President Obama’s Favorite Songs of 2018


As 2018 draws to a close, former President Barack Obama continues one of his favorite traditions, sharing his year-end lists. Of course we are excited to hear about what music caught the president’s ear. We even put together a YouTube playlist of the songs!

It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018 list – I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.

President Barack Obama

President Obama’s favorite songs of 2018:

  • “Apes••t”by The Carters
  • “Bad Bad News” by Leon Bridges
  • “Could’ve Been” by H.E.R. (feat. Bryson Tiller)
  • “Disco Yes” by Tom Misch (feat. Poppy Ajudha)
  • “Ekombe” by Jupiter & Okwess 
  • “Every Time I Hear That Song” by Brandi Carlile 
  • “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” by Ashley McBryde 
  • “Historia De Un Amor” by Tonina (feat. Javier Limón and Tali Rubinstein)
  • “I Like It” by Cardi B (feat. Bad Bunny and J Balvin) 
  • “Kevin’s Heart” by J. Cole
  • “King For A Day” by Anderson East
  • “Love Lies” by Khalid & Normani 
  • “Make Me Feel” by Janelle Monáe 
  • “Mary Don’t You Weep (Piano & A Microphone 1983 Version)” by Prince
  • “My Own Thing” by Chance the Rapper (feat. Joey Purp) 
  • “Need a Little Time” by Courtney Barnett 
  • “Nina Cried Power” by Hozier (feat. Mavis Staples)
  • “Nterini” by Fatoumata Diawara 
  • “One Trick Ponies” by Kurt Vile
  • “Turnin’ Me Up” by BJ the Chicago Kid 
  • “Wait by the River” by Lord Huron 
  • “Wow Freestyle” by Jay Rock (feat. Kendrick Lamar)


And in honor of one of the great jazz singers of all time, who died this year, a classic album: The Great American Songbook by Nancy Wilson

Visit the former president’s Facebook post for his favorite movies and books of the year.

President Barack Obama’s 2018 Music Playlist

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