NPR Staff

Freddie Mercury, the late frontman for the legendary band Queen, died almost 25 years ago. But he's still regarded as one of the best rock singers ever.

If you came of age in the 1960s, chances are you think about rock 'n' roll as the music of youth, of rebellion, of fighting the establishment. But in Nigeria, which was in the middle of a civil war, rock was one of the ways in which people expressed their politics.

It was December 2012 when the country learned about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, that left 20 children dead at the hands of 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza.

After the shock and the initial grief came questions about how it could have happened and why. Reports that Adam Lanza may have had some form of undiagnosed mental illness surfaced.

It's officially prom season. And for girls especially, that means one thing in particular: dresses — lots of dresses.

Because it's been, well, more than a few years since the Weekend Edition staff had been to a prom themselves, NPR's Rachel Martin reached out to the person who would know best what's trending this year: Justina Sharp, a teen fashion writer who's been blogging on the topic at A Bent Piece of Wire since she was 13 years old.

For hundreds of years, Timbuktu has had a place in the world's imagination. Located on the southern edge of the Sahara desert, the city flourished as a center of Islamic culture and scholarship in the 13th through 16th centuries. It was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988, recognized for the University of Sankore, which had as many as 25,000 students who studied the Quran, as well as the historic Djingareyber and Sidi Yahia mosques.

The Hackensaw Boys are back. The old-time string band has made its own brand of music since 1999, after getting together in Charlottesville, Va. — and though its lineup has changed and its sound mellowed, the group is still going strong. Members David Sickmen, Ferd Moyse and Brian Gorby joined NPR's Scott Simon to talk about the new album Charismo; hear their conversation at the audio link.

When Owen Husney first met Prince Rogers Nelson, the musician was barely old enough to vote — and still going by his government name. "When you meet someone before they became the unapproachable icon, you tend to have a different relationship with them," he says.

Journalist Michael Kinsley — the founder of Slate and former editor of Harper's and The New Republic — says he's a "scout for his generation." Kinsley was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when he was in his 40s. Now in his 60s, he writes that he had the opportunity to experience old age before the rest of his fellow baby boomers.

The music of The Black Lillies has an Americana sound that blends country, rock and folk with the mountain music of their home: Knoxville, Tennessee. Frontman Cruz Contreras says that when the band first began playing shows, it found the most fervent audiences in regions like eastern Tennessee, easter Kentucky and southwestern Virginia.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 this week, and like many of us do on our birthdays, she'll be celebrating with some cake.

This year the task of coming up with a cake fit for a queen fell to Nadiya Hussain, the winner of the most recent season of the wildly popular TV show The Great British Bake Off.

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