Former President Barack Obama is back with his annual music list, and it’s an especially good one. Over the weekend, Obama unveiled his list of his favorite musical tracks, movies, and books from 2021.
“Art always sustains and nourishes the soul. But for me, music and storytelling felt especially urgent during this pandemic year — a way to connect even when we were cooped up," the 70-year-old wrote on Instagram earlier last week to start his year-end tradition.
The Harvard graduate made note that the works that made the final cut were ones he actually “listened to, watched, or read, I’m sure I’ve missed some worthy stuff. So if you have your own recommendations to share, I’ll add them to the stack of books and movies I hope to catch up on over the holidays!”
Obama started things off with his listicle of favorite books, which featured Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’ The Love songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, Nathan Harris’ The Sweetness of Water, and Nadia Owusu’s Aftershocks.
Meanwhile, his movie list included films that told “a powerful story.” The finalists included the Oscar-winning film Judas and the Black Messiah by director Shaka King, the musical documentary Summer of Soul, The Tragedy of Macbeth, and West Side Story, to name a few.
Perhaps his most exciting list had to be his musical picks and Obama has always been known for having a diverse taste in music. “I've always enjoyed listening to a wide variety of music, so it’s no surprise that I listened to a little bit of everything this year,” the former leader wrote in his Instagram caption. “I hope you find a new artist or song to add to your own playlist.”
Lizzo’s “Rumors” featuring Cardi B., Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and “Go Down Deh” by Spice ft Sean Paul and Shaggy were just a few heavy hitters who made Obama’s annual ballot. The former leader of the nation’s list included 27 records across several genres from pop, indie rock, reggaeton, and rap.
Other songs on Obama’s listicle included Nas’ “Nobody” featuring Lauryn Hill and Isaiah Rashad’s “Headshots.” And not to worry, music lovers can stream Obama’s top songs as well on Spotify.