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Music News

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Some fans of South Korea's K-pop music are mourning the death of one of its stars. As NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Seoul, the 25-year-old singer and actress was known for being unusually outspoken.

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Now over 30 years into his storied, genre-hopping career, the always-multivalent Beck has announced a new album, Hyperspace, out November 22.

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The midwestern trio of Saba, Smino and Noname have been making music together for a while now, whether in the form of masterful features on each other's singles, or

After hearing the tragic news that Sulli, the 25-year-old K-pop singer and actress born Choi Jinri, had died earlier this week, fans and supporters flooded social media with posts celebrating her artistry, praising her outspoken and unapologetic stances on sexuality and feminism and calling for an end to online harassment and bullying.

Sulli was found in her apartment on Monday. No official cause of death has been released, but that the bulk of the discussion has assumed she took her own life.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Rachel Martin. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees are out. Sixteen artists made the shortlist, nine of which are getting their first shot at the honor. My question - will the first shot end up as the best shot?

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for its newest class of inductees on Tuesday morning: 16 artists and groups ranging from the late Whitney Houston to German synth pioneers Kraftwerk to rap royalty in the form of the late Notorious B.I.G.

The 2020 nominees also include Dave Matthews Band, Pat Benatar, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy.

"I'm naturally soft spoken," Laetitia Tamko says. "But when I sing, I'm not soft spoken."

Much of Infinite Worlds, the first album Tamko recorded as Vagabon, was her with a guitar, singing achingly introspective songs about the search for home and safety. Tamko says when she recorded it, she was uncomfortable with how deep her voice was. But now, hundreds of live performances later, she's embraced it.

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LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Anxiety and insecurity surrounding the impending Brexit deadline has settled like a cloud over the U.K. and Europe. How, then, to shake off those nervous jitters?

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BACKSTOP")

ARTICLE 54: (Singing) Backstop.

Art Blakey was born 100 years ago, on Oct. 11, 1919, and America's homegrown music — jazz — might not sound quite like it does today if it weren't for the influence of the late drummer.

Among all the other things that transpired at and around President Trump's reelection campaign in Minneapolis Thursday night, his team played the music of a hometown hero: Prince's "Purple Rain." Soon after, the estate of Minnesota's late musical hero made it clear just how unhappy it was — and

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(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ALL APOLOGIES")

NIRVANA: (Singing) What else should I be?

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next, we have the story behind some of the most popular songs of the late 1970s. They're the kind of songs that last and last, that people know even if they weren't alive in the '70s.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HEART OF GLASS")

Caribou, the project of songwriter and producer Dan Snaith, has shared "Home," his first new music in over five years. Caribou last released the tropical, house-influenced full-length Our Love in 2014.

"Home" is warm, soulful and full of sweet longing. "It's just what she pleases," sings Snaith. "'Cause she's happy on her own / She picks up all the pieces, she's going home." At just over two-and-a-half minutes, Snaith builds the song around vintage horns and a sample from R&B singer Gloria Barnes' track of the same name.

About an hour outside of Nashville, in the hills of Middle Tennessee, you'll find a sprawling compound of cabins and farmhouses with red roofs; a place where horses run the pastures and mist tends to settle in the valleys between the hills. If it weren't for the work that happens here, this could be a vacation retreat for Nashville's entertainment industry – a getaway from the trappings of daily life, to disconnect and forget the world outside. But here, at OnSite Workshops, the idea isn't to leave your life behind, but to process everything that's happened in it.

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If the forces of the universe wreak havoc in threes, then Aldous Harding follows tradition with her co-directed visual treatment for "Zoo Eyes," the third off-kilter video from her lat

Updated at 10:42 a.m. ET

There are lots of firsts and superlatives in the career of Ginger Baker, the drummer and bandleader who died Sunday morning at age 80. His death was announced by his family on social media; they had said on Sept. 25 that he was "critically ill," without giving details.

The wild-eyed son of a South London bricklayer, Baker was the engine room of rock's first and still most revered power trio, Cream. He played a similarly key role in shaping the more finessed work of one of rock's first supergroups, Blind Faith.

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Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Sufjan Stevens has shared "IV", the latest from his score to The Decalogue.

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Arthur Russell was a mutant of disco, a starry-eyed singer-songwriter and a relentless explorer, first heard in downto

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On paper, Travis Scott is a talented artist and an especially gifted hook writer.

In the lyrics to one of 1999's most popular songs, Santana's "Smooth," Rob Thomas repeats the words "Let's don't forget about it." Twenty years on, I'm betting that your memory hasn't faded, no matter how hard you might have tried.

Kim Shattuck, the guitarist, singer and songwriter of The Muffs, The Pandoras and The Coolies died Wednesday after a two-year battle with ALS, as confirmed to NPR by Omnivore Recordings co-founder Cheryl Pawelski. She was 56.

On Sept. 27, Sturgill Simpson released his new album, Sound & Fury — a slate of rage-fueled rock songs and an accompanying anime film which shares the title. Set to the album's music, the film takes place in a dystopian world, filled with fire and fast cars, an animated visual bonanza that takes the anger of the album as its driving narrative engine. This pairing — mildly surprising, maybe, for a country star — was released on Netflix, which has been amassing an arsenal of music-related projects for the last few years.

The new movie Joker is a psychological character study of a lonely, disturbed man who turns violent. Dark, chaotic, unconventional — all descriptions that would make sense for a movie about one of the most infamous and unpredictable villains in comic book history. But in fact, director Todd Phillips wanted this Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, to inspire empathy. To give this comic book character human depth, director Todd Phillips brought in a composer who could transform darkness into sensitive musicality.

One of the most prominent composers of the late 20th century has died. Giya Kancheli was from Georgia — and the music he wrote, whether for films or for the concert hall, was full of light, shade and an incandescent longing. He died Wednesday at age 84 in his home city, the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Kancheli's death was announced by his longtime record label, ECM; his son, Sandro Kancheli, told NPR that his father had suffered from heart failure for a long time.

Updated at 3:43 p.m. ET

The embattled opera singer Plácido Domingo resigned Wednesday as general director of LA Opera, the company that he helped found and that he led for more than 15 years. The news broke in the midst of two formal investigations into accusations of sexual misconduct made by 20 women about alleged incidents that took place between the 1980s and the 2016-2017 performance season.

Domingo is also withdrawing from all scheduled appearances there, including a run of Gaetano Donizetti's Roberto Devereux next February and March.

Raphael Saadiq is one of the most accomplished musicians in pop and R&B over the last 30 years. He's also one of the most respected. He fronted Tony! Toni!

Opera fans are mourning one of the world's most revered voices.

Soprano Jessye Norman died Monday morning at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital in New York. Her death was confirmed to NPR by a spokesperson for her family, Gwendolyn Quinn, as well as a representative from the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. The official cause of death was septic shock and multi-organ failure, secondary to complications of a spinal cord injury she had sustained in 2015. She was 74.

José José, the revered Mexican singer known as the "Prince of Song," died Saturday, Sept. 28, in Miami. He was 71 years old.

The 2019 Latin Grammys are set to take place on Nov. 14. As a nominee in the category of Best New Artist, Venezuelan artist Nella knows she not only carries her own story, but also that of her homeland to the ceremony when she attends.

Nella was born Marianella Rojas in the beach town of Porlamar, on the Island of Margarita, the largest Venezuelan island in the Caribbean, and grew up singing American pop music.

With nearly 30 years in show business, Kristin Chenoweth has won an Emmy and a Tony Award for both her singing and acting. In one of her most famous roles, she sang her way through Oz in a story about sisterhood — the award-winning musical Wicked. Still, Chenoweth says some people are surprised to learn that she's a singer.

"It's so funny when people come up to me and they're like, 'Oh, I didn't know you sang.' And I'm like, 'What?!,'" Chenoweth says.

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