ESPN The Magazine’s Third Annual Music Issue Hits Newsstands Friday

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ESPN The Magazine’s Third Annual Music Issue Hits Newsstands Friday










Issue Features Two Special Covers with Athlete, Musician Pairings:  JJ Watt & Katy Perry,  Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and J. Cole

On the eve of Super Bowl – and the Grammys – ESPN The Magazine releases its third annual “Music Issue” with pages paying tribute to the converging worlds of sport and song.

The issue – which hits newsstands Friday, January 23 – highlights the intersection of music and sports including features “Entertainers of the Year,” as two of the biggest stars of the year – pop star Katy Perry and NFL powerhouse JJ Watt – collide; and “The Perfect Strangers,” which highlights the developing relationship between NASCAR’s native son, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and platinum-selling hip-hop artist, J. Cole, and how they were forever linked by a single lyric before they even met.

Music and sports fans alike can see more of their favorite athletes and artists at, featuring video, photos, behind-the-scenes galleries, and more.

Other highlights include Jay-Z, Rihanna, Aloe Blacc, Iggy Azalea, Nick Young, and Jack White, and insight on the impact of sports and music from industry influencers from Columbia Records, Roc Nation, EA Sports, as well as how to make a Super Bowl halftime show happen.

The Mag’s Music Issue brings additional athlete and musician pairings to bring to life including:

  • NFL’s JJ Watt with Katy Perry
  • NASCAR’s Dale Earnhardt, Jr. with Cole
  • NBA’s Atlanta Hawks with Ludacris and DJ Sir Foster
  • NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks with Fallout Boy
  • NBA’s Washington Wizards with Wale
  • NFL’s Justin Forsett with Lecrae
  • LA’s Arena Football’s A. Kiss and Gene Simmons

 “The Music Issue” Features:

Katy Perry and JJ Watt talk success

And what it takes to get to the biggest stage in the world – the Super Bowl. By Chris Connelly

The Perfect Strangers

Before they even met, J. Cole and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were linked by a single lyric. By Marty Smith

El Rey De Mariachi

Adrian Gonzalez love of Mariachi music is a new high in the identity wars of walk-out music. By Stacey Pressman

The NBA and Eric Garner

How James Brown might help athletes find their voice off the court and off t-shirts. By Jelani Cobb                                                                            

The Top Dogg

How the Doggfather of rap – Snoop Dog – became a youth football mentor. For years, Snoop has used sports as a way to remain relevant without selling out. Now the rest of the industry has followed his lead. By Morty Ain

The Shredder

With Olympic and X Games glory likely behind him, snowboarder Shaun White has a found a way to stay relevant. By Alyssa Roegnik

The Scientist

Research shows music can improve athletic performance. Dr. Costas Karageorghis has proof. By Katherine Harmon Courage

Additional Highlights:

NFL: Super Bowl Preview: This year more than ever, red zone efficiency is crucial for teams—on offense and defense. With the new rules, defenses can only do so much to stop attacks, so they are playing more bend-don’t-break and focusing on not giving up the big play. That puts an extra premium on making stops in the red zone. By Seth Wickersham

NFL: The Mag analyzed the names and numbers you need to know for the Seahawks-Patriots Super Bowl in the Super Bowl XLIX Viewer’s Guide.

NFL: In his new column, The Mag’s Peter Keating says The Hall of Fame has a severe problem judging wide receivers—a problem that’s only going to get worse. Solving it with intelligence is going to require advanced analytics.

CBB: In New Threats for ACC, Big Ten The Mag’s Jordan Brenner highlights three top-15 teams — Louisville, Maryland and Notre Dame – which are in their first or second year in a new conference. We look at what makes them click and how to exploit them in conference play against unfamiliar conference rivals.

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Media Contact: Carrie Kreiswirth [email protected] 646-547-4686



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