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The Musical Universe

 

By the end of the 62nd Grammy Awards on Sunday evening, a major star had been crowned: 18-year-old singer Billie Eilish, who swept all four of the night's biggest prizes — Best New Artist, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year — along with honors for Best Pop Vocal Album.

But that rush of awards came only at the tail end of a long, strange and emotionally ambivalent ceremony held Sunday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The complete list of winners of the 62nd annual Grammy Awards, presented on Jan. 26, 2020, is below.

In 2017, the all-woman collective Les Amazones d'Afrique introduced themselves to the world with their debut album, Republique Amazone. The songs showcased the group's two signatures: intoxicating, danceable rhythms and a message calling out violence and other forms of mistreatment of women all over the globe.

Their second album, called Amazones Power was released Friday, and it builds on many of those same themes. The group has grown since last time, with the core of women with roots in West Africa now supplemented by an international mix of men and women.

Over four years is a long time to go between albums in pop music, and it has been an especially eventful period for Selena Gomez. In the space between 2015's Revival and her latest release, Rare, Gomez has battled Lupus, depression and anxiety, and had two high profile breakups — all while millions followed along on social media.

The Haden sisters — Petra, Rachel and Tanya — have a long history in American music.

Suspended Recording Academy president and CEO Deborah Dugan, speaking at the 62nd Grammy Awards nomination event in New York in November.
John Lampa

Don't say she didn't warn you!

Back when Megan Thee Stallion graced the Tiny Desk Fest in the fall of 2019, she gave fans a hint about what — or who — her new music would sound like.

"My next project I will be introducing a new lady. Her name is Suga. She's besties with Tina Snow," Megan said in an exclusive post-show interview.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. Rumor has it the original members of AC/DC may be getting back together. But while we await confirmation, there's a new cover to chew on.

(SOUNDBITE OF BABY RYAN'S COVER OF AC/DC'S "THUNDERSTRUCK")

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The conventional wisdom about Voodoo, in a few big ways, is wrong. Released on Jan. 25, 2000, the second album by D'Angelo was hailed as a high point of the neo-soul era. The music video for the single "Untitled (How Does It Feel)" — featuring the singer crooning shirtless with perfect white teeth, perfect muscles, perfect cornrows — announced him as the moment's new sex symbol.

J.S. Ondara's journey to the Tiny Desk is a fascinating one. From his home in Nairobi, he listened on his sister's radio to American artists, including Nirvana, Jeff Buckley, Death Cab For Cutie and, most importantly, Bob Dylan. He wanted to be a folk singer, so he moved to Minnesota, Dylan's home state.

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Today, Rosalía is back with her first release of 2020.

Nothing about the music Samantha Fish makes suggests that she's ever been shy. Bold and expressive, it shows off her considerable talent – but it took a bit of a push for Fish to get on stage for the first time.

The Jeremiahs On Mountain Stage

Jan 23, 2020

Formed in 2013, Ireland quartet The Jeremiahs are spreading their original, urban Irish folk music far and wide across Ireland, Europe and to the States.

While describing the band during its first appearance on Mountain Stage, host Larry Groce said The Jeremiahs have "great songs, emotional vocals, masterful guitar and fiddle / flute conversations that work like fine embroidery ... "

Before she wrote Silver Tongue, out later this month, Torres' Mackenzie Scott stopped writing music altogether. After releasing three albums of searing, searching guitar rock, Scott says she needed to reassess. It's a "delusional pursuit," as she calls it, to try to make a living as a musician right now. Did she even still want to do it? What was even worth writing about?

Morning Edition's series called One-Hit Wonders / Second-Best Songs focuses on musicians or bands whose careers in the United States are defined by a single monster hit, and explains why their catalogs have much more to offer.

In this installment, Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis talks about living in Atlanta in the early 1980s, when the band The Georgia Satellites hit No. 2 on the pop charts with its debut single. Read DeCurtis in his own words below, and hear the radio version at the audio link.

The sudden death of rapper Juice WRLD as he landed in Chicago last month, was caused by an accidental overdose of codeine and oxycodone, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office revealed Wednesday.

Deborah Dugan, the suspended head of the Recording Academy, made many stunning allegations in her discrimination complaint filed Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The circumstances of David Olney's death have been widely reported, not least because people were struck by what seemed like a poetic end for such a poetic presence. Onstage last Saturday during the 30A Songwriters Festival in the Florida panhandle, Olney reportedly paused mid-song and bowed his head to his chest, suffering another heart attack.

Music is a kind of family inheritance for Georgia Barnes. The stories she tells of her relatives usually come back to music or dancing some way or another. Her dad used to play in an electronic group called Leftfield.

"My bedroom was actually Leftfield's studio," she says. "It was keyboards, drum machines, wires, bits of percussion, microphones."

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Hayley Williams has long been simultaneously open and guarded, someone who can write about pain, depression and yearning with diaristic specificity, but who still keeps the deepest hur

Every year around this time, members of the All Songs Considered team — including Bob Boilen, Robin Hilton and me — each dredge through nearly 2,000 songs by bands playing the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas, in search of great new discoveries. And every year, we wind up missing something. In pursuit of music by thousands of acts, many slip past our radar altogether.

On Friday, a new name was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame: Andranik Madadian, who performs as Andy and has been nicknamed the Prince of Persian Pop, is the first Iranian artist to have a star on the Walk, according to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Andy has toured the world and amassed a huge fan base among Persian and Armenian Americans; Last week, those fans turned out in huge numbers in Los Angeles for his star's unveiling, chanting his name throughout the ceremony.

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 12:50 p.m. ET

In the latest round of chaotic volleys around the Grammy Awards, the Recording Academy's short-lived president and CEO, Deborah Dugan — the organization's first female chief executive — announced Tuesday afternoon that she has filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against the Academy, the organization that gives out the Grammys.

Country music channel CMT will now give equal airtime to male and female artists during its early-morning music video hours. The channel announced the news on Twitter today, expanding on their previous policy (60-40, male to female).

CMT airs music videos every day from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m., and also operates a separate channel dedicated to airing music videos around the clock.

It's a couple hours before show time at Oklahoma City's the Blue Door, and owner Greg Johnson is in his living quarters at the back of the venue, remembering musicians who've hung out there after shows.

"Jimmy Webb, John Fullbright, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Arlo Guthrie ... ," Johnson rattles off their names.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Big Thief had a pretty remarkable 2019. The band put out two beautiful albums, U.F.O.F. in May and Two Hands in October. Paired together, these albums present a larger picture of the band at the height of its powers, thinking and performing beyond the traditional album-tour cycle.

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Sinister and piercing, with a heavy lilt of Puberty 2 grunge — if you need a "gui

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