Popular Music News

Michael Tilson Thomas and Los Angeles Philharmonic win at 2021 GRAMMY Awards

March 14, 2021

The 63rd annual GRAMMY Awards, held virtually on Sunday, March 14, brought wins for faculty and alumni at USC Thornton. Celebrated conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, a Thornton alum and Judge Widney Professor at USC, won for Best Orchestral Performance for the San Francisco Symphony’s “Copland: Symphony No. 3.” And the many alumni and faculty who […]


Side by side images of Celeste Butler and Raivyn Hearne

Celeste Butler and Raivyn Hearne compete on American Idol

March 9, 2021

Two artists from USC Thornton’s Popular Music program will compete on American Idol this season. Alum Celeste Butler (BM ‘19) and current student Raivyn Hearne both received the coveted golden ticket and will appear on the show’s 19th season, airing now. Butler was recently featured in a Daily Trojan article about her appearance on the […]


Jensen McRae holding hands to her face, standing in front of a greenery covered wall

Jensen McRae named to #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021

February 4, 2021

Singer-songwriter and Popular Music alum Jensen McRae (BM ‘19) has been named as one of the 21 artists in YouTube Music’s #YouTubeBlack Voices Class of 2021. Each artist in the program will receive seed funding to develop their YouTube channels as well as support from YouTube through training, workshops, and networking opportunities. The program is […]


Members of the Yellowjackets pose against a yellow backdrop

DownBeat magazine interviews Yellowjackets about latest album, Jackets XL

January 14, 2021

DownBeat magazine recently interviewed the members of the legendary jazz group Yellowjackets, which includes USC Thornton faculty members Russell Ferrante, Willl Kennedy and Bob Mintzer. The group spoke about their latest album, Jackets XL, which DownBeat calls “vibrant” and “robust.” Throughout the interview, the group speaks about the creation of some of the album’s tracks […]


Jensen McRae in white jacket photographed against red backdrop

Jensen McRae’s “Wolves” named one of KCRW’s Best of 2020

January 4, 2021

In KCRW’s roundup of some of the best music of 2020, Popular Music alum Jensen McRae’s (BM ’19) 2020 release, “Wolves,” was named among the top 15 songs most loved by the station’s DJs. “Wolves” is one of a few songs McRae has released ahead of her first full length album, expected to release later […]


Remi Wolf poses in a laundromat

Remi Wolf named to Vevo’s 2021 Artists to Watch

December 15, 2020

Pop artist Remi Wolf (BM ’18), an alum of USC Thornton’s Popular Music program, has been named one of Vevo DSCVR’s 2021 Artists to Watch. The list highlights emerging artists poised for breakthroughs in the coming year, and has previously named artists such as Sam Smith and Billie Eilish. As one of the new class […]


Noa Zimmerman playing guitar and singing on stage

Noa Zimmerman featured in Daily Trojan

November 16, 2020

Noa Zimmerman, a senior in the Popular Music program, was recently featured in a Daily Trojan article about her music and passion for social activism. The piece breaks down two new singles Zimmerman released in October, “Palindrome King” and “Invisible Strings,” and highlights the Artivist Foundation, an organization she co-founded to connect artists involved in […]


Malia Civetz pictured wearing glasses against a bright pink backdrop

Malia Civetz releases new EP, The Flip

November 13, 2020

Popular Music alum Malia Civetz (BM ‘16) released her debut EP The Flip on Oct. 16 with Warner Records. The album was praised for its “powerhouse vocal delivery, sharp songwriting, and a thoughtful overarching message” by ChicagoNow, highlighting singles like “Broke Boy,” which Civetz premiered earlier this year. “When I make music, I think of […]


Rozzi Cane in blue dress sitting in front of a large yellow circle

Rozzi featured in Daily Trojan

October 20, 2020

The Daily Trojan recently featured Popular Music alum Rozzi Crane (BM ‘13), known professionally as Rozzi, in an article about her musical journey as an indie-pop singer. Rozzi is a graduate of the inaugural class of USC Thornton’s Popular Music program. Looking back at her time in the program, Rozzi remembers how the rigorous lessons, […]


Album cover art with drawing of Brian Robert Jones lying on a bed surrounded by band posters and listening to music

Brian Robert Jones talks *NSYNC cover album with Lance Bass

September 24, 2020

Brian Robert Jones (BM ‘15), an alum of the USC Thornton Popular Music program, recently released No Strings Attached, an *NSYNC cover album celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band’s 2000 album of the same name. The album is filled with fresh takes on the original album’s iconic hits, and features appearances by some of […]


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