Why Rihanna Is a National Hero in Barbados

The timing of Rihanna's appointment as a national hero of Barbados, which coincides with the country's transition to independence, could not be more perfect. Not only has she been the country's official ambassador for culture and youth since 2018, but she is also its most renowned citizen and champion. Her Bajan accent has never been […]

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Beyond the Stage Review — A Haunting, Heartbreaking Show

A lined A4 notebook is pinned open on a board, highly doodled with love hearts and the strange ideas of an 18-year-old girl, not unlike any other 18-year-old girl throughout history. "Just plain fuckin' nice" is the title of a playlist that includes Bobby Darin's I Wanna Be Around (1965), as well as the words […]

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Pop Is Simply Too Regulated for a Rebel Like Mick Rock to Thrive

Mick Rock, a music photographer who died last week at the age of 72, famously remarked that he was "in the business of evoking the aura" of the people he photographed. It was his great fortune to be working at a period when the androgynous otherness radiating from rock stars like David Bowie, Lou Reed, […]

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Melissa Etheridge on Music, Parenthood, and Coming Out

‘Helloooooh! How are you doing? "I'm fine, I'm fine." Melissa Etheridge takes around three seconds to warm up to. The American singer-songwriter has gone through a lot in recent years, but she isn't grumbling about it. For someone who has been through so much — Etheridge's 21-year-old son, Beckett, died of an opiate overdose last […]

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‘I Felt Broken and Needed to Be Mended,' Says KeiyaA

KeiyaA didn't have internet connectivity on her phone when she released her first album Forever, Ya Girl on Bandcamp in March 2020, so she had to walk downstairs to connect to the local video store's wifi to post about the release on her Instagram. " All I remember is letting hours pass and then returning […]

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Review of Self-Esteem – A Woman Reborn

Even though it's just the first song of the night, half of the audience is howling like dogs. Of course, delirious excitement is the proper reaction to Self Esteem's maximalist pop. A few hundred people are jammed into what may be the last of Sheffield-bred singer-songwriter Rebecca Lucy Taylor's numerous jaunts throughout Britain's small venues, […]

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