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A Martínez

(Heads up: This story contains spoilers about the movie House of Gucci.)

In House of Gucci, Lady Gaga's character, Patrizia Reggiani, is famous for two reasons. She was married to Maurizio Gucci, grandson of the company's founder Guccio Gucci — and she was convicted having the fashion heir killed in 1995.

To prepare for the role, Gaga said she spent months studying Reggiani for director Ridley Scott's new film.

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Duane "Yellow Feather" Shepard stands at the top of a narrow park that slopes downward toward a lifeguard training center and panoramic views of the Pacific coast.

"We're looking over the horizon at a beautiful, beautiful ocean," Shepard says. "It's blue, serene — it's quiet. It's just a gorgeous, gorgeous view."

For Shepard, this oceanfront park known as Bruce's Beach — located in Manhattan Beach, Calif., just south of Los Angeles — holds a painful history. "This is the land that our family used to own," he says.

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Ella Yelich-O'Connor, known to the world as Lorde, is embracing a sunnier and more analog sound, full of plucked acoustic guitars and brushed snares. Since releasing her breakout single, "Royals," in 2013, she's made the most of hook-heavy pop songs constructed from a palette of overcast electronic sounds.

"In the past," she says, "I'd hear an acoustic guitar and I'd say 'Oh, here we go. It's about to get painfully authentic!' "

Updated August 19, 2021 at 11:00 AM ET

Khaled Hosseini is all too familiar with the heartbreak of Afghanistan's history. His epic novels, like The Kite Runner, richly portray the ups and downs of a country shattered by decades of war, tribal feuds, coups and corruption.

The hip-hop artist known as IDK describes his life as something of a paradox. Born Jason Mills, the rapper-producer grew up in Prince George's County, Maryland, where home and school reflected two different realities: His parents were middle-class, college-educated, but his learning environment lacked support and many of the students were underserved. "I grew up knowing both sides," Mills says in an interview with NPR's A Martínez.

Soccer star Abby Wambach retired from professional play in 2015. She's a two-time Olympic gold medalist and she's a vocal activist on behalf of women in sports.