Musicians

Austin Butler as Elvis in the new biopic

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Baz Luhrmann's 'Elvis'

The new film dramatizes the life and legend of Elvis Presley from the perspective of his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker

Kalush Orchestra smashed records in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Good News

A Ukrainian Band Just Won the World's Most Popular Song Competition

Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” is a tribute to the frontman’s mother—and the group’s embattled motherland

This watercolor portrayed what became the third-act curtain of the musical On the Town.

Broadway Artistry Wasn't Just in the Stars—It Lives on Through Production Design

A new exhibition pays homage to the art of mid-century costumes, sets and more

Shania Twain performs during the Zurich Film Festival in September 2021. 

What Do Pop Stars Have That One-Hit Wonders Don't

A new study finds that artists who had creative portfolios before an initial hit were more likely to continue creating hits

Nick Bergh handles a damaged wax cylinder, which the Endpoint Machine will be able to read without risk of further damage.

Good News

A Library's Mysterious Trove of Wax Cylinders Will Soon Break Its Century-Long Silence

The recordings may include mundane conversations—and some of opera’s most legendary singers

The FORMAT festival will be held on 250 acres of open green land just a few miles outside of Bentonville, Arkansas.

Walmart Heirs Launch New Music Festival in Bid to Make Arkansas an Art Destination

FORMAT will bring big-name musicians, contemporary artists to Bentonville

George Harrison's childhood home near Liverpool, England, is now available for short-term rentals and tours.

George Harrison's Childhood Home—an Early Beatles Rehearsal Venue—Is Now a Vacation Rental

The guitarist lived in the three-bedroom Liverpool home as a child and teenager

Singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn was applauded—and sometimes banned—for her daring songs about women's lives. 

Country Legend Loretta Lynn Braved Controversy to Tell the Truth About Women's Experiences

On her 90th birthday, the self-taught singer-songwriter is donating personal items to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

A western-style performance outfit worn by Patsy Cline and sewed by her mother. The suit features record-shaped patches stitched with the titles of some of Cline's records.


 

Women Who Shaped History

When Patsy Cline Broke Through as a Country Music Phenom

The recording star sported a homemade suit as spectacular as her voice

An intercontinental ballistic missile takes flight from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in 2002. In 1962, the United States would confront the Soviet Union on its missile stockpiles in Cuba, edging the two nations to the brink of nuclear war.

History of Now

'Do You Hear What I Hear?' Conjures Images of Peace Everywhere—and Nuclear Annihilation

Composed at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the classic Christmas song contains another message—one of unity

Singer-songwriter and visual artist Solange has launched a free library of rare works by Black authors, available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis.

Singer and Artist Solange Debuts Free Library of Rare Books by Black Authors

Readers in the U.S. can borrow 50 titles, including collections of poems by Gwendolyn Brooks and Langston Hughes and a sci-fi novel by Octavia Butler

Breakup albums take listeners through the stages of a breakup much like the stages of grief—denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The Heart-Wrenching History of the Breakup Album

From Joni Mitchell's 'Blue' to Olivia Rodrigo's 'Sour,' love and loss has an ever evolving soundtrack

A flag in New York City's Times Square marks MTV's 40th birthday.

At 40, MTV Is Officially Over the Hill

Born in 1981, the network soon grew to include reality TV and the VMAs. But nothing compares to its glory days of 24/7 music videos

Buildings in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, pictured here, sustained damage when Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday.

Hurricane Ida Destroys New Orleans Jazz Landmark Dubbed Louis Armstrong's 'Second Home'

The historic Karnofsky Tailor Shop and Residence collapsed on Sunday after water pooled on its roof

The Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop and Rap tracks the evolution of the genre from its music to its culture and to its people. "Everything that is part of hip-hop," says the Smithsonian's Dwandalyn Reece, curator of music and performing arts.

Chronicling Hip-Hop's 45-Year Ascendance as a Musical, Cultural and Social Phenom

The groundbreaking box set "Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap" features 129 tracks, liner notes and an illustrated 300-page compendium

The worn hands and nubby fingernails of Bentonia, Mississippi, bluesman Jimmy "Duck" Holmes reflect his years of experience. Holmes is one of the last bluesmen who play a style known as Bentonia blues.

At an Old Juke Joint in Mississippi, the Blues Are Alive

Jimmy Holmes is the last in a line of music legends as he seeks to keep a singular American art form thriving

The Ifesowapo dùndún ensemble performing in Igbo Ora, southwest Nigeria

How Does the West African Talking Drum Accurately Mimic Human Speech?

A new study explores how the dùndún replicates tones and patterns of the Yorùbá language

B.B. King is among the performers featured in the documentary Summer of Soul.

The Story Behind the Harlem Cultural Festival Featured in 'Summer of Soul'

Jesse Jackson, Nina Simone, B.B. King and 100,000 spectators gathered for a concert worth remembering

Here are 12 of the rarest doo-wop records ever made. “Can’t Help Loving That Girl of Mine” (1954) by Philadelphia’s 
Hide-A-Ways is, Shively says, the “holy grail of vocal group
collecting.”

A Peek Inside the World's Greatest Record Store

A lovable grouch, obsessed with the magic of American sidewalk harmony, runs the Philadelphia shop

The painting is one of 47 in the pop star's D Heads series.

Cool Finds

David Bowie Painting Purchased at Landfill for $4 Expected to Fetch Thousands

The rock star created the semi-abstract portrait—up for auction through June 24—in 1997

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