Ariana Grande to Appear in Massive Video Game

Ariana Grande is taking her talents to the virtual world as Fortnite's next in-game performer. The pop star will headline a massive Fortnite concert as part of the Rift Tour event in August, Epic Games announced Sunday on Twitter alongside a brief teaser. Grande's concert will be part of a massive in-game musical spectacular and will also add a number of items to the game to help players get in the spirit, although details remain unconfirmed.

It's also unconfirmed if Grande's appearance will also include in-game events like Travis Scott's did in 2020. While artists like Diplo, Steve Aoki and Deadmau5 have also performed special Fortnite concerts, the rapper's event was the most successful. Transforming the Fortnite map into a semi-choreographed music video, players found themselves flipped upside down and flying through space as Scott's massive avatar dancer around and performed in the game. Players could also buy special a Scott outfit and emote in the store.

"I could go from being myself to underwater, the stage could go underwater without anybody getting hurt — all of the things I would want to do in real life," Scott told Billboard of deciding to perform in Fortnite. "We can fly; we can do all of these things. That's what gets me amped, you know what I'm saying? The fantasies I would think of, to see it all come alive, so people can see and experience it, too."

Scott's performance was just under 10 minutes long, but made history as Fornite's largest-ever in-game gathering, drawing a peak of 12.3 million concurrent players and 27.7 million unique players from across the globe for its five total airings over the course of three days and numerous time zones. Including repeat viewers, "Astronomical" was viewed in-game 45.8 million times and on YouTube 73 million times.

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That doesn't count millions of more viewings on the gaming streaming platform Twitch, where the official premiere stream was recorded as reaching a peak average-minute audience of 2.3 million viewers. Rift Tour will kick off Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. ET in the Americas for its first engagement, going global on Aug. 7 at 2 p.m. ET. The event will end with an encore for the Americas on Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. ET.