Christmas Vacation with Andra Day, Jon Batiste, and Kacey Musgraves

Historically, Christmas records served as a vacation from the artist’s career. Singers stopped building their images and presented themselves as people like you who love Christmas too. Married singers who portrayed themselves as ready for love suddenly sang the joys of domesticity, complete with kids. Rock ’n’ roll complicated that Christmas vacation because pop vocalists in the 1940s and '50s were hitmakers who reached a broad demographic.

Kevin Hart, Kendrick Lamar Explore Blackness at Essence

[Updated] In a way, the Essence Festival is yet another measure of how different the experience is between white and black America. Thursday night, the festival sold out its three-year-old “Essence Now” night at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with headliner Kevin Hart, who is only starting to find a white audience even though Hart’s 2011 “Laugh at My Pain” was one of the year’s top-selling comedy tours.

Pages