Joe Smith poses with Rod Stewart, circa 1974. The former record executive conducted informal interviews with dozens of musicians in the mid-1980s. Jeff Smith hide caption

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Dolly Parton, known as "The Queen of Country Music," has won eight Grammys and sold more than 100 million records. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images hide caption

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Meshell Ndegeocello says she hopes her new album, a tribute to Nina Simone, revives interest in the work and life of the late artist. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music Articles

Meshell Ndegeocello Honors Simone's 'Sovereign Soul'

The singer and bassist performs a legend's songs on her latest album, Pour Une Âme Souveraine: A Dedication to Nina Simone.

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Dutch composer Michel van der Aa, winner of the 2013 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Marco Borggreve/courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Martha Wainwright's newest album, Come Home to Mama, was inspired by the death of her mother and birth of her son, which happened about two months apart. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music Articles

Martha Wainwright On New Motherhood, And A Mother Lost

Wainwright's newest album, Come Home to Mama, was largely inspired by two big changes in her family — a birth and a death.

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Alicia Keys' latest album is called Girl on Fire. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Music Articles

Alicia Keys: How A 'Girl On Fire' Keeps From Burning Out

Now married and a mother, the Grammy-winning songwriter says she's more aware than ever of the habits that allow her to stay productive.

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Piney Gir grew to love performing after getting solos in the choir at church. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Paloma Faith's newest album is called Fall to Grace. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Songwriter Paloma Faith's 'Fall To Grace'

The half-Spanish, half-English musician is known for her eclectic style — quite possibly a result of her time working as a magician's assistant and burlesque dancer.

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Composer Max Richter's new album takes on Vivaldi's Four Seasons. Erik Weiss/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Red Baraat performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Feb. 3, 2012. John Rose/John Rose/NPR hide caption

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As a young classical composer, Missy Mazzoli borrows music and business strategies from the indie rock world. Stephen Taylor hide caption

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An autographed portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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