/Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen team up for new podcast – The Guardian

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen team up for new podcast – The Guardian


Barack Obama

Former president talks with rock legend about their backgrounds and vision of America in Renegades: Born in the USA

Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen have teamed up to produce a podcast, they announced on Monday, with the first two episodes available immediately.

Renegades: Born in the USA features the politician and the rockstar musing over their backgrounds, music and their “enduring love of America”, according to Spotify, which is hosting the podcast.

Given the name recognition of its two hosts, Renegades is likely to be the Obama family’s latest big podcasting hit, following the success of Michelle Obama’s podcast in 2020.

“On the surface, Bruce and I don’t have a lot in common,” Obama said in a trailer for the podcast.


“He’s a white guy, from a small town in Jersey. I’m a Black guy of mixed race, born in Hawaii. He’s a rock’n’roll icon. I’m … not as cool.”

Despite those differences, the pair formed a friendship after meeting during Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, and have recorded eight episodes of conversation.

Spotify released the first two episodes of Renegades on Monday, along with a teaser video showing Obama and Springsteen sitting in front of microphones, surrounded by guitars and recording equipment.

“In our own ways, Bruce and I have been on parallel journeys, looking for a way to connect our own individual searches for meaning, truth and community with the larger story of America,” Obama says in the trailer.

“And over the course of a few days, all just a few miles from where he grew up, we talked.


“What we discovered during these conversations was that we still share a fundamental belief in the American idea. Not as an act of nostalgia, but as a compass for the hard work that lies before us.”

Spotify signed Barack and Michelle Obama to produce podcasts in 2019 and launched Michelle Obama’s eponymous podcast in 2020. The show quickly became Spotify’s most listened to podcast in summer 2020.

The Obama deal came as Spotify announced a huge push into podcasting in 2019, when it spent some $500m acquiring podcast companies. The platform also signed Joe Rogan, one of the most popular podcasters in the world, to a $100m, multi-year contract in 2020, but that arrangement has not all been plain-sailing.


Some employees at Spotify complained that some of Rogan’s output was transphobic, including an episode in which Rogan interviewed the author of a book called Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, while in October Rogan hosted Alex Jones, a rightwing conspiracy theorist who has been banned from all major tech platforms, prompting further outrage.

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