Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen release Spotify podcast series


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen release a new podcast series called ‘Renegades: Born in the USA’ where they talk about ‘their lives, music, and enduring love of America’

  • Renegades: Born in the USA was released on Spotify on Monday 
  • The first two, 53-minute episodes were released along with the announcement
  • Obama and Springsteen both promoted it on their Instagram page with a video 
  • The promo shows them in a New Jersey recording studio, dressed casually, discussing their childhoods, when they first met, and the state of affairs in America
  • The podcast was produced by Michelle and Barack’s production company Higher Ground
  • It’s the second they have sold to Spotify – Michelle also has her own podcast 
  • Spotify is also releasing a podcast series by Harry and Meghan 
  • The streaming giant won’t confirm figures of how much they were paid 
  • Joe Rogan, its most popular podcaster, got an $100m deal for his full back-catalog and future shows  

Former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen have released a Spotify podcast series called Renegades: Born in the USA where the pair will talk about their ‘lives,music and enduring love of America’. 

The first two episodes were released by Spotify on Monday. The first is titled Outsiders: An Unlikely Friendship and is about how the pair met. The second is called American Skin: Race in the United States. It’s unclear how many more there will be.  

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There will be eight episodes in total, all of which will be released over the next few weeks. 

It is the second Spotify podcast project for the Obamas – Michelle launched hers, Becoming, last year. 

It’s unclear how much the pair were paid for the series. It was recorded last year in New Jersey and was made by the Obamas’ production company, Higher Ground. 

It is part of a wider push by Spotify recently to beef up the platform’s podcast division with huge investments in big names like the Obamas and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

The streaming service has never confirmed any figures for the new big-name deals. Its  biggest payout to date for a podcast went to Joe Rogan, who was given $100million as part of a multi-licensing deal that also includes a back-catalog of 11 years worth of shows.  

In a promo video for Renegades: Born in the USA that both Barack and Bruce shared on Instagram on Monday, they are shown sitting in a New Jersey studio, dressed casually, reminiscing about their childhoods. 

Spotify announced Renegades: Born in the USA on Monday. The eight-episode series will see Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen talk about their lives, childhoods and the state of affairs in America

Spotify announced Renegades: Born in the USA on Monday. The eight-episode series will see Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen talk about their lives, childhoods and the state of affairs in America 

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Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama recording Renegades: Born in the USA in New Jersey last month

Bruce Springsteen and Barack Obama recording Renegades: Born in the USA in New Jersey last month

Bruce admits in the video that he doesn’t remember when or where they first met, and Barack, in a voice-over for it, says he’s not ‘as cool’ as the 71-year-old musician.

Barack is wearing a pair of $80 Adidas Stan Smith sneakers and he has his pants rolled up. 

At the start of the promo, the pair compare their relationships with their fathers.   

‘My father was silent most of the time. He was not communicative. I grew up thinking my father was, like, ashamed of his family.   

‘That was my entire picture of masculinity. Did you have to deal with that?’ Bruce, 71, asked Obama. 

Bruce Springsteen talking about his father who he said was 'silent' mostly. He said he grew up thinking he was 'ashamed of his family'

Bruce Springsteen talking about his father who he said was ‘silent’ mostly. He said he grew up thinking he was ‘ashamed of his family’ 

Obama also speaks about meeting his father for the first time aged 10 and how he struggled to relate to him

Obama also speaks about meeting his father for the first time aged 10 and how he struggled to relate to him 

A young Bruce Springsteen

A young Barack Obama

A young Bruce and Barack. In a voice over for the promo, Barack says: ”On the surface, Bruce and I don’t have a lot in common. 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.’ 

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‘My father leaves when I was two. I don’t meet him until I’m 10, when he comes to visit for a month. 

‘I had no way to connect to the guy. He’s a stranger who’s suddenly in our house,’ Barack replied.

The promo then cuts to childhood photos of the pair as boys, then to family shots of them with their respective wives and children. 

‘On the surface, Bruce and I don’t have a lot in common. 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,’ Barack says in a voice over.  

In the caption for the promo video on his Instagram page, Barack says: ‘Last year, I sat down with my good friend Bruce for a long and meaningful conversation that touched on so much of what we’re all dealing with these days.

‘I’m excited to share it with you over the next few weeks,’ he said. 

In 2019, the Obamas signed a contract with Spotify whereby they would produce exclusive podcasts for the streaming giant.  

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