NPR Staff

Influential singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82, according to a publicist for his U.S. record label.

Cohen died Monday, but news of his death came out late Thursday. His Facebook page had this announcement:

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.
We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries.

When you're facing a major life change, it helps to talk to someone who's already been through it. All Things Considered is connecting people on either side of a shared experience, and they're letting us eavesdrop on their conversations in our series Been There.

Sarah Weeldreyer, 37, is a stay-at-home-mom with two kids, has been married for 11 years, and is going through a divorce.

Of all the things that have come up during this election cycle — from immigration to the size of one candidate's hands — one issue that didn't get much air time was climate change.

Up-and-coming comedian Aparna Nancherla is having a great year, riding high on a TV comedy special, tour and a new album, Just Putting It Out There — all this while wrestling with some pretty tough personal issues, like depression, on stage.

Fleabag is the name of a British comedy that tackles intimacy, feminism and womanhood. Writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge created the show and plays its main character, also named Fleabag.

"She's a young woman living in London," Waller-Bridge tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "The relationship that she treasures most in the world, treasured most in the world, was that with her best friend who she recently lost in a terrible accident."

When a voter heads to the polls, any number of factors may influence how she casts her vote: party affiliation, her impression of the candidates — or even the design of the ballot itself.

The visual layout of a ballot can have a surprising effect on a voter's decision. And anyone who recalls the 2000 presidential election, which drew national attention to some confusing elements of the Florida ballot, can tell you that designers don't always get it right.

So, who are the people designing the ballots? That depends on where you're asking.

In the late 1960s, a lot of popular music was about peace, love, and harmony — but at the same time, an altogether different sound was emanating from a house on State Street in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It came from The Stooges, a proto-punk quartet made up of two brothers, Ron and Scott Asheton, their friend Dave Alexander and, of course, Jim Osterberg, better known as Iggy Pop.

Tippi Hedren played the beautiful blond woman that Alfred Hitchcock liked to put in peril — as in the famous scene in which she opens the door into a dark attic in The Birds, and is pecked by a flock of the title characters.

Hedren survived the attic. But those birds weren't just stuffed props — and the real menace might have been the film's eminent director.

Joyce DiDonato is one of the most acclaimed opera singers of her generation; this year, she won the Grammy for Best Classical Vocal Solo. Her latest album, In War and Peace: Harmony Through Music, is a collection of baroque arias from the 17th and 18th centuries divided into two sections — one addressing war, the other, peace.

Since his first album in 1992, Common — then known as Common Sense — has championed hip-hop as a vehicle for social commentary. His latest album, Black America Again, continues that legacy and explores the joys and tragedies of black life in the United States.

Whether it's an IUD, a shot, an implant, or a daily pill, birth control is a regular part of many adult women's lives. It has left a lot of women asking: Why not men?

The Internet can be a dangerous place. Hackers, bots and viruses are prowling the Web trying to turn your machines into zombies.

Only three people in history have sold more than 100 million albums as both a solo act and a member of a band: Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson — and Phil Collins. Collins joined Genesis as the band's drummer in 1970. Five years later, he became the frontman when lead singer Peter Gabriel left.

A couple years ago, artist and illustrator Christoph Niemann felt like he needed to shake things up. "When you do any kind of creative job for a while, you become better ..." he says, "but I think you always become a little bit more predictable."

Debbie Allen is a big name in television. She played the tough but tender dance instructor Lydia Grant on the 1980s show Fame. She was a producer on The Cosby Show spinoff A Different World, about life on a historically black college campus. Currently she is the executive producer for Grey's Anatomy. She's won numerous awards for acting and choreography.

Joel McHale made a name for himself by skewering celebrities and the world they live in on E! Network's The Soup. Then he became a celebrity in his own right: He was in the hit NBC show Community and now he stars in the new CBS comedy The Great Indoors.

In a new memoir, McHale again takes aim at the nature of celebrity — by making fun of celebrity memoirs. It's called Thanks for the Money: How to Use My Life Story to Become the Best Joel McHale You Can Be, and it's full of anecdotes from McHale's life that are both real and imagined.

Long ago, electronic music was created on massive consoles the size of refrigerators. But in 1970, the Minimoog Model D was unleashed, and its impact was nothing short of revolutionary.

The Berlin Wall was a scar — a concrete and barbed wire boundary that divided families, East and West, communism and capitalism, tyranny and democracy. People died trying to climb over it while others labored to carve tunnels beneath it.

Four years ago, the world learned the name Pussy Riot, a politically active Russian art collective whose members were all women. Members of that group staged a punk rock demonstration in a church in protest of Russian president Vladimir Putin and the Russian church's support of his presidential campaign.

Protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline have been raging for months, but tensions have been escalating. Recently, tribal leaders — led by Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Dave Archambault II — called on the Department of Justice to look into what they describe as unnecessary use of force by state and local law enforcement.

After a bruising career in the rough and tumble NHL, who could blame a guy for wanting to take it easy? At age 55, Wayne Gretzky is still playing charity games with other old timers, but "I'm getting older and slower," he says with a laugh.

Along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, armed groups on patrol — mostly men — look for illegal immigrants and drug traffickers. They're not U.S. Border Patrol, but regular people who've decided to take matters into their own hands.

They call themselves militias. Groups such as these have been around for decades, but they exploded in number after Barack Obama was elected president. Today, there are 276 militia groups around the country, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Donald Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again" is an easy one to adapt for whatever your cause. There are ones like "Make America Gay Again," "Make America Skate Again," "Make America Read Again," "Make America Fair Again." You get the idea.

Bakers, of course, had to get in on the action. How could you pass up "Make America Cake Again"?

Lalin St. Juste, leader of the seven-piece, genre-bending band The Seshen, wrote the song "Distant Heart" in memory of a friend.

"She struggled with a lot of darkness and addiction and trauma and things like that," she says. "And over the course of our relationship, I watched her struggle to be resilient with it."

The Bee Gees need no introduction. They've sold more than 220 million albums. They're in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

What Best in Show did for dog shows and what A Mighty Wind did for folk music, the new mockumentary Mascots does for, well, mascots. The film, from director Christopher Guest, follows contestants in the World Mascot Association Championship.

One late December day in 1950, Max Beckmann was standing on a street corner near Central Park in New York City. The German expressionist painter had been on his way to see an exhibition featuring his work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Called "American Painting Today," the show was displaying his Self-Portrait in Blue Jacket.

It would turn out to be his last self-portrait.

Devendra Banhart can remember the exact moment he decided to become a songwriter. He was around 9 years old, and he performed an original song for his whole family. The tune, he says, was called "We're All Gonna Die."

"Their reaction was, 'Never do that again,' " Banhart says. "They were horrified."

The Beach Boys sounded like California in musical form: beach, waves and a perpetually sunny blue sky.

But Brian Wilson, who co-founded the band with his brothers Carl and Dennis and their cousin Mike Love — and who wrote many of The Beach Boys' signature hits — struggled for years with mental illness. He's heard voices in his head and wrestled with the ghosts of the ways of his father, who encouraged his musical career but beat and abused him.

After forays into pop and folk, Norah Jones has returned to jazz and the piano for her latest album, Day Breaks. Jones has a long history with the genre –- she says she became "mildly obsessed with it" as a teenager in Dallas, and she signed with the legendary Blue Note Records at just 21. For her latest project, Jones also connected with some true jazz giants, including saxophonist Wayne Shorter.

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