Monika Evstatieva

The rock band Luxury started out like many other punk and indie bands in the 1990s, as college kids just looking for other people to make music with. Less common was their cultural context: They hailed from the small Georgia town of Toccoa, in a solidly evangelical milieu, and while the members were Christians they often found the venues and retailers of that community didn't quite know what to do with their brash lyrics and stage presence.

More than six decades into a trail-blazing career in music, and recently named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts, Abdullah Ibrahim shows no signs of slowing down. The legendary jazz pianist, composer and anti-Apartheid activist — Nelson Mandela called him the "Mozart of South Africa" — has released his latest album called The Balance and says he's already busy working on the next one.

Material Girl. Veronica Electronica. The Queen of Pop. Madonna has taken on many names and personas over the course of her career. Now, with the release of her 14th studio album on June 14, the pop icon dons yet another. This alter-ego shares her name with the record's title: Madame X.

For Mother's Day this year, indie rock star Lucy Dacus did better than sending flowers or a card.

Baloji is an artist who finds strength in his roots but freedom in between genres. He was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but has lived in Belgium most of his life. The rapper is a well-known name in Belgium and France. He's received music honors for his work, but his life has been a journey of struggle and perseverance.

Jackson Stell began his music career making hip-hop beats. As a producer, he had gone by J Beatz. Then some years ago, he felt stuck and had a change of heart. He decided to make a different type of music and he decided he would try his hand at singing on his tracks. Now, this beatsmith-turned-vocalist is known as Big Wild and says singing and writing lyrics enabled him to make music that feels true to himself.

Son of a Dublin blues drummer and a visual artist, Andrew Hozier-Byrne was launched into international stardom in his early 20s with the 2013 hit "Take Me To Church." What followed was a self-titled debut album, sold out world tours, a Grammy nomination and an ever-growing fan base.

South African author, actor and musician Nakhane creates art that reveals. He came out with his first album, Brave Confusion, in 2013, and now he's back with a powerful testimony of trial and redemption set to the sounds of electronic dance music from his home country. The 30-year-old singer addresses the intersectionality of queerness, blackness and survival in his latest album, You Will Not Die.

Before sunrise and illuminated by lantern light, the faithful gathered to pray, as they have many times before, at La Lomita chapel in Mission, Texas.

The chapel is made of simple white adobe, and Roy Rogers' song "Blue Shadows On The Trail" plays from a battery-operated radio in the chilly pre-dawn gloom as Rev. Roy Snipes makes his way down the aisle to preside over the Mass.

In 2018, Afghanistan bled. Violence claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 civilians between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, the highest number in that same period since 2014. The death toll of Afghan security forces — which some estimates put at more than 9,000 this year, between 25 and 30 deaths a day — has been called "unsustainable" by the U.S. military.

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