WBEZ’s critically-acclaimed bio-podcast series explores how an icon is made. Providing an unmatched view from the beginning, all the way to the their rise to the top.

Beyoncé BONUS: Fearlessly Herself
Mar 6 • 32 min
In the lead up to Beyoncé’s solo album debut, Dangerously in Love, a lot was at stake. She was hoping to break out not only as a solo artist, but as a star on multiple levels — music, endorsements and film. Along the way she’d find love, but she’d also…
Beyoncé 3: Destiny Begins
Nov 27, 2019 • 33 min
After Girls Tyme dissolves, Beyoncé and the other girls begin building their new group, Destiny’s Child. Finally, things start to click.
Beyoncé 2: Star Search
Nov 22, 2019 • 37 min
After failing to secure a record deal, Beyoncé and the members of Girls Tyme try another avenue to success: a TV talent competition. The girls are poised and ready for the national spotlight, but tensions in the group are rising behind the scenes.
Beyoncé 1: Girls Tyme
Nov 15, 2019 • 47 min
Before the Grammys, before the platinum records, before Destiny’s Child, there was just a shy girl growing up in Houston. We follow Beyoncé Knowles from the stages of local talent shows to her first crack at a record deal with the group Girls Tyme.
Trailer: Making Beyoncé
Nov 1, 2019 • 1 min
From the makers of Making Obama, WBEZ Chicago presents Making Beyoncé, a new three-part bio-podcast series that explores Beyoncé Knowles’ rise from local talent shows to global musical icon. Find episodes of Making Beyoncé right here beginning Friday,…
Obama BONUS: The Decision
Apr 10, 2018 • 21 min
Just two and a half years after his 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, Barack Obama announced he was running for president.
Obama 6: Yes We Can!
Mar 15, 2018 • 58 min
Barack Obama burst onto the national stage during his U.S. Senate run. Hear how ambition and luck propelled him to Washington.
Obama 5: Up Or Out
Mar 8, 2018 • 55 min
Former president Barack Obama has only lost one election in his life. It was in 2000, and that defeat set him on the course for his eventual U.S. Senate run. Making Obama is a production of listener-supported WBEZ Chicago. Support WBEZ and the future of…
Obama 4: Wait Your Turn
Mar 1, 2018 • 56 min
In 2000, Barack Obama ran for Congress against a Chicago political legend. It became a contest about race and identity.
Obama 3: You Don’t Say No To Barack
Feb 21, 2018 • 56 min
Former President Barack Obama won his first political seat in 1996. Hear what he had to learn, and the conflicts he faced, to get there.
Obama 2: Chicago Politics Ain’t Beanbag
Feb 15, 2018 • 42 min
When Barack Obama first came to Chicago, a political transformation was happening in the city. Hear how that change inspired him.
Obama 1: The Man In The Background
Feb 8, 2018 • 45 min
Before he was the 44th President, Barack Obama worked as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Hear how the city shaped his political ambitions.
Obama: Preview of Making Obama
Jan 19, 2018 • 3 min
Former President Barack Obama — along with friends, mentors, and rivals — tells the story of his climb from Chicago to the national stage. Subscribe now and don’t miss the first episode on February 8.
Oprah BONUS: Making Donahue
Dec 30, 2016 • 40 min
In our final bonus installment, the Making Oprah production team revisits an extended interview with daytime talk show legend Phil Donahue. His pioneering show, Donahue, aired from 1967 to 1996 and laid the groundwork for Oprah’s program. It tackled…
Oprah BONUS: Oprah Gets Political
Dec 23, 2016 • 21 min
For more than 10 years after the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Show, Oprah deliberately avoided having politicians on her show, particularly during election seasons. In this bonus episode of Making Oprah, host Jenn White talks to Oprah about the role…
Oprah BONUS: Let’s Talk About Oprah’s Hair
Dec 15, 2016 • 13 min
If you look at any image from the Oprah Winfrey Show, you can pretty much figure out what decade it’s from by looking at Oprah’s hairstyle. In this short bonus episode, host Jenn White talks to Oprah’s longtime stylist Andre Walker about the high stakes…
Oprah 3: YOU GET A CAR!
Nov 22, 2016 • 62 min
In the show’s final decade, Oprah and her team staged massive spectacles of increasing grandiosity, from the infamous car giveaway to a 21,000-person flash mob that shut down part of Chicago. “It had become increasingly more difficult to top what you’d…
Oprah 2: Skinheads And Scented Candles
Nov 17, 2016 • 60 min
In the second episode of Making Oprah, we explore how The Oprah Winfrey Show elevated itself out of the heap of trash TV and into a show that intentionally embraced spirituality and positivity. The early years of Oprah’s show often relied on sensational,…
Oprah 1: No Strategy, No Plan, No Formula
Nov 10, 2016 • 57 min
It was 30 years ago this fall that Oprah Winfrey first said “hellooooo” to a national audience. By the show’s finale in 2011, it was aired in 145 countries and watched by more than 40 million viewers a week in the U.S. alone. Today’s daytime hosts like…
Oprah: Preview of Making Oprah
Nov 3, 2016 • 4 min
Making Oprah: The Inside Story of a TV Revolution is a public radio podcast — about a daytime talk show. This fall marks 30 years since the national debut of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Be the first to hear a sneak peek of WBEZ’s three-part series featuring…