Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

Lulu Garcia-Navarro is the host of Weekend Edition Sunday and one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. She is infamous in the IT department of NPR for losing laptops to bullets, hurricanes, and bomb blasts.

Before joining the Sunday morning team, she served as an NPR correspondent based in Brazil, Israel, Mexico, and Iraq. She was one of the first reporters to enter Libya after the 2011 Arab Spring uprising began and spent months painting a deep and vivid portrait of a country at war. Often at great personal risk, Garcia-Navarro captured history in the making with stunning insight, courage, and humanity.

For her work covering the Arab Spring, Garcia-Navarro was awarded a 2011 George Foster Peabody Award, a Lowell Thomas Award from the Overseas Press Club, an Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Alliance for Women and the Media's Gracie Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement. She contributed to NPR News reporting on Iraq, which was recognized with a 2005 Peabody Award and a 2007 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton. She has also won awards for her work on migration in Mexico and the Amazon in Brazil.

Since joining Weekend Edition Sunday, Garcia-Navarro and her team have also received a Gracie for their coverage of the #MeToo movement. She's hard at work making sure Weekend Edition brings in the voices of those who will surprise, delight, and move you, wherever they might be found.

Garcia-Navarro got her start in journalism as a freelancer with the BBC World Service and Voice of America. She later became a producer for Associated Press Television News before transitioning to AP Radio. While there, Garcia-Navarro covered post-Sept. 11 events in Afghanistan and developments in Jerusalem. She was posted for the AP to Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion, where she stayed covering the conflict.

Garcia-Navarro holds a Bachelor of Science degree in international relations from Georgetown University and an Master of Arts degree in journalism from City University in London.

Jessica Simpson is back in the news, this time in her own words.

Her in her new memoir, Open Book, Simpson writes honestly about her career as a pop singer, her marriage to and divorce from Nick Lachey, her stint on reality TV, and her time with John Mayer. And she reflects on becoming a fashion mogul with a billion-dollar company.

But she also opens up about sexual abuse she experienced in childhood — and addiction.

Interview Highlights

On why she decided to open up now

Over the last decade, ghosts have become an increasingly present part of live music, with holographic recreations of Tupac, Michael Jackson and opera great Maria Callas all appearing in concert. Whitney Houston's estate is taking the trend to the next level; starting Feb. 25, the late pop superstar will embark on a hologram tour of Europe.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Banoffee was a background musician for megastars like Taylor Swift and Charli XCX. But the singer-songwriter didn't want to stay in the background forever. So she made an album. It's her debut. And it's called "Look At Us Now Dad."

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In Hong Kong, the coronavirus outbreak is placing huge additional strains on the local government. Thousands of people are in quarantine, and doctors are trying to figure out who to test for the new virus, who to isolate and who to send home. NPR's Jason Beaubien reports from Hong Kong on how the city is trying to cope.

James Taylor has been a household name for a long time now. Taylor was just 20-years-old when he released his self-titled debut in 1968; in the half century since then, he has sold over 100 million albums and cemented his status as one of the most successful American singer-songwriters.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

London-based musician Obongjayar is ready to reclaim his Nigerian roots.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FREN")

OBONGJAYAR: (Singing) You matter to me. You matter to me.

Over four years is a long time to go between albums in pop music, and it has been an especially eventful period for Selena Gomez. In the space between 2015's Revival and her latest release, Rare, Gomez has battled Lupus, depression and anxiety, and had two high profile breakups — all while millions followed along on social media.

Every Christmas Eve at exactly 3 p.m., the Chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England plays A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The tradition began in 1918, and for decades it's been broadcast on the BBC and around the world. A commemorative recording of last year's Centenary Service has just been released; it was the last one conducted by Sir Stephen Cleobury, the choir's music director for 37 years, who died just last month on Nov. 22.

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Jimmy Kimmel wants parents to know one thing about his debut children's book: It takes just five minutes to read.

The year 2019 has been a busy one for Elton John — and a revelatory one for his fans, who have been graced with a biopic, Rocketman; a tour, "Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road"; and now a memoir, simply titled Me.

In an interview with Weekend Edition, Sir John shared that at 72 years old, he's finally ready to look back.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Each summer for the last two decades, Jim Parker has readied his small whale watch boat, and made a business out of ferrying tourists out into the cool blue waters of the Gulf of Maine.

For years, it was steady work. The basin brimmed with species that whales commonly feed on, making it a natural foraging ground for the aquatic giants. Whales would cluster at certain spots in the gulf, providing a reliable display for enchanted visitors to the coastal community of Milbridge, Maine.

What do you want to ask the 2020 presidential candidates?

Off Script, a new NPR series about presidential hopefuls, gives voters the chance to sit down with candidates and get answers to their questions.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

In 1984, renowned Mexican singer and songwriter Juan Gabriel wrote a ballad that would become the most-played song at memorials and funerals in his home country. It's called "Amor Eterno" or "Love Eternal." But in the wake of a mass shooting in El Paso, Tex. this past weekend that resulted in the death of 22 people, Gabriel's ballad has taken on new poignancy.

It's been a good year for PJ Morton. In February, the musician headlined the Super Bowl with his Maroon 5 bandmates and won his first Grammy. Now, he's on tour for his latest and perhaps most personal album, PAUL, out now.

On a hot Maryland summer day, two toddlers play in the wading area of a community pool. Their glee is uncontainable as they dump water-filled plastic pails over each other's heads. A few weeks earlier, these little ones would not come close to the water.

The kids are grown. The house is empty. Otherhood is what comes after motherhood.

The new Netflix film stars Angela Bassett, Patricia Arquette and Felicity Huffman as three best friends whose sons have grown up — all the way up — together. As the three moms celebrate Mother's Day with each other rather than with their kids, they decide that they've had enough.

"Their sons are not connecting with them," Angela Bassett tells NPR. "They're not sending flowers; they're not giving them a call."

These burglars came prepared. They cut a hole through the concrete roof and shimmied down into the warehouse. They disabled the alarms. They escaped with $2 million worth of goods.

The stolen booty: 34,000 pairs of high-end fajas, a Spanx-like undergarment popular in Miami's Hispanic community.

The robbery took place last year and was only made public recently. David Ovalle, a Miami Herald journalist, has been reporting the story from South Florida.

Over the past 16 years, the musician Tycho has emerged as a titan in the ambient electronic scene. Tycho, whose real name is Scott Hansen, is known for crafting dreamy, atmospheric instrumentals that are often described as "chill," "expansive" and even "transcendent."

But for his fifth full-length album, Weather, out now, Hansen did something no one ever thought he'd do — he added vocals. To be specific, he added the vocals of Hannah Cottrell, also known as Saint Sinner.

Farai Chideya wanted to become a mother. Five years and $50,000 after she began this quest, Chideya is still childless but has gained a harsh lesson about the ills of America's adoption system.

Three times, Chideya was matched with a child and three times the mother changed her mind.

Quinn Christopherson won 2019's Tiny Desk Contest, but many of the other 6,000-plus entries impressed and moved the contest's judges. This summer, Weekend Edition continues to spotlight some of the stand-out contestants.

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