Cole Porter was out of the musical theater scene during the 1930s, as American mores grew looser and more risqué. But instead of getting stodgy, he wrote the classic celebration of freedom from social constraints.
Amir Darabi was a child prodigy. He started playing the piano when he was 3 years old. Later, he felt there wasn't enough competition in Iran. But for an Iranian, getting to the US is a Herculean task.
He's sold millions of albums in Europe and is an internet star. Kanye West and Lorde have collaborated with him, and President Obama has one of his CDs. He's Belgian hip hop artist Stromae, whose Rwandan father was killed in that nation's genocide and is now trying to make it in the US.
"Smockey" is a male rapper from Burkina Faso, and he's dealing out some serious lyrics about the all-too-common practice of female genital mutilation. His latest song, "Tomber la Lame," or "Drop the Blade," is a plea for his fellow countrymen to stop FGM.
Renata Flores, an indigenous Peruvian, is also an Internet sensation. That happened after a video of her singing a Michael Jackson hit went viral. Flores wasn't singing the song in English or Spanish. Instead, she sang it in her native tongue, Quechua.
Famed Renaissance artist Leonardo Da Vinci detailed a design for a new instrument in his Codex Altanticus. But it never moved beyond his sketchbook. Now, more than 500 years later Polish pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki has built and played the inventor's viola organista.
Hapa is a word that many people of mixed Asian/Pacific Islander and Caucasian heritage use to define themselves. It's a Hawaiian term that somehow jumped to the mainland. The World in Words digs into the roots of this word and how it came to be used today.
Mindra Sahadeo, an Indo-Guyanese musician who now lives in New York, has found a niche bringing the city’s harmoniums back to life. It's a way to connect to his Indian heritage and fill his shared apartment with music.
There are a number of amateur and semi-professional Christian/Gospel rock bands in Pakistan. Among them is Hallelujah, which has parlayed its mix of rock and Christian themes into a little bit of mainstream attention.
The Eurovision competition isn't supposed to be about politics. But it often creeps in. And this year's entry from Ukraine, about the Soviet deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944, has Russia crying foul.