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LOS ANGELES — From magical realism to a neat magic trick: All eight songs Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote for "Encanto" made the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. "We can pause to acknowledge how insane that is," said Miranda in a Los Angeles Times interview. In an era when box-office numbers can't be relied on to measure a film's success, "Encanto" is dominating the charts — the music charts. The ...

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“Essence” by afrobeat superstar WizKid, featuring Tems, was another of the year's undeniable songs. Reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop airplay and the adult R&B airplay chart, the sultry, melodic duet record was crowned by many as the song of the summer. “Essence,” which beckoned listeners to find their significant other — or perspective crush— to get up and dance, would explode and become so gigantic that the Nigerian native welcomed a remix from another R&B star: Justin Bieber.

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Jorja Smith got off to a great start in her career, as her 2018 debut album, “Lost and Found,” topped the U.K. R&B charts and led to her being named best British female artist at the 2019 Brit Awards. The amazing singer, who was also nominated (but lost to Dua Lipa) in the best new artist category at the 2019 Grammy Awards, returns with a new work. Due out May 14; jorjasmith.com.

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Talk about groundbreaking. “The Third Man” became one of the first film scores to move into popular music territory. Composer Karas played the entire thing on the zither. His “The Third Man Theme” was such a hit that it went to No. 1 on the international music charts.

One day this month, a line of cars crept down my Seattle street, past my neighbor's house, honking and holding happy birthday signs. After one occupant rolled down a window to talk with the birthday neighbor, the rest of the brigade parked their cars and got out, turning the drive-by parade into a socially distant street party. As I left to walk my dog, about a dozen friends stood chatting 10 feet apart. When I returned 15 minutes later, they had broken off into pairs, catching up an arm's length away, as we all did in the Great Before.

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Florida Georgia Line has experienced a lot of surreal moments in the six years since the release of "Cruise," the duo's debut single that shattered records and helped upend the country music industry. But last summer stood out, as they headlined three sold-out stadium shows with the Backstreet Boys. Who opened for them.

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