You could say George Benson's latest album, Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole, was conceived decades ago. Benson was just a kid when he first mimicked Cole off the radio, singing his own version of "Mona Lisa" while accompanying himself on the ukulele. He even made a recording.
WALE: (Singing) Ain't been a black hero since Robert Townsend, so, Meteor Man, I hope you found something profound enough to expand on before the sound (unintelligible).
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
That's Washington, D.C.-based rapper Wale with a song from his latest album "The Gifted." The 28-year-old is riding high in the Billboard charts. taking the number one spot from Kanye West's "Yeezus." But we think Wale's album is interesting for reasons other than just its success - namely this:
There was an awful lot of dancing going on the first time I stumbled upon the music of Cheick Hamala Diabate. On the dance floor at U Street's Tropicalia that night was a rich cross-section of D.C. life, all entranced by the music of Mali.
It's the time of the season when love for pop music runs high. Summer is officially here, and an unofficial competition is underway to crown 2013's "Song of the Summer." We're talking about those unavoidable pop anthems that are played over and over again on the radio, at the beach and out the window of passing cars. You can't escape them — you can only hope to enjoy them. NPR Music curated a list featuring more than 100 of the hits from the last 50 years.