Yale University in 1988
Alan Light is an American journalist who has been a rock critic for Rolling Stone and the editor-in-chief for both VIBE and Spin.
Light grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended Cincinnati Country Day School. His mother was a top dance reviewer for the local newspaper. He graduated from Yale University in 1988, majoring in American Studies, and wrote his senior thesis on Licensed to Ill by the Beastie Boys. Light had been an intern at Rolling Stone during their 20th Anniversary year while still a student. He later joined the staff as a fact checker in 1989, soon becoming a Senior Writer.
In 1993, he became the founding music editor of VIBE magazine, later becoming editor in chief. In 1999 he became editor in chief for Spin. He left Spin in March 2002.
Light then got a spot as music reviewer on radio station WFUV, and serves as music correspondent on NPR show Weekend America. He has worked as consultant for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is also heavily involved in assisting homeless people with the Housing Works AIDS charity.
In 2005, he was a judge for the 4th Annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.
Tupac Amaru Shakur: 1971-1996 (with Quincy Jones), 1998,
"Vibe" History of Hip Hop, 1999,
The Skills to Pay the Bills: The Story of the Beastie Boys, 2006,
My Cross To Bear (by Gregg Allman, with Alan Light), 2012