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It's going to be a good summer for GoldLink fans.

Embattled R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of sexual assault and abuse at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on Thursday morning.

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For as long as Esperanza Spalding has been in the public eye, she's been defined in part by her hair.

The first time I saw Raveena live, the room at Washington, D.C.'s Songbyrd Music House was packed. Chatter from college-aged kids about gender politics and Instagram updates filled the venue before she got on stage, but for a Thursday night in the middle of summer, there weren't many drinks clinking. "The venues always tell me they never make money off the bar at my shows," the artist laughed backstage that night. "It's just a bunch of nice brown kids."

Since coming out as gay in 2014, Ty Herndon has changed all female pronouns in his song "What Mattered Most" to male pronouns.
Jeremy Ryan / Courtesy of the a

R. Kelly has been a hero, an icon, a demon and a punchline — all at the same time. There is no neat narrative arc of ascendance, fall and perhaps eventual redemption: This is an R&B singer who was feted as an American idol, performing at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, on the same day that Chicago police revealed that they were investigating him for child pornography.

Nearly two decades ago, Apple announced its new jukebox software. The company called it iTunes. Today, during its annual World Wide Developers Conference, Apple has announced that in its new operating system, iTunes is going away, to be replaced by a Music app, a Podcast app and a TV app instead.

After 18 years, Apple is killing iTunes — well, sort of. The media management software for most Mac users (and many Windows users) is being broken into separate pieces for separate uses: Music, podcasts and television will soon have their own apps on the new Catalina Mac operating system.

Apple announced the move on Monday along with new hardware, including a new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR, and entertainment and lifestyle features.

A wave of shock and sadness moved through the jazz community on Sunday, with news of the death of Lawrence Lo Leathers, a drummer with a steadfast presence in the modern jazz mainstream.

Leathers was 37. He was killed on Sunday in the hallway of an apartment building on East 141st Street in the Bronx neighborhood of Mott Haven, according to Detective Martin Brown of the NYPD. The police have arrested a suspect in connection to the incident.

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It's Sesame Street's 50th anniversary, which is giving the long-running children's TV show countless extra opportunities to interact with the pop-culture world at large.

Bon Iver is back with its first new recorded music in three years. The band this morning dropped two new songs with lyric videos. The first, "Hey, Ma," is a glittering remembrance of childhood and a mother's love. "Tall time to call your ma," sings Justin Vernon over faded home videos of his family. "I was tokin' on dope / I hoped it all won't go in a minute / With the past that you know."

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

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Most aspiring pop stars dream of one day churning out "the Song of the Summer" — that one inescapable jam that blows up every hot-weather radio playlist, beach party, car stereo and YouTube binge. Some of them may be frothy, seemingly disposable pop confections, but there's a certain permanence to Song of the Summer status; once you've reached that milestone, you're forever embedded in the memories of summertime revelers the world over. (Want proof?

Roky Erickson, the psychedelic lodestar who helmed The 13th Floor Elevators and wrote one of garage rock's original anthems, "You're Gonna Miss Me," died on Friday at the age of 71.

His death was announced by his brother, Mikel Erickson, on Facebook. No cause of death was provided.

In a surprising announcement Thursday, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra abruptly cancelled its summer 2019 lineup of concerts.

Koffee is waking up new generations to the style, complexity and power of reggae. The Jamaican-born rising star and 2019 NPR Slingshot artist has only been at this professionally for a couple years — the 19-year-old recently graduated from high school — but her passion for her culture is palpable and the momentum of her music is only building.

At this point, Cardi B needs little introduction and, as she makes clear in her latest single, she damn-sure needs no validation.

"Press, press, press, press, press / Cardi don't need more press / Kill 'em all, put them hoes to rest / Walk in, bulletproof vest / Please tell me who she goin' check? / Murder scene, Cardi made a mess," Cardi raps on her hard-hitting "Press."

Trustees of the American Federation of Musicians and Employers' Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) announced the evening of May 24 that they will apply to the U.S. Treasury for a reduction in member benefits, due to the AFM-EPF's "critical and declining" status – meaning the fund is projected to run out of money in 20 years. The AFM represents 80,000 professionals in the United States and Canada who play in symphony orchestras and opera houses, on Broadway, in film and television, and on studio recordings.

On Thursday, prosecutors in Cook County, Ill., filed 11 more felony charges of sexual assault and sexual abuse against R&B singer R. Kelly. They include four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against an alleged victim between the ages of 13 and 16.

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Beastie Boys' early career brought many highs and lows, as the band transformed itself from a bruising hardcore upstart

This month in Tulsa, Okla., opera singer Lucia Lucas made her U.S. debut. She also made history.

At the Tulsa Opera, Lucas sang the title role in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Mozart's character is a ruthless, macho womanizer. Lucas is a transgender woman with a rich baritone voice and is the first known trans woman to sing a principal role on an American opera stage. In a conversation with NPR's Ari Shapiro, Lucas said she doesn't want her performances to be entirely defined by this historical marker.

Leon Redbone, the perpetually anachronistic, famously mysterious artist who rose to prominence as a performer on Toronto's folk circuit in the early '70s, died Thursday while in hospice care in Bucks County, Pa.

Redbone's family confirmed his death through a publicist. No cause was given, and Redbone's age was a subject of speculation for decades.

Sleater-Kinney returned just before everything changed. In 2015, nine years after a hiatus, the trio made No Cities to Love in secret.

In the summer of 1973, Carole King was at the peak of her popularity and influence. She had ushered in a new era of singer-songwriters that dominated popular music; Tapestry, which she'd dropped two years earlier, was still a top-selling album, well on its way to becoming one of the most-loved and best-selling albums of all time. King had also just released Fantasy, a thematic album recorded with a jazz-funk band, and embarked on her first-ever live concert performance outside of the United States.

At the turn of the 20th Century, millions of African Americans moved from the rural South to the country's Northern cities in search of a new beginning. That time of discovery, awakening and Renaissance came to be known as The Great Migration.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

After more than 20 years, the Rolling Stones and The Verve have resolved a sour dispute over the authorship of the song "Bitter Sweet Symphony." The Verve's frontman and co-founder, Richard Ashcroft, announced on Wednesday that the situation has finally been laid to rest.

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

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Some music is so ingrained in our collective minds that it's easy to forget how game-changing it was. In the late 1960s, a marriage of rock and folk took place and much of the popular music from that union was being made in a single place — Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.

by Richard Thompson / YouTube

Legendary guitarist Richard Thompson has composed a stunning score for a film honoring World War II fighter pilots and, to my surprise, there's not a lot of guita

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