From Rihanna to Eurovision: What to expect from the world of music in 2023

From Rihanna To Eurovision: What To Expect From The World Of Music In 2023
British Summer Time festival – London, © PA Archive/PA Images
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By Alex Green, PA Acting Deputy Entertainment Editor

The music industry got back to business in 2022, throwing off its pandemic restrictions for a summer of festivals and high-profile album releases.

The coming year promises more of the same, from the return of Eurovision to the UK to Rihanna’s long-awaited comeback and perhaps Sir Elton John’s final UK show at Glastonbury.


Here are some of the big music moments to look out for.

1. Eurovision comes to Liverpool

The 2022 Eurovision Song Contest provided a night of drama, with the UK’s Sam Ryder claiming second place, its best result for more than 20 years.

The winners were Kalush Orchestra, who represented Ukraine with a song called Stefania and rose to the top of the leaderboard on a wave of goodwill from the voting public.


Global’s Make Some Noise Night – London
Sam Ryder came second for the UK in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest (Ian West/PA)

After the European Broadcasting Union, which organises the event, said the 2023 event could not take place in Ukraine due to the ongoing Russian invasion, it was offered to the UK and the BBC as its national broadcaster.

Liverpool will now host the contest in May while also paying tribute to Ukrainian culture, and even Bjorn Ulvaeus of 1974 champions Abba has said he may attend.


2. Sir Elton John plays the final UK date of his farewell tour at Glastonbury

The veteran singer-songwriter began his mammoth Farewell Yellow Brick Road in September 2018 and, following Covid-19 disruptions, is now back on the road.

John will play what may be his final UK date at the Somerset festival, topping the bill on the Pyramid Stage on Sunday, June 25th.

It is expected to be both his first and last performance at Glastonbury.


Announcing the headline slot, John described the long-running event as “the greatest festival in the world”.

He added: “As the end of my Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour comes into view, there is no more fitting way to say goodbye to my British fans.”

3. Rihanna makes her return

2023 will be a big year for the Barbadian singer, actress and fashion mogul.


In October, she teased fans with her first new music since 2016, Lift Me Up, recorded for the Black Panther sequel, Wakanda Forever.

Rihanna new release
Rihanna will headline the Super Bowl half-time show (Ian West/PA)

February will see her headline the Super Bowl half-time show, a slot previously filled by global superstars 50 Cent, The Weeknd, Shakira and Jennifer Lopez.

In 2019, she declined to headline out of solidarity with former US football player Colin Kaepernick.

It will be her first major live performance in many years, and 2023 may also be the year her long-awaited ninth studio album finally arrives.

4. Taylor Swift comes to the UK

The pop superstar has been on a creative hot streak in the last few years, from the hyperpop of Lover to the indie-folk albums Folklore and Evermore, and the dreamy electro of Midnights.

Although she has not yet announced any UK dates, some fans were able to sign up for a presale by pre-ordering her latest record.

Swift has promised her upcoming Eras tour will be “a journey through the musical eras of my career (past & present!)”

Unable to tour her last four records due to Covid-19, this will likely be a triumphant return to the stage.

5. Beyonce and Adele face off at the Grammys – again

The duo, who have never been shy about their mutual respect, are both nominated in the album of the year category for Renaissance and 30 respectively.

They last competed for the prize in 2017 when it went to Adele.

The singer won album of the year for 25 and record and song of the year for Hello, beating her “idol” to the three top awards.

However, she tearfully dedicated her prize to Beyonce, who missed out with her celebrated visual record Lemonade, saying on stage: “I can’t possibly accept this award”.

She even broke the prize in half to try to share it.

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