Queen Esther’s TED Talk is LIVE! To see her talk, click here. Where does country music get its trademark twang? Queen Esther makes the case that American roots music — bluegrass, country and Americana specifically — originates from blues music and West African music traditions. TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world. TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, we’re building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long. In fact, everything we do — from our Conferences to our TED Talks to the projects sparked by The Audacious Project, from the global TEDx community to the TED-Ed lesson series — is driven by this goal: How can we best spread great ideas? TED is owned by a nonprofit, nonpartisan foundation. Our agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.