Contestant Creighton Fraker performs on the first week of American Idol's semifinals week.
February 29, 2012 As American Idol enters its semi-final phase, we reflect on the endless options, from Internet to contestants on televised singing competitions, that divide our attention so effectively that real connections can feel impossible to make.
It's like a charm school talent show out there on this season of American Idol, but Jen Hirsh is showing signs of personality.
February 24, 2012 American Idol's Judgment Week narrows down the field of contestants to 25, and illuminates the problem with the show's female contestants.
Chris Brown and Rihanna in the audience at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles.
February 22, 2012 The singer's remix featuring Chris Brown presents a moral quandary for fans and music writers.
Britnee Kellogg (left) and Courtney Williams react to the judges verdict during American Idol's Las Vegas round.
February 17, 2012 The show's most brutal week is a metaphor for the dilemma facing aspiring pop stars: there is no glory without sacrifice. But why can't the show find some middle ground?
The improbable pair of country star Taylor Swift and rapper Nicki Minaj sitting together at the Staples Center Sunday night.
February 13, 2012 The show's neck-breaking variety kept those on social media engaged, excited and frequently enraged.
Sinead O'Connor's new album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? comes out March 5.
Courtesy of the artist
February 12, 2012 A disordered personal life, vociferous views on politics and religion and eyebrow-raising genre experiments have turned O'Connor into a side note for many pop fans. But with the release of her 9th album, it's time for everyone to remember how compelling she can be.
Whitney Houston performs in 1988.
David Corio/Getty Images
February 11, 2012 Ann Powers on one of the world's biggest singers, who died at age 48 Saturday afternoon.
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Jamar Rogers performs the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" on Monday night's episode of The Voice.
February 10, 2012 Call it drama in real life — where Fox's long-running show offers rags-to-riches fantasy, NBC's singing contest doesn't shy away from the hard work that goes into the dream of pop stardom.
Mumford & Sons.
Courtesy of Billions
February 9, 2012 The band's performance during last year's Grammy Awards show gave the song a second life.
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Bon Iver in Fall Creek, Wisc., August 2010.
D.L. Anderson/Courtesy of Shore Fire Media
February 8, 2012 The critically-acclaimed band's lead singer is literally the Grammys' poster boy.
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Kanye West's "All Of The Lights" is one of the five nominees for Song of the Year at the 2012 Grammy Awards.
Chris Hyde/Getty Images
February 7, 2012 Kanye West's sole nomination in a major category for his album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy comes in the songwriting category.
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Madonna (center), flanked by Nicki Minaj and M.I.A., during a performance of her new single "Give Me All Your Luvin'" during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show in Indianapolis.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images
February 6, 2012 As she showed last night at the Superbowl, for the last decade, the Material Girl has been writing her own legacy through collaborations with younger stars, and in doing so, she has helped to map the contemporary pop landscape.
Andreas Laszlo Konrath/Courtesy of the artist
February 6, 2012 The Grammys reward industry insiders, and Mars is no stranger to the business.
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Randy Jackson, Ryan Seacrest, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at the Tonight Show's studios last month.
Kevin Winter/NBCUniversal/Getty Images
February 3, 2012 The show is effecting established artists' careers just as much as it's birthing new ones.
Lana Del Rey.
Nicole Nodland/Courtesy of Universal Music Group
January 30, 2012 Like other controversial musicians in the past year, the singer-songwriter hit an already partially exposed common nerve and set off a mass discussion about issues that go far beyond her product.
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