The pop legend loves rooftop reggae, forever-young classics, and truth-seeking jazz.
When her band, the Pretenders, reached the charts three decades ago with new wave hits "Brass in Pocket" and "Back on the Chain Gang," Chrissie Hynde cut a singular figure—her edgy, androgynous sex appeal barely concealing the vulnerability of a true romantic. Now 59, she still sports her signature fringe, kohl-rimmed eyes, and skinny jeans, and she calls her poppy latest album, Fidelity! (with her band JP, Chrissie & the Fairground Boys), "the best thing I've ever done—and I never say that!" In a recent conversation, Hynde divulged a few of the "thousand things that have moved me to tears," genre by genre.

Reggae: "If I'm in a public place—say, in a roof garden on top of a hotel—and someone is playing reggae, I want to kiss their feet. I go to mid-'70s stuff by Keith Hudson, Toots & the Maytals, and Jimmy Cliff."

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Opera: "When I was 18 and had a job framing pictures in a gallery, the guy working next to me would always play opera, and I thought he was a nutter. But now I adore it. Maria Callas will never go missing in my listening, because she rocks."

Start Here: Maria Callas, The Passion of Callas

Classical: "People think classical music is for old folks, but when you look back at the people who actually wrote it and made it—Mozart was 35 when he died; Beethoven did some of his best work in his 30s. These were young guys."

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Jazz: "The trumpeter Lee Morgan was awesome. So many of those '60s jazz players were obviously on a quest for some higher realization, some great truth, and that's what I love about music."

Start Here: Lee Morgan, Search for the New Land

The Works: "My favorite thing is the radio, just tuning in to whatever happens to be on. Radio France has an eclectic range of oddball music: cabaret, jazz, blues, classical, all sorts of contemporary Europop."

Start Here: Radio France FIP, at

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