Andrew Limbong | WAMC

Andrew Limbong

Andrew Limbong is a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, where he reports, produces, and mixes arts and culture pieces of all kinds. Previously, he was a producer and director for Tell Me More. He originally started at NPR in 2011 as an intern for All Things Considered.

KELSEY SNELL, HOST:

And finally today, it's been five years since the music icon Prince suddenly and tragically passed away. In his Paisley Park studios, Prince left a literal vault filled with hundreds, if not thousands of unreleased songs and pieces of music. Now some of it is being released for the public to hear. "Welcome 2 America" is a collection of songs Prince had worked on in 2010.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WELCOME 2 AMERICA")

PRINCE: Welcome to America, where you can fail at your job, get fired, rehired and get a $700 billion tip.

There will soon be a day without the reminder that every day, when you're walking down the street, everybody that you meet has an original point of view.

But hey (hey!), Arthur had a good, long run.

The much beloved animated kids show is coming to an end in early 2022, after its 25th and final season.

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

#FreeBritney protesters gather outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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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.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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

LGBTQ characters took up a little more space in the movies in 2020. According to GLAAD's annual Studio Responsibility Index, there was an increase in the percentage of films with LBGTQ characters. A good portion of these were serious, substantial characters, too — 80% of these movies had LGBTQ characters with more than 10 minutes of screen time. The group found that the percentage of LGBTQ characters of color also rose.

The Chicago church that hosted Emmett Till's funeral. The theater in Cleveland that is the oldest African American producing theater in the country — where Langston Hughes once had an in-house apartment. The sole remaining Black owned and built historic building along Southeastern Ohio River Valley's Underground Railroad corridor.

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.

Wednesday is set to be an important day in court for Britney Spears. Since her searing open testimony describing life under her conservatorship, there've been some big changes to her legal situation. A wealth management company, Bessemer Trust, which had been set to take over as co-conservator for Spears' estate, requested to resign.

Samuel Ingham III, the court-appointed lawyer who's represented Britney Spears in her conservatorship, has requested to resign from that role, according to papers filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court today.

Delia Fiallo, the author and screenwriter whose peers and fans often called her the "mother of the telenovela," has died. She was 96 years old. Her daughter, Delia Betancourt, confirmed to NPR that Fiallo died Tuesday, in her home in Miami, Fla., just days before her July 4 birthday.

Fiallo scripted hugely popular dramas such as Cristal, Lenoela, and Rafaela during the 1970s and 1980s, which were broadcast throughout Latin America.

A federal judge has sentenced Allison Mack to 3 years in prison, along with a $20,000 fine, for her involvement in the NXIVM case.

Mack was one of the lead deputies and recruiters for NXIVM — the cult group that masqueraded itself as a self-help organization. The group's leader, Keith Raniere, was sentenced to 120 years in prison in October for racketeering and sex trafficking charges.

Updated June 23, 2021 at 9:22 PM ET

Addressing a Los Angeles Superior Court judge via a remote connection, Britney Spears on Wednesday afternoon made her most public statement to date about her long-running conservatorship. For over a decade, the pop star's life has been ruled by an atypical court-dictated legal arrangement that removes practically all autonomy from her life. Until now, she has remained mostly quiet on the subject.

Tyrus Joseforsky had resigned himself to never seeing any federal aid set aside to help his business. "I just made peace with the fact that it wasn't coming," he said.

The big re-opening of live music is truly upon us. Summer music festival season is nearly here. Artists are announcing tour dates. And fans are buying tickets! Or, in some cases, they're finally getting the chance to use tickets they bought a couple years ago. But it might be a while before your favorite arena-level act can set out on tour.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Live music is set to come back to Chicago in a big way this summer. Today, Lollapalooza announced its full line up, with Foo Fighters, Post Malone, Tyler, the Creator and Miley Cyrus headlining. And the fest will be at full capacity, too.

Pervis Staples, a founding member of the Staple Singers, has died. According to a statement from a family spokesperson, he died suddenly in his home in Dolton, Ill, on May 6. He was 85 years old.

Tina Turner doesn't need anybody's validation to hold her place in rock and roll history, but she's now been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She joins 12 others in what the organization calls the most diverse list of inductees in the its 36-year history.

Joining Turner among the performers in the main class of 2021 inductees are Todd Rundgren, Carole King, Jay-Z, The Go-Go's and Foo Fighters. The full list of inductees, which includes those named in categories like "Early Influence" and "Musical Excellence," is below.

Ed Ward, an incisive former critic and editor for Rolling Stone and longtime contributor to WHYY's Fresh Air, died this week in his home in Austin, Texas. He was 72 years old.

Owners of live-music venues, theaters, museums and other businesses covered under the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, or SVOG, can expect to see money by the end of May. This is according to an update from the Small Business Administration, which has been handling the SVOG program's bumpy rollout.

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Liz Tallent was by her computer, ready. She's the marketing and special events director at The Orange Peel in Asheville, N.C., a 1,050-cap venue that has hosted everyone from songwriter Nick Lowe, to Sublime cover band Badfish, to rapper Danny Brown. Like every other music venue, The Orange Peel was hit hard by the pandemic shut downs. Distanced indoor events would barely break even, and because of how the space is set up, there hasn't been a real way to do outdoor events, either.

The Small Business Administration yesterday launched with great fanfare a long awaited portal that would allow arts venues closed down by pandemic to apply for grant money to cover rent, utilities, insurance and other accumulated expenses. The site went live at noon, but was wracked with so many technical issues that the SBA decided to shut the portal down indefinitely.

Updated April 9, 2021 at 1:47 PM ET

Earl Simmons, better known as the rapper DMX, died Friday at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, N.Y., according to a statement from his family. He had been on life support for the past few days following a heart attack. He was 50.

The long-awaited lifeline for live venues impacted by the coronavirus shut downs is finally here. Owners of small music venues, independent movie theaters and some museums can now apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant — a $16 billion grant program set up and run by the Small Business Administration.

Music festival season seems ready to go on in 2021. The Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has posted its lineup, scheduled to run September 2-5. This year's event marks the 20th year of the Manchester, Tenn. festival, which, like everyone else, cancelled last year because of the pandemic.

Jessica Walter, who played the hilariously incisive matriarch Lucille Bluth on Arrested Development, died in her sleep Wednesday in New York City. She was 80 years old.

Her daughter, Brooke Bowman, a senior vice president at Fox Entertainment, said in a statement, "It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on screen and off."

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