen."

After using Google Assistant to playfully cue the Kids Bop version of "Truth Hurts," Ayesha whipped up her new Fall Bread Pudding with Brown Butter Apples recipe on a cast iron enamel skillet from her cookware collection. Not only did the device give step-by-step instructions, but it also provided her with alternative ingredients for one of the ingredients.

"With this recipe, you'll see it's super easy, it's fool-proof. Baking is so scientific, this [recipe] is not that. That's what I love about it."

After serving the cooked bread pudding to the audience, the Seasoned Life author talked about her upcoming cookbook in collaboration with one of her sisters and what people can expect.

"It's going to packed, full of flavor. The realistic nature of this [cooking mother] situation is that unless I'm writing a cookbook and developing recipes, I'm not cooking every night at home. That's just not realistic. We all have jobs, we all have things we're taking care of, but I'm always trying to get a meal on the table.

"So that's what this new book is really going to be about. It's going to be about quick, simple, easy ways [to cook]. I tried to keep everything 30 minutes or less, but it's packed and full of flavor."

Ayesha Curry's Fall Bread Pudding recipe can be found exclusively on any Google Nest device. If you're a Google Assistant users, simply say "Hey Google, show me Ayesha Curry's fall bread pudding recipe" and you'll have a sweet and savory dessert for your Thanksgiving (or Friendsgiving) dinner.

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Noam Galai/Getty Images for Billboard

Billboard And VIBE Host Second Annual R&B/Hip-Hop Power Players Event

Billboard and VIBE joined forces for the second annual R&B and Hip-Hop Power Players event on Thursday night (October 17). Held at New York City's Union City, the brands honored the 100 accomplished music executives, agents and more who made the third annual list for their outstanding contributions of driving, influencing and guiding the music industry and hip-hop culture today.

Billboard Executive Director of R&B/Hip-Hop Gail Mitchell and VP of Culture Media/VIBE Editor-in-Chief Datwon Thomas greeted guests at the invite-only reception saying, "Big shout to the team that puts this together, we just want everyone to know that this is a night of celebration. A lot of people have been working in the game for a long time - you are here tonight so you are all winning." He added, "We thank you for taking the time to celebrate your colleagues."

Shortly after, the hosts presented Steve Pamon with the Billboard Executives of the Year Award shared with Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. As he accepted his award, the Parkwood Chief Operating Officer delivered a speech saying, “This award was given to myself and Beyoncé, but the award truly belongs to the team behind me. We live off respect and responsibility. A sincere thank you.” He went on to say, “We live off of respect and the responsibility of being around all of you. You are hip-hop. We are hip-hop. It’s not about us. It’s about us all.”

The late Nipsey Hussle was honored with the Billboard Impact Award for his contributions to breaking barriers of cultural appropriation, young professionals seeking educational resources in science, tech and mathematics spaces, and positivity in his community. Prior to Marathon Agency co-founder, Steve Carless, acceptance of the world on Hussle's behalf, there was a 30-second moment of silence.

In his emotional yet encouraging speech, Carless said, “I accept this on behalf of Nipsey, his family, and all his loved ones and his children. What this means to me, it’s a testament to his hard work and dedication." He added, "Congrats to everyone who made this year. It’s a huge honor...One thing I do want to say it, this award is about inspiration. Responsibility is to uplift each other mentor each other and lead each other. May all of us leave here and know we have a responsibility.”

As attendees enjoyed beverages and captured Instagram-worthy images at the Billboard and VIBE cover-inspired installations, rappers Casanova and Young M.A hit the stage, respectively, to perform their popular singles. Flip through photos and interviews from Thursday night's event down below.

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Ryan Muir

21 Savage And Doja Cat Close Out The Summer At Genius' IQ/BBQ Concert

With summer slowly closing its curtains, Genius held its third annual Genius IQ/BBQ and live concert on (Sept. 7) in Brooklyn, NY. After the end-of-summer event opened its doors and hit capacity, music lovers who made it were in for an interactive, day-long experience.

Presented by Boost Mobile, the free event offered a sky deck view and lounge for V.I.P. guests as well as a warehouse full of both indoor and outdoor experiences. From vendors to ice-cold White Claw beverages to a one-of-a-kind multiplayer trivia game, attendees' attentions were absorbed in activities and an all-around good time. In between sets and as the indoor stage radiated hues of purple, DJ S.WHiT! spun hits from your 1st or 2nd generation iPod.

RCA recording artist Destiny Rodgers took the stage to command the room with her hip-hop, pop, and R&B infused set as she performed her singles, "North$ide," "Apologies," "Lockdown," and "Tomboy."

Hailing from South Haven, Indiana, self-taught guitarist Omar Apollo brought the funk, psychedelic rock, and rhythm and blues while performing "Kickback," "You Got Me," "Unbothered," and "Brakelights."

Yung Baby Tate sported a dark purple laced bustier, black skirt, and thigh-high boots while she sang her hits "Pretty Girl," "That Girl," and "Beckham." The Atlanta producer, rapper, and singer also performed her unreleased track "All Dat" and paid homage to Nicki Minaj while she rapped her "Babytron/Megatron" rendition.

Ann Marie slowed the BBQ down with her R&B sounds rocking a late '90s/2000s-inspired black leather fit. The Interscope Records songstress melodically delivered "Handle It," "Unlove You," "Ride For Me," "Throw It Back," and "My Body," while her backup dancers kept up with their hard-hitting moves.

Rising rapper and Bronx-native Lil Tjay helped to warm up the crowd with his newly released single "F.N." that had the crowd putting their middle fingers up. The 18-year-old Columbia Records signee rapped through his reflective lyrics keeping the crowd hooked from start to finish.

The one and only Doja Cat fans warmed the artist up before she appeared on stage, chanting "Doja, Doja, Doja, Doja." Rocking a yellow, black, and white Fashion Nova pantsuit and jacket set, the 23-year-old engaged with her fans singing her hits "Roll With Us," "Go To Town," "So High," "Game," "Juicy," "Tia Tamara," and "Moo!."

Headliner 21 Savage took over the stage with a 30-minute set as shades of red with hints of green captured the emotion in the UK-native's performance. The Billboard chart-topping rapper took his fans back in time opening  with his 2016 single "Red Opps." 21 carried his set going into Savage Mode with "No Heart," and "X" and gave fans a few M's while rapping "Bank Account."

The Not All Heroes Wear Capes artist closed out the event with performances of "Don't Come Out The House" and "10 Freaky Girls" off of his 2018 album, making the third annual Genius IG/BBQ live concert an event to remember.

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