Lynn Neary

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

Poet, writer and musician Joy Harjo — a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation — often draws on Native American stories, languages and myths. But she says that she's not self-consciously trying to bring that material into her work. If anything, it's the other way around.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Now a moment to remember the writer Tony Horwitz. He died yesterday at the age of 60. Horwitz was best known for his historical nonfiction, including the bestselling "Confederates In The Attic." He began his writing career as a journalist.

NOEL KING, HOST:

In 2017, during the Super Bowl halftime show, Lady Gaga did something extraordinary. She performed a song that had become the unofficial anthem of the LGBTQ community.

(SOUNDBITE OF SUPER BOWL LI TELECAST)

LADY GAGA: (Singing) No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgender life - I'm on the right track, baby. I was born to survive. No matter black, white or beige, chola or Orient made - right track, baby, I was born to be brave.

(CHEERING)

This story is part of American Anthem, a yearlong series on songs that rouse, unite, celebrate and call to action. Find more at NPR.org/Anthem.

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