Mavis Staples

The Recording Academy announced its 2021 Grammy nominations on Tuesday, with Beyonce, rising pop star Dua Lipa and stoner superstar Post Malone leading a diffuse field.

Beyonce features on two songs in the record of the year category, which essentially rewards the year's best single: the remix of Megan Thee Stallion's "Savage" and her own "Black Parade." The latter was also nominated for song of the year, which is awarded to the winner's songwriters.

All around the country, NPR member stations are not only a vital source of news but music, arts and culture, too. We are grateful that music stations never stopped providing their unique blend of programming for listeners during this ongoing pandemic. They also provided critical support for their local music economies.

We usually ask our stations to pick songs that are in heavy rotation on their broadcast logs for this series. But given that we're halfway through 2020, we wanted to know our station's favorite songs of the year so far.

To celebrate the end of 2019, we are publishing a special edition of Heavy Rotation – our popular, monthly series that features songs public radio can't stop playing. This list of songs is ranked in order, using spin counts compiled from our various member stations across the country. Here are the most popular thirty songs from another music-filled year in public radio.

Our shortlist of the best albums out this week includes a stirring call for social justice from soul and gospel legend Mavis Staples, rapper YG's powerful remembrance of Nipsey Hussle and the first new release in six years from lo-fi rock veterans Sebadoh. Host Robin Hilton is joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers, Sidney Madden and Stephen Thompson as they share their picks for the most essential albums dropping on May 24.

Featured Albums:

  1. Mavis Staples: We Get By
    Featured Song: "Sometime"

As winter departs and springtime begins, Heavy Rotation returns to spotlight a collection of songs by fresh artists, selected by public radio DJs across the country.

This month on Heavy Rotation, hear SOAK's disco-ball beat that won't quit, Faye Webster's vacation breeze of a song that explores the many facets of feeling alone, a raspy battle cry from Mavis Staples and a live SXSW session from BAILEN, best heard down by the creekside and out in the awakened sun.

This is Sample Size, our weekly new music feature with KOSU's Ryan LaCroix and LOOKatOKC music critic Matt Carney.

Today, Matt brings us new tunes by Los Campesinos!, Jay Som, and Benjamin Booker featuring Mavis Staples!