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FUV Essentials

There are many variables that determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history, discography — and WFUV takes a deeper look with FUV Essentials. On-air and online, we celebrate musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack. Let’s love these artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.

Stevie Wonder

From child prodigy to elder statesman of American pop, soul, R&B, jazz and funk, Stevie Wonder's masterful musical journey has already stretched a remarkable 55 years and continues to evolve while marking major mileposts

KT Tunstall's Five Essential Pretenders Songs

Scottish singer and songwriter KT Tunstall was just four years old when the Pretenders released their eponymous debut album, but the Brit Award winner (and Mercury Prize and Grammy nominee) has long admired Chrissie Hynde's tough and tender vocals. Despite her hectic tour and album prep schedule, Tunstall, who has visited WFUV many times in the past, happily found the time to round up her Five Essential Pretenders Songs and discuss why some of the band's significant singles were so meaningful to her.

Guster's Brian Rosenworcel: Five Essential R.E.M. Albums

Like this week's FUV Essentials artist, R.E.M., a band that spiralled from the University of Georgia in Athens, the three founding members of Boston-bred Guster also met in a college town, while students at Tufts University in the early '90s. When we asked Guster's kinetic drummer (and bongo sensei) Brian Rosenworcel to write about his Five Essential R.E.M. Albums, he turned in this terrific, thoughtful list that gives special insight into fellow man-with-sticks Bill Berry's contributions too.


FUV Essentials, both on-air and online, celebrates the musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack for the past fifty years, examining their impact, influence and discography. Few American bands have balanced Southern Gothic, sun-splashed punk-pop, and bruising, abstruse rock 'n' roll more deftly than R.E.M., a quartet-turned-trio that thrived for 31 years, until its breakup in 2011.