Music

Reggie Ossé, better known to the hip-hop world as podcast host Combat Jack, has passed away from colon cancer. Chris Morrow, Ossé's friend and his co-founder of Loud Speaker Networks, confirmed his death, telling NPR that he died this morning at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in New York. Ossé was 53 years old.

Curtis Harding joins us for a session of soul music. He is from Atlanta, where his career has been developing. Harding released his first album Soul Power in 2014, which helped earn him a fan base in Europe; it was heard by the producer Danger Mouse, who signed on to produce Curtis' new one, Face Your Fear.

Chance the Rapper and Jeremih have teamed up for the second year in a row to drop a holiday-themed mixtape for the masses. After weeks of teasing fans online with the prospect of new music, Chance and Jeremih premiered Merry Christmas Lil' Mama: Re-Wrapped on Chicago's Power 92.3 earlier today.

Finals week brought a rude surprise to students and staff at the McNally Smith College of Music in Minnesota, as the school announced it was closing abruptly — and that it wouldn't be able to meet its last payroll. Some students graduated Saturday; others are frantically looking for options.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its shortlist of original scores for the 2018 Oscars — and it is not short. There are 141 works being considered for the final five spots, including many of Hollywood's usual suspects.

Collaboration. It's at the heart of many of NPR Music's finest moments. And it's in the DNA of the intrepid Kronos Quartet, which some 40 years ago began working with composers around the globe to spotlight new music.

Opening our 10th anniversary concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C., Kronos, true to form, gave an appreciative audience both a world premiere and an extraordinary surprise collaboration.

In three-quarter profile, half-smiling at the camera over his elaborately tattooed shoulder, New Orleans trumpeter Irvin Mayfield, Jr. appeared on the cover of the April 2015 issue of the venerable Louisiana music monthly Offbeat.

A DJ is reportedly dead after the collapse of a stage during the Atmosphere dance music festival in Esteio, Brazil yesterday afternoon. Video footage of the collapse (embedded below) shows a harrowing scene of wind gusts and looming storm clouds just before the stage's scaffolding begins to disassemble.

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday that he would put his team up for sale at the end of the season after the National Football League said it was opening an investigation into accusations of workplace misconduct against him.

"I believe that it is time to turn the franchise over to new ownership," Richardson, 81, said in a statement on the team's website. "Therefore, I will put the team up for sale at the end of this NFL season."

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist established their community more than 20 years ago in Ann Arbor, Mich. where music is a daily part of the Catholic nuns' lives in the Motherhouse. With the holiday season looming, the sisters joined NPR's Scott Simon for an in-studio performance and discussion of their latest album, Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring: Christmas with The Dominican Sisters of Mary.

What are the holidays without Charlie Brown?

Nowadays, the quietly elegant and celebratory recordings by pianist Vince Guaraldi have become as much a part of the holidays as the sound of unwrapping presents. And every year we are treated to at least one interpretation of that classic Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack by one of the pianists on NPR's A Jazz Piano Christmas. This year is no exception.

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Pussy Riot Plays Its First Show In America

Dec 14, 2017

Earlier this year, SoundCloud was said to be in imminent danger of collapsing under the weight of its high overhead, low revenues and poor leadership. SoundCloud first launched in 2008 out of Berlin with a concept so simple — make audio easy to share — that it had to be brilliant. And it was, particularly in the elegance of its execution; clean, easily postable widgets that could be placed anywhere on the web and easy uploads with clever software integrations for artists.

When it comes to maligning the news media, Morrissey has few peers. As he sings in "Spent The Day In Bed," a song from his most recent album Low In High School: "I recommend that you stop / watching the news / because the news contrives to frighten you / to make you feel small and alone / to make you feel that your mind isn't your own."

Nina Simone, Bon Jovi, The Moody Blues, The Cars and Dire Straits — along with guitar pioneer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, with an award for early influence — have been named as next year's inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Pat DiNizio, a singer and songwriter who made popular rock songs as the leader of The Smithereens, died on Tuesday at age 62, his fellow band members say. No cause of death was provided.

It was just another sad story on the Los Angeles evening news: a homeless man in his mid-50s, found stabbed to death in a park in the San Fernando Valley, his body in a pool of blood behind the softball fields. It took several days for him to be identified as Frederick Smith, a musician known to friends, fans and colleagues as "Freak," someone who had left an indelible mark on the epochal '80s hardcore punk scene of Washington, D.C.

Women in Australia's music industry --- more than 300 of them --- have now released their own version of a united front against sexual assault. Centered around the hashtag #MeNoMore, an open letter, including anonymized stories of abuse and harassment, was published today.

Three deals of acquisitions and investments that were rumored over the past week, and that are all now confirmed, have something in common — none of them involve companies owned by major record labels. All involve technology companies or insurrectionists to entrenched industry leaders. One noted below, Tencent, holds such power in its home country that all three major labels agreed to let it broker their deals in that country.

On Nov. 6, Meek Mill, a platinum-selling rapper and Philadelphia native, was sentenced to two and four years in state prison over multiple parole violations stemming from a 2007 case. This decision was handed down by Judge Genece Brinkley, the presiding judge in Meek's case since 2009.

The legal team of the Philly rapper has, unsurprisingly, been fighting the judgments against their client every step of the way.

Meek's legal team have so far:

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