In Your Ear: CNN's Soledad O'Brien

As part of our on-going series, In Your Ear, award-winning television journalist Soledad O'Brien tells us the songs that top her play list.

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MICHEL MARTIN, host:

Finally, it's the latest edition of the TELL ME MORE feature we call, In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests share the songs that top their personal play list.

Today, a voice that's familiar to news fans, CNN's Soledad O'Brien. She recently appeared on this program to talk about her documentary, "New Orleans Rising." But she also told us about the music that helps her boost her spirits.

(Soundbite of song, "No More Drama")

Ms. SOLEDAD OBRIEN (Journalist, CNN): My name is Soledad O'Brien and I'm a CNN and special correspondent. And every morning, literally, start every day with Mary J., listening to "No More Drama," which I force the kids to listen to as we have breakfast, because that is how our day is going to begin - no more drama in our lives.

Ms. MARY J BLIGE (Singer): (Singing) I dont know. Only God knows where the story ends for me. But I know where the story begins. Its up to us to choose whether we win or lose and I choose to win. Ohhhh...

No more pain. No more pain, no more pain, tired of crying. No more game. Tired of your playing games with my mind. No drama. No more drama in my life. No more in my life. No more, no more, no more...

(Soundbite of song, "Ego")

BEYONCE (Singer-songwriter): Hello, baby. How you doing?

Ms. OBRIEN: I always run on the treadmill to Beyonce's "Ego." There's a great line that I love that I always keep going back to: Some women were made, but me, myself, I believe I was created.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. OBRIEN: ...for a special purpose.

(Soundbite of song, "Ego")

BEYONCE: (Singing) It's on baby, let's get lost. You don't need to call into work 'cause you're the boss. For real, want you to show me how you feel. I consider myself lucky, that's a big deal. Why? Well, you got the key to my heart. But you ain't gonna need it, I'd rather you open up my body. And show me secrets, you didn't know was inside. No need for me to lie.

It's too big, it's too wide. It's too strong, it won't fit. It's too much, it's too tough. He talk like this 'cause he can back it up.

He got a big ego, such a huge ego. I love his big ego, it's too much. He walk like this 'cause he can back it up.

Ms. OBRIEN: So my kids like, it seems, every eight, nine-year-old kid in America is listening to Taylor Swift. And she's got that song "You Belong to Me," which...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. OBRIEN: ...my kids listen to, literally, nonstop - rewind, play again, go back, play again, go back, play again.

(Soundbite of song, "You Belong to Me")

Ms. TAYLOR SWIFT (Singer-songwriter): (Singing) I'm in the room, it's a typical Tuesday night. I'm listening to the kind of music she doesn't like. And she'll never know your story like I do. But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts. She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers. Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find that what you're looking for has been here the whole time.

If you could see that I'm the one who understands you. Been here all along so why can't you see? You belong with me. You belong with me.

(Soundbite of song, "American Boy")

Mr. KANE WEST (Singer-songwriter, producer, rapper): (Rapping) And you thought he was cute before. Look at this Pea Coat, tell me he's broke.

Ms. OBRIEN: You know, another we listen to in the car is Kane and Estelle, "American Boy," that's a great song. You know, he's just such a great writer and his lyrics are really clever and brilliant. Before he speaks, his suit bespoke. That's brilliant.

(Soundbite of song, "American Boy")

Mr. KANE WEST: (Rapping) ...And to the hell with all that rubbish.

ESTELLE (Singer): (Singing) Would you be my love, my love?

Ms. OBRIEN: Whats the other line in Kane? It's, who's the hottest in the UK? Everybody says U, K,. Get it?

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. OBRIEN: And I'm probably mangling poor Kane's lyrics, but I'm close. I'm really close.

(Soundbite of song, "American Boy")

ESTELLE: (Singing) American boy. Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some day.

MARTIN: That's was CNN's Soledad O'Brien telling us about the music playing in her ear. To hear her entire interview, go to the website, the TELL ME MORE page of npr.org.

And that's our program for today. Im Michel Martin and youve been listening to TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

Lets talk more tomorrow.

(Soundbite of song, "American Boy")

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