Andrew Hankinson is an award-winning writer. His debut book, You Could Do Something Amazing With Your Life (You Are Raoul Moat) (Scribe), won the 2016 Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction. Andrew’s journalism has been published by Wired, Esquire, Guardian, GQ, Spectator, New Statesman, Observer and the Financial Times. He has also appeared on Newsnight, The Daily Politics, BBC Radio 3, 4 and 5.
Switched on Pop is a podcast on the Vox Media Podcast Network analyzing contemporary pop music. It has been listed as a top music podcast by NPR, The Guardian, Buzzfeed, Forbes, Entertainment Weekly, Christian Science Monitor, AV Club, and Chicago Reader. Switched on Pop has been cited, and its creators Charlie Harding and Nate Sloan have appeared as experts, in The Atlantic, VICE, Houston Press, Fuse, The Stranger, OZY, Portland Mercury, and Billboard.
Tony and Emmy award-winning stage and screen performer, Neil Patrick Harris is best known for his roles as Barney Stinson in the popular CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother and as the iconic and beloved Doogie Howser, M.D. He’s been in many movies, hosted the Tonys, the Emmys, and the Oscars, and performed in several Broadway shows.
Born and raised in Washington, DC, Taraji P. Henson graduated from Howard University. She earned a Golden Globe for her role as Cookie in Empire, an Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actress opposite Brad Pitt in David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and was a 2011 Emmy nominee for Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries for Lifetime’s Taken From Me. She also won the 2014 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Detective Joss Carter in CBS’s Person of Interest. Henson made her singing debut in Hustle & Flow and performed the Academy Award-winning song “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” on the Oscar telecast. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her son and has a strong dedication to helping disabled and less fortunate children.
Jewly Hight is the Editorial Director of the Nashville-based NPR Music radio station WNXP as well a music journalist and critic. She is an NPR/NPR Music contributor and her work has also appeared in The New York Times, NYMag.com/Vulture, Slate, Billboard, The Oxford American, MTV.com and numerous other outlets. She won the inaugural Chet Flippo Award for Excellence in Country Music Journalism in 2015 and is the author of Right by Her Roots: Americana Women and Their Songs. She is based in Nashville.
Rapper and 2018 Nasir Jones Fellow at Harvard University, Tef Poe’s work has been featured in TIME, VICE, XXL, Billboard, Rolling Stone, Atlanta Black Star, and The Source.
Charlie Hamilton James is a legendary National Geographic photographer. His talks on his adventures are delivered in theatres all over the US to up to three thousand paying guests in each venue. His television programmes and stills have won international awards, including Wildlife Photojournalist of the of the Year in 2016 and category winner in 2019. He has been EMMY and BAFTA nominated, twice won the Royal Television Society Award for cinematography and his limited edition signed prints sell for thousands of dollars.
Kendra James’s writing and criticism have appeared in such publications as The Toast, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Lenny Letter, Marie Claire, ESPN, and Women’s Health Magazine. The first editor hired at Shondaland.com, where she worked for more than two years, she is currently Senior Producer, Comedy and Entertainment at Crooked Media.
Wild interests and an inclination to rage against the machine with a flair that could equal the groupies and rock stars who fascinate her, vegan Lucretia Tye Jasmine earned her BFA with honors from NYU, and her MFA from CalArts. She is originally from Kentucky, and is currently a Los Angeles-based artist, writer, and interviewer, whose most recent work includes the Groupie Feminism art series; online writing for Please Kill Me and the Los Angeles Beat; and interviews for Feminist Magazine Radio and the GRAMMY Museum.
As the keyboardist for the Memphis-based quartet Booker T & the MGs, Booker T Jones performed R&B and funk hits by Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and Sam & Dave, and, as a member of the house band for Stax Records, helped define the sound of Southern soul music. Booker T & the MGs are also known for original hit singles like “Green Onions,” and for being one of the first integrated instrumental groups. In 1992, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and they received a Grammys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.
Laura Joplin, PhD, is an author and educator. Her training programs for college faculty were supported by the U.S. Department of Education. She has worked as an Executive Coach for Western Management Corporation, in Denver, CO. She currently helps coordinate the Estate of her sister, Janis Joplin. Her biography, Love, Janis inspired the successful Off-Broadway stage play of the same name. Laura is based in Northern California.
Janis Joplin was an American singer-songwriter known for having one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. She was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, acknowledging her electric stage presence, powerful vocals, and legendary status as the first female rockstar.
Jake Keiser is the creator of the blog Gucci to Goats, which chronicles her life on a farm in Oxford, Mississippi. Prior to moving to the middle of nowhere, she lived in Tampa, Florida where she ran her own public relations firm. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan and People, among other publications.
Jason King, who holds a PhD from NYU, is a musician, DJ, producer, curator, writer, and Associate Professor of The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he is a founding faculty member. He has written for publications such as Vibe, The Village Voice, Blender, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, NPR online, Spin, and The Root and has worked as a playwright and director of theater as well as a record producer and manager/strategist for major labels and independent artists.
A comedy writer and stand-up comic, Klein was the head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s Inside Amy Schumer, and also worked as a writer on Amazon's Transparent. She’s received two Emmy nominations, one for her season writing for Saturday Night Live and one for Inside Amy Schumer.
As the guitarist for the Doors, Robby Krieger is one of the most influential musicians in rock and roll history. Krieger wrote or co-wrote many of the Doors’ greatest hits, including “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” and “Love Her Madly”; he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was listed by Rolling Stone as one of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.
The Harvard Lampoon is the oldest continually published college humor magazine in the world, and the storied proving ground of many notable writers and comedians. Their previous book parodies include Bored of the Rings, Nightlight, and The Hunger Pains, all New York Times bestsellers.
Neil Lane’s life journey has always been focused on a deep appreciation of all things beautiful. Creating hand-crafted, treasured jewelry for some of Hollywood’s legendary stars, Neil has become one of the most celebrated jewelry designers in the world appearing, perhaps most notably, in every episode of ABC’s "The Bachelor."
Michael Lang, 1944-2022, co-created and produced the original 1969 Woodstock. His organization produced shows for hundreds of artists including the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan and managed various artists. He was a board member of the Woodstock Film Festival and the Felix Foundation for Adoptees.
Alan Light has appeared as a music and culture expert on numerous television and radio programs, and was the director of programming for Live from the Artists Den, a concert series on PBS. As former editor-in-chief of Spin and Vibe magazines as well as the founder and editor of Tracks, Light has written for countless publications. A former senior writer at Rolling Stone, he won two ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for his work. Light wrote What Happened, Miss Simone?: A Biography (Crown 2016); the oral history of The Beastie Boys, The Skills to Pay the Bills (Three Rivers 2005); and edited The Vibe History of Hip Hop (Crown 1999) and the New York Times bestseller Tupac Shakur (Crown 1997). He is a frequent contributor to The New York Times and Rolling Stone and hosts the SiriusXM music talk channel VOLUME. Light is based in New York City.
John Lithgow is a Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe award-winner, a bestselling author, a talented humorist, and a renowned performer. He is best known for his time on the mega-hit NBC comedy 3rd Rock From the Sun, his performances in The Crown and Dexter and his starring roles in The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Pelican Brief, This is 40, Interstellar, Pet Sematary, Bombshell, and Late Night, among many others.
Jason Lloyd is a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio. He has covered the World Series, the NCAA Tournament, the BCS National Championship Game and the NBA Finals, and he has won several state and national awards for his work covering the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He has also worked for ESPN.com, Lindy’s Sports Annuals, Cleveland Magazine, and CBSSports.com.
Kurt Loder is a longtime film critic, music journalist and television presence and the author of I, Tina, with Tina Turner, and a collection of his work from Rolling Stone where he was an editor for nine years. He was an anchor and correspondent for MTV News, as well as the writer and host of MTV’s The Week in Rock for more than a decade. He currently writes about movies for Reason Online and has also guest-starred as himself in numerous films. His writing has appeared in Esquire, Details, New York Magazine, and Time. He currently lives in New York City.
Eva Longoria is an American actress, producer, director, activist and businesswoman, best known for her role on the popular television series Desperate Housewives. Besides acting Longoria has ventured into business and has released various books, including Eva’s Kitchen, taking readers on her culinary journey—from the food she was brought up on to the recipes inspired by her travels abroad to the dishes she serves during casual nights at home.
Emily Lordi is a professor of English at Vanderbilt University and a writer-at-large for the New York Times’s T Magazine. She has published three acclaimed books on Black artistry, with Rutgers University Press, Bloomsbury’s 33⅓ series, and Duke University Press, and her writing as appeared in the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and elsewhere.
Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Member Mike Love is a founding member and lead singer of the legendary rock group The Beach Boys. In addition to a Grammy Award, he has received an Ella Award from the Society of Singers and has co-authored more than a dozen Top 10 Singles. He is the author of Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy (Blue Rider Press), co-authored with James Hirsch.
Keza MacDonald is the video games editor at the Guardian. She has spent the last decade and a half writing about video games and video game culture. Previously UK Editor at Kotaku.com, her bylines have appeared in Slate, Vice, IGN, and the BBC. She is fluent in Japanese.
Evelyn McDonnell has been writing about popular culture for more than 30 years. She has been a pop culture writer at The Miami Herald, senior editor at The Village Voice, and associate editor at San Francisco Weekly. Her writing on music, poetry, theater, and culture has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies, including the Los Angeles Times, Ms., Rolling Stone, The New York Times, Spin, Travel & Leisure, Us, Billboard, Vibe, Interview, Black Book, and Option. She is an Associate Professor in the English Department and Director of the Journalism Program at Loyola Marymount University.
Kembrew McLeod is a Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Iowa. He has published and produced several books and documentaries about music and popular culture, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Slate, Salon, SPIN, MOJO and Rolling Stone. Kembrew’s documentary Copyright Criminals aired on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning Independent Lens series and his 2007 book Freedom Of Expression® received an American Library Association book award. He was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Fellowship to support the writing and research of his book The Downtown Pop Underground.
Dennis McNally received his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Desolate Angel, his thesis, became a biography of Jack Kerouac published by Random House in 1979. It brought him to the attention of Jerry Garcia, who tapped McNally to be the band’s official biographer in 1980. McNally assumed publicist duties in 1984 and worked for the organization until 2008. His most recent book, On Highway 61, was awarded an ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thompson award. He lives in San Francisco.
Jonathan Van Meter is a contributing editor at Vogue magazine; contributing editor at New York magazine; creator and founding editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine, owned in partnership by Quincy Jones and Time Warner, from 1992-1994; executive producer of Let’s Get Frank (2003), a documentary about former U.S. Representative Barney Frank; and author of the acclaimed book The Last Good Time (Crown Publishing Group).
Fashion designer and culture icon, Mizrahi is the recipient of multiple CFDA awards and has designed clothes for film, theater, dance, and opera. He was the subject of the documentary film Unzipped, and currently stars as a judge on Project Runway: All-Stars. Beyond the fashion world, he performed in an off-Broadway cabaret show called Les MiZrahi and directed a recent production of "Peter and the Wolf" at the Guggenheim Museum. He is a regular host on E! and QVC, for which he launched a lifestyle collection in 2012.
John Moe is the creator and host of the award-winning podcast The Hilarious World of Depression on American Public Media. Moe has enjoyed a long career in public radio serving as host of national public radio broadcast such as Weekend America,Marketplace Tech Report and from 2010- 2015, Wits. His reporting and commentary has been heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition., Marketplace, Day to Day, and numerous other public radio programs. His writing has appeared in many humor anthologies as well as in The New York Times Magazine, McSweeney’s, The Seattle Times, MSN and many other publications. He’s the author of three books and a much in-demand public speaker.
Earl “The Pearl” Monroe is a National Basketball Association legend whose unorthodox, “playground” style of play and high-flying feats on the court have had an enduring impact on the sport. Monroe was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1990 and named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players list in 1996. He is also the author, with Quincy Troupe, of Earl the Pearl: My Story (Rodale).
Joan Morgan is an author and cultural critic who coined the phrase “hip-hop feminism”. Morgan has been a widely sought-after lecturer and commentator on hip-hop and feminism. An award-winning journalist, a provocative cultural critic, she began her professional writing career freelancing for The Village Voice and has been published by Vibe, Interview, Ms., More, Spin, and numerous others. Formerly the executive editor of Essence, she’s currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at New York University and is based in New York City. Morgan is at work on a book about Lauryn Hill’s iconic album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, forthcoming from Atria Books.
As the lead singer and lyricist for the Doors, Jim Morrison is one of the most legendary and influential figures in rock and roll history. A countercultural icon with a distinctive voice and gift for poetry and prose, he was posthumously honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, in both cases as a member of the Doors.
National Public Radio is an independent, nonprofit media organization that was founded on a mission to create a more informed public. Every day, NPR connects with millions of Americans on the air, online, and in person to explore the news, ideas, and what it means to be human. Through its network of member stations, NPR makes local stories national, national stories local, and global stories personal.
A renowned soprano who has performed with the world’s most storied opera companies, including the Orchestre de Paris, and the Philharmonics of Los Angeles, New York, Berlin, and London, Norman is the youngest winner of a Kennedy Center Honor, has earned a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and received the National Medal of the Arts from President Barack Obama.
Robert K. Oermann is an award-winning multimedia music journalist. He writes weekly columns for Music Row magazine and has been published in more than 100 other periodicals including Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, TV Guide, The Tennessean and USA Today. Oermann is also a TV and radio script writer/director for dozens of national productions. His honors and awards include the ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, the Media Achievement Award from the Country Music Association, Country Music People’s International Media Award, Goldmine’s Best Historical Writer, and SESAC’s Journalistic Achievement Award. He has authored eight books and penned liner notes for more than 100 albums and boxed-sets. Oermann has lectured on popular music, journalism and country music at many colleges and universities, and lives in Nashville with his wife and co-author Mary A. Bufwack.
The founder of O Pictures, Oreck produced hundreds of music videos, many iconic, including for Prince, Madonna, Janet Jackson, Mick Jagger, Chris Isaak, and Sheila E, among many others.
Patricia Pearson is an award-winning author and the recipient of three Canadian National Magazine Awards, the Arthur Ellis Award for best Canadian nonfiction crime writing, and a North American Travel Journalism Association award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Toronto Life, Reader’s Digest, The Toronto Star, National Post, The Guardian, The New York Times, More, TheGlobe and Mail, TheDaily Telegraph, Business Week, NPR, CBC Television, The History Channel, and TV Ontario, among many others. In 2003, she was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, Canada’s version of the Mark Twain prize.
Nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Peter Weir’s Fearless, Perez was nominated for two Emmy’s for her choreography on In Living Color. Her film work includes Do The Right Thing and White Men Can’t Jump, and her theater works includes Terrence McNally’s Frankie And Johnny in the Clair de Lune. Perez is the Artistic Chair of Urban Arts Partnership.
A screenwriter and performer, Perry hosts the Moth Story Slam in Los Angeles and is a two-time GrandSlam winner. He’s written and sold several screenplays and has been published in the New York Times, McSweeney’s, and College Humor, among other publications.
Liz Phair is a Grammy-nominated musician and one of music’s most influential artists and feminist pioneer. Her debut record, Exile in Guyville, is considered a landmark in rock music and appears in countless critics “best-of” lists, including, Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time lists. She has written for The New York Times and The Atlantic.
Parker Posey is an actress known for her roles in Christopher Guest movies like Party Girl, Broken English, Woody Allen’s Irrational Man, Best in Show, and Waiting for Guffman. Posey first broke into Hollywood with her iconic role in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused.
One of the nation's most notable music critics, Ann 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 Timesfrom 2006 until she joined NPR; prior to the Los Angeles Times, she was senior critic at Blender, a pop critic at The New York Times, and a senior editor at The Village Voice. The co-author of Tori Amos’ New York Times bestselling memoir, she won the 42nd annual ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 2010.
Elvis Presley is one of the most influential pop culture figures of the 20th century. Often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll", Elvis’ commanding voice and charismatic stage presence unleashed a musical and cultural revolution that changed the world forever. Over the course of his career, Elvis was nominated for 14 Grammy Awards (3 wins), sold over 1 billion records world-wide, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and was named One of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Nation by the United States Jaycees. In addition to his musical accolades, Elvis starred in 33 films and made numerous television appearances. Today Elvis continues to inspire musicians, fashion designers, and social influencers and captivate audiences around the world.
After graduating from The Juilliard School with a Bachelor degree and Master of Music, Arianna performed as a professional violinist at top venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Berlin’s Philharmonie, Boston Symphony Hall, The Kennedy Center, The Blue Note jazz club, and so on. Her writing on music and culture has appeared in outlets such as The Washington Post, Slate, and Bustle.
Lynette Rice has been a senior writer and editor-at-large for Entertainment Weekly since 1999, where she writes about all things pop culture related. She currently hosts “Outlander Live!” on“The Awardist” for Sirius XM. She has 26k Twitter followers and lives in Los Angeles, CA.
A multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning music producer, songwriter, and member of Chic, Rodgers has written and produced for Madonna, David Bowie, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Peter Gabriel, Sheena Easton, Jeff Beck, and Mick Jagger, among many others and is a 2014 Grammy Award winner for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Get Lucky."
DJ, songwriter, and record producer Mark Ronson has won seven Grammy Awards, including two for his eleven-times platinum single “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars. In 2019, he received an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for the song “Shallow,” which he wrote with Lady Gaga for the film A Star is Born. Mark has collaborated with Amy Winehouse, Miley Cyrus, and Adele, among numerous other artists.
A novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, Rudnick has written three books and frequently writes for The New Yorker. His articles and essays have also appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and Spy. His screenplays include InandOut and Addams Family Values, and his plays include I Hate Hamlet. Using the pseudonym Libby Gelman-Waxner, Rudnick wrote film criticism for Premiere magazine.
Creator, co-producer, co-writer and star of the sketch comedy series Inside Amy Schumer, comedian and actress Schumer won a Peabody Award and was nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards, winning for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, in 2015. Schumer also wrote, starred in, and produced the Judd Apatow directed movie Trainwreck in 2015.