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FUV Essentials

So many variables determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history. On-air and online, we celebrate the musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack for the past fifty years. Let’s love these FUV Essential artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.

Emmylou Harris

Revered as one of the greatest harmony singers and song interpreters of our age, Emmylou Harris claims a place in the high court of Americana royalty. She celebrates her 70th birthday on April 2 and we're honoring her this week as an FUV Essentials artist.


There are plenty of revered record labels, but few kindle instant recognition and affection quite like Motown. In the Sixties, the beloved Detroit-born label became a springboard for a dazzling list of legacy artists, zigzagging from Marvin Gaye to Diana Ross and the Supremes to Stevie Wonder. It irrefutably defined a new sound too, doled out via 45 rpm records and full-length albums. Motown changed music—and the entire label is one of our FUV Essentials.

Fleetwood Mac

Finding that elusive algorithm of survival is hard for twenty or thirty years, let alone five decades. So if there's one regent of resilience—and reinvention—it's probably Fleetwood Mac, marking its 50th anniversary in 2017. With a forthcoming 'Buckingham McVie' album on the horizon and 'Rumours' turning 40, it's a fine time to celebrate this FUV Essentials band.

The Beatles

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — the Beatles — were four lads from Liverpool, England who spearheaded an unparalleled musical and cultural revolution that still resonates today, more than five decades after the band released its debut album.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles, one of our FUV Essentials, was not only a virtuosic musician and song interpreter, but a man who founded a genre, intuitively merging various elements of bebop, gospel, blues, jazz, swing and country. He laid the cornerstone to what became modern soul, R&B and early rock 'n' roll.