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Music

Robb D. Cohen / Invision/Associated Press

Piedmont Park will rock with the sounds of bombastic pop, elaborate harmonies and explosive electronica on Sept. 17 and 18.

Music Midtown, one of Atlanta's most anticipated festivals, announced its lineup Tuesday morning. Headlining the festival this year are The Killers, Beck, Twenty One Pilots and Deadmau5. The multigenre festival, which mixes upcoming pop artists with veterans of the music industry, will also feature the Alabama Shakes, indie pop band Chvrches and James Bay.

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Pop star Christina Aguilera has released a new song, "Change," following the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

The singer posted a lyric video of the song and a statement on her website on Thursday, which said that she wants to be a part of the change the world needs, to be more inclusive.

The song features lyrics about waiting for hope and change and "waiting for the day when hate is lost and love is found." The statement says proceeds from U.S. downloads through Sept. 14 will go to the National Compassion Fund to benefit the victims and their families.

Charles Sykes / Invision/Associated Press

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to a music festival in a cemetery, some old-school Atlanta rock 'n' roll and the "Weird One" himself at the Fox Theatre. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for their look at the concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

Allister Ann

After almost four years, songwriter John Paul White has new music.

“I started having these songs loop in my head that I couldn’t ignore and finally had to start writing,” White said. “But I did not set out to write songs, and I wasn’t sure if I would, and I was okay with that ... People say you are meant to do certain things, and I always laughed at that. I think a lot of it you choose, but this was an instance of I couldn’t not do it.”

Little Big Town and Pharrell Williams
Laura Roberts/Invision/AP

Little Big Town's new album of pop and dance songs produced by hitmaker Pharrell Williams grew out of a writing session fueled by Waffle House and a little Tennessee moonshine.

The top pop and R&B producer and artist came down to Nashville in early 2016 and ended up with eight songs for their new record, "Wanderlust," out Friday.

Frank Micelotta/Invision for Parkwood Entertainment/AP Images

An independent filmmaker filed a federal lawsuit against Beyonce on Wednesday alleging that ideas from his 2014 short film were used to create the trailer that accompanied her new visual album "Lemonade."

Elvis Costello
Evan Agostini / Associated Press

Elvis Costello, the late Marvin Gaye and Tom Petty are among the 2016 class of inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

An induction and awards dinner was held Thursday night at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

The class also included the songwriting team Nile Rodgers and the late Bernard Edwards and "Wild Thing" songwriter Chip Taylor.

Nick Jonas, record executive Seymour Stein and Lionel Richie earned special honors.

Andrew Burton / Associated Press

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to a huge country star from Down Under, a controversial R&B singer and a showcase of golden oldies. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at the weekend's concert calendar.

musician Brandy Clark
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

 

Brandy Clark isn't the first singer-songwriter to bring a smart feminist perspective to country music. Loretta Lynn sang defiantly about "The Pill" 40 years ago, well before her audience was ready for it. Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and many others have mined small-town American life from a woman's point of view for decades. More recently, Angaleena Presley and Kacey Musgraves have added important new voices to the conversation.

But with her latest album, "Big Day In A Small Town," Clark proves herself a worthy heir to Lynn's gritty, visceral legacy.

Dolly Parton
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Dolly Parton is the latest musician to have one of her songs become a book.

Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, announced Thursday that it will release "The Coat of Many Colors" on Oct. 18. Based on her classic song about her childhood in rural Tennessee, the book will feature illustrations by Brooke Boynton Hughes and a downloadable song by Parton, "Making Fun Ain't Funny."

Courtesy of Little Tybee

June sees one long-awaited Atlanta album being released, along with a pair of related but stylistically divergent hip-hop records, some swamp fuzz and the everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink madness of Frosted Orange.

Immersive Atlanta's Guillermo Castro sat down with "City Lights" to talk about the local releases kicking off Atlanta's summer.

Joel Ryan / Invision/AP

This weekend, Atlanta plays host to a country music legend, an 80s pop sensation gone country and one of the most beloved public radio programs around.

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the upcoming concert calendar for Mara's Music Mix.

Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association

In traditional music pedagogy, a student learns to play their instrument or sing while simultaneously learning to read music. That's like learning to talk and read a book at the same time, according to 20th century violinist and pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

Updated at 3:50 p.m. Thursday

Prince died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful opioid painkiller that is up to 50 times more potent than heroin, autopsy results released Thursday show.

The findings confirm suspicions that opioids played a role in the death of the superstar musician, who was found dead April 21 at his Minneapolis-area estate.

After he died, authorities began reviewing whether an overdose was to blame and whether he had been prescribed drugs in the preceding weeks.

Dave Matthews performs with his band during a concert at West Point Military Academy,N.Y. on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2007.
Daniel Morel / AP Photo

This weekend, Atlanta is playing host to a jazz festival, an '80s teen movie throwback and the mighty Dave. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look at the calendar with Mara's Music Mix.

Kristian Bush from Sugarland; playwright Janece Shaffer with WABE's Lois Reitzes
Al Such / WABE

When Katy Perry sang with Dolly Parton at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony, the pop star knew how to dress the part: big hair, bright colors and bedazzled boots.

But country music didn't always embrace sequins and satin, which one Atlanta playwright noted on a visit to Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame. Janece Shaffer told Lois Reitzes that the costumes "went from church wear — brown slacks and string ties — to these bedazzled, crazy things."

Matthew Guard

Music can help guide us through some truly frightening, traumatic events. For Skylark Vocal Ensemble artistic director Matthew Guard, Sergei Rachmaninov's "All-Night Vigil" or "Vespers" helped him cope with his child's complicated birth.

Matt Sayles / Invision/AP

This weekend sees Atlanta's second "Shaky" festival of the year with the Shaky Beats Fest, as well as country acts both classic and contemporary. 

Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss for a look ahead at Atlanta's concert calendar with "Mara's Music Mix."

Jason DeCrow, File / Associated Press

One very simple question: Beatles or Stones?

Chances are you knew your answer before you even finished reading the question. Musical rivalries have been fuel for the music industry for decades and music critic Steven Hyden has a lot to say on the subject.

Scott Roth/Invision/AP / Associated Press

Christian rapper Lecrae was a troubled teen struggling to find his identity as a young man who once considered committing suicide.

The two-time Grammy winner opens up about childhood abuse, run-ins with the law, struggles with drug and alcoholism, and doubts about God's existence in his new memoir, "Unashamed."

Despite his challenges, the 36-year-old also tells a story of finding his self-worth after surviving a car wreck and finding peace while expressing himself through music.

Robert Altman / Invision/AP

Music festivals are taking over two of Atlanta's parks this weekend, and the shows don't stop there. Contributor Mara Davis joins host emeritus Steve Goss to fill us on on what's shaking around town.

Courtesy of Vega String Quartet

The Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival kicks off its 35th season next month, but the celebrations start a little earlier this year with a concert at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Jason Isbell performs during the 2015 Shaky Boots Music Festival at the Kennesaw State Sports and Entertainment Park on Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Atlanta.
Katie Darby/Invision / Associated Press

Americana darling Jason Isbell leads the nominations for the Americana Music Association's Honors and Awards with three nods for album of the year, artist of the year and song of the year.

The nominations were announced Wednesday in Washington, D.C., for the awards show to be held in Nashville, Tennessee, on Sept. 21. The singer-songwriter won two Grammys this year for best Americana album for "Something More Than Free" and best American roots song for "24 Frames."

Courtesy of Caren West

The third annual Imagine Music Festival is coming back to Atlanta, but this time it's going to be a lot larger.

The three-day electronic dance music event, scheduled for Aug. 26 through Aug. 28, will be held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

That spot, about 20 miles south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, is much bigger than its previous location, the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park.

Chris O'Meara / Associated Press

A Colorado prison inmate has filed a paternity claim with a Minnesota court against the estate of Prince, the latest claimant in what could grow into a long line of people asserting that they're entitled to a piece of the musician's fortune.

Courtesy of Spivey Hall

Spivey Hall is pulling out all the stops for their upcoming season; 2016-2017 marks Spivey's 26th year as one of the world's finest concert halls, and its 25th year with the grand Albert Schweitzer Memorial Organ. 

Sam Dixon, Spivey Hall's executive and artistic director, knows the value of this organ well.

"To think of Spivey Hall without the organ is impossible," Dixon told Lois Reitzes on "City Lights," "because the organ was central to Emilie Spivey's conception of the Hall from the very beginning."

Barry Brecheisen / Invision/AP

Coming to Atlanta this Mother's Day weekend: an enigmatic R&B diva, a pair of sax-playing twins and one of the longest-running hard rock bands in the world.

Contributor Mara Davis sat down with host emeritus Steve Goss for "Mara's Music Mix."

Jeff Roffman / The Atlanta Opera

Verona's star-crossed lovers return to Atlanta this weekend in Charles Gounod's opera "Romeo and Juliet."

William Shakespeare's tragic tale of love and lust is endlessly adaptable, so what makes Gounod's interpretation unique? The Atlanta Opera's general and artistic director Tomer Zvulun, in conversation with Lois Reitzes, says that Gounod takes a story that is remembered for its intimate chamber scenes and "unapologetically, shamelessly, takes this story and expands it to a grand opera – an extravagant, grand opera."

ASO Music Director Robert Spano
Angela Morris / Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

The 2016-2017 year marks the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's 72nd season. For Robert Spano, it's his sweet 16th year as the ASO's music director.

Before taking the symphony to Carnegie Hall for a triumphant Shaw Centenary concert, Spano visited WABE to share the upcoming season's highlights with "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes.

PeterTea / www.flickr.com/petertea (cropped)

Prince's representatives arranged for the musician to meet a California doctor to help him kick an addiction to painkillers shortly before his death, according to a newspaper report published Wednesday.

Prince's representatives called Dr. Howard Kornfeld on April 20, the day before the musician died, to seek emergency help, attorney William Mauzy told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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