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Ernie K-Doe and his fans at the Warehouse in New Orleans in 1974.

Read The Rise, Fall And Redemption Of New Orleans' 'R&B Emperor'

December 23, 2012 – Ernie K-Doe pierced the national consciousness in 1961 with the song "Mother-in-Law."

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Seeing Purple Rain as kids instilled a lifelong love for Prince in friends Maya Rudolph and Gretchen Liberum, who co-lead the cover band Princess.

Read This Is What It Sounds Like When Two Women Cover Prince

December 22, 2012 – SNL alumna Maya Rudolph and musician Gretchen Liberum co-lead the cover band Princess.

ListenPlaylist

NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums of 2012.

Listen NPR Music's 50 Favorite Albums Of 2012

December 22, 2012 – The albums that sum up our year span genres and borders while making life better all around.

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M.I.A. rocks out in 2012.

Read NPR Music's 100 Favorite Songs Of 2012

December 22, 2012 – This is what 2012 sounded like: the songs that made us laugh and the ones that cried with us.

The Best Music Books of 2012.

Read Staff Picks: Our Favorite Music Books Of 2012

December 22, 2012 – On subjects familiar and obscure, our favorite music books brought songs to new life.

Andrew Bird performs on The Current.

Watch Andrew Bird: The Folksy Side Of An Inventive Star KCMP

December 22, 2012 – Watch the singer, songwriter and violinist play "Three White Horses" live at The Current's studios. KCMP

Dancer Fogo de Deus, who is part of the Os Kuduristas project of traveling kuduro artists.

Watch 'Kuduro,' The Dance That Keeps Angola Going

December 22, 2012 – Exuberant, fast-paced electronic dance music from southwest Africa is traveling around the world.

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Marin Alsop conducted the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in a beachfront concert Sunday for 20,000 people in Santos, Brazil.

Read Marin Alsop: A Utopian Musical Dream From South America

December 22, 2012 – The conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony is inspired by Brazil's commitment to classical music.

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The Polyphonic Spree performs a Tiny Desk Concert.

Watch The Polyphonic Spree: Tiny Desk Concert

December 21, 2012 – The sprawling group, 17 strong, squeezes behind Bob Boilen's desk for a special holiday performance.

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Spirit Family Reunion.

Listen Spirit Family Reunion On Mountain Stage

December 21, 2012 – Hear the band play rustic, Appalachia-influenced tunes on its first Mountain Stage appearance.

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Von Freeman.

Read Remembering Von Freeman, Lol Coxhill And Sean Bergin

December 21, 2012 – Critic Kevin Whitehead pays tribute to three of the great jazz saxophonists we lost in 2012.

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Cartoon by Pablo Helguera.

Read The 12 Tones Of Christmas

December 21, 2012 – Fridays are funnier with a classical cartoon at noon, from Deceptive Cadence.

Tenor Rolando Villazon: "I don't think you learn anything from blogs and reviews."

Read Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

December 21, 2012 – Revealing interviews, peacocks who talk, and support — moral and financial — for two orchestras.

Ne-Yo's newest album is called R.E.D.

Watch Ne-Yo On A Career Made Stronger By Missteps

December 23, 2012 – The singer says his transition from songwriter to performer was clumsy, but instructive.

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Robert Glasper at SXSW in March 2012.

Read The Black Arts: Making Jazz In The Mainstream

December 20, 2012 – Breakthrough records made an ongoing conversation about jazz's place in popular music more visible.

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