Noah Caldwell | WOSU Radio

Noah Caldwell

If you've turned on your radio anytime over the past quarter century, there's a decent chance you heard the voice of Sheryl Crow. From "All I Wanna Do" to "If It Makes You Happy," the Missouri-born music-maker has been consistently pumping out feel-good pop rock for more than three decades. Now, after nine Grammys and more than 50 million albums sold, the singer-songwriter says her 11th album, Threads, out Aug. 30, will be her last.

Fifty years ago this August, Miles Davis assembled a group of musicians to record the sprawling, groundbreaking album Bitches Brew. With the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Sly & the Family Stone and James Brown in his head, Davis plugged in and brought these electric rock sensibilities to jazz.

Lil Nas X has officially broken the record for the longest-running No. 1 single on Billboard's Hot 100 list thanks to his breakout hit "Old Town Road." Billboard announced on July 29 that the genre-jumping song has topped the chart for 17 straight weeks. But what's the significance of such a feat?

In 2013, a video of a marriage proposal set to Betty Who's "Somebody Loves You" went viral on YouTube. The video shows a colorfully clad group perform a coordinated, joyful dance to the pop song in the middle of a Home Depot in Salt Lake City. According to Betty Who, the Home Depot performance is one of a number of proposals and wedding dances with the same soundtrack.

Dig into the liner notes of the biggest pop records of the last 15 years and Mark Ronson's name will come up up a lot.

When Hurricane Michael struck the Panhandle of Florida last October, Keith and Susan Koppelman were huddled in the bathroom of their small, two-bedroom rental trailer just north of Panama City.

"When the winds came we both started praying," says Keith, 49. "I thought, 'Oh my God, this is a big storm.' "

After four hours, they finally emerged to survey the damage. The storm's 160-mile-per-hour winds had torn off the porch and peeled away the trailer's tin siding.

During World War II, with thousands of men shipping off to war, half a dozen all-female, instrumental big bands toured around America. It was a rarity in a musical world dominated by men and, for the most part, their stories have been erased or minimized in jazz history.

At 22 years old, Tamino possesses a voice that carries the hypnotic, immediate power of something much more ancient. Born Tamino Moharam Fouad and named after a prince in Mozart's The Magic Flute, the Belgian-Egyptian artist explores his heritage by combining his own sound with Arabic influences of his Lebanese and Egyptian ancestors. Tamino's debut album, Amir, out now, melds together the artist's eccentric vocal style with Arab musical theory.

At the northern tip of Quebec, tucked in a valley and hugging the ocean, is the Inuit community of Salluit where the singer-songwriter Elisapie grew up. At age 19, she left to settle in Montreal — a decision she's still grappling with 20 years later.

She examines her connection to the land and people of her birth, and the traumas they've endured over the last half-century, on her latest album, The Ballad of the Runaway Girl.

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Independent artists now make up nearly 40 percent of the global music industry - the highest share of the market since the early 1990s. But what exactly does it mean to be independent?

The late pop star Michael Jackson, once hailed as the King of Pop, is the focus of the new documentary Leaving Neverland, which airs this weekend on HBO. The four-hour documentary centers on two of Jackson's alleged sexual abuse victims, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. Robson and Safechuck, now both in their 30s, say that Jackson sexually abused them for years when they were as young as 7 and 10 years old. Filmmaker Dan Reed spent three years putting this documentary together.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Charles Bradley was a late bloomer. After years of working odd jobs and performing as a James Brown impersonator, in 2011, at the age of 62, Bradley released his debut album, No Time for Dreaming. The album was a triumph for the soul singer who had endured a lifetime of hardship.

As a singer, arranger, composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, it should come as no surprise that Jacob Collier comes from a profoundly musical family. His maternal grandparents were both professional violinists, his mother is an accomplished violinist and longtime instructor at the Royal Academy of Music in London and so, naturally, Collier taught himself to play every instrument he could find.

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