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Artist Profiles

Artist Profiles - Vocalist Rachelle Ferrell

Rachelle Ferrell is a vocalist and musician. Although she has had some success in the mainstream R&B, pop, gospel, and classical music scene, she is noted for her talents as a contemporary jazz singer.

Rachelle Ferrell, born in Berwyn, Pensylvania in May, 1964, began singing at age six, and developed a six octave range by adulthood. Ferrell describes her highest notes in "It only took a minute" as "Minnie Riperton-like wailing". She received classical training in violin and...

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The provocative title is hard to ignore, and so is the book's cover. Seen from afar, it appears to be called Why I'm No Longer Talking About Race, which is intriguing enough on its own. You have to look closer to see To White People hiding underneath it in debossed letters. It's a striking visual representation of white people's blindness to everyday, structural racism — one of the central ideas that British journalist and feminist Reni Eddo-Lodge presents in her debut collection of essays.

Louise Erdrich is, without a doubt, one of America's greatest novelists. Her genius was evident early in her career — her 1984 debut novel, Love Medicine, drew considerable critical acclaim and earned her a National Book Critics Circle Award. In the following years, she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for The Plague of Doves, and won a National Book Award for The Round House.

This essay is one in a series celebrating deserving artists or albums not included on NPR Music's list of 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women.

Browsing through a weighty new anthology called The Annotated African American Folk Tales is a journey across space and time. In one chapter called "Defiance and Desire," there's a section devoted to flying Africans, where there's a lyric that I was familiar with from a song Paul Robeson recorded many years ago — "All God's Chillun Got Wings."

If you close your eyes and listen to Joe Ide, you might think you were talking to a black man, a brother who knows his way around the neighborhood. The slang, the inflection. It's all there.

But Joe Ide is 100% Japanese-American.

And he has a simple explanation for why he sounds the way he sounds:

"Most of our friends [growing up] were black," he says.

A Colorful South LA Childhood

Ide (pronounced "EEE-day") grew up in South Los Angeles, with his extended family.

We're scattered to the winds this week, so we thought we'd dig one of our favorite episodes from last year out of the vault — the one in which we took a first look at two then-new broadcast television shows that continue to impress: This is Us on NBC, and Speechless on ABC.

Wyclef Jean doesn't get his just due. It was only after The Fugees had the world in their collective palms, and then disbanded, when we got to know his unadulterated abilities as a musician — his first solo album The Carnival was a project equal to (if not greater than) his greatest successes with The Fugees. From there, his focus shifted to discovering and producing stars, stretching all genres in his solo mission, and philanthropic work for his homeland of Haiti.

Editor's note: This story includes language that may be offensive to some readers.

Her career spans decades in film, television and theater. She has worked with the biggest names in Hollywood and on Broadway. Along the way, she has become one of them.

Jenifer Lewis' new memoir, The Mother of Black Hollywood, details her journey to the spotlight. It comes out next week. Lewis spoke with NPR's Noel King about the book and how her career began.

For more than a year, NeDina Brocks-Capla avoided one room in her large, brightly colored San Francisco house — the bathroom on the second floor.

"It was really hard to bathe in here, and I found myself not wanting to touch the walls," she explains. The bathroom is where Brocks-Capla's son Kareem Jones died in 2013 at age 36 from sickle cell disease.

It's not just the loss of her son that upsets Brocks-Capla. She believes that if Jones had gotten the proper medical care, he might still be alive today.

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Hosted by Central State University alumn Joshua I. Smith, Biz Talk focuses on how small business owners and entrepreneurs are impacted by conditions that support or detract from their effectiveness.

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A discussion on the life & musical legacy of Keith Wilder, a co-founder of the Dayton funk-based group Heatwave.

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