Music News

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When the New York City Opera (NYCO) announced its final performances and imminent bankruptcy in September 2013, opera lovers, not just in Manhattan, were shocked.

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Hey, Hey, It's 50 Years Of The Monkees!

May 23, 2016

The surviving members of The Monkees are about to celebrate their 50th anniversary. To mark the occasion, they're releasing a new album, titled Good Times! Here, NPR's Stephen Thompson tells Ari Shapiro about "Me & Magdalena," a new song written for the album by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie.

Looking for a musically sensitive, responsive bandmate? Maybe you should try out Shimon.

The ongoing controversy in North Carolina over access to bathrooms has increased the general public's awareness of issues facing transgender people. One thing you might not think about is voice: How does that essential tool of communication change with gender transition? It's something that has deep emotional and psychological resonance. It's also something that's playing out in a growing number of transgender choruses across the country.

As a young child growing up in South Africa, Gillian Power sang in school and church choirs.

Watch A Long-Lost Video For Vivien Goldman's 'Launderette'

May 20, 2016

In 1981, Vivien Goldman was a writer for the London music weekly Sounds and a sometime backup singer. In the shadows of Thatcher and the wake of The Sex Pistols, subcultures and dub cultures were mingling and merging in her Ladbroke Grove neighborhood; her neighbors included Joe Strummer and the reggae band Aswad.

The scene was electric at the B.B. King Blues Club in Times Square as Bunny Wailer, 69 years old, took the stage before a capacity crowd.

Born Neville Livingston, Bunny is the last living original member of the legendary reggae group The Wailers, which he founded along with Peter Tosh and Bob Marley in the early 1960s.

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One of the world's best-known and best-loved classical musicians has joined the ranks of artists refusing to perform in North Carolina. Violinist Itzhak Perlman canceled an appearance scheduled for Wednesday with the North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh to protest HB2, the controversial North Carolina law limiting civil rights protections for LGBT people.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

At White House state dinners, it's customary for a president to nod to the strengths and contributions of guest countries. And when hosting Nordic nations on Friday, President Obama paid tribute to a particular Finnish export.

Jane Little spent her long life making beautiful music, and she died this weekend doing just what she loved, onstage. Little played with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for more than 71 years. She joined the symphony in 1945, when she was just 16.

The Shining was Stephen King's first hardback bestseller. Stanley Kubrick's film version was listed by no less than Martin Scorcese as one of the scariest horror films ever made. Now, the story is an opera — and its creators want it to be even more terrifying than the book or the movie.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In her song "American Oxygen," Rihanna sings, "On the other side of the ocean, you can be anything at all / in America, America."

Now the pop star and Barbados native is putting some of her money where her mouth is. On Monday she announced on Instagram the launch of a scholarship program to help citizens or natives of Brazil, Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica attend college in the U.S.

The federal government is getting into hip-hop — well, sort of.

Kygo is a 24-year old music producer from Norway. His debut album isn't even out yet, but his singles, like "Firestone," have made him a phenomenon in pop music. Last December he set a record on Spotify, exceeding a billion streams faster than any artist before him.

In North Carolina, Musicians Face Off Against HB2

May 6, 2016

On a recent Monday night in Carrboro, N.C., local music venue Cat's Cradle is packed. The room has the makings of most clubs: a stage, a soundboard, a bar and a merch stand, but taped above the gender plaques on the bathroom doors are signs that read, in uppercase, rainbow-colored letters, "We are an inclusive venue. No proof required." Signs like these can be found by bathrooms or in storefronts of local businesses across the region.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Every year at the Kentucky Derby, crazy hat-wearing, mint julep-guzzling horse-gazers break into a passionate rendition of Kentucky's state song, "My Old Kentucky Home." As tradition goes, the University of Louisville Cardinal Marching Band accompanies the crowd as they croon a ballad that seems to be about people who miss their happy home. "The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home/'Tis summer and the people are gay," begins one version.

But Frank X Walker, Kentucky's former poet laureate, suspects that most people are missing the point.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Beyoncé's 'Lemonade' Still Has Us Talking

May 1, 2016
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