NEW YORK — Coldplay are looking to the cosmos once again on their latest single.
Seven years after reaching No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the Avicii-assisted “A Sky Full of Stars,” the British pop-rock band have another surefire hit on their hands with the glittering “My Universe,” their highly anticipated collaboration with K-pop sensation BTS. Hours before the song’s release Friday, lead singer Chris Martin premiered a solo version of the infectious anthem at Harlem’s iconic Apollo Theater, as part of SiriusXM and Pandora’s Small Stage Series.
“You, you are my universe / And I just want to put you first,” Martin sings on the soaring chorus. “And you, you are my universe / And you make my world light up inside."
“My Universe” was produced by Max Martin and features both English and Korean lyrics. It was one of a handful of new tracks that Coldplay performed during Thursday’s intimate 90-minute concert, ahead of the release of their new album “Music of the Spheres” on Oct. 15.
Martin described the lovely “Human Heart,” featuring R&B sister duo We Are King, as the song he hopes Coldplay is remembered for, before launching into the thrilling, hard-rocking “People of the Pride.” The group closed out the concert with the 10-minute “Coloratura” off their forthcoming effort, which Martin playfully called “Coldplay doing their weird stuff.”
The charismatic frontman was a total joy to watch throughout the 13-song set: dancing, laughing, and in one moment, jokingly scatting. He stopped mid-song on more than one occasion to cheerfully apologize for a minor flub or remark on how the audience sounded better than him. (Spoiler alert: We didn’t.)
“The four of us have been together 25 years,” Martin said of his bandmates. “At some point during every concert, one of us will totally wreck it. And it’s normally me.”
The show was filled with early Coldplay staples including “Clocks,” “The Scientist,” “Fix You,” and “Yellow,” which Martin stripped down and performed alone on acoustic guitar. At one point, he even mashed up “Paradise” with a delightfully unexpected piano version of Ginuwine’s sultry ‘90s classic “Pony.”
Early in the evening, Martin thanked the (vaccinated and mostly unmasked) crowd of roughly 1,500 people for braving the rain to be there. He then sweetly paid tribute to soul icon James Brown, who recorded his 1963 album “Live at the Apollo” at the famed venue.
“We’ve been dreaming of playing here for a long time and didn’t think it could happen,” Martin said, introducing the audience favorite “Viva La Vida.”
“This next song we’re gonna play in honor of James Brown, because he was the king.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coldplay debut infectious new BTS collaboration 'My Universe' in NY