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Women in Entertainment (Audio)

Academy of Achievement

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Women in Entertainment (Audio)
Women in Entertainment (Audio)

Women in Entertainment (Audio)

Academy of Achievement

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In recognition of Women's History Month, the Academy of Achievement presents a selection of extraordinary women who have defied expectations, broken boundaries, and made history around the world. They include courageous political leaders and human rights activists, recipients of the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, award-winning actresses, musicians, screenwriters and film directors, as well as outstanding athletes, educators, journalists, explorers, physicians, philanthropists, broadcasters and entrepreneurs. Their words and their example are an inspiration to us all. Note: A subset of these tracks is available in SD and HD video. Select SD or HD from the menu on the left to visit the other formats.

Latest Episodes

Esperanza Spalding

Vocalist, composer and instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding fell in love with music as a little girl in Portland, Oregon. She first drew acclaim as a child violinist before discovering the upright bass as a teenager. Within months she was playing in local clubs, exploring pop, rock, hip-hop and especially jazz. By age 20 she was an instructor at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music, and was performing with singer Patti Austin and a stellar roster of jazz greats. Her 2008 album Esperanza topped Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart. The following year, she was invited to perform at the White House and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Stockholm. At the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, she was honored as Best New Artist of the Year. With her 2011 album Chamber Music Society, she became the bestselling contemporary jazz artist in the world. On the follow-up, Radio Music Society, she played her own compositions alongside an eclectic selection of tunes by everyone from the Beach Boys to o...

15 MIN2014 SEP 13
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Esperanza Spalding

Carole King

The most successful and admired female songwriter in the history of pop music, Carole King proves that one woman alone at the piano can be more powerful than a four-piece rock band or a 30-piece orchestra. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where her mother was a teacher and her father a firefighter. She learned to play the piano at age four and formed her first band in high school. At age 18, she scored her first Number One hit record – the first of 118 pop hits on the Billboard charts, including such classics as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “The Loco-Motion,” “Up on the Roof,” It’s Too Late, Baby,” “I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet,” “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” To date, she has recorded 25 solo albums, the most successful of which, Tapestry, sold 25 million copies, and for a quarter of a century held the record for a female artist for most weeks at the top of the charts. The recipient of the 2013 Grammy Lifetime Achievement...

12 MIN2014 FEB 13
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Carole King

Audra McDonald (Audio)

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both singer and actress. With a record-tying five Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and a long list of other accolades to her name, she is among today's most highly regarded performers. Blessed with a luminous soprano voice and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling, she is equally at home on Broadway and opera stages as in roles on film and television. In addition to her theatrical work, she maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world. Audra McDonald was inducted into the Academy of Achievement in 2012. In this podcast, recorded on that occasion at the Academy's Washington, D.C. headquarters, she sings a few of her favorite songs, including 'Summertime' and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' The podcast also includes highlights of an exclusive interview with Audra McDonald.

13 MIN2012 DEC 9
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Audra McDonald (Audio)

Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat was barely out of her teens when she established herself as one of America's premier singers and songwriters. She released her first album, Coco, in 2007, just weeks before her 22nd birthday. The album debuted at Number 5 on the Billboard magazine charts, driven by the hit single 'Bubbly,' and quickly sold over two million units. Billboard named her the 'Breakthrough Artist of the Year.' Her second album, fittingly titled Breakthrough, debuted at Number 1 and confirmed her status as a hitmaker. Caillat won two Grammys that year, for 'Lucky,' a duet with Jason Mraz, and for co-writing Taylor Swift's hit 'Breathe.' In 2010, she was named 'Songwriter of the Year' by Broadcast Music International (BMI). She closed out the year by performing at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. In 2011, she released her third album, All of You, with its hit singles, 'I Do' and 'Brighter Than the Sun.' To date, she has sold over six million albums and ten million singles worldw...

11 MIN2012 OCT 28
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Colbie Caillat

Aretha Franklin Interview & Live Performance

Aretha Franklin is known the world over as the Queen of Soul Music. In the 1960s, her hit recording "Respect" became an anthem of the civil rights struggle and a theme song for the dawning women's movement. He musical career began in the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin was the pastor. Young Aretha sang and played piano, and the passion of Gospel music has remained with her through her subsequent triumphs in secular blues, rock and pop. Franklin began recording when she was only 14. At 19, had won a solos contract with Columbia Records. Columbia tried to promote her as a conventionally smooth pop singer, but Aretha's talent was too volcanic to be contained by the old formulas. In 1966, she moved to Atlantic Records, where she recorded the stirring performances that made her world-famous. Her rendition of songs like "Think," "Chain of Fools, and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" set the standard by which singing in the soul ...

15 MIN2012 OCT 28
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Aretha Franklin Interview & Live Performance

Kiri Te Kanawa Interview & Live Performance Highlights

Kiri Te Kanawa created a sensation in 1971, when she made her debut as the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Audiences were captivated by the lyric splendor of her voice and the exquisite tenderness of her interpretation. Soon she was a leading star of the operatic stage. Today, she is one of the most famous sopranos in the world. Born in New Zealand of Maori and European ancestry, she enjoyed a career as a popular singer and recording artist while still in her teens. At 20, she moved to London for serious operatic study, and was discovered by the conductor Sir Colin Davis. Since then, she has sung in the leading opera houses of the world, and as a guest artist with the world’s major orchestras and the greatest conductors of our time. In addition to her many operatic recordings, she has recorded several albums of classic American popular songs. She was seen, as well as heard, in the 1979 film of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and by a vast i...

15 MIN2012 MAY 16
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Kiri Te Kanawa Interview & Live Performance Highlights

Melissa Manchester Live Performance & Interview

Singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester burst onto the music scene in the 1970s with the albums Home to Myself, Bright Eyes and Melissa, with its hit single Midnight Blue. Manchester's success as a writer and recording artist was preceded by thorough preparation. She published her first poems at 15, studied acting at New York's High School of the Performing Arts and songwriting at New York University, in a class taught by Paul Simon. She honed her craft playing piano and signing in the nightclubs of Greenwich Village and gained national exposure as a member of Bette Midler's back-up vocal group, the Harlettes. In addition to her association with Midler she formed a close working relationship with Midler's music director, Barry Manilow. In addition to her own recordings, she co-wrote "Whenever I Call You Friend," a major hit for Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks. Her songs have been recorded by Barbra Streisand, Alison Krauss and many others. An outstanding interpreter of songs by other wr...

7 MIN2011 MAR 7
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Melissa Manchester Live Performance & Interview

Dionne Warwick Live Performance & Interview

Since she first hit the charts with "Don't Make Me Over" in 1962, the unmistakable voice and flawless musicianship of Dionne Warwick have made her an international musical legend. Her soulful blend of pop, gospel and soul styles has transcended musical and cultural boundaries. She began singing in church in her home town of East Orange, New Jersey. While attending Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, she began working as a back-up singer on recording sessions in New York City. Songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David recruited her to record demos of their songs, and soon she won a recording contract of her own. The team of singer Warwick with writers Bacharach and David recorded 30 hit singles, and nearly 20 best-selling albums in the first ten years of their collaboration. Hits like "Anyone Who Had A Heart," and "Walk On By" spread Warwick's fame all over the word. She received her first Grammy Award in 1968 for Bacharach and David's "Do You Know The Way to San Jose?" I...

12 MIN2010 MAY 14
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Dionne Warwick Live Performance & Interview

Amy Grant Live Performance

Amy Grant made her recording debut while still in her teens and soon released the first record of contemporary Christian music to sell over a million copies. She later achieved unprecedented crossover success with her albums "Lead Me On" and "Heart in Motion." With six Grammy awards and over 30 million records sold worldwide, she is the best-selling Christian music artist of all time. Grant is married to fellow musician and Academy member Vince Gill.

4 MIN2009 JUL 3
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Amy Grant Live Performance

Taylor Swift Live Performance

Taylor Swift's self-titled debut album -- recorded when she was still in high school -- sold more than three million copies. A prodigiously talented singer and songwriter, she wrote every song on the album, including the year’s number one country single, "Our Song." Her dedication to music began in childhood. By age ten she was performing at karaoke contests, festivals and county fairs around her hometown of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. At age 12, she persuaded her parents to move to Nashville so she could pursue her singing career. In only two years she had signed a publishing contract with Sony, making her the youngest professional songwriter in the industry. Her catalogue already includes hundreds of original songs, from plaintive ballads to irresistibly catchy anthems that capture the heartbreaks and trials of adolescence with startling honesty. A second album, Fearless, topped the Billboard 200 for 11 consecutive weeks, making her the best-selling musical artist of the year. Her ...

8 MIN2008 JUL 5
Comments
Taylor Swift Live Performance

Latest Episodes

Esperanza Spalding

Vocalist, composer and instrumentalist Esperanza Spalding fell in love with music as a little girl in Portland, Oregon. She first drew acclaim as a child violinist before discovering the upright bass as a teenager. Within months she was playing in local clubs, exploring pop, rock, hip-hop and especially jazz. By age 20 she was an instructor at Boston's prestigious Berklee College of Music, and was performing with singer Patti Austin and a stellar roster of jazz greats. Her 2008 album Esperanza topped Billboard's Contemporary Jazz chart. The following year, she was invited to perform at the White House and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Stockholm. At the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, she was honored as Best New Artist of the Year. With her 2011 album Chamber Music Society, she became the bestselling contemporary jazz artist in the world. On the follow-up, Radio Music Society, she played her own compositions alongside an eclectic selection of tunes by everyone from the Beach Boys to o...

15 MIN2014 SEP 13
Comments
Esperanza Spalding

Carole King

The most successful and admired female songwriter in the history of pop music, Carole King proves that one woman alone at the piano can be more powerful than a four-piece rock band or a 30-piece orchestra. She grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where her mother was a teacher and her father a firefighter. She learned to play the piano at age four and formed her first band in high school. At age 18, she scored her first Number One hit record – the first of 118 pop hits on the Billboard charts, including such classics as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “The Loco-Motion,” “Up on the Roof,” It’s Too Late, Baby,” “I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet,” “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” and “You’ve Got a Friend.” To date, she has recorded 25 solo albums, the most successful of which, Tapestry, sold 25 million copies, and for a quarter of a century held the record for a female artist for most weeks at the top of the charts. The recipient of the 2013 Grammy Lifetime Achievement...

12 MIN2014 FEB 13
Comments
Carole King

Audra McDonald (Audio)

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both singer and actress. With a record-tying five Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and a long list of other accolades to her name, she is among today's most highly regarded performers. Blessed with a luminous soprano voice and an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling, she is equally at home on Broadway and opera stages as in roles on film and television. In addition to her theatrical work, she maintains a major career as a concert and recording artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world. Audra McDonald was inducted into the Academy of Achievement in 2012. In this podcast, recorded on that occasion at the Academy's Washington, D.C. headquarters, she sings a few of her favorite songs, including 'Summertime' and 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' The podcast also includes highlights of an exclusive interview with Audra McDonald.

13 MIN2012 DEC 9
Comments
Audra McDonald (Audio)

Colbie Caillat

Colbie Caillat was barely out of her teens when she established herself as one of America's premier singers and songwriters. She released her first album, Coco, in 2007, just weeks before her 22nd birthday. The album debuted at Number 5 on the Billboard magazine charts, driven by the hit single 'Bubbly,' and quickly sold over two million units. Billboard named her the 'Breakthrough Artist of the Year.' Her second album, fittingly titled Breakthrough, debuted at Number 1 and confirmed her status as a hitmaker. Caillat won two Grammys that year, for 'Lucky,' a duet with Jason Mraz, and for co-writing Taylor Swift's hit 'Breathe.' In 2010, she was named 'Songwriter of the Year' by Broadcast Music International (BMI). She closed out the year by performing at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. In 2011, she released her third album, All of You, with its hit singles, 'I Do' and 'Brighter Than the Sun.' To date, she has sold over six million albums and ten million singles worldw...

11 MIN2012 OCT 28
Comments
Colbie Caillat

Aretha Franklin Interview & Live Performance

Aretha Franklin is known the world over as the Queen of Soul Music. In the 1960s, her hit recording "Respect" became an anthem of the civil rights struggle and a theme song for the dawning women's movement. He musical career began in the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, Rev. C.L. Franklin was the pastor. Young Aretha sang and played piano, and the passion of Gospel music has remained with her through her subsequent triumphs in secular blues, rock and pop. Franklin began recording when she was only 14. At 19, had won a solos contract with Columbia Records. Columbia tried to promote her as a conventionally smooth pop singer, but Aretha's talent was too volcanic to be contained by the old formulas. In 1966, she moved to Atlantic Records, where she recorded the stirring performances that made her world-famous. Her rendition of songs like "Think," "Chain of Fools, and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" set the standard by which singing in the soul ...

15 MIN2012 OCT 28
Comments
Aretha Franklin Interview & Live Performance

Kiri Te Kanawa Interview & Live Performance Highlights

Kiri Te Kanawa created a sensation in 1971, when she made her debut as the Countess in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Audiences were captivated by the lyric splendor of her voice and the exquisite tenderness of her interpretation. Soon she was a leading star of the operatic stage. Today, she is one of the most famous sopranos in the world. Born in New Zealand of Maori and European ancestry, she enjoyed a career as a popular singer and recording artist while still in her teens. At 20, she moved to London for serious operatic study, and was discovered by the conductor Sir Colin Davis. Since then, she has sung in the leading opera houses of the world, and as a guest artist with the world’s major orchestras and the greatest conductors of our time. In addition to her many operatic recordings, she has recorded several albums of classic American popular songs. She was seen, as well as heard, in the 1979 film of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and by a vast i...

15 MIN2012 MAY 16
Comments
Kiri Te Kanawa Interview & Live Performance Highlights

Melissa Manchester Live Performance & Interview

Singer-songwriter Melissa Manchester burst onto the music scene in the 1970s with the albums Home to Myself, Bright Eyes and Melissa, with its hit single Midnight Blue. Manchester's success as a writer and recording artist was preceded by thorough preparation. She published her first poems at 15, studied acting at New York's High School of the Performing Arts and songwriting at New York University, in a class taught by Paul Simon. She honed her craft playing piano and signing in the nightclubs of Greenwich Village and gained national exposure as a member of Bette Midler's back-up vocal group, the Harlettes. In addition to her association with Midler she formed a close working relationship with Midler's music director, Barry Manilow. In addition to her own recordings, she co-wrote "Whenever I Call You Friend," a major hit for Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks. Her songs have been recorded by Barbra Streisand, Alison Krauss and many others. An outstanding interpreter of songs by other wr...

7 MIN2011 MAR 7
Comments
Melissa Manchester Live Performance & Interview

Dionne Warwick Live Performance & Interview

Since she first hit the charts with "Don't Make Me Over" in 1962, the unmistakable voice and flawless musicianship of Dionne Warwick have made her an international musical legend. Her soulful blend of pop, gospel and soul styles has transcended musical and cultural boundaries. She began singing in church in her home town of East Orange, New Jersey. While attending Hartt College of Music in Hartford, Connecticut, she began working as a back-up singer on recording sessions in New York City. Songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David recruited her to record demos of their songs, and soon she won a recording contract of her own. The team of singer Warwick with writers Bacharach and David recorded 30 hit singles, and nearly 20 best-selling albums in the first ten years of their collaboration. Hits like "Anyone Who Had A Heart," and "Walk On By" spread Warwick's fame all over the word. She received her first Grammy Award in 1968 for Bacharach and David's "Do You Know The Way to San Jose?" I...

12 MIN2010 MAY 14
Comments
Dionne Warwick Live Performance & Interview

Amy Grant Live Performance

Amy Grant made her recording debut while still in her teens and soon released the first record of contemporary Christian music to sell over a million copies. She later achieved unprecedented crossover success with her albums "Lead Me On" and "Heart in Motion." With six Grammy awards and over 30 million records sold worldwide, she is the best-selling Christian music artist of all time. Grant is married to fellow musician and Academy member Vince Gill.

4 MIN2009 JUL 3
Comments
Amy Grant Live Performance

Taylor Swift Live Performance

Taylor Swift's self-titled debut album -- recorded when she was still in high school -- sold more than three million copies. A prodigiously talented singer and songwriter, she wrote every song on the album, including the year’s number one country single, "Our Song." Her dedication to music began in childhood. By age ten she was performing at karaoke contests, festivals and county fairs around her hometown of Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. At age 12, she persuaded her parents to move to Nashville so she could pursue her singing career. In only two years she had signed a publishing contract with Sony, making her the youngest professional songwriter in the industry. Her catalogue already includes hundreds of original songs, from plaintive ballads to irresistibly catchy anthems that capture the heartbreaks and trials of adolescence with startling honesty. A second album, Fearless, topped the Billboard 200 for 11 consecutive weeks, making her the best-selling musical artist of the year. Her ...

8 MIN2008 JUL 5
Comments
Taylor Swift Live Performance
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