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Audible Announces Spring 2021 ‘Words + Music’ Roster

Musicians are set in a collage in black and white. Photo credits: Top left – Sleater-Kinney by Nikko LaMere; Bottom left – Sting by Mayumi Nashida; Tariq Trotter by Joshua Woods; Left to right – Billie Joe Armstrong by Greg Schneider; Yo-Yo Ma by Jason Bell; Gary Clark Jr. by Frank Maddocks.
Top left – Sleater-Kinney by Nikko LaMere; Bottom left – Sting by Mayumi Nashida; Tariq Trotter by Joshua Woods; Left to right – Billie Joe Armstrong by Greg Schneider; Yo-Yo Ma by Jason Bell; Gary Clark Jr. by Frank Maddocks.

Audible today announced the lineup and premiere dates for upcoming ‘Words + Music’ originals featuring iconic artist and activist Sting; Green Day frontman and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billie Joe Armstrong; renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma; blues, rock and soul artist Gary Clark Jr.; rapper and co-founder of The Roots, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter; and Sleater-Kinney co-leaders Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Combining storytelling and music designed exclusively for Audible listeners, these one-of-a-kind programs will be available within the Audible Plus catalog, with Yo-Yo Ma’s Beginner’s Mind being specially released for free to all US customers. Sting, Billie Joe Armstrong, and Gary Clark Jr. are the latest collaborations between Audible and Gunpowder & Sky, as part of that multi-project deal.

These titles will join Audible’s robust slate of existing ‘Words + Music’ Audible Originals, including works from Patti Smith, Smokey Robinson, James Taylor, Alanis Morissette, Sheryl Crow, St. Vincent, Tom Morello, Common, Rufus Wainwright, Jonathan Biss and T Bone Burnett.

“Audible’s ‘Words + Music’ programming has exceeded our expectations in so many ways and we are just getting started,” said Rachel Ghiazza, Executive Vice President, Head of US Content at Audible. “These extraordinary musicians have always had a special connection with their fans through their music. By weaving narrative storytelling into their work, they are creating truly unparalleled stories for our listeners. Our starting lineup in 2021 will offer something for everyone, from hip hop to classical to rock and blues.”

‘Words + Music’ originals set to debut in spring 2021 are:

Sting: Upon Reflection – Premieres March 25

The 17-time Grammy Award winner unpacks his journey from life in a hard-scrabble Northern England town to an unlikely ascent to superstardom and beyond in story and song.

Yo-Yo Ma: Beginner’s Mind – Premieres April 8

Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma reflects on some of his most formative life experiences through stories and music that inspire listeners to embrace culture’s role in imagining and building a better world. Ma touches on themes that are resonant and relevant to this moment, like the virtues of an open mind, empathy, and collaboration across borders. Audible is proud to offer Beginner’s Mind for free to all U.S. listeners at release.

Billie Joe Armstrong: Welcome To My Panic – Premieres April 22

Grammy Award winner Billie Joe Armstrong looks back on over thirty years with Green Day – from the early days of alternative rock, to platinum selling records, to Broadway. Via his decade-spanning catalogue, Armstrong contemplates both his own personal trajectory and Green Day’s influence on rock and roll history.

Gary Clark Jr.: Words + Music – Premieres May 20

The Texas guitar hero recounts his life journey from teen age phenomenon to inheritor of the mantle of his mentors - Eric Clapton, B.B. King and The Rolling Stones—while challenging the expectations placed on a young Black musician in a troubled America.

Sleater-Kinney: Words + Music – Premieres June 17

Sleater-Kinney’s co-leaders Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein dive into 30 years of shared history making music and making noise. They’ll compare notes about the places, people and movements that have shaped their career, and the continued evolution of their own creative and personal relationship.

Tariq "Black Thought” Trotter’s 7 Years – Premieres July 8

The rapper and The Roots frontman examines his life and career in dynamic seven year increments. Accompanied by a powerful and personal musical score, Trotter takes the listener through his childhood in Philadelphia, facing off with a justice system that was stacked against him, adapting to commercial success in mainstream America, and the evolution of his singular creative voice.

Additional legendary artists set to create musical narratives for release on Audible later this year will be announced soon.

Audible Plus, announced last summer, is an all-you-can-listen service, providing access to an array of Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts that span genres, lengths, and formats, which can be streamed instantly or downloaded for offline listening. Audible Plus allows members greater selection through unlimited access to a robust catalog, in addition to Audible’s new offering of tens of thousands of podcasts, now available free to members and non-members alike. Audible Premium Plus members will also have access to the constantly expanding Audible Plus catalog in addition to one credit per month which can be used for any piece of content outside the Plus catalog, regardless of price or length.

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