Music

Updated Aug. 28 at 3:07 p.m. ET

"They want to see that I fall / 'Cause I'm Michael Jackson."
Lyric from "Breaking News"

Maybe. Maybe not.

Jamie Bernstein can't call her childhood a typical one. On any given weekend, she might find Lauren Bacall, Isaac Stern, Richard Avedon, Mike Nichols, Stephen Sondheim, Lillian Hellman or Sidney Lumet hanging out at her house. Jamie's father was Leonard Bernstein.

The man who waited outside John Lennon's New York apartment building and then shot him to death in 1980 has been denied parole a 10th time.

Mark David Chapman, 63, stood before a New York State Board of Parole panel on Wednesday. In its decision, which was emailed to NPR, the panel said that releasing him would be "incompatible with the welfare and safety of society."

It also noted that the fact that Chapman has only one crime on his criminal record does not mitigate his actions.

There has never been an American dynamo remotely like Leonard Bernstein. The composer, conductor, pianist, creator of musicals, educator, political maven and raconteur seemed to spin on his axis faster than any normal human being.

Two days ago, on Monday, police in Uganda fired upon protesters who were demonstrating against the detention of Robert Kyagulanyi — a lawmaker better known as the musician Bobi Wine — and others.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

Childish Gambino's "This Is America" and The Carters' "APES***" were the most talked-about videos of the last year, at least if the metric you use involves thinkpieces and social-media chatter. But by the time Madonna announced the video of the year winner on Monday night's MTV Video Music Awards, the two had been largely relegated to afterthoughts.

Congratulations are in order for the Eagles. The American rock band's first compilation album, Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975, has just surpassed Michael Jackson's Thriller as the best-selling album of all time. The comp, which collects nine singles and "Desperado," is now 38-times platinum as certified by the Recording Industry Association of America — meaning it has sold a total of 38,000,000 albums worldwide and bested Thriller's 33-times platinum certification.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, died last week. In her wake, Franklin has left a musical legacy few other artists will ever touch — and, as expected, hits from the legendary R&B singer's catalog have shot back up the music charts following her death.

Yo-Yo Ma opened his recent Tiny Desk concert with the gently rolling "Prelude" from J. S. Bach's Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1. It's music Ma has lived with nearly all of his life.

"Believe it or not, this was the very first piece of music I started on the cello when I was four years old," he told the crowd, tightly squeezed between the office furniture on NPR's fourth floor.

Aretha Franklin is dead and we still, 50 years after she made her artistic and commercial breakthrough, can scarcely comprehend the still-shocking power of her singing.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

It is overwhelming and profound to imagine just how many molecules and how many mountains Aretha Franklin has moved with her music. From the deeply personal, private moments of listening she has summoned in every individual listener, to the church choirs who have sung her arrangements, to the collectives that have raised their voices to the gospel of her songs, and stretching all the way up to the divine.

The Minnesota Orchestra will play one of its most important gigs of the year this month — at the Regina Mundi Catholic Church in Soweto, South Africa. In doing so, it will become the first major U.S. orchestra to visit that city. The performance is part of a year of celebrations recognizing the centennial of Nelson Mandela's birth. It makes sense for the orchestra to play in the community central to the freedom struggle which brought down apartheid.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Today we are honoring and remembering this voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "I NEVER LOVED A MAN (THE WAY I LOVE YOU)")

ARETHA FRANKLIN: (Singing) I tell you; I ain't never, I ain't never, no, no, loved a man the way that I love you.

Biographer On Aretha Franklin's Legacy

Aug 16, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

We knew her as the Queen of Soul because that's what Aretha Franklin's music did. It spoke to the soul.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RESPECT")

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.

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