Anika Noni Rose Gets 'Hype' To 'Radioactive'

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Anika Noni Rose was nominated for a Tony Award this year for her performance in A Rasin in the Sun. For Tell Me More's series 'In Your Ear' she shares the music that helps keep her fit and focused.


And finally today, it's time for the regular feature we call, In Your Ear. That's where we invite some of our guests to tell us about the top songs in their playlist. Actress Anika Noni Rose is both on Broadway and on the big screen right now. She's currently starring in "Half Of A Yellow Sun," which was filmed in Nigeria and South Africa. And she's one of the stars of the Tony-winning Broadway revival of "A Raisin In The Sun." When we caught up with her recently, she also talked about the music that lifts her spirits.

ANIKA NONI ROSE: Hi, I'm Anika Noni Rose and here's what's playing in my ear.


IMAGINE DRAGONS: (Singing) I'm waking up to ash and dust. I wipe my brow and I sweat my rust. I'm breathing in the chemicals.

ROSE: I am listening to Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" with Kendrick Lamar. I love it because it's hype. And when you're getting ready to do your workout, if you're on that treadmill, if you need a song to get you moving, I promise this is the one. And Kendrick Lamar is ridiculous on the song.


KENDRICK LAMAR: (Singing) Tell me you love me, tell me that I don't give a [bleep] and can barely decide. Wishing good luck on my enemies, all of my energy go to the almighty God. I could drown in a bottle of Hennessy - [bleep] your amenities. I'm getting better with time. Ah.

IMAGINE DRAGONS: (Singing) I'm waking up. I feel it in my bones, enough to make my systems blow. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Welcome to the new age, to the new age. Whoa, whoa, I'm radioactive, radioactive.

ROSE: Ledisi has a new album out, which is pretty phenomenal.


LEDISI: (Singing) People keep asking about this glow I seem to have, 'cause I'm just not the same. They say I'm walking different, talking different, looks like all of me has changed.

ROSE: What a lot of people don't know about Ledisi is that she is an amazing jazz singer. And she's had this success as an R&B singer. But people don't even hear the half of what this woman does with her voice. She's an amazing scatter.


LEDISI: (Scatting).

ROSE: If you ever see her live, she's a storyteller. Her voice is absolutely phenomenal. And she's also somebody that I also like as a person. So I have her new album, which is very exciting.


ROSE: I've been listening to a lot of Ray Charles. I love Ray Charles. I love - I love old soul. And "What I'd Say" is what my favorite songs.


RAY CHARLES: (Singing) Hey, mama, don't you treat me wrong. Come and love your daddy all night long. All right, now. Hey, hey, all right.

ROSE: And I love it. I guess I'm listening to a lot of things that make me very happy right now.


CHARLES: (Singing) Tell me what I'd say. Tell me what I'd say right now. Tell me what I'd say. Tell me what I'd say, yeah.

MARTIN: That was actress Anika Noni Rose telling us what's playing in her ears. To hear our previous conversation with her, just head to, click on the programs tab and go to TELL ME MORE.


CHARLES: (Singing) And I want to know, said I want to know, yeah.

MARTIN: And that's our program for today. I'm Michel Martin and you've been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's talk more tomorrow.

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