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It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders
It's Been A Minute
Sunday 1PM

It's Been a Minute with Sam Sanders is a weekly one-hour engaging conversation -- a timely and topical look back at the week's news, with pop culture features and interviews.

  • This year, the WNBA had its most-watched regular season in 21 years, but what went into creating this new moment of visibility for the league? Host Brittany Luse is joined by Katie Barnes, author of Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates to unpack the league's initial 'Barbie girl' image, the trailblazers who pushed the WNBA to become the first professional sports league to celebrate Pride, and what it means for an athlete to 'authentically' express themselves.Then, we explore the growth of sports betting. Sports betting went from a somewhat shameful hobby to something that is fully mainstream - with billions of dollars in bets placed. Dr. Timothy Fong, an addiction specialist, joins Brittany to talk about the associated risks with the growth of sports betting.
  • Every couple of weeks there's a new story of a fan at a concert misbehaving. One fan threw ashes at Pink, another hit Drake with a cellphone, Miranda Lambert stopped her show when fans took selfies with flash photography. Extreme instances have landed performers in the hospital, but more often attendees have noticed the audience has gotten louder and more distracting than ever. Where is all of this coming from?Brittany Luse is joined by YouTube commentator Tiffany Ferguson to breakdown how ticket sales, artist merch, and social media create a perfect storm for fans to act out.
  • In 2017, Today, Explained co-host Noel King says she started getting a vibe: young people were discussing and dissecting capitalism. She began noticing the word in pop culture and cultural reporting — but found her own tribe of economics reporters were missing from the conversation. Flash forward to 2023, and the word capitalism is all over politics and culture: it's on the stage at the Republican debates, it's on the picket lines and the language of union strikes from Hollywood to New York City, it's even in the new Indiana Jones movie. How did we get here — and has talking about capitalism made us more divided? Noel King joins host Brittany Luse to discuss her new multi-part series exploring how a new generation of Americans are coming to terms with capitalism.
  • When you think of rockstar royalty, a queer, Southern Black man normally doesn't come to mind. But director Lisa Cortés wants us all to reconsider that thought. Her documentary, Little Richard: I Am Everything, takes viewers through the life and legacy of one of the most influential men in music - Little Richard.From the bawdy roots of his hit song, "Tutti Frutti," to teaching Mick Jagger how to work a crowd, Little Richard's impact spans generations. Host Brittany Luse and director Lisa Cortes talk about the documentary, Little Richard's struggles with own identity, and the queer influence on rock and roll.
  • When former President Donald Trump's mugshot was released, pundits immediately searched for meaning. Was it defiant? Was it embarrassing? Turns out what we see in that image could change over time. Brittany Luse is joined by Vanessa Friedman, senior fashion critic for the New York Times, to talk about the cultural meaning of infamous mugshots and their resounding impact on us.Then, we welcome Emory law professor emeritus Morgan Cloud to talk about the legal tool that's taking pop culture by storm: the RICO charge. We explore what the act was originally intended to do, and the role of the RICO reboot in several big pop culture cases today, from rapper Young Thug to fashion retailer SHEIN.
  • It's been 20 years since Starbucks debuted the first pumpkin spice latte in 2003. Since then, it's become a cultural phenomenon greater than itself: it's shorthand for fall, for basicness, for femininity, and even for white culture. Why did the PSL become so powerful — and how do food trends garner so much meaning? Host Brittany Luse chats with Suzy Badaracco, food trend forecaster and founder of Culinary Tides, to discuss the $500 million dollar industry, and how little miss pumpkin spice has held on to her cultural power.
  • Music is all about pushing the envelope, and no one knew that more than Luther Vandross. His rendition of "A House is Not a Home" is so beloved, many fans don't even know it's a cover. His sound also laid the groundwork for many popular artists today, from Jazmine Sullivan to Beyoncé. Host Brittany Luse is joined by Craig Seymour, author of "Luther: The Life and Longing of Luther Vandross" to discuss Luther's impact and why his name isn't often in conversation with other greats - even though it should be.Then, Brittany is joined by Grammy award-winning jazz singer Samara Joy. Samara talks about her album, Linger Awhile, and how she makes music that sounds timeless.
  • In September 2002, the Russian pop duo t.A.T.u. released their smash single "All The Things She Said." The song is a grungy euro-dance track, and the video features the lead singers Lena Katina and Julia Volkova dressed in schoolgirl uniforms and making out in the rain. The video was banned from UK television for being "not really suitable for children." That did not stop the song from becoming a global sensation. It topped the charts in 13 countries, and in the United States the duo would perform the song over and over on live television. During performances, they made a point to do as they did in their video and make out.But here's the thing: neither Katina or Volkova identified as lesbians or queer at the time. From Harry Styles to Katy Perry, debates over queerbaiting have raged online, and t.A.T.u.'s "All The Things She Said" fits squarely in that lineage. But despite roleplaying as lesbians for their own success, is there something redeemable in how they represented lesbianism at a time when no one else would put two women kissing on camera? And how should we look at this song today?It's Been A Minute senior producer Barton Girdwood talked this out with Girls Can Kiss Now author, Jill Gutowitz. You can email us at IBAM@npr.org.
  • In this conversation from November 2022, host Brittany Luse chats with beauty reporter Jessica Defino about the increase in celebrity skincare lines and why the the way we talk about skin is regressive. Plus, Brittany revisits her chat with "Fat Talk" author Virgina Sole-Smith: they dive into anti-fat bias in parenting and why it's important to embrace fatness. And later, Brittany gives her take on Jennifer Aniston's latest comments on cancel culture.
  • This week is all about beauty and diet trends. In this first interview from March, host Brittany Luse chats with Forbes staff writer Steffi Cao to discuss her essay, "white women want their power back: on bbls and balletcore, and the entropy of aesthetic." Steffi points to the online rise of the 'clean girl' and 'vanilla girl' aesthetics, just as the myth of innocent white womanhood erodes in the public sphere following outrage at "Karens" and critical looks at stars like Miley Cyrus who borrowed from Black aesthetics for years.