NPR Music

Long-term pop fandom can manifest as an unappeasable hunger. Not only do we rely on our favorite musicians to help us relive the memories their songs alone can summon, we also ask that they give us more and more, as if ever-renewing presence on our personal soundtracks could lend coherence to our lives.

Growing up in New York City in the 1960s, musician Lenny Kravitz didn't spend much time thinking about being biracial. The only son of an interracial couple, he says, "I knew that my mother's skin tone was what it was and I knew that my father's skin tone was what it was. ... I thought nothing of it."

But things changed when he reached first grade: "My parents were the only ones that didn't match," he says. "And this kid jumped out and pointed his finger and said, 'Your father's white and your mother's Black!' "

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.

The Supreme Court has declined to hear a case alleging that the band Led Zeppelin plagiarized the opening of one of its signature songs, "Stairway to Heaven." This upholds a previous March ruling that landed in favor of Zeppelin, and possibly ends a legal battle that has gone on since 2014.

Linda Diaz is the winner of the 2020 Tiny Desk Contest. Due to the pandemic, we're not currently filming Tiny Desks at NPR headquarters, so we brought Diaz and her band to the top of New York City's Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and produced a socially-distanced concert in front of the city's skyline. Here's the story of how this concert came together, in her own words.

The podcast Song Exploder lets your favorite musicians tell you how they made your favorite songs. Now, host Hrishikesh Hirway is showing you that story, via a new version of the show adapted for Netflix. Each episode starts at the beginning — the very first moment of inspiration. Then we get to see each layer: the percussion, the bass line, the lyrics.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, you might know our next guest as a member of the '90s supergroup the Spice Girls.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WANNABE")

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Megan Thee Stallion used her performance on Saturday Night Live's season premiere to c

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

No, you haven't landed in heaven. You're listening to the Celtic harp of Maeve Gilchrist.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Linda Ronstadt — the chart-topping, Grammy- and Emmy-winning Rock & Roll Hall of Famer — is due to be honored again this week. This time, she'll receive a Hispanic Heritage Award, in recognition both of her pop music and her smash-hit mariachi albums. Ahead of the virtual ceremony, which will be broadcast by PBS on Oct. 6, she joined NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro to talk about the role of her Mexican-American identity in her career and what music she's been listening to lately.

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