We're going to turn now to a regular feature we call In Your Ear. That's where some of our guests tell us about the songs that inspire them. Singer Lea Gilmore's mastery of gospel, blues and jazz has made her a name as far away as Siberia. But she freely admits her musical tastes are equally wide-ranging, including a popular tune from a musical that's for an Oscar this Sunday.
LEA GILMORE: Hi, my name is Lea Gilmore and this is what I'm listening to.
"Some boys just know they're gay," writer Benjamin Alire Saenz tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I don't know how that happens. And I think other boys don't know, and then they start discovering that. And that's the book."
Saenz's young-adult novel Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was a big winner at this year's American Library Association awards for children's literature.
President Obama wants Congress to act fast to avoid massive government budget cuts that could hit in March. Washington is seeing more gridlock as Republicans blocked a vote to confirm Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense. Host Michel Martin talks about the latest in politics.
LGBT rights advocate Andy Marra has a knack for writing. When she needs the right vibe, she turns to musical group Bon Iver. For Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, Marra shares why the song 'Holocene' is perfect to write to.
Watching Jose James perform live was one of the most remarkable experiences we've had at our intimate in-studio sessions.
The soulful jazz singer blends his powerful vocals with hip-hop beats, smooth R&B choruses and an equally talented backing band. You'll never hear James' songs the same way again after hearing them live.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, if your seven-year-old was topping out the weight charts for her age, what do you think you'd do? Sign her up for dance class, cut out dessert, wait and see what happens? We'll hear about the steps one mom took when she realized her daughter was losing the battle of the bulge and the incredible blowback she got from friends and family. She'll tell us about it all in just a few minutes.
When NBC Today show weatherman Al Roker needs to get pumped up for his work day, he turns to the theme song for the television show The A-Team. During Tell Me More's 'In Your Ear' series, Roker shares why the song, and Mister T, get him 'jazzed.'
The Defense Department and other government agencies are preparing for the possible government budget cuts known as sequestration. Host Michel Martin talks with Lieutenant Colonel Elizabeth Robbins of the Defense Department and Washington Post 'Federal Diary' columnist Joe Davidson about who'll be affected.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. It is Presidents Day, a day we celebrate the nation's presidents, and for many people it's a day off: a day to spend time with friends and family.
Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy — and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.