Sarah Handel

With nearly 30 years in show business, Kristin Chenoweth has won an Emmy and a Tony Award for both her singing and acting. In one of her most famous roles, she sang her way through Oz in a story about sisterhood — the award-winning musical Wicked. Still, Chenoweth says some people are surprised to learn that she's a singer.

"It's so funny when people come up to me and they're like, 'Oh, I didn't know you sang.' And I'm like, 'What?!,'" Chenoweth says.

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.

The new Netflix comedy Dumplin' is all about Dolly Parton. But she's not in it. And that was deliberate. Instead, Dolly did what Dolly does best — write and sing songs for the movie.

The film follows a young girl, Willowdean (Danielle Macdonald), who lacks confidence, but after being inspired by Parton's music, participates in a beauty pageant in Clover City, Tx., despite her mom's objections. That mom is played by Jennifer Aniston, who also co-produced the film and helped get Parton on board.

Maya Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., has made her name in music melding pop and hip-hop with bold visual art and political commentary. In the process, she's crafted a successful career with early 2000s hits like "Bucky Done Gun," and "Paper Planes."

For the past several years, Beth Ditto was known as the dynamic frontwoman of the dance-punk band Gossip. She established herself as a singer with a helluva voice who embraced being queer, feminist and fat.

#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom share pieces that have kept them reading. They share tidbits using the #NPRreads hashtag — and on Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four reads.

From NPR's Washington correspondent Don Gonyea:

It's only rock and roll.