Ann Powers Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.
Ann Powers
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Ann Powers

Ann Powers
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Ann Powers

Critic and Correspondent, NPR Music

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.

One of the nation's most notable music critics, Powers has been writing for The Record, NPR's blog about finding, making, buying, sharing and talking about music, since April 2011.

Powers served as chief pop music critic at the Los Angeles Times from 2006 until she joined NPR. Prior to the Los Angeles Times, she was senior critic at Blender and senior curator at Experience Music Project. From 1997 to 2001 Powers was a pop critic at The New York Times and before that worked as a senior editor at the Village Voice. Powers began her career working as an editor and columnist at San Francisco Weekly.

Her writing extends beyond blogs, magazines and newspapers. Powers co-wrote Tori Amos: Piece By Piece, with Amos, which was published in 2005. In 1999, Power's book Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America was published. She was the editor, with Evelyn McDonnell, of the 1995 book Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Rap, and Pop and the editor of Best Music Writing 2010.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University, Powers went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of California.

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The hip-hop producer, Knxwledge. His latest project, 1988, is on our shortlist of the best new albums out on March 27. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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J Balvin. His euphoric new album, Colores tops our list of the week's best new releases. @theograph/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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New Music Friday: The Top 7 Albums Out On March 20

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Big Freedia. Her latest, Louder, is on our list of the best new releases out on March 13. Noam Galai/Getty Images hide caption

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New Music Friday: The Top Ten Albums Out On March 13

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Roberta Flack in 1975. Flack's impact as a performer in the pop music space in the 1970s was sudden and massive. Over the next four decades, Flack built a legacy on a quiet belief in limitlessness. David Redfern/Getty Images hide caption

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Singer Frazey Ford. Her latest full-length, U Kin Be the Sun, is on our shortlist for the week's best new releases. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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New Music Friday: Our Top 10 Albums Out Feb. 7

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The singer and guitarist Torres. Her latest full-length, Silver Tongue, is on our shortlist of the best new albums out Jan. 31. Michael Lavine/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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New Music Friday: Our Top 10 Albums Out On Jan. 31

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Four of the most-nominated artists at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards — (from left to right) Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Lil Nas X, and Finneas O'Connell — pose in the audience during the broadcast. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for The Recording Academy hide caption

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The late rapper Mac Miller. His posthumous release, Circles, is on our shortlist for the best new albums out on Jan. 17. Christian Weber/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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New Music Friday: Our Top 9 Albums Out On Jan. 17

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After hit song "At Seventeen," singer-songwriter Janis Ian stepped away from her musical success for over 10 years, which is why Ann Powers thinks she's a bit forgotten. Shawn Baldwin/AP hide caption

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Janis Ian Was More Than Just A Teenager

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Rihanna performs with Pharrell Williams at her fifth annual Diamond Ball on Sept. 12, 2019. This January marks four years since her last full-length release. Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images hide caption

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From Dixie Chicks To Rihanna: Our Music Predictions For 2020

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Jamila Woods' 2019 album LEGACY! LEGACY! was made up of songs that draw inspiration from earlier artists. Her songs were among many this year that sent NPR Music's critic Ann Powers seeking out historical partners. Bradley Murray/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Billie Eilish performing in Austin, Texas in October. Eilish, who will turn 18 in December, broke through in 2019 with songs that embody the demons of her time, but with confidence and a healing sense of humor. Gary Miller/Getty Images hide caption

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