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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.
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."
As Run DMC on Ultimate Run DMC: "Run DMC are the greatest. They started hip-hop for real."
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."
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."
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."
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?'"
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."
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."
As Devo on Freedom of Choice:" I know that one song 'Whip It.' I guess that's all you need to know."
As Devo on Freedom of Choice: "I knew nothing. But I play the drums, and I play them pretty good."
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."
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."
As Devo on Freedom of Choice: "We look like goofballs."