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AARP Spotify Playlists

Listen to old standbys, discover new favorites. Just for AARP members, playlists curated by legendary musicians including Herb Alpert, Lucinda Williams, Bootsy Collins and more

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Why These Playlists Are Good for Your Brain

The power of music is undeniable. It can change your mood and emotions, it can raise you from your seat and onto the dance floor, it can make even the dullest task an enjoyable one. It can help you sleep and manage stress. And it can even help regulate blood pressure and heart rate. In June 2020, AARP’s Global Council on Brain Health released a report on the connection between music and brain health and recommended that people listen to music, play (or learn to play) music, sing, and dance or exercise to music.

And while the positive effects are plenty, sometimes the absolute breadth of music available leads many of us to stop exploring and rely on our old standbys. And while listening to music that you know and like tends to cause the strongest response in the brain, trying out new music — and finding new favorites — will also engage your brain. It’s win-win.

To help you find new artists you’ll love and to remind you of the ones you haven’t listened to in a long time, we’ve created Members Only Access Spotify playlists, where we bring you a new musician-curated playlist every month — made just for AARP members. These intimate stories dive into the music a musician listens to, and how that made them the artists they are today. Enjoy.


 

 

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Still collaborating after 40 years of writing and producing hits, the legendary duo is poised to release the first album under their own names — Jam and Lewis: Volume 1 — and an exclusive AARP playlist highlights their early influences.

 

 

Joan Osborne

While her tenth album, Trouble and Strife, reflects today’s turbulent times, Joan Osborne's food-themed playlist — featuring 'Meat and Potatoes,' 'Vega-tables,' 'Brown Sugar' and other tasty tunes — is more playful.

 

 

Bruce Hornsby

Singer-songwriter-keyboardist Bruce Hornsby keeps reinventing himself through musical collaborations, and his playlist honors some of his favorites, crossing the generational divide equally with Bonnie Raitt, Bon Iver and others.

 

 

  

Indigo Girls' Amy Ray

Amy Ray and fellow Indigo Girl Emily Saliers are still at it after 30 years, having released their 16th studio album, Look Long, last year, keeping busy with benefit concerts and other virtual events, and making positive social change.

ZZ Top's Billy F. Gibbons

Vocalist-guitarist Billy F. Gibbons shares a playlist of his Texas blues favorites, reminisces about ZZ Top's beginnings and influences, and divulges the secret to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees’ longevity.

Shelia E.

The dynamic self-taught percussionist Sheila E. — whose talents span a rainbow of musical genres — still strives to innovate and uplift, and her latest album, Iconic, and curated AARP playlist both convey messages of hope. 

  

José Feliciano

Known as one of the greatest interpreters of popular song and beloved for “Feliz Navidad” — now being celebrated with a star-studded 50th anniversary update — José Feliciano is still recording and connecting with listeners.

Herb Alpert

Inspired by watching bullfights in Tijuana, Mexico, Herb Alpert developed the sound of the Tijuana Brass, combining the influence of mariachis with jazz, as heard in The Lonely Bull, the debut single by the Tijuana Brass in 1962. 

Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins — with his star-shaped sunglasses, bright, sparkling outfits and iconic “space bass” guitar — might be known as much for his colorful quotes and relentlessly positive attitude as he is for being a funk legend.  

Randy Travis

Randy Travis is a country star almost out of central casting — authentically homespun, respectful of his elders, his voice steeped in the inflections of his idols, primarily Lefty Frizzell, Merle Haggard and George Jones.

Lucinda Williams

In 2001, Time magazine called Lucinda Williams “America’s best songwriter,” and at age 67, with her heralded album, Good Souls Better Angels, which takes on issues of today’s unsettled America, she proves she’s still got grit.

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