Featured Music Stories

Courtesy of the artist
May 21, 2015 | NPR · Rickie Lee Jones talks about a song from her new album, The Other Side Of Desire, along with New Orleans, Fats Domino, courage, proof of God’s existence, Guardians of the Galaxy and creation itself.
 

Courtesy of HBO
May 16, 2015 | NPR · It took Queen Latifah more than 20 years to bring the life of pioneering blues singer Bessie Smith to the screen. “Inhabiting her has inhabited me,” she says.
 

Getty Images
May 16, 2015 | NPR · The legendary blues guitarist and singer, who died on Thursday, was the most recognizable and accessible icon of a sound that was in flux.
 

Redferns
May 15, 2015 | NPR · “I developed in my head that I’m never any better than my last concert or the last time I played,” B.B. King told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross in 1996.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 14, 2015 | NPR · All three musicians picked up three nominations, including album and song of the year. The awards will be presented on Sept. 16 in Nashville.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 14, 2015 | NPR · For her new album, out August 7, DeMent set the words of Russian poet Anna Akhmatova to new music. Hear a song from the album now.
 

Courtesy of Nixon Peabody
May 12, 2015 | NPR · Once he was an aspiring rapper, now he represents Ali, Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples and the estate of Biggie Smalls. He’s also worked with Michael Jackson, Prince and Stevie Wonder.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 10, 2015 | NPR · The Los Angeles jazz saxophonist ended up on the latest records by rapper Kendrick Lamar and electronic music producer Flying Lotus. His new three-CD recording is no less ambitious.
 

WireImage for NARAS
May 7, 2015 | NPR · The Department of Justice is exploring big changes to the music publishing business for the first time since World War II.
 

Getty Images
May 6, 2015 | NPR · The Bristol, U.K.-based producer and member of Portishead has become a go-to collaborator for dark, uncompromising rock, with credits on recent albums by Torres, Marianne Faithfull and Perfume Genius.
 

 

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News

May 22, 2015 | NPR · The bill still must clear the House. The measure would clear the way for President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is unpopular with labor groups and some Democrats.
 

May 22, 2015 | NPR · Brazil is touted as one of the most racially harmonious places in the world, but people of color who move there say they are surprised at the degree of discrimination they face, based on skin color.
 

Reuters/Landov
May 22, 2015 | NPR · Reports say Josh Duggar, 27, molested five underage girls in 2002 and 2003. Duggar has apologized, and his family says they have been open about “one of the most difficult times of our lives.”
 

Arts & Life

Courtesy of Sean Kelly/Copyright Kehinde Wiley
May 22, 2015 | NPR · The Brooklyn Museum’s mid-career Wiley retrospective wraps up this week; his large, elaborate works depict black men and women in traditional forms like oil, bronze sculture and even stained glass.
 

Disney
May 22, 2015 | NPR · Brad Bird’s new sci-fi adventure film features George Clooney, Britt Robertson and an endless sense of possibilities. David Edelstein says the film makes a “near-hysterical case” against pessimism.
 

May 22, 2015 | NPR · In So We Read On, Maureen Corrigan looks at the story behind The Great Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life to the era in which it’s set. Originally broadcast Sept. 8, 2014.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
May 22, 2015 | WBGO+JAZZ.org · The music of the saxophonist’s three-CD, nearly three-hour work comes to life in its full glory, assisted by his long-time working band, a choir, strings and plenty of special guests.
 

Courtesy of the artist
May 22, 2015 | NPR · The era of the protest song might seem gone, but NPR Music host Jason King has curated a 100-hour-long playlist of R&B, soul, funk and hip-hop protest music that spans decades (including this one).
 

May 22, 2015 | NPR · The Houston Rockets lost their second game in the Western Conference Finals Thursday night. Many fans believe rapper Lil B placed a curse on the team’s best player, James Harden.
 

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