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Last month Mary Halsey of Rhode Island posted a Facebook video of herself doing a karaoke version of Missy Elliott's "Work It." It quickly went viral, accumulating millions of views and drawing attention from Elliott herself who praised the performance on Twitter and called Halsey her "funky white sister."

Pyotr Verzilov, a prominent member of the Russian art and activist collective Pussy Riot, is suspected to have been poisoned in Moscow on Tuesday, according to the group and local media.

It was Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit's night to shine at the annual Americana Honors and Awards show Wednesday night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Isbell and his band walked away with three of the night's biggest awards: Album of the Year for The Nashville Sound, Song of the Year for "If We Were Vampires," and Duo/Group of the Year.

John Prine was named Artist of the Year, while Tyler Childers won the always competitive Emerging Artist of the Year category.

The Reverend Al Green has long showed music lovers what it means to be blessed by the presence of a great voice. That is, Green's sporadic relationship with the music world beyond the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis, where he's preached most Sundays since 1976, shows us in no uncertain terms that the person doing the blessing is the owner of the golden pipes fans cherish.

Dave Matthews is sitting in his tour bus, at a table inlaid with a custom board game.

"If you roll '1,' you just want to move the cow one [space] and not poo, that's your decision," he says. "Although I would always poo."

Walking through the warm, vanilla hallway of Grand Central Terminal, I tried to enter a barricade when an army sentry — helmet, muted green-and-sand uniform, a pistol and a big machine gun — said it was the wrong entrance. "This is for the artist — go down, take a left and stick to the wall."

Octavian is taking off. Nearly a year after the woozy and infectious unpredictability of "Party Here" perked ears and raised his profile, the U.K. artist has shared his latest mixtape SPACEMAN, out now via Black Butter.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Updated at 1:52 a.m. ET Saturday

Mac Miller, the Pittsburgh-born rapper who developed a ravenous following over the course of five successful albums, died Friday of an apparent overdose in his Los Angeles home, multiple outlets have reported. He was 26 years old.

Around the world, people are struggling for access to drinking water. All Things Considered is examining the forces at play in separating the haves from the have-nots — from natural disasters to crumbling infrastructure and corruption.

When the drought in Cape Town, South Africa, was worsening in late 2017, one of the country's leading insurance companies, Sanlam, wanted to help get the word out that people needed to save water.

On Thursday night, the rapper Nas posted a sprawling open letter to his ex-wife on Instagram in which he denied the allegations of physical and mental abuse that she publicly made against him in April.

Paul Simon says he's ready to stop touring and retire from music. But first, he's going back through his discography to do a little tinkering.

This week's essential new releases includes Paul McCartney's best album in 20 years, the funk and disco of St. Paul & The Broken Bones, dark and twisted sounds from the rap duo $UICIDEBOY$ and more. All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Lars Gotrich, Marissa Lorusso, Stephen Thompson and Rodney Carmichael.

Featured Albums:

  1. St. Paul & The Broken Bones: Young Sick Camellia
    Featured Song: "Got It Bad"

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.

The mic-stand tango and primal scream of Charles Bradley lives on. The posthumous final album from the legendary soul singer, who died last year, has been announced. Bradley's final album, Black Velvet, is due out Nov. 9 via Dunham and Daptone Records.

This week, join host Fiona Ritchie for more new recordings that have arrived through the summer months, just waiting for an hour of your time. Some of the featured artists included are Low Lily, The Tannahill Weavers, the Yves Lambert Trio, and Open the Door for Three.

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

The cause of the surprising January death of Dolores O'Riordan, singer of Irish band The Cranberries who rose to fame in the '90s with a string of radio hits including "Zombie" and "Linger," has been determined. London Inner West coroner Dr. Shirley Radcliffe found O'Riordan's death to have been an accident, caused by alcohol intoxication and drowning.

It's easy to love, worship and seek to emulate Joni Mitchell – but it's not so easy to pay proper tribute to her. That's why celebrations centered on her music are so fun. They challenge each performer, usually a besotted Joni devotee, to engage her tricky rhythms and find footing in her sometimes octave-jumping melodies; to parse her words — those phrases piercing through the particular into the universal — without slavishly imitating her Canadian cadences.

Prince is everything. Yes, I'm using a meme-ably meaningless phrase to describe the most fascinating artist to reign during my lifetime, but it's nearly factual for the Purple One: the intense reconsideration so many listeners have given his work since his death in April 2016 continues to reveal new facets of his genius and his work's cultural importance.

On the coffee table of his cozy East Nashville apartment, Aaron Lee Tasjan has a notebook open to autobiographical scrawling — it's a kind of cheat sheet to his musical past, which he prepared, with his mother's help, just in case he forgot anything during his interview with NPR. To be fair, it isn't all that simple to retrace his weaving, winding musical path. The singer-songwriter tried out a variety of musical niches, cities and scenes before landing in Nashville.

It was a celebration — a daylong tribute, full of stories sharing how Aretha Franklin's life touched her Detroit community and the world.

There were moments of politics and humor, but most of all, the Queen of Soul was honored with music at the Greater Grace Temple Church in Detroit on Friday.

As the church swelled with attendees — a who's who of big names in music, sports and politics were present to pay their respects: The Clark Sisters, Ariana Grande, former basketball star Isiah Thomas and former President Bill Clinton. The missing voice was Aretha Franklin's.

Aretha Franklin's funeral service remembers and celebrates the "Queen of Soul." Beloved by millions around the world, Franklin — who died of cancer on Aug. 16 — also leaves behind a six-decade career of advocacy, becoming a symbol and transformative leader in both the women's rights and the civil rights movements.

Here is a visual recollection of the funeral of one of America's most celebrated artists. This collection will updated throughout the day.

Aretha Franklin is being laid to rest in Detroit, in a ceremony attended by legendary musicians and a former president. In the U.K., the Queen of Soul was also honored on Friday at Buckingham Palace, where a military band played "Respect."

The palace's famous changing of the guard took place just before Franklin's funeral was set to begin in the U.S. — and the Band of the Welsh Guards, which provides music during the ceremony, took the moment to honor her.

Eminem surprised fans and foes early Friday morning with an unannounced album, Kamikaze.

The 11-song album was executive produced by Dr. Dre and released on Dre's Interscope imprint, Aftermath Entertainment.

Rising singer Jessie Reyez, Detroit veteran Royce Da 5'9" and rapper Joyner Lucas guest on the album, which features Eminem taking shots at President Trump, the music press, and young rappers in general.

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