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Friday, February 1, 2013
Updated: February 5, 12:41 PM ET
Cover acts: The playlists

By Stacey Pressman
ESPN The Magazine

This story appears in ESPN The Magazine's Feb. 18 Music issue. Subscribe today!

After we persuaded 14 athletes to recreate some of the most memorable album covers ever, we got them to give us the soundtracks to their lives.

See the galleries: Trent Richardson, LaMarr Woodley and Marshawn Lynch as Run DMC | Allyson Felix as Beyonce | Ryan Lochte as the baby on Nevermind | Josh Freeman as Michael Jackson | Jimmie Johnson as Bob Dylan | James Stewart as Rick James | Alex Morgan as Katy Perry | MLBers as Devo


As Run DMC on Ultimate Run DMC: "When I heard about the shoot, I thought, I get to go to LA, and we get to be legends."

Bandz A Make Her Dance | Juicy J (feat. Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz) | Amazon

Y'all Must Have Forgot | Roy Jones | Not available

Live In The Sky | T.I. | Amazon

Devils | Lil Boosie | iTunes

I'm Different | 2 Chainz | iTunes

Ballin | Young Jeezy | iTunes

Ball | T.I. | iTunes

Hold Me Back | Rick Ross | iTunes

The Sky is the Limit | Lil Wayne | Not available

Good Kush and Alcohol | Future | Not available

Young Scooter | Julio | Not available

Boyz II Men | Song For Mama | iTunes


As Run DMC on Ultimate Run DMC: "Run DMC are the greatest. They started hip-hop for real."

Wipe Me Down | L'il Boosie, Webbie & Foxx | Amazon

Caught Up | Usher | Amazon

Lemme See | Usher (feat. Rick Ross) | Amazon

I Got a Story to Tell | Notorious B.I.G. | Amazon

Wind Beneath My Wings | Gerald Levert | iTunes

This is How You Remind Me | Nickelback | iTunes

From What I Was Told | Soulja Slim | iTunes

F*** the World | 2Pac | Amazon

99 Problems | Jay Z | iTunes

Tip Drill | Nelly | Amazon

I'm a Player | Too $hort | iTunes


As Run DMC on Ultimate Run DMC: "I don't think I'm allowed to say my favorite Run DMC song. We all have deals with Nike."

From the Bottom | Lil Boosie | Not available

Marshawn Lynch | Mistah F.A.B. | iTunes

You Gotta Pay Me | The Boy Boy Young Mess | iTunes

Fish Head Stew | Mac Dre | iTunes

On Top of My Game | J Stalin & Mayback | iTunes

One Whip | Lil Blood & Boo Banga | iTunes

N.E.W. Oakland | Mistah Fab | iTunes

Ready 2 Ride | Philthy Rich | iTunes

Cater 2 U | Destiny's Child | iTunes


As Beyonce on Dangerously in Love: "Everyone says I'm a really laid-back, quiet person. I always feel like I have to get into this alter ego before I run, so I listen to Beyonce's song 'Diva.' The song kind of takes me to that other place."

Smooth Operator | Sade | iTunes

The Sweetest Taboo | Sade | iTunes

Angels | The xx | iTunes

Super Rich Kids | Frank Ocean | iTunes

Run the World (Girls) | Beyonce | iTunes

So What | K. Roosevelt | Not available

Party | Beyonce | iTunes

Ready 2 Ride | Philthy Rich | iTunes

Don't Waste Your Life | Lecrae | iTunes

Half of My Heart | John Mayer | iTunes

Just the Way You Are | Bruno Mars | iTunes


As the baby on Nirvana's Nevermind:"Nirvana is not on my normal playlist, but I definitely knew the cover. I honestly think I nailed the shot. If you look at the baby, he's definitely happy in the water, and that's what I am. And look, he's chasing after a dollar bill. So he's always on the grind. That's me."

No Church in the Wild | Jay Z & Kanye West | iTunes

Hit 'Em Up | 2Pac & Outlawz | iTunes

The Sky's the Limit | Li'l Wayne | Not available

Remember the Name | Fort Minor | iTunes

Romantic Rights | Death from Above | iTunes

Lose Yourself | Eminem | iTunes

Let's Go | Trick Daddy | iTunes

Seven Nation Army | The White Stripes | iTunes

99 Problems | Jay Z | iTunes

Rockstar 101 | Rihanna | iTunes

Heart of a Champion | Nelly & Lincoln University Vocal Ensemble | iTunes

Enter Sandman | Metallica | iTunes

Roll Up | Wiz Khalifa | iTunes

Family Affair | Mary J. Blige | iTunes

Playing With Fire | Li'l Wayne | Not available


As Rick James on Street Songs: "About four years ago, I came up with Rick James Stewart. My friend and I were messing around one night and decided to blast 'Give It to Me Baby.' We busted out wigs, did a video and put it online. It blew up. People loved it. Most of my fans call me Bubba, but they sometimes call me Rick James too. My favorite lyric? 'Say what?'"

Showroom | Curren$y | iTunes

Suddenly | A$AP Rocky | iTunes

Why Do We Fall? | Hans Zimmer | iTunes

Kalifornia | Mos Def (Yasiim Bey) | Amazon

Let Me Ride | Dr. Dre | Amazon

Morocco | Wiz Khalifa | Not available

Got 'Em Hands Down | Araabmuzik | iTunes

Give it to Me Baby | Rick James | iTunes

Flying Lotus | Galaxy in Janaki | iTunes

Mind Mischief | Tame Impala | iTunes


As Bob Dylan on The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan: "I've always been a Dylan fan, and I thought I could make myself look like him. And we live in the West Village, very close to where the album cover was shot. So rather than hiring an actress, it just made sense that my wife, Chani, would be the girl [Dylan's then-girlfriend, Suze Rotolo]. I basically committed her without telling her."

Lonely Boy | Black Keys | iTunes

I Will Wait | Mumford & Sons | iTunes

House of the Rising Sun | Bob Dylan | iTunes

Head Full of Doubt | Avett Brothers | iTunes

Gone | Jack Johnson | iTunes

Old Man | Neil Young | iTunes

Two Step | Dave Matthews Band | iTunes

I Won't Back Down | Tom Petty | iTunes

Hard Sun | Eddie Vedder | iTunes

Like A Rolling Stone | Bob Dylan | iTunes


As Katy Perry on One of the Boys: "My favorite Katy Perry song is 'I Kissed a Girl.' My dad even listened to it. It's like she came out of nowhere. Pop music gets me hyped: Katy, Rihanna, old-school '90s hip-hop like Salt-N-Pepa. The head-banging stuff gives me a headache."

I Kissed a Girl | Katy Perry | iTunes

Wanted | Hunter Hayes | iTunes

Try | P!nk | iTunes

Home | Phillip Phillips | iTunes

Body | Beyonce | Not available

Love You Long Time | Black Eyed Peas | iTunes

Wide Awake | Katy Perry | iTunes

The New Workout Plan | Kanye West | iTunes

Rock Your Body | Justin Timberlake | iTunes

Beat It | Michael Jackson | iTunes


As Devo on Freedom of Choice:" I know that one song 'Whip It.' I guess that's all you need to know."

Young & Gettin' It | Meek Mill (feat. Kirko Bangz) | iTunes

Bluffin | Wiz Khalifa | iTunes

Hold Me Back | Rick Ross | iTunes

Don't Wake Me Up | Chris Brown | iTunes

Bout Me | Wiz Khalifa | iTunes

I'm Different | 2 Chainz | iTunes

Cracks in Mr. Perfect | Ne-Yo | iTunes

Guap | Big Sean | iTunes

All Gold Everything | Trinidad James | iTunes

Can You Learn | T.I. (feat. R. Kelly) | Amazon


As Devo on Freedom of Choice: "I knew nothing. But I play the drums, and I play them pretty good."

Rocket Queen | Guns N' Roses | iTunes

Don't Cry | Guns N' Roses | iTunes

Blackbird | Alter Bridge | iTunes

Cocaine | Eric Clapton | iTunes

Locked Outta Heaven | Bruno Mars | iTunes

Use Me | Bill Withers | iTunes

Don't Forget Me | Red Chili Peppers | iTunes

What I Got | Sublime | iTunes

Enter Sandman | Metallica | iTunes

Livin' on a Prayer | Bon Jovi | Amazon


As Devo on Freedom of Choice: "I was surprised when they asked me. When I looked at the album cover, I didn't see no brothers."

So Fresh, So Clean | Outkast | iTunes

Pyraminds | Frank Ocean | iTunes

Turn On the Lights | Alter Bridge | iTunes

I'm Different | 2 Chainz | iTunes

P.Y.T. | Michael Jackson | iTunes

Ali Bomaye | Game | iTunes

The Beautiful Ones | Prince | iTunes

Goin' Steady | Rocko | iTunes

Hustlin' | Rick Ross | iTunes

Supafreak | Young Jeezy | Amazon


As Devo on Freedom of Choice: "I didn't even know Devo sang 'Whip It.' I just thought the hats and outfits would be funny."

The Choice is Yours | Black Sheep | iTunes

Electrick Relaxation | A Tribe Called Quest | iTunes

Hypnotize | Norotious B.I.G. | iTunes

Everything I Am | Kanye West & DJ Premier | iTunes

Abc | Jackon 5 | iTunes

C.R.E.A.M. | Wu-Tang Clan | iTunes

Jump Around | House of Pain | iTunes

Changes | 2Pac | iTunes

They Reminisce Over You | Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth | iTunes

Hollywood Swinging | Kool & The Gang | iTunes

Will You Be There | Michael Jackson | iTunes

Shook Ones, Pt. II | Mobb Depp | iTunes

Gangsta's Paradise | Coolio (feat. L.V.) | iTunes


As Devo on Freedom of Choice: "We look like goofballs."

Buffalo Solider | Bob Marley & The Wailers | iTunes

Gotta Be | The Green | iTunes

Somewhere Over the Rainbow | Bruddah IZ | iTunes

Affairs of the Heart | Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley | iTunes

Levels | Avicii | iTunes

Paradise | Coldplay | iTunes

Make it Bun Dem | Skrillex/Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley | iTunes

Heal the World | Michael Jackson | iTunes

Pretender | J Boog | iTunes

Locked Outta Heaven | Bruno Mars | iTunes