Music

Music

Updated Oct. 21

Did Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down" ever become your personal anthem? Are there events in your life that make the song especially meaningful? If so, we want to hear from you.

Tell us your story in the form below — or here — and please be as detailed as possible. A producer may contact you to share your story for NPR's American Anthem series, on-air and/or online.

This form was closed on Oct. 21.

Yola Carter caught the music bug as a small child growing up in a tiny seaside town in southwest England.

Cattle raids, battles, betrayals and family loyalties are all commemorated in the ballads of the borderlands between Scotland and England, sometimes referred to as "the debatable lands."

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Last spring, Australian songwriter Harriette Pilbeam sprinkled some Sugar & Spice on listeners with a debut EP of gorgeous, fuzz-drenched dream-p

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There's new music from Big Thief: a song, released today, called "UFOF," and the band's third album, coming May 3, titled

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In recent years, self-care culture has exploded beyond simple millennial infatuation; the

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Updated at 6:32 p.m. ET

R&B star R. Kelly has been released from jail after posting the required bail of $100,000 — 10 percent of the bond. He entered a not-guilty plea Monday in response to being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

The singer was indicted last Friday in Cook County, Ill. Three of the alleged victims were under age 17 at the time of the alleged incidents, which prosecutors say span 1998 to 2010.

Full disclosure: We here at NPR Music have decreed Natalie Prass something of a patron saint for roséwave — our groove-laden, pink drink-soaked soundtrack for the summer. So, when the Richmond, Va. artist arrived at the Tiny Desk, it was a cause for celebration, especially amid the January blues that seemed to permeate the NPR Music office.

Guest DJ: Nilüfer Yanya

Feb 25, 2019

As of early 2019, you may not know the music Nilüfer Yanya, but by the end of 2019, she just may be a household name. The young, British singer is about to release her debut full-length, Miss Universe. The songs on this album are filled with melodies that won't let go; and though this is a poppier record than I usually go for, her guitar playing keeps it earthy for me. Miss Universe is also filled with small, humorous interstitial bits. You'll hear a taste of this during our conversation.

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TEPEJI 21 (THE SOUNDS OF ROMA)")

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A small moment of anger pushed Grammy-winning artist Gary Clark Jr. to create the unapologetic, seething song "This Land."

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Reporter Jim DeRogatis On R. Kelly Charges

Feb 23, 2019

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South African author, actor and musician Nakhane creates art that reveals. He came out with his first album, Brave Confusion, in 2013, and now he's back with a powerful testimony of trial and redemption set to the sounds of electronic dance music from his home country. The 30-year-old singer addresses the intersectionality of queerness, blackness and survival in his latest album, You Will Not Die.

Only in America. Where else could a Swedish composer named after Beethoven help soundtrack a cinematic year of blaxplaining and black magic that held the whole world captive?

When you're filling out your Oscar pool, there are always a few boxes everyone checks. Maybe it's a performance that's swept every other awards show, or maybe it's a movie that seems to have every possible metric on its side. But when you check that box, you know you're virtually guaranteed to get at least one right.

Updated at 2:36 p.m. ET Saturday

R&B star R. Kelly was arrested on Friday evening after having been indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Cook County, Ill. On Saturday afternoon, a judge set bond at $1 million.

A police spokesman confirmed Friday night that Kelly was under arrest and in police custody; Kelly turned himself in at Chicago's 1st District-Central police station.

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Dominick Argento died on Wednesday in Minneapolis, Minn., after a short illness; his death was announced by his family He was 91. Argento was best known for his lyrical and astringent music for the human voice – he wrote 13 operas, as well as song cycles and choral works. As he told the late Mary Ann Feldman in a 2002 interview, "My interest is people. I am committed to working with characters, feelings and emotions."

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Bill Frisell has made no secret of his fondness for the music of James Bond films. An elite jazz guitarist with a gift for shadowy lyricism, he recorded the title theme to You Only Live Twice a few years ago for an album of movie music. Frisell then included the main Goldfinger theme on Small Town, his painterly duo effort with bassist Thomas Morgan.

Our picks for the best albums out this week include an epic treatise on Americanism from Gary Clark Jr., the delicate and beautiful sounds of Julia Jacklin, Atlanta rapper Gunna, a gorgeous study in the healing powers of restraint from Lowland Hum, and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Rodney Carmichael and Stephen Thompson as they share their top picks for Feb. 22.

Featured Albums

  • Gary Clark Jr., This Land
    Featured Song: "Gotta Get Into Something"

Updated at 9:05 p.m. ET

Peter Tork, a member of the 1960s moptopped TV rock quartet the Monkees, died Thursday. He was 77.

His death was announced on his official Facebook page and website. "Peter succumbed to a 10 year bout with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer of the salivary glands," it read.

Two new accusers have come forward against R. Kelly, claiming that the embattled singer sought to have sex with them when they were minors, more than two decades ago. At a news conference Thursday in New York City, Rochelle Washington and Latresa Scaff related the story of a traumatic encounter that allegedly occurred after one of Kelly's performances in the mid-1990s.

There is no denying the impact Roma has had on the movie going public on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border. The story of a young indigenous woman and her life as a live-in care taker for a middle class Mexican family in the mid-1970's is one of those rare instances that has crossed demographic lines and has people raving about from all quarters.

Kenny White On Mountain Stage

Feb 21, 2019

As guest host Kathy Mattea notes in her introduction of New York-based songwriter Kenny White, he is a "musician's musician." A pianist, producer, composer, arranger and renowned commercial music producer, White has played with Jonathan Edwards, Tom Jones and Judy Collins, among others. As a producer he worked on Shawn Colvin's single "I Don't Know Why" and helmed four solo CDs by Peter Wolf.

We're thrilled to have Gary Clark Jr. on World Cafe today. Gary is a guitar prodigy from Austin who showed so much promise that the mayor held a ceremony to declare "Gary Clark Jr. Day" when he was still in high school.

Elizabeth Rowe, the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), has settled the lawsuit she filed against the orchestra last July, in which she claimed that she was being paid substantially less than her closest, male peer. Rowe sought more than $200,000 in unpaid wages.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple Music playlists at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple Music playlists at the bottom of the page.

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