Rascal Flatts is one of the most successful country crossover acts of the past decade. The award-winning trio has released eight studio records in 10 years and sold more than 21 million albums.
So why did the group recently consider breaking up?
"We had reached a crossroads to where we needed to dig deep to see if we, in fact, had the fire and hunger that we did when we first started out — to keep trying to forge ahead and be better than we'd been and push ourselves to be creatively energized again," bass player Jay DeMarcus says.
The Australian artist Gotye has been big in his home country for several years, but this winter, one particular song started an avalanche. "Somebody That I Used to Know," from the album Making Mirrors, has been a massive hit everywhere it's landed: the U.K., Germany, South Africa, Israel and now here in the U.S. It even inspired a YouTube cover that's become a runaway hit all its own.
In his 1995 autobiography, Under a Hoodoo Moon,Dr. John writes about his tumultuous music career, a decades-long heroin addiction and the time he spent in prison on a drug-possession charge. The book is candid in a way that most of his music is not — until now. On his new album, Locked Down, Dr. John takes a more personal approach.
You know who's got a country album out right now? Lionel Richie. The same Lionel Richie who started his career in the funk band The Commodores — that's right, the group that made "Brick House."
But on his new album, titled Tuskegee, country artists from Tim McGraw to Darius Rucker re-imagine the ballads that made Richie famous. These are the songs that have become slow-dance staples at proms and weddings everywhere.
James Brown used to tell people that even being stillborn as a child couldn't stop him. He rose to the highest heights in the music industry and stayed there longer than most. But in the end he succumbed to atrocious financial planning, a drug habit and a violent temper.
RJ Smith, author of the new biography The One: The Life and Music of James Brown,tells NPR's Guy Raz that Brown believed he was indestructible.