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Introducing Turning The Tables: 21st Century Edition

In 2017, NPR Music published a list of the 200 Greatest Albums Made By Women. The list, selected by women from across the public radio system, launched our series Turning the Tables, which aims to radically change how we talk about the history of popular music.

This year, Turning the Tables is asking a new question: How does music by women define our current era? To answer that question, we'll be publishing a list of the best songs of the 21st century by women and nonbinary artists next Monday, July 30. All that week, we'll also be publishing essays that tackle the question of what it means to focus on women's music in the 21st century. And we'll follow that with a series of pieces on the most influential women musicians of our time.

We think nothing goes better with canon-busting than a little celebration. So to kick off this season of Turning the Tables, we're teaming up with Lincoln Center Out Of Doors again for two events to celebrate our list.

On Tuesday, July 31, members of the voting panel for this year's Turning the Tables list will discuss some of their favorite songs from the playlist. The conversation will be moderated by Talia Schlanger, host of WXPN's World Cafe, and will feature Rolling Stone's Suzy Exposito; The Ringer's Lindsay Zoladz; journalists and scholars Lara Pellegrinelli and Laina Dawes; and music journalists and cultural critics Liz Pelly and Cyrena Touros — plus me, representing NPR Music. Doors open at 7:00 pm at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

Then, on Wednesday, August 1, our own critic (and Turning the Tables co-creator) Ann Powers will be hosting a night of music and conversation with some incredible 21st century musicians: Carly Rae Jepsen, Jamila Woods, Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers and I'm With Her. Doors open at 7 p.m. ET at NYC's Damrosch Park.

Both events are free; you can find more details at

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