When music and sports come together

Lorde's idea for "Royals" was inspired by a 1976 photo of George Brett signing autographs. Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The worlds of music and sports can meet in unexpected ways.

You might recall Justin Tucker's story from this past NFL season: The Ravens kicker, who drilled a 61-yard field goal to beat the Lions on "Monday Night Football" in December, also happens to be a talented opera singer who can perform in seven languages.

And perhaps you're aware that two-time gold medal-winning Olympian snowboarder Shaun White plays guitar and sings in the synth-rock band Bad Things.

But did you know that 20 years after George Brett retired from baseball, Lorde, a 17-year-old singer from New Zealand, wrote a No. 1 hit based on a photo published in National Geographic of Brett signing baseballs in 1976?

Or that the "Big Unit," former major league pitcher Randy Johnson, is now a tour photographer for bands including Rush and Soundgarden?

The Music Issue of ESPN The Magazine is all about the ways music and sports come together -- and how they're increasingly intertwined.

For example, Fall Out Boy didn't set out to write a stadium anthem when they came up with "Light 'Em Up." But bassist Pete Wentz, a former all-state soccer player in high school, tells the story of how the band's pursuit of a gig at the NBA All-Star Game helped the song take on a life of its own.

There are also stories of how rap artist Pitbull arranged for a sports management curriculum at his charter school in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood, and how the children of hip-hop stars including Auburn's Tre Mason -- his dad was DJ Maseo in De La Soul -- are blurring the lines between music and sports by pursuing athletic careers of their own.

And then there's the story of how a pre-fight photo of boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. and teen idol Justin Bieber got tweeted to Bieber's 48.7 million followers ...

The Music Issue of ESPN The Magazine hits newsstands on Feb. 3.