2020 in music: A real showstopper


Approaching 2021 with a healthy dose of cynicism seems sensible after one of the weirdest years most of us have ever experienced.

Every bit of good news seems balanced out by an equal number of negative reports. Safe to say, there is a lot of grey area to navigate moving forward.

And that includes in the arena of entertainment.

Perhaps no artist better encapsulated the win/lose aspects of this pandemic year than the Weeknd, who picked up armfuls of American Music Awards bandaged up like a mummy complete with the black-eye and blood look he sports in the Blinding Lights video. The Toronto artist’s five wins for his excellent After Hours album marked a career high during a difficult time. For a follow-up, he was snubbed by the Grammys. You win, you lose. How 2020 is that?

Actually, moving forward might not even be the best way to describe the new year.

Anyone holding tickets for the many major arts and cultural events postponed in 2020 knows that the year that was — or at least a lot of it — is coming in 2021. Now that the dates are being announced for rescheduled tours and such, calendars are filling up fast. All of those new dates are being met by the millions of ticket holders who have been holding on to their receipts with tentative cheers. Everyone has been burned enough by now that they know better than to approach any sort of public gathering with a sense of certainty.