April Verch, a Canadian fiddler, comes from the Ottawa Valley that straddles the border between Ontario and Quebec. It's the home of a bluegrass-like "old time Canadian" style with deep roots, but an uncertain future.
Hare Squead is a hip-hop trio based in Dublin. They're first generation immigrants from Africa who happened to run into each other while skateboarding in Ireland's capital. Just two years later they're one of the hottest acts around.
When Jay Z dropped "Big Pimpin'" in 1999, he thought he had permission to sample its iconic Middle Eastern hook. But years later, the heir of the man who composed the original song is taking Jay Z and producer Timbaland to court.
Pharrell Williams' feel-good music video for "Happy" inspired fans around the globe to create dance moves to his hit song. Now, he wants to harness that energy to promote the United Nations' International Day of Happiness.
Yuna Zarai didn't make it too far on Malaysia's version of American Idol, but that drove her to work harder on her music. Now she's becoming a star, but is usually labeled the "singer in hijab" — something she wants to simply make normal.