Louder: The Most Famous Girl at the Waffle House

Plus: Ron Carter, Kevin Morby, My Chemical Romance and More
Author Headshot

By Caryn Ganz

Pop Music Editor

Every now and then, a writer turns in a profile so enchanting, I tell everyone I know about it. Joe Coscarelli did it this week with this beautiful portrait of Ethel Cain, a 24-year-old singer-songwriter currently living in Alabama who makes dreamy music and is unlikely to adhere to any traditional routes to success. “She felt strangled by the strictures of her Southern Baptist upbringing,” Joe writes. “But she also clung to the culture, turning the lows of Americana and fantasies of freedom into a caustic and self-aware Southern Gothic persona that she describes as ‘a mixture of my favorite final girls in horror movies and Billy Graham.’” The story is rich, detailed and wonderful, and the music is too.

Our writers were on the move this week: Grayson Haver Currin traveled to Memphis to spend time with the singer-songwriter Kevin Morby in the city where he made his latest album and worked out his fixation on death. Marcus J. Moore went to the Upper West Side to sit with Ron Carter, the 85-year-old jazz bassist and bandleader, as he prepared to celebrate his milestone birthday with a Carnegie Hall concert.

And there was major news, too. Young Thug, one of the most influential artists to emerge from Atlanta’s fertile hip-hop scene, was arrested on Monday on suspicion of gang involvement. Maria Alyokhina, a leader of the Russian band and performance artists Pussy Riot, escaped from Russia dressed as a food courier. Apple announced the end of the iPod is near. And Kendrick Lamar returned with his long-awaited new album, “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers.”



Young Thug, Atlanta Rap Star, Is Arrested on Gang-Related Charges

He was indicted with about two dozen others, including some accused of murder and attempted armed robbery. The county’s district attorney has vowed to crack down on street gangs.

By Richard Fausset

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Leader of Pussy Riot Band Escapes Russia, With Help From Friends

After more than a decade of activism, Maria Alyokhina disguised herself as a food courier to evade the police — and a widening crackdown by President Vladimir Putin.

By Valerie Hopkins and Misha Friedman

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Madonna and Beeple Collaborate on NFT Project

The pop singer spent the last year working with the digital artist on a video series about motherhood. Proceeds will benefit three nonprofits.

By Zachary Small

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The Charts

Future Earns an Eighth No. 1 Album With ‘I Never Liked You’

The Atlanta rapper’s latest release had the largest numbers of the year so far, but big new LPs from Bad Bunny and Jack Harlow will register on next week’s chart.

By Ben Sisario

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Naomi Judd Died of a Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Her Daughter Says

The actress Ashley Judd said in a television interview on Thursday that her mother was suffering from mental illness when she died last month.

By Amanda Holpuch

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Gloria Parker, Maestra of the Musical Glasses, Dies at 100

She played many instruments and appeared on radio and television, but she was best known for the skill that led to a role in Woody Allen’s “Broadway Danny Rose.”

By Richard Sandomir

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Susan Jacks, Who Sang ‘Which Way You Goin’ Billy?,’ Dies at 73

Released in 1969, the song, by her group the Poppy Family, was one of the biggest hits to come out of Canada to that point.

By Neil Genzlinger

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Ric Parnell, Real Drummer in a Famous Fake Band, Dies at 70

The central characters in the mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap” were comic actors, but Mr. Parnell was an actual professional musician.

By Neil Genzlinger

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Mickey Gilley, Country Star Whose Club Inspired ‘Urban Cowboy,’ Dies at 86

His records regularly made the charts for two decades. But he was ultimately best known for his Texas nightclub, which was at the heart of a country music revival.

By Bill Friskics-Warren

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