Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is an American singer-songwriter. Her discography spans multiple genres, and her songwriting—often inspired by her personal life—has received critical praise and wide media coverage. Born in West Reading, Pennsylvania, Swift moved to Nashville at age 14 to become a country artist. She signed a songwriting deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2004 and a recording contract with Big Machine Records in 2005. Her 2006 self-titled debut album made her the first female country singer to write or co-write a U.S. platinum-certified album entirely.
Swift's next albums, Fearless (2008) and Speak Now (2010), explored country pop. The former's "Love Story" and "You Belong with Me" were the first country songs to top the U.S. pop and all-genre airplay charts, respectively. She experimented with rock and electronic styles on Red (2012), which featured her first Billboard Hot 100 number-one song, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", and eschewed her country image in her synth-pop album, 1989 (2014), supported by chart-topping songs "Shake It Off", "Blank Space", and "Bad Blood". Media scrutiny inspired the urban-flavored Reputation (2017) and its number-one single "Look What You Made Me Do".
Tame Impala is the psychedelic music project of Australian multi-instrumentalist Kevin Parker. In the recording studio, Parker writes, records, performs, and produces all of the project's music. As a touring act, Tame Impala consists of Parker, Dominic Simper, Jay Watson, Cam Avery, and Julien Barbagallo. The group has a close affiliation with fellow Australian psychedelic rock band Pond, sharing members and collaborators, including Nick Allbrook, formerly a live member of Tame Impala. Originally signed to Modular Recordings, Tame Impala is now signed to Interscope Records in the United States and Fiction Records in the UK.
Donald McKinley Glover Jr., also known by his stage name Childish Gambino, is an American actor, comedian, singer, rapper, writer, director, and producer. After working in Derrick Comedy while studying at New York University, Glover was hired at age 23 by Tina Fey as a writer for the NBC sitcom 30 Rock. He later rose to fame for portraying college student Troy Barnes on the NBC sitcom Community from 2009 to 2014. From 2016 to 2022, Glover starred in the FX series Atlanta, which he created and occasionally directed. For his work on Atlanta, Glover won various accolades, including two Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards.
K.I.D.S. (backronym for Kickin' Incredibly Dope Shit) is the fourth mixtape by American rapper Mac Miller. It was released by Rostrum Records on August 13, 2010, through DatPiff. The title is a reference to the 1995 film Kids, which is quoted throughout the mixtape. It was later commercially released on April 29, 2020. A deluxe version was released on its 10th anniversary and includes two new tracks.
Seven songs from K.I.D.S. had music videos created for them: "Nikes On My Feet", "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza", "Knock Knock", "Senior Skip Day", "La La La La", "Traffic In The Sky", and "Don't Mind If I Do". The videos for "Nikes on My Feet" and "Kool Aid & Frozen Pizza" were both heavily played on YouTube, reaching over 50 million views each. Both songs featured prominent classic hip-hop samples, from Q-Tip's remix of Nas' "The World Is Yours" and Lord Finesse's "Hip 2 Da Game", respectively. In July 2012, Finesse filed a $10 million lawsuit against Miller, Rostrum and DatPiff for use of the sample. The lawsuit was settled out of court in December 2012, with its stipulations kept confidential.
Steve Thomas Lacy-Moya (born May 23, 1998) is an American singer, musician, songwriter, and record producer. He gained recognition as the guitarist of the alternative R&B band the Internet. In 2017, he released his self-produced debut EP, Steve Lacy's Demo. Following this, Lacy was featured alongside Frank Ocean on the song "911 / Mr. Lonely" by Tyler, the Creator; and co-wrote songs for artists such as Solange Knowles, Chloe x Halle, and Kendrick Lamar, the latter of whom he worked with on the song "Pride".
His debut studio album, Apollo XXI (2019), earned him a nomination for Best Urban Contemporary Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards. He would be featured on the single "Sunflower" by Vampire Weekend, that same year. He then collaborated with Calvin Harris (under the moniker Love Regenerator) on the song "Live Without Your Love", which earned him a chart entry in the United Kingdom.
Christopher Francis "Frank" Ocean, is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper. His works are noted by music critics for featuring avant-garde styles and introspective, elliptical lyrics. Ocean has won two Grammy Awards and a Brit Award for International Male Solo Artist among other accolades, and his two studio albums have been listed on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2020).
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1985), known professionally as Lana Del Rey, is an American singer-songwriter. Her music is noted for its cinematic quality and exploration of tragic romance, glamour, and melancholia, with frequent references to contemporary pop culture and 1950s–1960s Americana. She is the recipient of various accolades, including two Brit Awards, two MTV Europe Music Awards, and a Satellite Award, in addition to nominations for six Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. Variety honored her at their Hitmakers Awards for being "one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the 21st century."
Raised in upstate New York, Del Rey moved to New York City in 2005 to pursue a music career. After numerous projects, including her self-titled debut studio album, Del Rey's breakthrough came in 2011 with the viral success of her single "Video Games"; she subsequently signed a recording contract with Polydor and Interscope. She achieved critical and commercial success with her second album, Born to Die (2012), which contained the sleeper hit "Summertime Sadness". Del Rey's third album, Ultraviolence (2014), featured greater use of guitar-driven instrumentation and debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200. Her fourth and fifth albums, Honeymoon (2015) and Lust for Life (2017), saw a return to the stylistic traditions of her earlier releases, while her critically acclaimed sixth album, Norman Fucking Rockwell! (2019), explored soft rock. Her next studio albums, Chemtrails over the Country Club and Blue Banisters, followed in 2021.
Devonté Hynes, also known as Blood Orange and formerly Lightspeed Champion, is an English singer, songwriter, record producer and director based in New York City. From 2004 to 2006, Hynes was a member of the band Test Icicles, playing guitar, synth, and occasionally performing vocals. They released one full-length album in 2005. Hynes went on to release two solo studio albums as Lightspeed Champion and subsequently five more as Blood Orange, between 2008 and 2019.
Stephen Lee Bruner (born October 19, 1984), better known by his stage name Thundercat, is an American bass guitarist, singer, songwriter and actor from Los Angeles. First coming to prominence as a member of crossover thrash band Suicidal Tendencies, he has since released four solo studio albums and is noted for his work with producer Flying Lotus and his appearances on Kendrick Lamar's 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly. In 2016, Thundercat won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Performance for his work on the track "These Walls" from To Pimp a Butterfly. In 2020, Thundercat released his fourth studio album titled It Is What It Is, which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Progressive R&B Album.
Bruner was born into a family of musicians, including his father Ronald Bruner Sr., a drummer, and his mother Pam a flutist and percussionist. They raised him in Compton and other parts of Los Angeles. His father played drums for The Temptations, The Supremes, and Gladys Knight amongst others. After Bruner Sr. sobered from dealing with cocaine, the children would watch him play gigs at the Crenshaw Christian Center. Bruner attended Locke High School, playing in the school's jazz band. His teacher, Reggie Andrews, produced and co-wrote Let It Whip and collaborated with Rick James. Andrews re-introduced Bruner to Kamasi Washington, who originally met as children through their fathers’ play in a gospel fusion band. The reunited duo would sneak into jazz concerts, driving around in a worn down 1982 Ford Mustang to do so. They would later get to play the same venues as the performers they watched. They also sessioned with Terrace Martin in Washington's father's garage during this time. Bruner is a Christian, and incorporates many of the religion's themes in some of his music.
Alt-J (stylised as alt-J, real name Δ) are an English indie rock band formed in 2007 in Leeds, by Joe Newman (guitar/lead vocals), Thom Sonny Green (drums), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards/vocals) and Gwilym Sainsbury (guitar/bass).
Their debut album An Awesome Wave was released in May 2012 in Europe, and in September 2012 in the United States, and won the 2012 British Mercury Prize. Sainsbury left the band in early 2014. Their second album, This Is All Yours, was released on 22 September 2014 and went straight to number one in the United Kingdom. In February 2022 the band released their fourth studio album The Dream and are currently playing as a trio.
The band's actual name is the triangle-shaped symbol Δ (the capital Greek letter delta). The band often makes references to triangles (for example, the song "Tesselate" mentions "triangles are my favourite shape", and they make triangle symbols with their fingers during concerts), which they say is just due to it being a visually appealing shape.
Nicholas James Murphy, known professionally as Chet Faker, is an Australian singer and songwriter. In 2012, as Chet Faker, he issued an extended play, Thinking in Textures, and signed to Downtown Records in the United States. In October 2012, he won Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Thinking in Textures won Best Independent Single/EP at the Australian Independent Records Awards. In January 2013, the work won Best Independent Release at the Rolling Stone Australia Awards for 2012.
Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo (; born March 16, 1988) is an American singer who embarked on her music career contributing vocals and appearing in several music videos for R&B group B2K. In an effort to promote Aiko and cultivate a following for her, she was marketed as B2K member Lil' Fizz's cousin; she is not actually related to him. In 2003, Aiko was set to release her debut album, My Name Is Jhené, through her labels Sony, The Ultimate Group and Epic; however, the album was never released, and Aiko asked to be released from the label in order to continue her education.
In March 2011, Aiko made her return to music with the release of her first full-length project, a mixtape titled Sailing Soul(s). On December 16, 2011, Aiko signed a recording contract with American record producer No I.D.'s record label ARTium, under the aegis of Def Jam Recordings. In 2013, Aiko appeared on Big Sean's single "Beware" alongside Lil Wayne, which became her first top 40 single on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. In November 2013, she released her first project for Artium and Def Jam, an extended play (EP), titled Sail Out. The EP was supported by the singles "3:16AM", "Bed Peace" (featuring Childish Gambino) and "The Worst", the latter of which went on to become certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Kacey Lee Musgraves is an American country singer. She has won six Grammy Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards, and three Academy of Country Music Awards. Musgraves self-released three solo albums and one as Texas Two Bits, before appearing on the fifth season of the USA Network's singing competition Nashville Star in 2007, where she placed seventh. Musgraves also released a Christmas-themed album, A Very Kacey Christmas, in 2016.
Milky Chance is a German rock band originating in Kassel. It consists of vocalist and guitarist Clemens Rehbein, bassist and percussionist Philipp Dausch, and their band members, Antonio Greger and Sebastian Schmidt.
Their first single, "Stolen Dance", was released in April 2013, topping the charts in several countries. It also won the 1Live Krone radio award for Best Single.
Their debut album, Sadnecessary, was released in October 2013 and included the single "Down by the River". The album peaked at number 14 in Germany, and in 2014, Spin named Sadnecessary their Album of the Week. The band made their TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in October 2014, and also won the European Border Breakers Award that month. They started a tour of North America in late 2014, performing at venues such as the House of Blues and festivals such as Coachella.
Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, known mononymously as Hozier, is an Irish musician, singer, and songwriter. His music primarily draws from folk, soul, and blues, often using religious and literary themes. He had his international breakthrough after releasing his debut single "Take Me to Church", which has been certified multi-platinum in several countries.
Solána Imani Rowe, known professionally as SZA, is an American singer and songwriter. Born in St. Louis, she began making music in the early 2010s, releasing two extended plays, See.SZA.Run (2012) and S (2013), before signing with the hip hop record label Top Dawg Entertainment, through which she released Z (2014), her third EP and first retail release. That same year, she co-wrote "Feeling Myself" with Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé. In 2016, she was featured on Rihanna's song "Consideration".
Glass Animals are an English indie rock band formed in Oxford in 2010. Founded and led by singer, songwriter, and producer Dave Bayley, the group also features his childhood friends Joe Seaward, Ed Irwin-Singer and Drew MacFarlane. Bayley wrote and produced all three Glass Animals albums. Bayley spent his childhood in Massachusetts and Texas before relocating to Oxford, where he met the other band members at school. Their first album, Zaba (2014), spawned the single "Gooey", which was eventually certified platinum in the United States. Their second full album, How to Be a Human Being, received positive reviews and won in two categories at the 2018 MPG Awards for UK Album of the Year and Self Producing Artist of the Year, as well as a spot on the Mercury Prize shortlist. The third, Dreamland, peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart and number seven on the US Billboard 200.
Serial is an investigative journalism podcast hosted by Sarah Koenig, narrating a nonfiction story over multiple episodes. The series was co-created and is co-produced by Koenig and Julie Snyder and developed by This American Life; as of July 2020, it is owned by The New York Times.
Season 1 investigated the 1999 killing of Hae Min Lee (Hangul: 이해민), an 18-year-old student at Woodlawn High School in Baltimore County. Season 2 focused on Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, an American Army soldier who was held for five years by the Taliban, and then charged with desertion. Season 3, which debuted in September 2018, explores cases within the Justice Center Complex in the Cleveland area.
Serial ranked number one on iTunes even before its debut and remained there for several weeks. Serial won a Peabody Award in April 2015 for its innovative telling of a long-form nonfiction story. As of September 2018, episodes of seasons 1 and 2 have been downloaded over 340 million times, establishing an ongoing podcast world record.
Reply All is an American podcast from Gimlet Media that ran from 2014 to 2022, featuring stories about how people shape the internet, and how the internet shapes people. It was created by P. J. Vogt and Alex Goldman, who were the show's original hosts; they had previously hosted the technology and culture podcast TLDR for WNYC. Emmanuel Dzotsi became a third cohost in 2020.
The podcast received critical acclaim, winning several awards. In 2021, Vogt and a producer left the show following backlash critical of the work environment. Both Goldman and Dzotsi left the show in 2022; the final episode was released on June 23.
Reply All was an American podcast from Gimlet Media, hosted by Alex Goldman and Emmanuel Dzotsi in its final year. Producer P. J. Vogt was Goldman’s original cohost. Before joining Gimlet, Vogt and Goldman hosted a technology and culture podcast called TLDR for WNYC. Reply All premiered November 24, 2014, the second podcast to be developed by Gimlet Media. The Atlantic included the episode "Shine on, You Crazy Goldman" on their list of "The 50 Best Podcast Episodes of 2015".
Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend is a weekly podcast hosted by American comedian and former talk show host Conan O'Brien. It is co-hosted by O'Brien's assistant, Sona Movsesian, and producer, Matt Gourley. The podcast debuted in November 2018 and features O'Brien talking with comedians and actors in the industry, including Jeff Goldblum, Adam Sandler, Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Will Ferrell, Kristen Bell, Bill Burr, Tom Hanks, and Tina Fey; along with personal friends, such as Lisa Kudrow and Timothy Olyphant; as well as people he admires, such as Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Neil Young, and Robert Caro.
Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend has received positive reviews from critics and is one of the top podcasts on iTunes.
You're Wrong About is an American history and pop culture podcast created by journalist Michael Hobbes and writer Sarah Marshall. It has been hosted by Marshall since its inception; Hobbes also hosted until 2021. Launched in May 2018, the show explores misunderstood media events by interrogating why and how the public got things wrong. Show topics have included events like the Challenger Disaster, O. J. Simpson Trial, and the Murder of Kitty Genovese and covered people such as Anna Nicole Smith, Yoko Ono, Tonya Harding, and Lorena Bobbitt. It was named one of the ten best podcasts by Time in 2019.
Michael Hobbes is an American journalist and a former reporter for HuffPost. He is also the co-host of the podcast Maintenance Phase with Aubrey Gordon. Sarah Marshall is an American writer whose work has appeared in BuzzFeed, The Believer, and The New Republic. She is known for an interest in the mischaracterization of women by the mainstream media best demonstrated in her 2014 long-form profile of Tonya Harding. The show began after Hobbes reached out to Marshall and proposed that they try to recreate their deep-dive research processes in audio format. The pair only met in person after recording the show remotely for the first five months.
William Emerson Arnett (; born May 4, 1970) is a Canadian actor, comedian and producer. He is best known for his roles as Gob Bluth in the Fox/Netflix series Arrested Development (2003–2006, 2013, 2018–2019) and as the titular character in the Netflix series BoJack Horseman (2014–2020). He has appeared in films such as Let's Go to Prison (2006), Blades of Glory (2007), Semi-Pro (2008), G-Force (2009), Jonah Hex (2010), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) and its sequel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (2016), and Show Dogs (2018).
His deep baritone voice has landed him numerous voice acting jobs, including Danny Phantom (2004–2007), Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Ratatouille (2007), Horton Hears a Who! (2008), Monsters vs. Aliens (2009), Despicable Me (2010), The Nut Job (2014), Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (2018), Dolittle (2020), Rumble (2021), Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) and as Batman in the Lego Movie franchise. He won an Annie Award for his role as BoJack Horseman, and was nominated for multiple Primetime Emmy Awards for his work in Arrested Development and 30 Rock. His involvement with The Lego Group continues as Fox announced him as the host of their show Lego Masters, which premiered on February 5, 2020. Since July 2020, he has co-hosted the comedy podcast SmartLess. In 2022, he starred in a six-part improvised comedy series Murderville on Netflix.