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 Americawas 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.
Big names and Next Big Things dominate coverage of Austin's festival, but there's quality music between the two poles. Ann Powers says the skill and subtlety those acts bring to the party interest her more than the sure bet of a legend or the sugar high of watching a baby band with buzz.
This year's SXSW conference in Austin, Texas was a playground for lovers of rap. Performances showcased new songs from old masters, re-imagined classics and young acts looking to upstage the veterans.
Ann Powers on one of the world's biggest singers, who died at age 48 Saturday afternoon.