NPR Music

Phil Spector, who died on Saturday at the age of 81, has long been hailed as one of pop music's most influential producers, the man who created the wall of sound and gave us songs like "He's a Rebel," "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Be My Baby." As an African American woman who loves listening to these rock and roll classics, I usually find myself focusing on the voices of the African American women who collaborated with Spector on these and other iconic recordings and

Updated Jan. 22 at 2:26 p.m. ET.

It can be hard to keep pace with life's restless forward motion – chores and news, friends and family, work and play. At the very least, let us help you find some new music via Press Pause, a regularly updated playlist keeping track of new songs deemed absolutely essential by the NPR Music staff.

Thistle & Shamrock: Wintersong

Jan 21, 2021

Monochrome landscapes, wild weather, long dark nights — they all find their way into music of the season. But don't worry! The warm glow of our music lights even the darkest corners of winter on Thistle as Fiona Ritchie curates an hour of Wintersong. Artists include Maddy Prior, Atwater Donelly and Kim Robertson.

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will make history during Wednesday's inauguration: Biden will become the oldest president in American history, while Harris will be the first Black woman and the first Asian American to hold the office of vice president.

Musicians from all genres plan to greet the Biden-Harris administration, with performances from Jennifer Lopez, Earth, Wind & Fire, John Legend and more. The complete list of performances is below.

The Morning Edition Song Project, where we ask musicians to write an original song about the COVID era, continues today with Lila Downs. The artist grew up splitting her time between Minnesota and Oaxaca, Mexico, and says that she always felt pulled between three different cultures — Indigenous Mixtec, Mexican national and American. So when she agreed to contribute to the series, her tricultural identity played a role.

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET

President Trump pardoned Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist who was indicted over allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of people in an online campaign to raise funds for a southern border wall — one of dozens of acts of clemency in the final hours of his administration.

The lengthy list of 73 pardons and 70 commutations landed after midnight. Trump left the White House for the last time Wednesday morning, skipping the inaugural ceremonies of his successor, President-elect Joe Biden.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

When Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was on the campaign trail in 2019, she loved entering events with the energy of a drum line.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRUM LINE DRUMMING)

Copyright 2021 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Every January, I attend globalFEST at a New York City nightclub and see some of the most fantastic music I'll experience all year. Now, given the pandemic's challenges and the hardening of international borders, NPR Music and globalFEST moved the 2021 edition from the nightclub to your screen of choice and shared the festival with the world. We called it Tiny Desk Meets globalFEST.

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