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Soul Singer Van Hunt's Smash Debut

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates reports on soul music singer-songwriter Van Hunt. His new self-titled CD blends influences from classic R&B with his own rock-and-funk-inspired style.

Critics laud Van Hunt's sexy, emotional songwriting skills as well as his live performances. The first single off the CD, "Seconds of Pleasure," is already in heavy rotation on radio stations in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

The Ohio native, now based out of Atlanta, credits his father, described as a "part-time painter and pimp," as his inspiration.

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Karen Grigsby Bates is the Senior Correspondent for Code Switch, a podcast that reports on race and ethnicity. A veteran NPR reporter, Bates covered race for the network for several years before becoming a founding member of the Code Switch team. She is especially interested in stories about the hidden history of race in America—and in the intersection of race and culture. She oversees much of Code Switch's coverage of books by and about people of color, as well as issues of race in the publishing industry. Bates is the co-author of a best-selling etiquette book (Basic Black: Home Training for Modern Times) and two mystery novels; she is also a contributor to several anthologies of essays. She lives in Los Angeles and reports from NPR West.