Christina Cala

For the fifth year running, All Things Considered's annual musical gratitude chat is back. This Thanksgiving, NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with four different artists, each guest having been named as a reason to be thankful by the previous artist.

When the genre-defying British artist FKA twigs was 26, she came out with her debut album. Originally a dancer, twigs paired her experimental, highly-produced sound with artistic choreography and sweeping visuals. At 31, she's back with her follow-up, Magdalene.

Kishi Bashi's "Summer of '42" is a love song inspired by and set in one of the darker chapters of American history: the internment of Japanese-Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. "What are the things you wanted / The same as anyone," the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist sings. "Just a hand to hold a little / After all is said and done."

Kanye West has been rapping about God from early in his career, hearkening back to one of his first hits, "Jesus Walks" off his debut album, 2004's The College Dropout.

Thutmose is the name of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, but it's also the stage name of Nigerian-born rapper and songwriter Umar Ibrahim. After immigrating with his family to Brooklyn, N.Y. at the age of 8, Thutmose grew up caught between the America he was experiencing and the America he imagined. "The hip-hop, the R&B, the aggressiveness of New York City, the diversity — it was such a culture shock and I was a rather quiet kid," Thutmose says.

At 22 years old, Tamino possesses a voice that carries the hypnotic, immediate power of something much more ancient. Born Tamino Moharam Fouad and named after a prince in Mozart's The Magic Flute, the Belgian-Egyptian artist explores his heritage by combining his own sound with Arabic influences of his Lebanese and Egyptian ancestors. Tamino's debut album, Amir, out now, melds together the artist's eccentric vocal style with Arab musical theory.

One young woman is walking to find work so she can send money back to Venezuela for a nephew who has leukemia.

Another is traveling with four of her five kids, in search of food for her family.

As another family hikes along, the husband walks ahead to hide his tears from his children.

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Independent artists now make up nearly 40 percent of the global music industry - the highest share of the market since the early 1990s. But what exactly does it mean to be independent?

Two South American countries have been in the news a lot lately. Venezuela's economy has collapsed in a political crisis and in Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, the country's new far-right president, has made racist comments and been accused of stoking anti-gay violence. For musicians in both those countries, the news is affecting their work.

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The busiest section of the U.S.-Mexico border is the Rio Grande Valley. It's not unusual for Border Patrol agents to catch more than 500 immigrants a day trying to cross into the U.S. along this 55-mile stretch. In spite of increased border security and rising costs to cross, migrants are still determined to make the journey.

NPR recently spent time on both sides of the border, where immigration is part of everyday life.

Durand Jones & The Indications started as a side project between a few music students at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music. Their intention was to play for one night only. With a $452.11 recording budget (including beer) and an American Idol-branded toy microphone, they recorded the songs that would become their 2016 self-titled debut.

Fiona the hippo may be one of the greatest living social media stars of the decade, but in terms of those who aren't living, look no further than Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Though she's a fossil, Sue is a true Chicagoan and has been on display in her home at The Field Museum since 2000.

Like many of us these days, Sue is sassy and shares her hot takes on Twitter with adoring fans.

As Sue comes off her mount, the skeleton crew uses Allen wrenches to take each piece apart, the same tools you might use on IKEA furniture.