Monika Evstatieva

For Mother's Day this year, indie rock star Lucy Dacus did better than sending flowers or a card.

Baloji is an artist who finds strength in his roots but freedom in between genres. He was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, but has lived in Belgium most of his life. The rapper is a well-known name in Belgium and France. He's received music honors for his work, but his life has been a journey of struggle and perseverance.

Jackson Stell began his music career making hip-hop beats. As a producer, he had gone by J Beatz. Then some years ago, he felt stuck and had a change of heart. He decided to make a different type of music and he decided he would try his hand at singing on his tracks. Now, this beatsmith-turned-vocalist is known as Big Wild and says singing and writing lyrics enabled him to make music that feels true to himself.

Son of a Dublin blues drummer and a visual artist, Andrew Hozier-Byrne was launched into international stardom in his early 20s with the 2013 hit "Take Me To Church." What followed was a self-titled debut album, sold out world tours, a Grammy nomination and an ever-growing fan base.

South African author, actor and musician Nakhane creates art that reveals. He came out with his first album, Brave Confusion, in 2013, and now he's back with a powerful testimony of trial and redemption set to the sounds of electronic dance music from his home country. The 30-year-old singer addresses the intersectionality of queerness, blackness and survival in his latest album, You Will Not Die.

In 2018, Afghanistan bled. Violence claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 civilians between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, the highest number in that same period since 2014. The death toll of Afghan security forces — which some estimates put at more than 9,000 this year, between 25 and 30 deaths a day — has been called "unsustainable" by the U.S. military.

In the summer of 2015, the song "Lean On" by Major Lazer and DJ Snake was nearly inescapable. The summer anthem, which went to generate over 1 billion streams, featured a relatively unknown Danish artist. It launched singer Karen Marie Aagaard Ørsted Andersen — better known as MØ — into the mainstream.

Vijay Gupta's life work has been to make music accessible to all.

That passion caught the attention of others and earlier this month the Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist was awarded a 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship — also known as the genius grant.

Who's the most famous person in Russia? That's easy: Vladimir Putin.

But the second most famous person in Russia? Arguably, that would be Ksenia Sobchak, a name that's not familiar to most Americans.

The huge former reality TV star has millions of followers on social media, and is running for president in Russia's elections on March 18 — a description that might sound familiar.

While the 36-year-old, who is also a journalist, is trying to channel President Trump, her outspokenness is of a different nature.

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