Former President Barack Obama’s latest playlist is packed with hits spanning genres from jazz to country, R&B, rock and more.
There’s even some Fleetwood Mac. Although it’s not their 1977 song “Dreams,” which has re-entered the music charts for the first time since its release, thanks to a meme, but 1976’s “Rhiannon.”
The eclectic, 20-song collection celebrates his first presidential memoir, A Promised Land, which comes out Nov. 17. The playlist is available now on Spotify.
For this one of Obama’s many playlists, he selected songs that were associated with his first presidential campaign and the first two years of his presidency, the period of his life he covered in the book.
He wrote: “Music has always played an important role throughout my life—and that was especially true during my presidency. 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, Paul McCartney serenading Michelle in the East Room with, “Michelle" and Bob Dylan flashing me a grin before vanishing after his performance of “Times They Are a-Changin.” So in honor of my book coming out today, I thought I’d put together a playlist with some of those songs. Hope you enjoy it. #APromisedLand”
Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America,” for instance, was one of the songs that played at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, where he clinched the Democratic Party’s nomination. Another was U2’s “Beautiful Day.” Phillip Phillips, the winner of American Idol’s 11th season, performed his hit “Home” at the U.S. Capitol for the Fourth of July celebration in 2012. Obama family favorite Beyoncé landed two songs on the list, “Halo” and “At Last,” which she memorably sang at his 2009 inauguration. Of course, Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours,” which the Obama campaign used in the 2008 primaries, made the cut. So did music from Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Gloria Estefan, Frank Sinatra and others.
The Beatles’ “Michelle” was one of the sweetest entries on the list. Sir Paul McCartney memorably performed the 1967 song for former First Lady Michelle Obama in June 2010, as McCartney was being awarded the Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.