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The Musical Universe

 

When the Queen of Soul died last August, family and lawyers said publicly that they believed that Aretha Franklin did not have a will. On Monday, however, three handwritten wills that had been found in her Detroit-area home — one from 2014 and two dated 2010 — were filed in probate court in Oakland County, Mich.

Two eminent avant-garde elders, a chameleonic vocal improviser, and a pioneering community organizer and presenter will make up the 2020 class of NEA Jazz Masters, according to an announcement this morning by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The four incoming inductees — saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, bassist Reggie Workman, vocalist Bobby McFerrin, and jazz advocate Dorthaan Kirk — will officially be recognized next April 2, during a tribute concert and ceremony at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

Fifty years ago, the band Nat Turner Rebellion made a funky album in Philadelphia that could have been a total classic. The band had a record deal, fans and, according to founder Joe Jefferson the members were "crowd killers." But then, it all fell apart and the album has been pretty much buried in audio archives — until now.

Seven years after her death, Whitney Houston may be coming to a venue near you.

The pop icon's estate has partnered with BASE Hologram to produce "An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour," the company revealed in a statement on Monday.

The announcement comes on the heels of a separate deal between the singer's estate and Primary Wave Publishing last week, which is also expected to produce a series of new projects, including a new album, a possible Broadway musical and Vegas-style spectacle.

The four friends who make up the band Charly Bliss have grown a lot since they first met at summer camp as teenagers. The band's latest album, Young Enough, out now, was born out of growing pains.

Lead vocalist Eva Hendricks says the songs on this album were inspired by bad relationships — the kind that consume you and chip away at you until there's none of you left. The songs explore the crippling need to be liked — even if it means losing yourself in the process.

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GoldLink is riding a well-deserved tide of goodwill ever since his 2017 studio debut At What Cost, a record that b

The estate of Harold Arlen — the composer famous for such American-songbook classics as "Over the Rainbow," "Get Happy" and "It's Only A Paper Moon" — has filed a lawsuit against some of the world's biggest technology companies, including Apple, Amazon, Google and Microsoft in what it is calling "massive piracy operations."

Saturday Night Live's 44th season ended over the weekend with the help of host Paul Rudd and musical guest DJ Khaled, who brought with him an all-star cast that included J Balvin, John Legend and SZA.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NOEL KING, HOST:

In 2017, during the Super Bowl halftime show, Lady Gaga did something extraordinary. She performed a song that had become the unofficial anthem of the LGBTQ community.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUPER BOWL LI TELECAST)

LADY GAGA: (Singing) No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgender life - I'm on the right track, baby. I was born to survive. No matter black, white or beige, chola or Orient made - right track, baby, I was born to be brave.

(CHEERING)

On this edition of All Songs Considered, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood joins us to talk about two of his classical compositions we've just premiered on our Tiny Desk series.

You might say Making Movies is a band of brothers. The Kansas City-based group is made up of two Panamanian-Americans — guitarist Enrique Chi and his brother, bassist Diego Chi — and two Mexican-Americans; drummer Andres Chaurand and his brother Juan-Carlos, who plays percussion and keyboards.

Singer Duncan Laurence from the Netherlands has emerged victorious at the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The finals were held Saturday night in Tel Aviv, Israel.

The 25-year-old Laurence won the international competition with a song called "Arcade," which he co-wrote. The song is a sweet, emotional ballad that stands in contrast to Israeli singer Netta's wacky "Toy," which won in 2018.

Eurovision 2019 Concludes

May 18, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ZERO GRAVITY")

KATE MILLER-HEIDKE: (Singing) Hey, you, it's me again.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Head and the Heart's latest album, Living Mirage, is warm, open and definitely leans hard on the "heart" part of the band's name. The band went to Joshua Tree in the desert to create the music. The trip was bassist Chris Zasche's idea — he thought the wide-open landscape would give the member's all a chance to start fresh and maybe see themselves differently.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Folks, the yeehaw agenda has reached its absolute apex.

Many years ago, a relative of mine used the term "music-intense" in conversation to describe a musician we both knew.

I think it's also an apt descriptor for BBC music broadcaster Stephen Johnson. His remarkably diverse aesthetic and personal sensitivity are on full display in his new book How Shostakovich Changed My Mind.

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DJ Khaled's eleventh studio album out today, Father of Asahd, is yet another display of his comprehensive Rolodex

Even the most beloved, adventurous rappers of the 2010s succumb to trends — in this case, Chance the Rapper must have scrolled for a little too long on TikTok and gotten a few ideas.

Our sprint through this week's best new albums includes one of the most ambitious and visionary works The National has produced in its nearly 20-year career, pop wisdom and a call for kindness from Carly Rae Jepsen, the raw and defiant sounds of Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion and more. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the best new albums out on May 17.

Featured Albums:

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Bruce Springsteen has clearly spent the last few years with an eye toward the past; after all, he did just

After months of watching entry videos — over 6,000 of them — the judges of the fifth annual Tiny Desk Contest have chosen a winner!

The Tim O'Brien Band On Mountain Stage

May 16, 2019

West Virginia native Tim O'Brien's association with "Mountain Stage" dates to the program's earliest days. In 1984 he appeared as a member of the influential bluegrass group Hot Rize, and its alter ego Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, who helped give the fledgling show a national presence. Since then O'Brien has continued to visit "Mountain Stage" in nearly every musical formation he has been a part of.

The songs on Yola's debut full-length solo album, Walk Through Fire, ring out with the triumphant air of someone who has withstood the flames and the heat en route to achieving their dreams. The title is a metaphor for some of the tribulations Yola has faced – including experiencing homelessness in London, and enduring an emotionally abusive relationship. The title is also a nod to the time Yola's dress literally caught fire a few years ago, and sent her house up in flames.

With each new release, Raveena's star is deservedly rising. Following "Mama," her touching tribute to immigrant mothers released earlier this month, the Indian-American R&B experimenter shares her latest single "Stronger" and announces her debut album, Lucid.

If you're even a casually observant jazz fan, you might think you know a thing or two about Joe Lovano. A tenor saxophonist with dozens of albums to his name, most of them made during a roughly 25-year tenure on Blue Note Records, Lovano is one of the most instantly identifiable musicians on the jazz landscape and on the New York scene. But he didn't come from nowhere.

On Monday, the New York Supreme Court ruled that the former investors in the Woodstock 50 music festival, a company called Dentsu Aegis and its subsidiary, Amplifi Live, did not have the right to cancel the event, as Dentsu announced last month on April 29. The decision means that the Woodstock 50 promoters, led by Michael Lang — a co-founder of the original Woodstock in 1969 — have the right to continue to prepare to stage a festival in August, as originally planned.

If you're going to bring the Korean boy band BTS to the spot where The Beatles conquered American TV back in 1964, you might as well milk it for all it's worth. Welcome to BTSmania, courtesy of Stephen Colbert.

This year, I was blown away by the Tiny Desk Contest entries I saw. We received over 6,000 entries from all across the country. We saw tiny desks up on rooftops and down on a subway platform; tucked into treetops, pickup trucks and laundromats. We heard songs about the situations that make life difficult and the people that make life worth living.

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