Chelsea Handler said her new Netflix show would disrupt the late night talk show genre. On Chelsea, there is no mandatory opening monologue or house band. Handler is the celebrity, and she talks as much as the people she interviews—and the world is listening.

Royal Wood had a problem. The singer-songwriter had fallen out of love. But not with a person, with something potentially more devastating—with music.

Harry Connick, Jr. likes to be in control. Since he released his self-titled debut vocal album at the age of 21 in 1988, he has handled all creative decisions about his music. For his new album, That Would Be Me, Connick handed over the reins, but not without considerable jitters.

Michael Shannon has a brooding presence and, much like his work, affects you in a way you are unable to forget.

At a time when so much pop music reverberates like the mindless backing track to a pep rally, it should come as no surprise that Sook-Yin Lee wanted the debut from her experimental duo, Jooj, to sound nothing like the status quo. After all, she’s been going against the grain all her life.

Tucked away on a nondescript Hollywood street, a few hundred feet from a grey, thrumming cement-mixing plant, stands luxury boutique Just One Eye.

A lot has happened to the members of Alabama Shakes since the release of their 2012 debut album, Boys & Girls.

You might say Stevie Blacke likes to string people along. In a continually shrinking music industry, the Berklee College of Music graduate has found the ultimate way to provide more with less by creating entire string sections by himself.

For 33 years, Paloma Picasso, the youngest child of Spanish painter Pablo Picasso and French artist Françoise Gilot, has inspired devotion among women. Picasso’s bold, sensual designs and her use of coloured gemstones have resulted in some of Tiffany & Co.’s acclaimed showpieces.

When the Decemberists ended their two-year hiatus, the Portland, Oregon, quintet took a decidedly low-key route to recording the follow-up to 2011’s The King Is Dead.

“Here’s the deal: jazz has never been my genre,” says Annie Lennox, sitting on the sofa in her manager’s office in Los Angeles. Nevertheless, one day Lennox found herself searching for jazz tunes on YouTube and she fell down the Internet rabbit hole.

Bebel Gilberto may have grown up the daughter of João Gilberto, the father of bossa nova, but when it came to appreciating her dad’s artistry, she was a typical teenager. “He’d be playing guitar and I’d tell him, ‘I want to hear something different!’ ” she recalls, “and I’d turn the radio on.”

“It’s funny that to me, in this point in my life, the things that I pushed away the hardest when I was young I embrace the most now,” says Rosanne Cash.

Beverly Hills has a new shining star. The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts opened in October in the heart of one of the world’s most desirable zip codes.

Elvis Costello compares creating Wise Up Ghost, his new album with the Roots, to playing the children’s game “heads, bodies, and tails”.

Dido received a little unexpected help from her son, Stanley, when it came to recording her new album, Girl Who Got Away. Though she wrote most of the songs before his birth in July 2011, he made his own contributions in utero, making his opinion known about various tunes.

“Suddenly, in the middle of my life, I found out that I could be everything I thought I should be and everything I wanted to be—and it would not be enough,” says Josh Ritter. That staggering discovery, precipitated by the singer-songwriter’s 18-month marriage blowing apart in November 2010, seeps through every crevice of The Beast in Its Tracks, Ritter’s seventh studio album.

There’s one question that always breaks Janie Hendrix’s heart. As overseer of Jimi Hendrix’s estate, the legendary guitarist’s younger stepsister occasionally meets young fans, usually less than 10 years old, who “want to know when Jimi is going to be in town again,” she says. A testament that more than 40 years after his death, Hendrix’s music remains very much alive to new generations.

The Grammy Museum lies tucked away in an unassuming corner of the otherwise glitzy L.A. Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles. The 30,000-square-foot museum highlights dozens of musical genres from flamenco to surf, and hundreds of artists from the Ramones to Shostakovich.