Ann Powers

Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.

One of the nation's most notable music critics, Powers has been writing for The Record, NPR's blog about finding, making, buying, sharing and talking about music, since April 2011.

Powers served as chief pop music critic at the Los Angeles Times from 2006 until she joined NPR. Prior to the Los Angeles Times, she was senior critic at Blender and senior curator at Experience Music Project. From 1997 to 2001 Powers was a pop critic at The New York Times and before that worked as a senior editor at the Village Voice. Powers began her career working as an editor and columnist at San Francisco Weekly.

Her writing extends beyond blogs, magazines and newspapers. Powers co-wrote Tori Amos: Piece By Piece, with Amos, which was published in 2005. In 1999, Power's book Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America was published. She was the editor, with Evelyn McDonnell, of the 1995 book Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Rap, and Pop and the editor of Best Music Writing 2010.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University, Powers went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of California.

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The Record
7:21 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Fall Pop Preview: A 'Roar' Of 'Applause' For New Music

ARTPOP, and Katy Perry released "Roar," from Prism." href="/post/fall-pop-preview-roar-applause-new-music" class="noexit lightbox">
This week, Lady Gaga (left) released the song "Applause," from her forthcoming album ARTPOP, and Katy Perry released "Roar," from Prism.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Sun August 18, 2013 3:07 pm

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The Record
4:19 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Country Music's Year Of The Woman

Miranda Lambert performing in April at the Academy of Country Music Awards, where she won best song, best record and best female vocalist for the fourth year in a row. The Lambert Effect has opened doors for many of the new hopefuls blending hard country sounds with feminist-aware attitudes.
Kevin Winter/ACMA2013 Getty Images for ACM

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 5:41 am

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The Record
6:08 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Lessons From SXSW 2013: Take The Middle Road

Natalie Maines (center) at Central Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas during the SXSW Music Festival. Maines's band included her father, Lloyd Maines (seated left) and Ben Harper (seated right).
Mindy Best Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 10:48 am

That guy Prince has a sense of humor.

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First Listen
3:17 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

First Listen: Bilal, 'A Love Surreal'

Bilal's new album, A Love Surreal, comes out Feb. 26.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 6, 2013 6:49 am

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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The Record
6:25 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Listening To My Bloody Valentine Three Ways

My Bloody Valentine's Bilinda Butcher during the band's set at Coachella in 2009.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 3:29 pm

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Super Bowl XLVII
10:08 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The Roots Of Beyonce's Super Bowl Spectacular

Beyonce performs during the Super Bowl halftime show Sunday night.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 11:38 am

One of the Twitter hashtags devised by rabid Beyonce fans before last night's Super Bowl halftime show was religious in nature: #praisebeysus. Praise Beysus! This bit of hyperventilating resonated in interesting ways. Strutting into the very center of America's biggest television spectacle, the 31-year-old superstar intended to secure her place in the musical pantheon next to recent Super Bowl-approved legends Madonna, The Who, Bruce Springsteen and Prince.

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The Record
5:50 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

For The Ladies: R. Kelly, Teddy Pendergrass And The State Of R And B

R. Kelly's "Single Ladies" tour, which includes a "Ladies Only" section, began this week and runs into December.
Randee St. Nicholas RCA Records

Originally published on Sat October 20, 2012 2:49 pm

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The Record
7:06 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Springsteen's American Dream, Beautiful And Bleak

Bruce Springsteen onstage during the Born in the USA tour in 1985.
Richard E. Aaron Redferns

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:39 pm

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The Record
1:03 pm
Fri May 25, 2012

Afghan Whigs: Songs Of Love Gone Wrong, Done Right

Greg Dulli at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City Wednesday night.
Dominick Mastrangelo BrooklynVegan

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 8:07 am

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The Record
4:05 pm
Thu May 17, 2012

The Many Voices Of Donna Summer

"Queen of Disco" Donna Summer performs in 1979. (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 3:36 pm

Pop singer Donna Summer, whose long career began in the 1960s and reached its apex in the disco era of the '70s, died of cancer on Thursday at her home in Naples, Florida. Summer was 63 years old. According to Billboard magazine, the singer born LaDonna Gaines had 32 singles that charted in the Hot 100. Fourteen of them made it into the top 10. To hear Sami Yenigun's appreciation of Donna Summer's life and career, as heard on All Things Considered, click the audio link.

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