African Music Stars Made Barack Obama’s 2020 Summer Playlist

by Duke Magazine

Barack Obama is again performing his annual ritual of sharing his favorite tunes to his followers on social media. As usual, this year’s playlist, which features a smorgasbord of artistes across the globe is spot on and shows he truly has a great music taste.

“Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to music with my family,” the former president tweeted on Monday. “I wanted to share some of my favorites from the summer—including songs from some of the artists at this week’s @DemConvention. Hope you enjoy it.”

For this year’s playlist, super artistes like Rihanna, Teyana Taylor, Megan Thee Stallion, Nigerian-American rapper, Chika, J. Cole, and Jamaican dancehall acts, Popcan and Koffee made the list. Others also include artistes who are lined up to perform at this week’s Democratic National Convention, with the likes of John Legend, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Billy Porter, Leon Bridges, Billie Eilish, Maggie Rogers and The Chicks.

A very diverse playlist, the 59-year-old also added some throwback songs, including ‘Could You Be Loved’ by Bob Marley and ‘The Wailers,’ ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ by Billie Holiday, ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me by Nina Simone and ‘Do I Do’ by Stevie Wonder.

The former president also spiced it up with tunes from African acts as well as those they featured on, such as ‘King Already’ by Beyoncé featuring Major Lazer, and Ghanaian dancehall sensation Shatta Wale, ‘Know Your Worth Remix by Khalid & Disclosure featuring Nigerian acts Davido and Tems, ‘Smile’ by Wizkid featuring H.E.R., as well as Jorja Smith’s collaborative effort with Burna Boy, ‘Be Honest’.

Besides doing the listening, the erstwhile U.S. president has also dropped a few lines on the mic, even hitting the Billboard charts along the way. Last year, he secured his first debut on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart with a feature on “One Last Time (44 Remix)“, which is off Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton musical, New York Daily News reported. 

The song, which debuted at number 22, features Obama reading George Washington’s farewell speech. The track also features Gospel singer Bebe Winans, as well as actor, musician and Hamilton cast member Christopher Jackson.

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