Sidney Madden

After years in proverbial hip-hop purgatory, Lil Wayne has finally released his long-awaited album Tha Carter V, just after his 36th birthday.

CV, the fifth installment of Wayne's chart-topping, Grammy-winning series that started in 2004, nearly became a pop culture fable about the perils of music industry politics, following years of legal battles with his Cash Money Records boss and musical father figure, Birdman.

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.

Janet Jackson knows exactly what she's doing. After finishing a summer of festival stops, the musical trendsetter has teamed up with Daddy Yankee for a new single to remind us all to take advantage of every last drop of summer fun imaginable.

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.

At the start of the summer, BJ The Chicago Kid gave fans the three-track project as a short-and-sweet sampler of what to expect on his upcoming sophomore major label album. Today, the In My Mind-crooner unveils a short film to string the story of his latest three songs together with an NPR Music premiere.

The South Florida rapper XXXTentacion, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was shot near a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Fla., this afternoon and later was pronounced dead after being transported to an area hospital, the Broward Sheriff's Office has confirmed. According to a statement provided to NPR by the Broward Sheriff's Office, at 3:57 p.m.

Updated 8:13 a.m., June 1 with an embedded stream of ye.

"Thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline Coachella," Beyoncé said toward the end of her headlining set at Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival last Saturday while glistening with sweat and her waist-length, gold hair flowing in the fan-created breeze. The chart-topping Queen Bey paused for only a moment before scoffing, "Ain't that 'bout a bitch."

Bey's candid acknowledgment of this elephant in the desert simultaneously silenced any doubters and ignited her Beyhive.

Just as Coachella Music and Arts Festival sets the bar for every other American music festival of the summer, Beyoncé recurringly sets the bar for every other performer.

A year after postponing her headlining set in 2017 due to pregnancy, Beyoncé treated her return to the stage like a family reunion, homecoming pep rally and a Beyhive-unifying rebel yell before heading into battle.

To start off her two-hour show, Queen Bey evoked the spirit of another member of black royalty, Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, appearing in a custom Balmain gold-crusted cape and headdress.

The Weeknd has (at least partially) returned to his dark side.

On My Dear Melancholy, the Toronto-hailing singer drudges up a heartbreak and attempts to drown it in modulated piano, muffled sirens and foggy synths. As its title implies — note that comma — the songs play out as maudlin 'memos to self' to keep track of all the things he'd wished he said before their downfall.

The National Library of Congress has shared its latest batch of musical inductees to the National Recording Registry. The 25 works — a mix of singles, field recordings, albums and soundtracks — represent myriad genres and time periods, and bring the Registry's overall catalog up to 500 entries.

In a year when the nominees were more eclectic and adventurous, the safe bets prevailed at the 60th Grammy Awards.

It's clear Drake has earned the right to play by his own rules. And while the quadruple platinum-selling star was fairly silent in the last half of 2017, he did give fans a promise at the end of his March project, More Life.

"I'll be back in 2018 to give you the summary," Drizzy raps at the end of "Do Not Disturb."

On Sept. 20, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, initially wiping out electricity and cellular reception on the entire island and causing billions of dollars in structural damage.

Justin Timberlake is officially ending his five-year album hiatus with news that his latest LP, Man Of The Woods, is releasing next month. Now, fans have their first clue about what this new project will sound like as the pop star drops his first bass-thumping single, "Filthy."

The numbers are in. Spotify has released its year-end round up of the most-listened to music on its platform, revealing new leaders in a sea of familiarity.

The 40th annual Kennedy Center Honors last night (Dec. 3) recognized those in the arts who've made lifetime achievements in American pop culture and ushered in some new traditions in the process.