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New List Includes Old Town Road and Brown Eyed Girl
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Earlier this month, former president Barack Obama unveiled his annual summer reading list, a thoughtful and eclectic array of titles. And on Saturday, he followed it up by releasing a list of songs that he and Michelle Obama have been enjoying.
“With summer winding down, here’s a sampling of what Michelle and I have been listening to,” wrote Obama on social media, “some new, some old, some fast, some slow. Hope you enjoy.”
There’s hardly a person alive who couldn’t find something to appreciate on this list, which ranges from ‘60s jazz to songs still on today’s pop charts. “Old Town Road” may no longer be the number one song in the country, but it’s got the next best thing—the Obamas’ endorsement. Also on the list are Lizzo’s absolutely irresistible “Juice,” “How High the Moon” as performed by Ella Fitzgerald, and Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years.”
During his years in the presidency, Obama brought his love of music to the nation’s highest office. He famously sang a snippet of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” during a 2012 fundraiser, and sang “Amazing Grace” in a particularly moving moment at the funeral for pastor Clementa Pinckney, who was among the victims of Charleston’s 2015 Emanuel AME mass shooting. Artists ranging from Chance the Rapper to Willie Nelson visited the White House during the Obama administration.
Here are a few of the standouts from the former president and first lady’s summer listening list.
Sharon Van Etten — “Seventeen”
Toots and the Maytals — “54-46 Was My Number”
Mac Miller feat. Anderson .Paak — “Dang!”
Maggie Rogers — “Burning”
The Rolling Stones — “Happy”
Rosalía and J Balvin feat. El Guincho — “Con Altura”
Donny Hathaway — “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”
GoldLink feat. Ari PenSmith — “Joke Ting”
Dobie Grey — “Drift Away”
SZA — “Go Gina”
Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture.