8 Superstars That's Gone Virtual
Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Ozzy Osborne, and more have joined the metaverse with exclusive performances.
It is safe to say that metaverse performances open up a new portal for artists to showcase their musical wares. With the MTV VMAs and EMAs recognising metaverse performances and the 64th Grammy Awards hosting GRAMMY Week on Roblox, hosting a metaverse performance has become a case of "when" not "if" for the world's hottest artists. Here are 8 superstars who have already taken the plunge with their successful metaverse performances.
The South Korean boy band BTS took their hit singles "Permission to Dance" and "Butter" into the digital world last year. The superstar group performed a surprise concert as part of YouTube's ESCAPE2021. Instead of showing up in their human forms, however, the BTS members transformed into Minecraft avatars and performed their singles in Minecraft.
The recent winners of the MTV EMAs and VMAs "Best Metaverse Performance" categories Blackpink worked with PUBG Mobile to create their award-winning metaverse concert. The metaverse performance ran over two weeks in July this year and was watched by 15.7 million viewers. In addition to "The Virtual," Blackpink also released a metaverse music video for their single "Ready For Love" in collaboration with PUBG Mobile.
Travis Scott's Fortnite metaverse performance was record-breaking in the sense that it showcased the power of metaverse concerts. The nine-minute virtual concerts reportedly grossed $20 million, exceeding all expectations. This is a phenomenal figure compared to Scott's four-month Astroworld concert, which grossed $53.5 million over 56 dates. According to Travis Scott: "It was an opportunity to go to the max, to create a world that permits won't let you do, fire marshals won't let you do, building codes won't let you do."
Ariana Grande also collaborated with Fortnite for her first metaverse performance. The multi-day metaverse performance ran five times over three days and racked up millions of viewers. Like Scott's show, Grande's was pre-recorded and streamed in simulate format. This means that players must log in at a certain time to watch the show, but the vocals and performance was pre-recorded. In addition to the performance, the show tied in Ariana Grande-themed virtual merchandise as well as post-tour Fortnite quests.
Justin Bieber held his first metaverse performance in Wave last year to promote his album "Justice". Wave's technology enabled fans to engage with Bieber during his performance and also appear live on stage alongside the international superstar and influence his performance. Unlike other metaverse performances, Justin Bieber controlled the avatar live by wearing a motion-capture suit.
Marshmello's 2019 metaverse performance is considered one of the first virtual concerts to popularise the medium. Ten million concurrent users attended Marshmello's Fortnite concert which gave way to Fortnite's popularity in hosting metaverse performances. With the Marshmello avatar and a healthy dose of (virtual) pyro and raving, Marshmello's metaverse performance made history as the first concert in Fortnite.
Meghan Thee Stallion
Megan Thee Stallion's "Enter Thee Hottieverse" was an innovative ten-day music tour powered by virtual reality. While the tour took place in theatres around the US, each participant had to wear VR-enabled headsets to experience the metaverse performance. "Enter Thee Hottieverse" featured a multi-song set that transitioned through different environments. By connecting the real and the virtual, Megan Thee Stallion's Enter Thee Hottieverse offered a viable alternative to in-game metaverse performances.
Twenty One Pilots
Twenty One Pilots entered the metaverse via their Roblox performance. The experience involved fans in an innovative way, as it included a dynamic setlist. Roblox players could control the order of the songs in the setlist via an instantaneous voting system. In addition to the performance, Roblox players could access interactive features, emotes, as well as over 30 Twenty One Pilots-exclusive virtual merchandise.