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J Balvin to headline the big Halloween event in Fortnite

Halloween’s on 31 October? It starts a lot earlier than that in Fortnite. The game’s ‘Fortnitemares’ celebration kicked off yesterday (21 October) with a haunted island, pumpkin rocket launchers, rideable witch brooms, a spooky ‘Party Trooper’ outfit and other virtual items. But the climax of the event WILL be on 31 October, and it’s a music concert.

J Balvin will be headlining the ‘Afterlife Party’ concert at 9pm ET that day, with two rebroadcasts for different timezones the following day. The event will also see the debut of Balvin’s new single ‘La Luz’. Within the game, the concert will take place in Fortnite’s Party Royale mode, but Epic Games is pushing out some new creative boats for the event.

“J Balvin and Epic Games will be bringing this performance to life using innovative XR (cross reality) technology using LED walls and camera tracking,” announced the publisher. “Balvin will perform in a completely virtual world created exclusively for this event.” We’re told that Katy Perry’s recent performance on American Idol is one reference point for the kind of experience in store.

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Google enlists musicians as guides for virtual artworks

Lots of musicians have artistic interests well beyond music. Now Google is capitalising on that through its Google Arts & Culture initiative, enlisting some popular musicians to act as virtual tour guides for works of art.

It’s part of a series called ‘Art Zoom’, which is in its second season. J Balvin, Ellie Goulding, fka twigs, Grimes, Matty Healy from The 1975 and Chaeyoung from Twice are the musicians taking part, talking about artworks ranging from the European Renaissance to Korean landscapes.

It follows a first series that featured Jarvis Cocker, Feist, Maggie Rogers, Girl in Red and Lolo Zouaï. The tours are available for free on the Google Arts & Culture website, or via its mobile app.

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Wellness firm Chopra launches meditations with J Balvin

Chopra is the wellness company launched by author and alternative-medicine figure Deepak Chopra. It’s just announced a partnership with Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin for a 21-day meditation program called ‘Renew Yourself: Body, Mind & Spirit’.

It’ll be available in Spanish or English, mixing guided meditations with “self-care wisdom”, and will be free to access. “When our world is in flux, our mental wellbeing is often one of the first things we neglect. But this should not be the case,” wrote Balvin, in an article for People.

“In fact, it’s in times like these that mindfulness can help us most. Which is why it’s simply not enough anymore to have a product that’s for everyone — access has to be for everyone, too.”

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Bad Bunny is the big winner at Spotify’s first awards

Last night, Spotify held its first awards event, in Mexico City. The focus was mainly on Latin American artists, with most of the categories’ nominees and winner based on data from Spotify listeners in Mexico, rather than globally.

Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny was the night’s biggest winner, taking home the Spotify Artist of the Year award for being the most streamed, followed, shared and playlisted artist by Mexican users in 2019. He also won the award for the Most Streamed Male Artist and Most Added To Playlists Artist, although J Balvin took the gong for Most Shared Artist.