Music News

Barack Obama's 2020 summer playlist features songs by Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding

Former President Barack Obama presents Stevie Wonder with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012; ImageCatcher News Service/Corbis via Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama has released the latest edition of his annual summer playlist, which this year happens to arrive at the same time as the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Among the veteran artists featured on the list are Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, War, Bob Marley & the Wailers, Bonnie Raitt and Sheryl Crow.

The Wonder song Obama chose was Stevie’s 1982 hit “Do I Do,” while his Dylan selection was “Goodbye Jimmy Reed,” which comes from the folk-rock legend’s latest album, 2020’s Rough and Rowdy Ways.

The former president’s playlist also features songs by several artists that have performed or will perform at the Democratic Convention this week, including singer/actor Billy Porter‘s recent cover of the 1966 Buffalo Springfield protest anthem “For What It’s Worth.”

A pre-recorded video featuring Porter singing the song with Stephen Stills — who wrote and originally sang the tune — playing guitar, was shown during yesterday’s broadcast of the convention’s opening night. You can check out the clip on YouTube.

Other artists featured on Obama’s star-studded playlist include Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, John Legend, Beyoncé, Outkast, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson, and jazz greats John Coltrane and Chet Baker.

“Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time listening to music with my family,” Obama wrote in an Instagram post on Monday. “I wanted to share some of my favorites from the summer — including songs from some of the artists performing at this week’s @DemConvention.”

He added, “As always, it’s a mix of genres that travels through various eras. I think there’s something in here for everybody — hope you enjoy it.”

By Matt Friedlander and Rachel George
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