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The Austin 100: Stonebwoy

Burntion Music Group
Courtesy of the artist

Hometown:Ashaiman, Ghana


Why We're Excited:Dancehall and reggae star Stonebwoy has broken out well beyond his home country of Ghana: He's collaborated with the likes of Sean Paul, won a BET Award (for Best International Act: Africa) and found a worldwide following for a string of springy, Afropop-inflected crossover hits. Among his most recent singles, the relentlessly catchy "Top Skanka" sounds poised to cross over to U.S. audiences whose pop-music world keeps getting more expansive.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)