Barack Obama has released a list of songs that he said are memorable to his campaign, and it unexpectedly includes a country song. The former president said he was releasing the list in honor of his new memoir, A Promised Land. The book will be released Tuesday, Nov. 17.
The list includes a number of famous songs, including B.B. King’s The Thrill is Gone, Eminem’s Lose Yourself, Stevie Wonder’s Sir Duke, and Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are-a-Changin’. Unexpectedly, Brooks and Dunn’s Only in America also made the cut.
Obama expanded on why he chose these 20 songs inspired him during his presidency on Instagram.
“… While reviewing my notes ahead of debates, I’d listen to Jay-Z’s ‘My 1st Song’ or Frank Sinatra’s ‘Luck Be a Lady.’ Throughout our time in the White House, Michelle and I invited artists like Stevie Wonder and Gloria Estefan to conduct afternoon workshops with young people before performing an evening show in the East Room. And there were all sorts of performances I’ll always remember — like Beyoncé performing ‘At Last’ for our first dance at our inauguration or Paul McCarthy serenading Michelle in the East Room with, ‘Michelle.’ So in honor of my book, A Promised Land, coming out tomorrow, I thought I’d put together a playlist with some of those songs. Hope you enjoy it.”
Barack Obama Has History of Releasing Playlists
Music critic Jay Ruttenberg praised Obama’s jug-ears for their nuance. He writes that the 45th President of the United States has a good sense for new music. In an Op-Ed for the New York Times, Ruttenberg praised Obama’s lists as one of his favorites to check out. Mostly because they are is so diverse, and his prose is always so vivid.
“In recent years, however, one unlikely critic has emerged whose year-end list I find myself coveting: Barack Obama, who every December issues deliriously geeky inventories that catalog his favorite pop songs, books and films from the year,” he wrote. “… His erudite book choices fall under his professional purview, and his movie picks seem fine enough. But Mr. Obama’s music lists — unruly, spiked with surprises and a tad quirky — can truly sing.”
His new playlist fits that bill. Obama included includes country, rap, jazz, hip hop, and rock.
If other years are any indication, the former president will likely release lists of his favorite entertainment from the year soon.
A Promised Land is Obama’s third book. It will cover his first term.