Music Interviews
3:35 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Michelle Kwan's Slow And Steady Workout Jams

Originally published on Sun January 29, 2012 5:13 pm

This month, we're creating The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix. As many of us head back to the gym in the new year, we're asking people what music makes them move.

Today: the figure skating legend Michelle Kwan. For exercise, she says she runs and does Bikram yoga and Pilates. But there's one thing Kwan says she still enjoys more than anything else.

"What I love the most is getting on the ice and just popping in a fabulous CD and skating — all by myself, the rink completely empty, just me and the music," Kwan says.

Kwan's first pick is "Someone Like You," from British soul singer Adele.

"I think Adele is very, very inspiring," Kwan says. "Her lyrics are always from the heart."

When Kwan leaves the ice for the gym, she keeps her playlist soft.

"Because I'm pushing my body so hard already, the last thing I want to do is have music that's really too strong, in my head," she says. "I actually prefer soothing music — and maybe that's the skater in me."

Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" is another one of Kwan's favorites. But her choices aren't all mellow: She's also a big fan of Beyonce and says she loves the singer's ode to fitness, "Move Your Body."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

All this month, in the spirit of New Years resolutions, we're creating The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix. As many of us head back to the gym, MORNING EDITION is asking people what music makes them move.

Today: the figure skating legend Michelle Kwan. For exercise, she runs, does Bikram yoga and Pilates. But there's one thing Kwan still enjoys more than anything else.

MICHELLE KWAN: What I love the most is getting on the ice and just popping in a fabulous CD and skating all by myself - the rink completely empty and just me and the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEONE LIKE YOU")

ADELE: (Singing) Never mind, I'll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you, too...

MONTAGNE: This is Michelle Kwan's first pick, "Someone Like You," from British soul singer Adele.

KWAN: I think Adele is very, very inspiring. Her lyrics are always from the heart.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEONE LIKE YOU")

ADELE: (Singing) But sometimes it hurts instead. Sometimes it lasts in love. And sometimes it hurts instead. Hey...

MONTAGNE: When Kwan leaves the ice for the gym, she keeps her playlist soft.

KWAN: Because my body, I'm pushing it so hard already, the last thing I want to do is have music that's really too strong like rock in my head. I actually prefer soothing music and maybe that's the skater in me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GRAVITY")

SARA BAREILLES: (Singing) Set me free. Leave me be. I don't want to fall another moment into your gravity...

MONTAGNE: Sara Bareilles' "Gravity" is another one of Kwan's favorites.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GRAVITY")

BAREILLES: (Singing) So tall, just the way I'm supposed to be.

MONTAGNE: But it's not all mellow for Michelle Kwan. She's a big fan of Beyonce and says she loves that singer's Anthem to fitness, "Move Your Body."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GRAVITY")

BEYONCE: (Singing) I ain't worried doing me tonight. A little sweat ain't never hurt nobody. Don't just stand there on the wall. Everybody just move your body. Move your body. Move your body. Move your body. Move your body...

MONTAGNE: You can hear Michelle Kwan's picks for The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix. Plus, add your own at NPRMusic.org.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GRAVITY")

BEYONCE: (Singing) Move your body. Hey, Everybody, I want to be myself tonight. Can you get me...

MONTAGNE: And this is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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