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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Too young and way too soon - that's what artists and musicians all over the world said today remembering one of their own, Swedish DJ Avicii.

(SOUNDBITE OF AVICII SONG, "HEY BROTHER")

Earlier this week Kanye West ended his social media hiatus and hopped on Twitter to share anecdotes about life, existence and the universe. West announced that he is writing a book on philosophy. He also tweeted that he will release two new albums later this spring (he'd been spotted around Jackson Hole, Wyo. over the last few months, where many believe he is working on his new albums with some of hip-hop's finest).

Updated at 2:56 p.m. ET

Avicii, the Swedish producer who was one of the world's most successful DJs, was found dead today in Muscat, Oman, his publicist confirmed to NPR Music. He was 28. No cause of death was given.

"Thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline Coachella," Beyoncé said toward the end of her headlining set at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival last Saturday while glistening with sweat and her waist-length, gold hair flowing in the fan-created breeze. The chart-topping Queen Bey paused for only a moment before scoffing, "Ain't that 'bout a bitch."

Bey's candid acknowledgment of this elephant in the desert simultaneously silenced any doubters and ignited her Beyhive.

Forget that old adage about hip-hop being a product of the streets. Nowadays, if you really want to keep your finger on the pulse, you better follow the tweets.

Consider the events this week in rap as exhibits A, B, C and D: In the last five days, three of the biggest, most elusive names in rap have taken to social media to tease fans with forthcoming album release dates, while rap's reigning G.O.A.T. collected the big cheese.

The Echo Awards — Germany's equivalent to the Grammys — is facing widespread censure after this year's prize for best hip-hop album was given to a duo whose lyrics include boasts about how their bodies are "more defined than Auschwitz prisoners" and that they will "make another Holocaust, show up with a Molotov."

At the award ceremony, which took place on April 12, rappers Kollegah (Felix Blume) and Farid Bang (Farid El Abdellaoui) took home the prize for their album Jung, brutal gutaussehend 3 (translated: Young, Brutal, Good-Looking 3).

The U.K. plans to ban plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, Prime Minister Theresa May announced Wednesday at a meeting of Commonwealth nations.

"Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world," May said in a statement, in which she called the U.K. government "a world leader on this issue."

An attorney for Carver County, Minn., announced today that no charges will be brought in connection with Prince's death and that the musician likely had no idea the vicodin pills he overdosed on were laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.

"There is no evidence that any person associated with Prince knew that Prince possessed counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl," attorney Mark Metz said during a news conference. "Prince likely had no idea he was taking fentanyl pills that could kill him.

Fifty years ago, Johnny Cash performed at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, Calif. The January 1968 concert and live album it produced, At Folsom Prison, helped revitalize Cash's career, inspiring him to testify for prison reform and cementing his reputation as a voice for the downtrodden.

A Dallas woman, wishing to remain anonymous, claims she was emotionally manipulated and knowingly given a sexually transmitted disease by singer R. Kelly during an 11-month relationship she had with the singer.

Lee Merritt, the attorney for the 20-year-old woman, has turned over evidence to Dallas police hoping that the department will bring criminal charges against Kelly, who Merritt claims "intentionally and knowingly" transmitted herpes to his client, served her alcohol while underage and provided her with illegal substances.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

With My Morning Jacket on hiatus, frontman Jim James has moved away from his bedroom solo albums and assembled something more reminiscent of a great, '70s rock band. Uniform Distortion is his latest solo adventure and "Just a Fool" is the cowbell-rocking song we have for you today.

Since (at least) the release of good kid, m.A.A.d. city in 2012, the singularity of Kendrick Lamar has been plainly evident. But with the Pulitzer Prize in Music for 2018 being given to the Compton rapper for his 2017 album DAMN., his exceptionalism is now officially historic: It's the first time in the prize's history that it has been given to an artist outside of the classical or jazz community.

During a brief status hearing Monday, prosecutors said — for the first time — that the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office wants to grant the rapper a new trial over drug and gun charges filed against him in 2007 because of questions over the credibility of the arresting officer, Reginald Graham, raised by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Graham is said to have allegedly provided false testimony during Mill's first trial.

It was a uniquely busy weekend for music, with a handful of events having taken place that illustrated new and familiar concentrations of power or shifting alliances or institutions doubling down on the status quo: Coachella now has a new name; the Academy of Country Music Awards' 53rd year was held in Las Vegas six months after a mass shooting took place at a country music festival in the city; the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted some vanilla rockers and two epochal contributors and Kanye West re-downloaded Twitter.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

What a scene it was. Thousands of people converged in California over the weekend for the music and arts festival Coachella. There were dozens of performers, but, really, there was only one who actually mattered - Beyonce.

Just as Coachella Music and Arts Festival sets the bar for every other American music festival of the summer, Beyoncé recurringly sets the bar for every other performer.

A year after postponing her headlining set in 2017 due to pregnancy, Beyoncé treated her return to the stage like a family reunion, homecoming pep rally and a Beyhive-unifying rebel yell before heading into battle.

To start off her two-hour show, Queen Bey evoked the spirit of another member of black royalty, Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, appearing in a custom Balmain gold-crusted cape and headdress.

Warning: This episode contains obscenities and descriptions of sex and violence.

A lot of communities today are taking a hard stand against sexual harassment and assault. Using social media shaming, ostracism, professional excommunication, whatever punishment is painful enough to shift the moral code by brute force. Through one incident in the Richmond Virginia hardcore punk scene, Hanna Rosin, co-host of NPR's Invisibilia, chronicles a social media callout and asks what pain can accomplish.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's electric gospel sound was crucial in paving the way for rock and roll, and the late singer and guitarist is finally getting her day at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. She joins this a class of inductees that includes big-name rock bands like Bon Jovi, Dire Straits and The Cars.

Last year, from spring to summer, two organizations — the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) — made their case to the Copyright Royalty Board that Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and Pandora weren't paying songwriters enough when people streamed their compositions, a process that NMPA head David Israelite likened to "war." Those compositions, which are legally discrete from the recordings of those songs, are covered by "mechanical" licenses, a term that's roughly 100 years old and originally referred to the punch-card c

Yvonne Staples, a member of the renowned soul, gospel and R&B group The Staple Singers, died Tuesday in Chicago at the age of 80, representatives for her sister and band mate Mavis Staples confirmed to NPR Music. No cause was given, and the Staples family has yet to issue a statement.

The following text was originally published alongside the live web stream of the 2018 NEA Jazz Masters, which took place on April 16. A recording of the event can now be viewed by clicking on the video above.

Turnstile's music swirled just as much as it pounded, turning some of the stranger, studio-driven moments of its recent album Time & Space into a live-action stage match. As the band explored every inch of the worn hardwood at All Souls Unitarian Church in Northwest Washington, D.C., stirring up heart rates and exalting the moment, one body would jump from the stage and be immediately replaced by another, all in constant motion.

When Johnny Cash died almost 15 years ago, he left behind a treasure trove of unpublished poems and handwritten letters. The new album Johnny Cash: Forever Words, out now, immortalizes those words in music.

Cecil Taylor, whose stunning and bravely unorthodox piano language made him one of the most important postwar American avant-gardists in any artistic medium, leaves more than a legacy of musical provocation after his death yesterday evening.

Sacha Jenkins was just a nine-year-old kid coming of age in Queens, New York when Blondie's "Rapture" broke big in 1981. An early harbinger of hip-hop's crossover appeal, it became the first song featuring rap vocals to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Today, rap regularly owns the top 10 and Jenkins, an O.G. even among the original generation of hip-hop journalists, has been documenting the culture from the inside out since its golden era.

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