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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwmXO0J-PAA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-ORhEE9VVg Perhaps the least surprising thing a popular musician can do in 2015 is to interrupt the flow of her own work with a left-field cover song. It's been nearly three decades since art rockers Sonic Youth briefly refashioned itself as a Madonna tribute band , and even longer since those slaphappy nights on the college-bar touring circuit when the Replacements would pull out forbidden gems by KISS and Aerosmith....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AOVf9p9ht4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5COHP3KZuq4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilKcXIFi-Rc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4OJFWgF9os http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUFObCZtGWQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUOkg4jFNus At the audio link hear Ann Powers and Morning Edition host Renee Montagne on defining '90s music and the reasons the sounds and artists of that era are re-emerging now. 1990s nostalgia has been bubbling to the surface, like a mastodon in a...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yg05svXp98 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZfj2Ir3GgQ Sometimes, it can be difficult to notice a cultural sea change. At first, there's just a little, unexpected turn in the tide. But then, whoosh! The new current takes over, and old preconceptions are swept away. Country music seems to be in the middle of this process now. Last May, the astute critic Jewly Hight noticed that while men like Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney still dominated commercial country, a...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYriU4bhW7I I fell in love with Bruce Springsteen for his swagger. It was ridiculous and offered so much hope. Here was a bony dude with the worst haircut ever, who wore T-shirts covered in holes — seriously, he looked like the fry cook at the amusement park where I worked as a counter girl in the summer — making music as big as the known universe. Springsteen's music laid a party-crasher's claim to the rock canon the punk bands I loved were blowing apart. It...

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. I didn't know that...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wupsPg5H6aE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J538b-OLRU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eH3giaIzONA Whitney Houston , the Grammy-winning pop diva, has died, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department, which responded to a 911 call at the Beverly Hilton. Houston, 48, was one of the world's biggest-selling musical artists during a heyday that stretched from the mid-1980s through the late '90s and included such massive hits as "How Will I Know," "I Wanna Dance...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6rYPHmSzcE This Sunday the annual Grammy Award winners will be announced. One of the biggest categories is Song of the Year, which goes to a songwriter. Every day this week, we'll give you a little intel on one of the nominees. Today, Mumford and Sons ' "The Cave." If you watched the Grammys last year, you might remember Mumford and Sons playing "The Cave" during the telecast. The British band wasn't known all across America before last year's performance, but...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWcyIpul8OE This Sunday the annual Grammy Award winners will be announced. One of the biggest categories is Song of the Year, which goes to a songwriter. Every day this week, we'll give you a little intel on one of the nominees. Today, Bon Iver 's "Holocene." "Holocene" was written by Justin Vernon. He fronts the band Bon Iver, which you know very well if you like indie music. The band has been a critical darling for a few years now, and its second album is...