Nas performs his classic 1994 album, Illmatic, on stage at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas during the 2012 SXSW music conference. Heather Kennedy/WireImage/Getty Images hide caption

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Bruce Springsteen and the retooled E Street Band ripped through a nearly three-hour "secret" concert at the Moody Theater, the new home of Austin City Limits, during SXSW. Ever the showman, Springsteen crowd-surfed. Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW hide caption

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The Record

Ann Powers From The Streets Of Austin

Our critic is down at the SXSW music convention, trying to take in as much of the action as she can.

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"Human expression is not confined to guitars." In his keynote address at SXSW Bruce Springsteen spoke of his love for pop of all flavors. Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW hide caption

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Sinead O'Connor's new album, How About I Be Me (And You Be You)? comes out March 5. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Whitney Houston performs in 1988. David Corio/Getty Images hide caption

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The Record

Whitney Houston: Her Life Played Out Like An Opera

Ann Powers on one of the world's biggest singers, who died at age 48 Saturday afternoon.

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Mumford & Sons. Courtesy of Billions hide caption

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The Record

Get To Know The Song Of The Year Nominees: Mumford And Sons' 'The Cave'

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 hide caption

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The Record

Get To Know The Song Of The Year Nominees: Bon Iver, 'Holocene'

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 hide caption

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The Record

Get To Know The Song Of The Year Nominees: Kanye West, 'All Of The Lights'

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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