Phil Spector, who died on Saturday at the age of 81, has long been hailed as one of pop music's most influential producers, the man who created the wall of sound and gave us songs like "He's a Rebel," "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Be My Baby." As an African American woman who loves listening to these rock and roll classics, I usually find myself focusing on the voices of the African American women who collaborated with Spector on these and other iconic recordings and

Updated Jan. 21 at 1 p.m. ET.

It can be hard to keep pace with life's restless forward motion – chores and news, friends and family, work and play. At the very least, let us help you find some new music via Press Pause, a regularly updated playlist keeping track of new songs deemed absolutely essential by the NPR Music staff.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will make history during Wednesday's inauguration: Biden will become the oldest president in American history, while Harris will be the first Black woman and the first Asian American to hold the office of vice president.

Musicians from all genres plan to greet the Biden-Harris administration, with performances from Jennifer Lopez, Earth, Wind & Fire, John Legend and more. The complete list of performances is below.

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It's going to be an uncommon Inauguration Day. That much we know for sure. One tradition they are keeping, though, is there will be entertainment.


Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Demi Lovato and these fellas...

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Jason Zgonc, a seventh-grader in Georgia, got a lot of things done this summer.



The Morning Edition Song Project, where we ask musicians to write an original song about the COVID era, continues today with Lila Downs. The artist grew up splitting her time between Minnesota and Oaxaca, Mexico, and says that she always felt pulled between three different cultures — Indigenous Mixtec, Mexican national and American. So when she agreed to contribute to the series, her tricultural identity played a role.

Updated at 2:30 a.m. ET

President Trump pardoned Steve Bannon, his former chief strategist who was indicted over allegedly defrauding hundreds of thousands of people in an online campaign to raise funds for a southern border wall — one of dozens of acts of clemency in the final hours of his administration.

The lengthy list of 73 pardons and 70 commutations landed after midnight. Trump left the White House for the last time Wednesday morning, skipping the inaugural ceremonies of his successor, President-elect Joe Biden.

Oklahoma country music star Garth Brooks will perform at the swearing-in ceremony Wednesday for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez will also perform at the ceremony.

Brooks, who identifies as a Republican, said in a Monday press conference that it's an honor to serve the country in his own way.

"This is a great day in our household," said Brooks. "This is not a political statement - this is a statement of unity."

Here's the newest music being played on The Spy for January 19th. This week includes Duran Duran's cover of "Five Years" originally by David Bowie, a taste of UK punk band shame's second studio album, The Avalanches newest project full of features from artists like MGMT and Johnny Marr.

Just as soon as you think you have a frame of reference for Palberta's sound, it swerves into an entirely new direction. The group's idiosyncratic punk draws comparisons to Captain Beefheart and The Raincoats while taking notions from contemporary art-rock bands like Mothers and Palm. But ultimately, Palberta sounds like its three members — Ani Ivry-Block, Lily Konigsberg and Nina Ryser — and their years of working together to craft an utterly unique chemistry with one another.