Arts & Culture

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Fifty years ago this weekend, the music world arrived at Madison Square Garden for an event like no other before it, the first major charity concert of its kind.

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The popular Dominican merengue musician Johnny Ventura has died. According to Dominican news media, the 81-year-old musician died after a sudden heart attack in his home country on Wednesday. The news was later confirmed by Ventura's son on social media.

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Dusty Hill, bassist for the enduring Texas blues rock band ZZ Top for over half a century, has died at age 72. The trio's other members, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard, announced Hill's death in a Facebook post. Gibbons and Beard said that Hill had died in his sleep at his home, but did not provide a date.

The United States has sold the only copy of the Wu-Tang Clan album Once Upon a Time in Shaolin to an anonymous buyer. The price of the sale was also kept confidential.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced the full lineup for the city's big upcoming "Homecoming Concert." The list covers a range of artists from classic rock mainstays to contemporary rap stars: Patti Smith, Paul Simon, Lucky Daye, The New York Philh

Britney Spears' recently installed lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, submitted a blistering 120-page petition to Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, arguing that the singer's father, Jamie Spears, needs to be removed from overseeing her financial affairs immediately.

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SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Sarah McCammon.

Britney Spears' recently named lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, promised when he came aboard on July 14 that he would act speedily towards setting a new course for the pop icon and her conservatorship. On Monday, he filed a petition on Spears' behalf with Los Angeles Superior Court asking for Jason Rubin to be named as the new conservator of her estate. If approved, Rubin would replace Spears' father, Jamie Spears, who has controlled her money and financial decisions since 2008. Rosengart has also filed a petition asking for Jamie Spears to be removed from his position.

Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual assault and physical abuse.

Federal prosecutors are seeking to have evidence of what they say are more alleged, but uncharged, crimes committed by R&B singer R. Kelly admitted at his upcoming trial in New York. The allegations include the abuse of teenage girls and women dating as far back as 1991, the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old boy, physical abuse, hush payments and bribery.

Famed musician Eric Clapton said on Wednesday that he will not perform in any venue that requires audience members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Following the PM's announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021, I feel honor bound to make an announcement of my own: I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present," Clapton wrote.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts today announced its 44th lifetime achievement award winners.

There's a moment on "Oceans of Time," from a 2016 album by The Cookers, when alto saxophonist Donald Harrison, Jr. takes a solo full of swerving self-assurance. Swinging mightily behind him is the composer of the tune, master drummer Billy Hart.

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A MARTINEZ, HOST:

Good morning. I'm A Martinez. Listen to the beginning of this Bruce Springsteen song.

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: (Singing) The screen door slams. Mary's dress sways.

Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada, who performs under the name Cornelius, has resigned from the Tokyo Olympics after being criticized on social media for having bullied children with disabilities while he was himself a student.

Britney Spears says that as long as her father is in charge of conservatorship, she will not be performing "anytime soon."

Britney Spears made the declaration in the caption of a photo posted to her Instagram account. The artist also addressed people commenting on her videos that frequently feature Britney dancing to music in her home.

"For those of you who choose to criticize my dancing videos ... look I'm not gonna be performing on any stages anytime soon with my dad handling what I wear, say, do, or think!!!!" she said in her post.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Rapper, DJ and pop culture figure Biz Markie has died. A statement from a representative said that Biz created a legacy of artistry that will forever be celebrated by his industry peers and his beloved fans. He was 57 years old. He was known as the clown prince of hip-hop, bringing a charming off-key sense of humor to the genre. NPR's Andrew Limbong has this appreciation.

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TIM WESTWOOD: Biz, how did you get your name, brother?

Biz Markie, an American original born Marcel Theo Hall and a larger-than-life hip-hop figure, has died at the age of 57. Known widely for a career spanning back to 1986, Hall went on to become a beloved cultural figure later in life, celebrated for his spirited personality as much as his massive 1989 hit, "Just A Friend." His death was confirmed by his manager, Jenni D. Izumi.

In court Wednesday, Britney Spears was represented for the first time in her 13-year conservatorship by a lawyer she herself had chosen: Mathew Rosengart.

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SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Updated July 14, 2021 at 8:02 PM ET

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has cleared Britney Spears to hire her own lawyer in the long drawn-out battle over her conservatorship. And the pop star has chosen Mathew S. Rosengart, a prominent Hollywood lawyer and former federal prosecutor, to take up her case.

On Wednesday afternoon, Britney Spears' conservatorship case will be back in front of a judge at Los Angeles Superior Court. This is the first return to court after Spears herself spoke to the judge last month, pleading for her 13-year conservatorship to end.

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BLACKPINK: (Singing) How you like that?

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Cuba is suffering through a summer of dire shortages, from food and electricity to medicine. Fed-up Cubans are taking to the streets in unprecedented protests — and they're voicing their outrage through a song called Patria y Vida — homeland and life.

The slogan is a spin on the communist regime's decades-old slogan of "patria o muerte" — homeland or death. In strong terms, the song accuses the government of destroying the quality of life in Cuba, a message that quickly found traction with protesters who are demanding change.

Updated July 14, 2021 at 8:04 PM ET

NPR Music's first-ever Roséwave Happy Hour is over, but you can stream DJ Cuzzin B's vibey playlist now.

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