WCSU

Sidney Madden

Janet Jackson knows exactly what she's doing. After finishing a summer of festival stops, the musical trendsetter has teamed up with Daddy Yankee for a new single to remind us all to take advantage of every last drop of summer fun imaginable.

Just the mention of Aretha Franklin's name conjures up the memory of her undeniable voice. And with a career spanning more than five decades, touching gospel, R&B and pop, Franklin has earned her place in the history books and in the hearts of music fans.

Though the Detroit-raised powerhouse is known for chart-topping hits like "Respect," "Think" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," true fans know there's just as much beauty in the Franklin songs with a couple of fewer spins in the jukebox.

At the start of the summer, BJ The Chicago Kid gave fans the three-track project as a short-and-sweet sampler of what to expect on his upcoming sophomore major label album. Today, the In My Mind-crooner unveils a short film to string the story of his latest three songs together with an NPR Music premiere.

"KeKe, do you love me? Are you riding?"

Success is relative. And for Berhana, the gluttonous trappings of music success don't actually make you happy once you get them. The Atlanta upstart premieres the song and music video for "Wildin'" on NPR Music, a divergent stance on defining your accomplishments by the industry's standards.

"There's a lot of things around success that can distract you and you forget what it is you're even doing this for," the singer says. "All this stuff around you kind of means nothing."

Before Khalid performed "Location," his debut single that's now four-times platinum, at the Tiny Desk, he told the audience the story of how he wrote the track during his senior year of high school not knowing where music would take him. (FYI: He graduated in the Class of 2016.

Happy hours with your crew that last until first light. Summer Fridays observed on Tuesdays. Staggered text threads with unsaved numbers. Fizzy, incessantly-sugared libations. Awkward tan lines in the name of an intricate beach slay. BYOB house parties (and sappy, inconsequential flirtations at said parties). Dance-offs at open-air bars. Egregious swipe-rights in the name of carpe diem. And wine. So much wine.

Just as Coachella Music and Arts Festival sets the bar for every other American music festival of the summer, Beyoncé recurringly sets the bar for every other performer.

A year after postponing her headlining set in 2017 due to pregnancy, Beyoncé treated her return to the stage like a family reunion, homecoming pep rally and a Beyhive-unifying rebel yell before heading into battle.

To start off her two-hour show, Queen Bey evoked the spirit of another member of black royalty, Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, appearing in a custom Balmain gold-crusted cape and headdress.

The Weeknd has (at least partially) returned to his dark side.

On My Dear Melancholy, the Toronto-hailing singer drudges up a heartbreak and attempts to drown it in modulated piano, muffled sirens and foggy synths. As its title implies — note that comma — the songs play out as maudlin 'memos to self' to keep track of all the things he'd wished he said before their downfall.

"This is your final warning / You know I give you life / If you try this s*** again / You gon' lose your wife." — Beyoncé, "Don't Hurt Yourself."

"Look, I apologize, often womanize / Took for my child to be born / See through a woman's eyes / Took for these natural twins to believe in miracles." — Jay-Z, "4:44"

Craig Mack, the rapper best known for the classic '90s single "Flava In Ya Ear," has died. Richard Harvey of the Colleton County Coroner's office confirmed to NPR Music that Mack died in his home near Walterboro, S.C., around 9 p.m. on March 12, of natural causes. He was 47.

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