Andrew Limbong

Andrew Limbong is a reporter and producer for NPR's Arts Desk, where he reports, produces, and mixes arts and culture pieces of all kinds. Previously, he was a producer and director for Tell Me More. He originally started at NPR in 2011 as an intern for All Things Considered.

Packing into a small, dimly lit room while you and a few hundred strangers dance and listen to your favorite artists is one of the many small joys we've been missing for months. For many of those spaces and their fans, that experience could be gone forever if a new piece of legislation called the Restart Act doesn't pass Congress before it goes on recess in August.

Rapper and fashion designer Kanye West posted, then deleted, a series of tweets Monday night claiming that his wife Kim Kardashian was trying to get him hospitalized.

"Kim tried to bring a doctor to lock me up with a doctor," he tweeted.

This was among a stretch of wide-ranging tweets where he claimed that the movie Get Out was based on him, said that actor Shia LaBeouf was supposed to do a shoot for his Gap clothing line but never showed up, and asked his mother-in-law Kris Jenner to call him.

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The city of Oakland has settled a lawsuit with the victims of the 2016 "Ghost Ship" fire that killed 36 people. The total settlement is for $32.7 million — $23.5 million will go to families of people who died, and $9.2 million will go to Sam Maxwell, who survived the fire with lifelong injuries.

Nick Cannon — the actor, TV show host and musician — has been fired from his long-running comedy improv show Wild 'N Out. It comes after he made anti-Semitic comments on his podcast and YouTube show, Cannon's Class.

Wild 'N Out's parent company, ViacomCBS, released a statement saying, "We are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him."

Actress Kelly Preston has died after a two-year battle with breast cancer, according to an Instagram post from her husband, John Travolta. She was 57 years old.

"She fought a courageous fight with the love and support of so many," the actor wrote. "My family and I will forever be grateful to her doctors and nurses at MD Anderson Cancer Center, all the medical centers that have helped, as well as her many friends and loved ones who have been by her side."

Dungeons and Dragons is reconsidering what it means to be evil.

The classic role playing game's publisher, Wizards of the Coast, recently announced some changes it was making to the game in response to the ongoing protests over racism and police violence. While this includes editing some past racist descriptions, as well as adding more diverse writers, the game's designers are also making a fundamental change to the way certain playable characters are portrayed.

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Huey, the St. Louis rapper behind the hit song "Pop, Lock & Drop It," was shot and killed on Thursday night in Kinloch, Mo.

Director Joel Schumacher died Monday morning in New York City from cancer. Schumacher directed the 80s hit movies St. Elmo's Fire and The Lost Boys, as well as two movies in the Batman movie franchise — Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. He was 80 years old.

Schumacher started out working in the fashion industry. But, as he started gaining success there, he became addicted to drugs. He told WHYY's Fresh Air that by 1970, he needed a change.

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Updated Wednesday at 5:15 p.m. ET

Streaming service HBO Max has temporarily removed the 1939 classic film Gone with the Wind from its library.

"Gone with the Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society," an HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement.

Updated Thursday at 3:40 p.m. ET

The Arkansas Department of Health has issued a cease-and-desist letter for what could have been the first indoor concert with an audience of more than 200 of the coronavirus era. The show was set to take place in Fort Smith, Ark., on Friday — three days before the state is set to allow businesses to open in a limited capacity.

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Updated at 4:21 p.m. ET.

The coronavirus pandemic has completely shut down the business of concerts and other live events. Some people, including Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, are even predicting that live events won't resume until next year.

Brian Dennehy could go from viciously intimidating on film to weak and weary on stage. The actor died yesterday of cardiac arrest. His family says his death was not related to COVID-19. He was 81 years old.

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It's National Poetry Month. And if that makes you roll your eyes or shiver with memories from 7th grade English class, you're not alone. Thankfully, NPR's Andrew Limbong has been working on an episode for NPR's Life Kit about how to appreciate poetry. And he joins us now.

Hi, Andrew.

ANDREW LIMBONG, BYLINE: Hey, Tom.

GJELTEN: Now, these days - obviously, these days, people have more time on their hands, and maybe they're ready to start reading poetry. What advice do you have for them?

Ellis Marsalis, jazz pianist, educator, and patriarch of the Marsalis family, has died at the age of 85. His death was announced in tweets from New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Jazz at Lincoln Center, where his son Wynton is managing and artistic director.

He reportedly went into the hospital over the weekend with symptoms of pneumonia. The New York Times reports that his son Branford says the cause of death was complications from COVID-19.

Mobile carrier T-Mobile announced today that it's officially completed a merger with Sprint. The deal, which was announced in 2018, means that the previously third and fourth largest wireless companies in the United States have now become the third — rivaling AT&T and Verizon. The new company, just called T-Mobile, is hoping to use its new pool of resources to expand its 5G capabilities, aiming to provide faster internet speeds to 99% of the population within the next six years.

It was supposed to be a run-of-the-mill TV biopic — at least that's what a cable TV network was looking for when they asked writer and director Julien Nitzberg for a movie about Michael Jackson. This was 15 years ago — before the King of Pop's death, but after his 2005 child molestation trial ended in an acquittal.

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Country music channel CMT will now give equal airtime to male and female artists during its early-morning music video hours. The channel announced the news on Twitter today, expanding on their previous policy (60-40, male to female).

CMT airs music videos every day from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m., and also operates a separate channel dedicated to airing music videos around the clock.

Don Imus Dies At 79

Dec 28, 2019

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Longtime radio show host Don Imus died yesterday. He was 79 years old. According to a statement from his family, he'd been in the hospital since Christmas Eve, though no cause of death was given. Imus was equal parts influential and controversial.

The spiritual leader and author Ram Dass has died at the age of 88. He was an icon of the psychedelic drug movement of the '60s and '70s, as well as a champion of a mindful philosophy.

According to his official Instagram account, he died Sunday at his home in Maui.

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J.K. Rowling is beloved for her "Harry Potter" series, but the author finds herself as the object of intense criticism after she tweeted in support of a transphobic researcher. NPR's Andrew Limbong has more.

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Influential photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank has died at the age of 94. He died of natural causes on Monday night in Nova Scotia, Canada. His death was confirmed by his longtime friend and gallerist Peter MacGill.

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.


It was a coincidence that the police were there.

Updated at 4:30 p.m. ET

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The rapper A$AP Rocky is out of Swedish jail and back in the U.S. this morning after a monthlong saga that's drawn the attention of music fans, celebrities and President Trump. And as NPR's Andrew Limbong reports, it's not quite over yet.

A Stockholm judge has ordered the release of rapper A$AP Rocky from jail today, in connection with an alleged assault case. While the trial has ended, reports say that the judge won't hand down a verdict until August 14.

A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, has been detained for a month now, since Jul. 2, after being accused of assaulting a 19-year-old man.

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